Do You Need an Autoresponder?

The How And When of Autoresponders

Wondering whether an autoresponder is necessary for your small business? Well, if you’re planning to run your business online, the answer is almost certainly YES!

An Email Service Provider (ESP) houses your list and an autoresponder is technology provided by the ESP that allows you to set up automated messages to go out to everyone who purchased from you, or everyone who signed up to receive emails from you. They can go out manually when you decide to send them or on a preset schedule. This can make the biggest difference in turning a first-time visitor into a lifelong repeat customer…talk about important! Let’s take a deeper look at when and how to use an autoresponder.

Engaging New Email Newsletter Subscribers

The most basic of business uses for autoresponders, a series of personalized emails scheduled out over days or weeks, is the perfect way to welcome your new subscriber.

Start providing value right away by including links to specific blog posts, videos and products. Free content will make customers glad that they signed up and they’ll be more likely to stay engaged.

Include a “Sign-Up Discount” in your emails and you’ll increase the odds that they’ll become a happy customer.

Offering a Free Email Course to Pre-Sell Customer Prospects

Nothing prepares a customer to buy better than a free taste. If you’re a consultant, coach, trainer or any other type of service-oriented business, you can offer a sample course through an autoresponder for free.

Each email in the series should provide real value and include the activities and steps recipients can take to learn something or reach a goal. The final email should congratulate your customers on completing the course and offer discounts on your paid offerings.

Offering a Paid Email Course to Earn Additional Revenue

Many ESPs offer the ability to charge a customer before adding them to a mailing list. This is the perfect tool for offering for-pay courses to customers, a logical follow-up to your free courses.

The best part of offering a paid autoresponder course is the fact that you only have to set it up once, but it can be sold any number of times. Now that’s business value!
– via Small Business Trends

Keep the Subscriber First

Now that we have a clear understanding of what an autoresponder is, let’s take a look at an important strategy to keep in mind as you use an autoresponder to connect with your subscribers and customers. Using the right strategy as you automate your business is essential to develop good relationships and create trust so that subscribers become customers.

Have their interests in mind

It’s important to remember that all your contacts are not the same. Hopefully, whether you’re collecting contact details through a sign-up sheet or an online sign-up form on your website, you are making it easy for contacts to tell you what they’re interested in.

An easy way to do this is to provide a list of topics so that subscribers can check off what they’re interested in receiving.

This will ensure they only receive information that is relevant to them, and help you determine what to send to whom. Once you’ve collected this information, you can segment contacts into different lists and create different autoresponder series based on these interests.

For example, if you run a wellness center that offers guided meditation, as well as therapeutic massages, you could create an autoresponder series for each group. While the meditation list might receive a series of calming breathing exercises, those who expressed interest in massage therapy could receive a series of stretching exercises to relieve muscle tension.

Tip: You don’t always have to start from scratch. Look back at some of the newsletters you’ve already sent and break up the information into various categories or topics before creating your autoresponder series. See if you can repurpose your existing content when sending targeted messages to new subscribers.
– via Constant Contact Blogs

Would your business benefit from using an autoresponder? What kinds of emails would you set up to send?

Need a reliable autoresponder for your small business? Take a look at Get Response!

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