05/09/2009

Autoresponders, and when to use them

Autoresponders allow you to keep in touch with people by email on a regular basis, even if you're out of the office, away on holiday, or just having a break from business.

They're not complicated to set up, but the best ones do carry a monthly charge, so you need to make sure that you really do need an autoresponder rather than any other form of contact. Remember that they are only necessary if you need to broadcast regular messages to your targeted audience.

So when would you use an autoresponder in your business?

  • You might already have a potential list of prospects. Perhaps you have an online shop and don't want your potential customer to just go away if they don't find what they want. Why not offer them a free report if they click on a link that will take them to your autoresponder? By capturing their email details, you can no only send the promised report, but you can send follow-up emails with special offers etc.

  • If you want to create a list of potential prospects you will need to develop some form of marketing that will drive prospects to your lead capture / autoresponder page. This could be article marketing, pay-per-click, leaflet drop, business cards or any number of different forms of marketing. Give your lead capture page a memorable url name so that it is easy to remember if you tell people about it by word of mouth.
  • If you want to create a series of mini-lessons on a particular subject.
  • If you have an affiliate marketing business and want to create a stream of leads that you can offer your affiliate products to; or send your prospects to your blog etc.
As you can see, autoresponders can be used for a variety of reasons, but you need to make sure that you choose a service that builds-in different services such as a choice of templates, audio/video recorder, automatic split testing (so that you can make the most of your headlines), bulk e-mail sender, exit surveys and more.

If you search the web it will be possible to find some free autoresponders, but it is generally better business practice to choose paid-for services as they will often produce less missed deliveries and will abide by the anti-spam guidelines.

So, whether you're a business, an individual or an entrepreneur just starting out, autoresponders are a great tool for contacting your list. You create an email message once, add it to your autoresponder and forget about it. Whenever a new prospect joins your list they will automatically receive the first email in the sequence, then the second, and so on.

If you want to try out an autoresponder for 7 days to see how it works for only $1, click here.