We’ve all seen this before, “I will be out of the office until February 15th. In case of an emergency please contact…
” or “This message is undeliverable…
” This is an autoresponder at its most basic level.
An autoresponder, also known as automated email, can be a highly effective marketing strategy. The idea behind an autoresponder is to automatically send emails to selected recipients. As an entrepreneur with an online presence you should be collecting as much information about your potential/existing customers and clients as possible (hint: their email address). You have been learning about Lead Magnets and Landing Pages, well the stuff you have generated for that is what goes into your autoresponder. As you compile a bigger audience you can send them information without having to lift your finger. They give you their email and the autoresponder sends them your content.
Utilizing an autoresponder is a must for businesses that want to share a lot of information for any size audience. I won’t kid you, there’s potentially a lot of work to do in the beginning when you’re getting all of your materials prepared (you may want to think about hiring a content writer). But once you have your content completed you can set the delivery on auto pilot, literally. You can of course start small with simple one page documents, but once you realize the marketing potential we’re sure you’ll be excited to expand your library.
You’re working hard to grow your business so we aren’t going to waste time talking about a vacation responder. Developing your autoresponder has two sides. Putting your existing email list to work for you, and creating opt-in pages to grow your list.
Your autoresponder can give you the ability to market to the masses, or to just a few select people. You can create segments that meet all sorts of criteria. From first time subscription confirmation to narrowing your emails based on where and when they signed up. Depending on the information you capture when clients sign up, you can customize lists based on recipients birthdays, anniversaries, or even favorite products.
Fun With Autoresponders
So what should you be using autoresponders for? What benefit can autoresponders offer you?
FAQs and Helpful Information
People love tips, tricks, and useful information. Offering someone something useful is a great way to develop a relationship with a potential client.
Sales Funnel Content
Have a lead magnet or a landing page that you want out there? Automatically send that information when potential clients register their email.
Drip Feed (our favorite):
Try creating a series, a learning course, or any large amount of information that you can feed to your audience in small portions.Tip:
Reduce the frequency as time goes by. For example, a 10 part series should start with the first 3 separated by 2 days. The next 3, give a 4 day break and 7 through 10 should have 6 or 7 days between each email. You don’t want to overload your audience. This will also reduce the likelihood your messages end up in the spam box.
Sales, discounts, and promos can be shared with an autoresponder.Tip:
Make sure the information is more useful and less of a hard sell. Be subtle “Hey this will help you, psst you can get it here.”
Having an open house, holiday celebration, or sponsoring/attending a social event? Let people know about with your autoresponder.
A Few Important Tips
“Look Mom, no hands!” We’ve mentioned that the hands free part your autoresponder provides is a great benefit, but that doesn’t mean you get to ignore your messaging. You should be vigilant and active with your email. People may reply with comments, suggestions, reviews, and questions so be sure to stay engaged with your audience because they are also your customer base.
The more you do it, the more you can learn. There’s tons of data to be collected and analyzed, whether you do that on your own or it’s a function of the service you’re using, you can see what worked and what didn’t, examine levels of engagement, check click rates, and more. Then you can use this information to fine tune your next effort.
Most importantly, your subject lines matter. A lot. Giving someone a command is a surefire way to get them to ignore the rest of your message. Be polite. The subject line should be engaging, something that piques their interest. You want to get the reader’s attention, not turn them off. Poorly worded subject lines are an expressway to the trash bin. Read it to yourself and others. How does it make you feel?
- READ NOW - Unlikely
- OPEN IMMEDIATELY - Yeah sure...
- YOU MUST SEE THIS - Mmmm don't think so!
We always recommend writing out at least 5 subject lines (but the better option is 20) and choosing the one that grabs your attention the most!
Autoresponders are a great tool to help you maximize your marketing efforts. There are plenty of options out there, ranging from free to expensive, stand alone or combined with your website and other marketing efforts (like us
!). Explore what’s the right fit for what you’re trying to accomplish. Produce, send, analyze, repeat.
Once you get the ball rolling... It’s a BLAST! Literally, an email blast.