You understand the importance of relationship building for your Internet based business. You know that a static website is just not enough. You need to keep in touch with your prospects or customers. You are aware that this is done through sending out emails to them.
You could hire a full time virtual assistant or secretary to send out all your emails, whether it’s to provide information to prospective leads or to follow-up existing customers. How lucky would you be to find a secretary that does everything perfectly, as scheduled, without ever missing a single email.
Fortunately, you don’t have to rely on anyone. Your marketing business can get all those tasks done by using autoresponders.
WHAT IS AN AUTORESPONDER?
Autoresponders are pre-determined replies to a specific set of variables.
Okay, let’s start with something simple. Have you ever received or sent emails with “away on holiday” or “away from office” messages? When someone goes on a holiday and is not available to respond to their work email, it’s a common practice to add an autoresponse message that sends a response to all incoming emails. This is done to let others know that they’ll not be getting a response to their email until the person gets back to work.
This is an automated response and this is based on the very basic autoresponder technology that works by responding to the action of receiving an email.
But the autoresponders that online marketers use are much more powerful and come with the capacity to send multiple emails based on pre-set time intervals and in response to different actions.
They can also handle mailing lists, subscriptions and newsletters.
THE MAIN ELEMENTS OF AN AUTORESPONDER
#1 ONLINE FORM
An online form on your website is where you collect visitor information. This form includes fields, labels and a submit button.
See the image below, where you see a sign-up form requesting the name and email address of visitors to join their free monthly e-newsletter mailing list.
The information collected on these forms is used to send follow up messages to the subscriber.
2# THANK YOU PAGE
When a visitor enters the details and submits the online form, the normal response is either a Thank You Page or a confirmation email asking them to click a link to confirm their subscription. The following is a confirmation email.
This is called a double opt-in because these visitors have already signed up on the website and now they’re asked to confirm. A double opt-in is an indication that this is not spam, and emails are only being sent with the approval of the subscribers.
Double opt-in email lists hold higher value than single op-ins, as you know that these people are interested in what you have to offer.
3# WELCOME EMAIL
Your subscribers confirm their interest in your emails by clicking on the link, after which they will receive a welcome email.
If you want to personalize your emails further, you can add the name of the subscriber (Hello Jamin) and sign off with your name.
If you promised a free report or a tutorial when they sign up, you will be adding that free download link in this Thank you email itself.
4# EMAIL CADENCE
This is nothing but the frequency and timing of the emails sent after an online form is submitted. This includes everything related to sending emails; the number of initial emails sent, the gap between each email after that, the timing of sending the email and a whole lot more.
If you’re just starting off with autoresponders, this information should be sufficient to ensure you don’t end up with information overload.
We’ll be discussing the intricacies of autoresponders and email marketing in future posts.
ARE AUTORESPONDERS DIFFICULT TO USE?
Finally, the question that’s been bothering you. No, they’re neither too technical nor difficult to use. Yes, you’ll need to spend some time figuring out how everything works. But a good autoresponder service comes with a lot of instructional material; both text and videos to help you out.
An efficient autoresponder system used by most marketers, including me, is Aweber. You can sign up for $1 for the first month, and then it’s $19 on a recurring monthly basis. I also have an autoresponder account with GetResponse which I recently took out to try. I’m very impressed so far and in many ways Simple Money System does seem to be geared more specifically towards internet marketers than Aweber.
Please also note that Get Response also has a current promotion (hopefully still active when you read this) which let’s you try the service for a free trial. You can get this by going through this link: Free Trial.
While there are many others around, you should be very careful, as they come with all sorts of restrictions and some are considered spam. Do your due diligence and always be sure to ask others in the marketing forums for their views.
SOME QUICK TIPS TO USING AUTORESPONDERS EFFECTIVELY
I’m sure you’ll find these points great for quick reference.
Autoresponders Make Marketing Easy
Autoresponders should be an integral part of all online marketing businesses. Even if you’re a newbie marketer, they can help automate lead processing. This will give you the time needed to increase lead generation.
You might also want to consider marketing products through a system that already has an pre-made auto-responder sequence built in. In this system you get lead capture pages, and the auto-responder is built in so its well worth considering.
For some tips on email marketing see my article What’s the point of Building a List.
Sign up with an autoresponder of your choice and see the difference in your marketing growth! Feel free to ask any questions you have on autoresponders.