So you’ve worked hard in creating your website, regularly adding content to it, and building links and increasing search engine placements. The next step, that many overlook, is to capture your visitors by using an autoresponder.
Here’s a scenario for you to consider. A visitor finds your site through one of the many ways that you have been carrying out to generate traffic, and finds just what they are looking for and is about to make a purchase. They are distracted while at their computer and leave the site.
Although the example above is hypothetical, the reality is that visitors may leave your site for a number of reasons without you making the most of your opportunity. That is unless you are using an autoresponder.
Capturing the email address of this visitor would have allowed you to contact them at a later date to potentially make the sale that you originally missed out on. Autoresponders are remarkable, flexible programs that do much more than just automatically answer your emails. I’ll outline below a number of ideas that you can use to creatively and productively use your autoresponder to transform the casual visitor into a profitable customer.
1) Publish a newsletter.
High quality autoresponders will manage subscriptions and follow-up with those interested prospects that have signed up. This allows you to keep your autoresponder list updated about your products or services, and also build your reputation as an expert in your chosen business area.
2) Contact affiliates.
If you have an affiliate program you can easily contact your affiliates to inform them of any offers you may be running, or to provide them with promotional material that they can use to increase their commissions and your sales. You could provide any tips and advice that you feel would benefit your affiliates.
3) Promote advertising opportunities.
You may provide, or plan on providing advertising on your website, ezine or newsletter. You could setup your autoresponder to send out information about the cost of advertising, and how to find out more information. Of course you could also notify your list of any advertising discounts or offers that you may have.
4) Write reviews.
Write reviews on products and services that you found to be useful. Send this review out with your autoresponder along with your affiliate link to the product.
5) Provide email courses.
Provide valuable information in the form of email courses. These can be setup to send out each lesson at certain intervals. It is important not to solely provide a sales pitch but to provide quality content. You can then provide a paragraph at the end of the email course to entice the prospect to make a purchase of your product.
6) Distribute free reports.
Give your visitors a taste of the information that you provide, and the quality of your product and service. Again, do not make these out to be sales letters, or you stand to lose customers instead of gain.
7) Product tasters.
Provide your prospects samples of your product, whether it be an ebook, software, course, membership, etc. You can capture email addresses from your website this way, and follow-up to make the complete sale.
8) Provide hidden links to pages.
In exchange for a visitors email address, you could provide a link to an affiliate page containing promotional material. You can then gather a list of visitors that are interested in becoming your affiliates.
9) Order page autoresponder.
Provide a form on your order pages that allows visitors to be kept notified of special offers or discounts. This offers a great opportunity to create a mailing list that contains the names of people who are already your customers, and who are interested in any future products.
10) Distribute articles.
Allow visitors to sign up to your autoresponder in order to receive articles. There are many ezine publishers and webmasters looking for content, and this allows you to provide this content whilst including your bio and description of your service or product in a resource box.
Here I’ve provided ten examples of how autoresponders can be used creatively, but there are many more. Autoresponders are valuable to all internet marketers, and you should seriously consider using one if you do not already.
1. Offer an email course.
Write up a course or use your articles to create a course that you can offer to your visitors.
You’ll be able to educate people about your product, and increase your sales by showing them the benefits they’ll get from purchasing from you.
2. Send excerpts of your ebook.
Increase your sales by showing your visitors firsthand the valuable information you have to offer them.
Simply string together excerpts of several or maybe just one chapter of your ebook, and then offer your autoresponder series to your visitors.
If you have an affiliate program, increase your sales by making this autoresponder series (as well as any email course you offer) available to your affiliates.
3. Publish an ezine.
With broadcast capable autoresponders, you’ll be able to double opt in all your new subscribers and send out your issues on the schedule you want.
Promote your ezine on your site, and submit it to ezine directories and ezine announcement lists.
If you write articles, you can also get more new subscribers by using your resource box to promote your ezine.
You can also promote your ezine in your signature file and get more new subscribers through your day to day emails and also from your posts to discussion lists and forums that you’re a member of.
4. Offer a sample issue.
Make one of your best, current ezine issues available by autoresponder.
Then offer it on your site, and also, when you can, include it along with your other ezine information when you submit your ezine to ezine directories.
5. Publish an article announcement list.
Get more ezine publishers and webmasters to publish your articles on a regular basis by creating a list that announces when you’ve written a new article or articles.
You’ll be able to keep in touch with people that enjoy your writing, helping you to get your articles published more often and increase traffic to your site.
6. Make a training course available to your affiliates.
Offer a generic email training course that your affiliates can use to learn how to successfully promote your products and earn commissions.
Your affiliates will have a handy resource that they can print out and go back to again and again, and you’ll be able to increase your profits by helping your affiliates get started on the right track.
Automation is an important part to any business. The less time you devote to doing small redundant tasks the more time you will have to devote to primary business activities, such as: product development, advertising, customer service, and list building. Or, you may want to have more time for enjoying other things in life other than working, so the more you automate your business the more time you will have available to spend on whatever you desire.
Putting an online business on autopilot is not very difficult and much of it can be done by simple using autoresponders to do many simple tasks for you. An autoresponder is a software program that you pay usage fees for, or that you buy and put on your own hosting account’s server. It is a program that responds to email inquiries from other people with whatever you program it to send out. And it can also easily be programmed to send out email messages that you enter into it at whatever time you want. Therefore an autoresponder, abbreviated AR, can be used for many purposes to assist in handling business communication activities.
An AR can be used to promote your products or services and to get people to visit your website. Just type or copy and paste your sales or informational message into your AR and have it sent out to whoever you have entered into the AR. Then, when a person receives your message and visits your web site and makes a purchase you can have your AR setup to deliver another message to them. The message would thank them for their purchase and then deliver their product and receipt to them.
You may also program it to give your customers detailed instructions on how to go about obtaining their products and describing other products you have to offer that they may be also be interested in purchasing. In this way you have the ability to promote more products and possibly make more sales. You can also program your AR to send out follow-up messages a day or two after a purchase to ask customers if they are satisfied with their purchase. This assists in building strong customer relations and also gives you another opportunity to promote more products while saving your time.
It will also allow you to make more “back-end” sales by using follow up messages every few days. It is advisable to always include some meaningful and relevant information in your follow up messages so your messages do not appear to just be blatant sales messages, which most people do not generally like or appreciate. The beauty of all this is that you can be off doing something else while much of your business communication activities are being handled automatically by your AR.
Autoresponders are great for training and teaching purposes. Many college professors who teach correspondence courses set up their lessons in an AR and then send them to their students at specified times throughout the semester. And, because the courses being taught often do not vary much from semester to semester, or from year to year, the lessons can be set up one time and used over and over again with only minor adjustments being needed.
ARs are great for providing training lessons to all types of groups. For example, a 12 week training course can be written in advance and then scheduled for deliver when the time is appropriate. The lessons can even be set up to be delivered to different groups at different time intervals. ARs are great for keeping members of an organization informed of upcoming events, deadlines, and special offers or promotions.
Promoting products for sale is one of the most popular uses of autoresponders in online business. But when using an AR to promote your sales just realize that most potential customers do not like the direct “hard sale” approach and it has been documented that on an average a potential customer must hear from you at least 7 times before a sale is made. It is usually best to contact potential customers in the first 2 to 4 messages with valuable information that is interesting for them to read or use in their lives. It is good to give away something of interest and value and to thank them for subscribing to your email newsletter or ezine.
It has been said that the best way to entice sales is to build interest slowly and start with an informative message about something that interests your reader. And, when you do try to make a sale be sure to focus on a problem or solution that your product or service will help resolve for them. Gain their confidence by providing free information that is relevant, accurate, and informative for them.
There are many AR services available and you can certainly find them by doing a search with any of the main search engine services. Many AR services will give you free limited service, but be cautious of these AR services because they will put their advertisements on all of your outgoing messages, or limited the amount of messages and subscribers you can send to. These things certainly will not help your business any. Be very careful when choosing and signing up with an autoresponder service to use in your business.
Some popular ARs frequently used are listed below:
And, of course there are many, many more so please do a good and thorough investigation and analysis before deciding which AR to use. If you are a beginner then you may want to try the free service listed on the last line above. It is called, “EGGS” for short. It is very easy to understand and to use. It does have some limitations but it has plenty of functionality for most people and there is no cost
involved unless you would like to donate.
Perhaps you, like me, have web hosting that includes, free of any extra charge, unlimited autoresponders. That being the case, you might be inclined to balk at any suggestion to start paying for them.
Recently, however, I made the switch to paying a monthly fee for unlimited autoresponders. Am I rich (with money to burn)? Have I lost my mind?
Actually, I consider this move to paid autoresponders to be a wise decision. Here are some reasons why you might want to pay for an autoresponder service.
1. Sequential Autoresponders: Although many web hosts offer unlimited autoresponders, each autoresponder is only capable of sending one response. Building business relationships with paid autoresponder services can thus increase your sales.
2. Tracking Capabilities: The autoresponders that come with your web host don’t have built-in tracking capabilities. Tracking customer response with paid autoresponder services can lead to more effective advertising campaigns.
3. Deliverability: A very large number of your newsletter subscribers are not getting your newsletter if it is sent using your web host’s mailing list program. Improving newsletter delivery with paid autoresponder services will improve your bottom line.
4. Legal Protection: Since the e-mails you send are hosted on the autoresponder service’s servers, you are insulated from false accusations of sending spam (unsolicited commercial e-mail). Protect yourself legally with paid autoresponder services.
You could also consider buying an autoresponder program (or script) that will allow you to run unlimited, sequential autoresponders from your websites. However, they can be expensive, require some technical skill, and still have some disadvantages.
For example, since you are hosting your own autoresponders, you might still have issues with deliverability and legal protection.
Paid autoresponder services, with their many advantages over other autoresponder systems, can increase your business profits.
If you’ve reached the point of exhaustion trying to keep up with answering the mountain of emails that threatens to bury you alive every single day, you’re ready to learn about autoresponders.
The bad news is that people expect prompt replies to their email inquiries. However, unless you can figure out how to work continual twenty-four hour shifts, or hire enough people to constantly monitor incoming emails (while they’re eating up your revenue), you have a problem. The good news is an autoresponder is an inexpensive – or even free -method of quickly responding to emails. What these programs do is automatically respond to incoming emails as soon as they are received.
Emails are essential to your business for many different reasons. Most importantly, these invisible email voices give you their feedback about your website – for free!
However, if you spend all your working hours answering these emails, how are you supposed to run your business? The answer is simple: use autoresponders. Autoresponders are programs that automatically respond to your emails without you so much as having to click on your mouse.
There are a number of good reasons why you need an autoresponder besides just answering your email. For example, autoresponders can be used if you need a way to
send information about your services or products, price lists, or if there are repeated questions asked across large numbers of emails. Maybe you want to offer your site
visitors a special bonus of some kind, such as advice or relevant articles. All of this can be handled by an autoresponder. Additionally, you can advertise your business and then build stable relationships with your customers by using autoresponders.
Autoresponder programs vary from software that runs with your email program to a specialized script that runs on your web hosting company’s server. This kind of script may use a web page form or simply operate with your email account. This kind of script is programmed to send out a standardized message whenever an email is received. The message is sent to a particular script or email address.
Some autoresponders can do more than simply send out standardized messages. They can send out an unlimited number of follow-up messages sent at predetermined interval of time. For example, you can set your autoresponder to send out a new message every day for as long a period as you desire.
There are numerous companies who offer autoresponders free of charge. Your website hosting company often provides autoresponders as a free service. If this is not the case with your web hosting company, there are numerous companies who offer this service for a small fee, or free of charge, providing you attach an advertisement for their company to your emails.
To personalize your autoresponder messages, you can attach a signature. Signatures in this case are much like business cards. You can include your name, company, all your contact numbers and addresses, and a brief message.
It’s a good idea to attach a signature to every email that is sent out. This works as a repeated reminder of your business identity every time a customer sees it. The more
they look at your signature, the more likely your company will spring to mind when your particular service or product is needed.
You can create a standardized signature that every employee in your business uses, or you can go wild, and let every staff member create their own personal signature. Of
course, like everything in life, there are some rules and guidelines to creating a personal signature.
Keep the length of your signature between four to six lines of text, with no more than 70 characters in a single line. Make sure that your email program does not cut off your text! The content should include your name, your company name, your email address, fax number, and any other contact details, such as 800 numbers. Lastly, always include a short personal message about your company. It should be a
subtle sell of your services or your products, and possibly your company’s reliability and longevity.
Another specialized use of autoresponders is to create courses that you can then offer your site visitors for free. You must choose a topic in which you are an expert and that precisely targets your potential customers.
Once you have carefully chosen your subject, divide it into a number of different sub-topics. Then offer your site visitor a free 10 or 15 day course, each day offering a
different sub-topic. The first topic should always be a welcome message to your site visitor and an explanation about what is to follow. Your explanation should be
enticing, getting the point across that you are offering free, quality information that your target audience will find of great value.
With every lesson, include the number of the lesson, the topic title, information about your company and its services or products. At the end, include a few blurbs about the next lesson to entice the subscriber to continue on.
Make sure each topic is packed with essential and valuable information, and leaves the visitor lusting to know more. Otherwise, you may lose them in the very beginning.
Of course, you have to write up your course before you can offer it. Once you have done this, and gone over the material carefully, employing a professional writer or
editor if necessary, you must transfer your text to your autoresponder.
There are a number of free autoresponders you can use.
Try http:/www.getresponse.com, or http://www.fastfacts.net.
Or go onto Google and you will find a long list of free autoresponder companies. Then sign-up for your chosen autoresponder. Once you do, you will receive instructions as to how to set it up and transfer your text.
Email is an excellent marketing tool; it is inexpensive and it is fast. Use it to advertise your business by choosing your email address carefully. Your website should contain
different email addresses for different contact requests. For example, use email@example.com for information requests, or firstname.lastname@example.org for questions about sales. It’s a good idea to set up one for the owner, such as email@example.com. This presents your company in a personal, approachable light and insures that direct contact is provided.
Autoresponders are an effective and powerful marketing tool, allowing you to make contact with thousands of potential customers. This is an invaluable asset considering how many potential customers you usually have contact with before you make an actual sale. Essentially, an autoresponser allows you to automate part of your
The AutoResponder is fantastic and effective for increasing traffic to your website. It helps you save valuable time with its automated response function: emails concerning frequently-asked questions about a service/product or sending a greetings and welcome letter to new subscribers to your program/service. It helps to track the effectiveness of each and every one of your promotions.
The Autoresponder, in short, is an invaluable tool in your business. As one of the most popular marketing tools available on the Internet today, it is used a lot by different types of businesses and websites. However, this great tool is not always used in a proper manner. Below are some rules and regulations to observe:
1. Avoid Flooding: Do not use an AutoResponder Address when submitting to Search Engines
Search Engines like Google and Yahoo!, directories, classified, and free-for-all sites commonly use AutoResponders. Were you to use your AutoResponder to contact these companies, their AutoResponders will reply to yours, then yours to theirs, and so on and so on. This situation would create a cycle of autoresponses that would flood your respective email boxes!
2. Common Courtesy: Do not use an AutoResponder to subscribe to Ezines or Discussion Forums
As Ezines send updates and new information regularly to subscribers, your Autoresponder would respond with a message each and every time. In a Discussion Forum, each person in that Forum will receive our auto response. This can cause a lot of irritation all round, and most of the time you will be unsubscribed. It is often very difficult for the Forum/Ezine administrators to determine who is using the autoresponse.
3. Do not use an Autoresponder to Take Advantage Of Unsuspecting Individuals
Some unethical companies make use of AutoResponders to respond to automated messages; when this happens, the email address in the ‘from’ field is automatically subscribed to their mailing list. The unsuspecting individuals start getting unasked-for mail and many are fed-up of this as this happens very regularly. Companies that do this, rather than promoting their business properly, create for themselves a very negative image. Remember, bad publicity spreads faster than good.
The Internet is a fantastic arena in which to do business, local, national and international and AutoResponders are simply a great way to save valuable time doing repetitive tasks. However, when used in an unprofessional way, and without regard for your chosen victim-recipients, it will only cause much aggravation and frustration in un-requested-for barrages of emails. You and your company will only stand to lose goodwill and business. Appropriate use can lead to massive amounts of business. Misuse it, and you get…the opposite.
Offering free things to your website visitors is one marketing method that often results in a lot of sales. Free courses that are delivered via email are very popular, and people sign up for such courses on a regular basis to learn more about a topic of interest to them. These courses are best maintained and delivered with the use of autoresponders.
An autoresponder can be set up to send out a series of lessons for an email course. The lessons can be set for distribution at specific intervals. You determine how often the lessons for the course are sent to the people who have signed up for it. Email courses are very different from traditional courses, web based courses, or any other type of course.
There is no student and instructor interaction. The instructor writes the information out, puts each lesson in an autoresponder series, sets the timing for the lessons, and the rest is automated. You can opt to have lessons delivered daily, every other day, every three days, or any other time frame that you think works best for your email students.
Email courses are commonly used to sell products and services. For instance, if you sell widgets, you might develop a course that teaches people how to use widgets or how to care for their widget. Experts agree that an email course can be written for almost any product that you can imagine – if you put enough thought into it.
Start by determining what your course will be about, and how long it should be. If the course should be delivered every other day for two weeks, you know that you would need seven lessons. Write the lessons, and load them in the autoresponder. Set the interval for each lesson, which in this case would be 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13.
This means that the first lesson would be delivered one day after the person has requested the course, and the second lesson would be delivered three days after the person has requested the course, and so on. The interval for each lesson is set for the number of days after the person has signed up Make sure that everything is spelled right, and that your sentences are grammatically correct. You want the lessons to look and sound as professional as possible.
Next, simply advertise the email address that will activate the autoresponder. Make sure that you run a test first, sending each lesson to yourself. This will allow you to see what your email students will see when they sign up!
An autoresponder is probably one of the most important marketing tools you can have when you’re doing business online. In fact, there‘s probably only thing more important than an autoresponder, and that’s your opt in list. But as you probably know: autoresponders and opt in list go hand-in-hand: the list doesn’t exist until your autoresponder mailing list starts filling up with names and email addresses!
If you want to build an email list, the easiest and fastest way to gather email addressess is to give things away for free: give away an ezine, free reports, free ebooks, free access to private websites, or anything else that you can think of. Your goal is is to get people to sign up to receive that freebie, and to agree to receive email from you in the future! This way, you create a win-win situation: the person that’s subscribing gets a freebie and you get his name and email address, and permission to email him in the future.
But if you give it some extra thinking, you could get even more than that. The freebie that you give away can also be used to promote your products or services. For example, if it just has (your) affiliate links for products or services that are related to the topic of the freebie, it is a way to generate extra revenue. You also need to make sure to include valuable information in the emails you send, or you will have people dropping off of your autoresponder mailing list like flies!
You need to use every opportunity that is presented to you to succeed.
– you can earn money in the freebie that you create
– you can earn money when you send the ‘thank you’ email after a person has requested your freebie
– you can earn money every time an autoresponder message is sent out to that list in the future
Don’t waste those opportunities, but put them all in automatic mode with the use of an autoresponder.
Have you ever received an email telling you that the person you emailed is on vacation and will not be answering his email for the next week? What about a company that answers with an email thanking you for your interest and that they would get back to you in a day or two? Or even an email saying that the email you tried to send could not be delivered?
Each of these is a different version of what we commonly call an autoresponder. An autoresponder is simply that, a computer program that automatically answers email sent to it. This simple definition, however, belies a world of difference between the different types of autoresponders in use today.
The first auto responders were incorporated into mail transfer agents or email providers. When they could not deliver a piece of email, they would send an autoresponse to you letting you know as much. These types of emails were helpful, but not particularly sophisticated.
That has all changed radically in recent years, as autoresponders have been incorporated into the marketing strategies of many companies. Today autoresponders are used by companies to immediately give feedback and information to prospective clients. This might include sending an autoresponse to email inquiries which include pricing information, more details about a product, and a timeline for when they can expect someone from the company to get back with them.
These ‘client touches’ are a valuable commodity in the world of marketing because they improve conversion rates in the purchase of goods by keeping the product or service in the mind of the purchaser for a bit longer, as well as provide the company with an additional opportunity to provide the potential customer with more information on the product.
Autoresponders are setup primarily in one of two ways, with an outsourced ASP model, and a server-side model. The Outsourced ASP model involves the company or provider who would like to incorporate an autoresponder into their business model contracting with an outside provider. The outside provider will then typically provide the user with access to a web-based control panel. From there the company or individual can dictate exactly what they would like the autoresponder to say to each email received as well as how to deal with different types of emails and other variations. For these services, the company typically pays a monthly fee to the autoresponder provider.
The second category of autoresponders is server-side. Server-side autoresponders simply refers to programs that instead of paying for someone to implement for you on a monthly basis, a company can install the system on their own server and run it for themselves. While this process is typically not as simple as purchasing a program out of a box and uploading to the server, it has become significantly simpler in recent years.