Tired of silly old email enquiries? Say hello to autoresponders!
If there’s one thing that drives us all crazy, it’s not having enough hours in the day. You need hours to work out your internet marketing, your sales, your budgets, follow up on invoices and god knows what else. What you’re reaching for is an aspirin. What you probably need is an auto-responder.
“You must be joking!” you laugh. “I’ve seen what autoresponders do!”
I’d actually be quite surprised if you haven’t. Here’s the scenario–
It’s 3.00 in the morning. You’re sitting at the computer sending out email. Suddenly, from out of the blue, someone (to whom you’ve just sent the mail) replies. You’re excited. Who could be up at 3am like you?
What you’ve just received is an, I’m out of the officeautoreply and voila, here is the most basic use of an autoresponder. Autoresponders, are like fax on demand. You zap; they zap back.
I run a small wine company. How can autoresponders help my business?
First, you have to understand how an autoresponder works.
Let me make it really basic with a real life example. You hear a radio ad, where they promise you can make millions in the next 2 years. They promise to send you a tape and a brochure if you call in now.
The operator takes the call and your details. She then routes your information to someone else who packs your tape, your brochure, puts a stamp on it and sends it to your mailing address. In a series of very basic steps, you get the information you desire and are now more interested in what the company has to offer.
Once you hear the tape and read the brochure and find it interesting enough, you contact them and a sale is possible.
Autoresponders work just like that. You have a link on your website or someone else’s website. The link says that you are giving away free information on how to buy the best wine.
The person is interested in your offer and clicks on the link. At that precise moment, the website or the HTML code generates an email with a SUBJECT for the email such asFree Wine Info. This is sent to your email address and your computer recognises the subject headline Free Wine Info.
Automation does all the work for you from this moment on. It detects the subject line and puts the sender’s email address in your master email list of subscribers to contact. At the same time, it goes to the folder where you have stored the requested information in a file and sends that file to the person requesting the information.
All this is done, without you lifting a finger. And this is just the beginning…
That’s amazing! What other practical uses can I use autoresponders for?
Autoresponders have the following uses:
Clients request information all the time. If you ran the wine company, you could have price lists, types of wine, even a brochure done in Acrobat Reader (pdf format) that gives tons of information about your products and company. Most people like this system because it doesn’t compel them to buy. This is a very non-threatening situation.
However, they are interested in your product, and by virtue of asking for the information, go into your database. You can then follow up and ask them if they want more information. It gives you a very valid reason to follow up and convert them into paying customers.
2) Subscription to Your Ezine
If you run an ezine, (you’re doing a disservice to yourself if you don’t) then this is a great way of getting people to get the first copy without you physically mailing it out to them. Within seconds of sending an email to you, they receive your ezine and get put on the mailing list.
These are live customers remember? All it takes for them to buy your product or service is for you to follow up.
3) Free Reports
The best way to get people to visit your website or test your service or product is to give them information. Information tells them that you know your business. They don’t know you from Adam or Eve. A comprehensive report (such as this), gives them the confidence that you know much, much more than what exists in this report and are in a very good position to advise them.
To get people to your website or to subscribe to your ezine, you need to circulate your report on as many websites, ezines, etc. as possible. If the persons reading your report find it dynamic, they will assume your abilities follow the same path.
This will lead them to your website, where they will sample more about your products and services. At the same time, because they have subscribed, you are following up with them. At some point, the value generated by your product or service will be worth the price you are asking and will convert those maybes into a big yes purchase.
The last thing you need is to have your email address on these reports. It sets you up for all the nuts on the internet. However, if you have an autoresponder email address, it automatically goes to that address and sends your message to them.
* When placing classified ads, instead of supplying your regular email address, use your autoresponder address.
* Appropriate News Groups
* Opt-in email discussion lists
* Business Cards
* Letter Head
* Your web site
Follow Up on Invoices
Hey, if the client’s a pest and you need to get paid do this.
Set up the autoresponder and let it go. After a couple of reminders, the client will get the message.
Your blood pressure will stay normal and his will go up. You don’t need non-paying clients anyway and you don’t want to waste time on follow ups, so this is a great tool. You could space it out so that a message goes out only once a week for say 5 weeks. If the client pays in that time, you can cancel the autoresponder.
High Powered Sales
One of the biggest secrets of sales is persistence. Most sales people give up after 3 tries. It takes at least 5 pitches before prospective customers throw in the towel and are willing to listen to you. Most of them are exactly like you. They have little time and resources. If you have a solution that will make them money or save time and resources, they will listen to you.
After 5 Calls!
Autoresponders help you do that. Many autoresponder services have a follow up sales routine. Which means, the autoresponder will follow up with a second, third, fourth, fifth and tenth (if you need that many) follow ups. Each follow up is based on the fact that the person hasn’t responded. If the person responds, the autoresponder doesn’t send them any more messages. If they don’t, it keeps sending them gentle reminders.
Of course, there’s always the thought,”What if it drives away potential customers?” It doesn’t if you’re smart. Most autoresponder messages can be quite informal and not overt sales messages.
People respond to messages that seem one on one. They always do. It’s scared to death business owners and marketing managers who don’t try it and pooh pooh the whole idea.
For example, when someone asks you for information, it means they’re interested. Now all you have to do is keep that interest up.
Here’s a Scenario–
Thanks for your email about our wine list.
Here is the wine list.
I see you asked for our wine list three days ago. We’ve got some good news for you. We send out an email not more than once a month giving customers like you a substantial discount. The email also gives you handy tips on how to choose the best wines for a very reasonable cost.
Would you be interested in receiving this money-saving email?
To subscribe:please email firstname.lastname@example.org
I guess you’ve been busy. For the month of July our specials are
You can have these specials by going to our website at
If you register for the Wine Tasters Ezine, you will get this money saving information on a regular basis plus a great selection of wines.
A couple of followups like this will make even the laziest customer finally click, get on your email list, and end up making one or several purchases, depending on your direct marketing skills.
This is one of the most powerful way to make your sales. So use it!
Tracking Your Autoresponder Responses
Tracking your ads’ response rate will be the key to your marketing success. Once you test your ads and determine which ad is pulling the most responses, you can easily test which classified ad sites are producing results as well. This will save you a lot of valuable time by only placing your ads at classified ad sites that produce results.
1. Make a list of the classified ad sites where you intend to post your ad.
2. Number the list of ad sites.
3. You can key your ad using the subject of your email. Many times, if you ask for a certain subject description, it may not be provided. To avoid this problem you can add a simple code to your email tag.
This code should contain your autoresponder address and will automatically fill in the subject with your ad key when clicked on. The “cl1″ stands for the classified ad site number one. The second ad site you have listed should be coded as cl2 or classified ad site number two and so on. By coding your ads, you will know exactly where your leads are coming from.
4. Begin submitting your ad and replace your normal email address with your key coded autoresponder address.
Recommendations for Autoresponders
Some of the best tools are out there. Do your due diligence. Here are some you’d want to check out.
You’ll also find free autoresponders on the net. Free anything is generally a waste of time, much like free internet and free email addresses. They don’t give you or your company a professional image and show you off as a freeloader — something you want to avoid at all costs!