Autoresponders offer tremendous customer value and growth opportunities for your business.
Basically, an autoresponder is a web application that allows you to build sequential opt-in email marketing campaigns. A good example is a campaign for pregnant women to receive a weekly progress report via email. Another example is an email newsletter for new home buyers that delivers a daily email over the course of 2 weeks to prepare them for purchasing their first home.
The beauty of using autoresponders is that you can pre-populate your messages, customize them to your reader, schedule the frequency with which they are sent, and engage your customers more controlled, targeted & meaningful way.
The benefits of an autoresponder include:
- Double Opt-In Spam Free Security – The most reputable autoresponders, such as Aweber require subscribers to double opt-in. That is, readers are indicating twice that, yes, in fact you have their permission to send them email. This is in compliance with CanSpam laws and protects both you and your subscribers.
- Easy Opt-Out – Again, the most reputable autoresponders, such as Aweber, require that every email includes a link so that subscribers may easily unsubscribe. This is essential to comply with CanSpam rules and reassures subscribers that your intentions are legitimate. Think of it as a trust building tactic and embrace the fact that some subscribers will unsubscribe for various reasons. Don’t take it personally.
- Consistency – Because you can pre-populate your follow-up emails for subscribers, you create a level of consistency with the message you’re delivering. This is powerful because it gives you the confidence in knowing that everyone is hearing the same thing from you vs. cutting and pasting emails together in a less consistent manner.
- Upsell / Cross Sell – With any form of regular communication channel, autoresponders provide the opportunity for you to upsell and cross-sell your subscribers either to other lists or new and different products or services. The benefit is you can further segment your market and test different sales techniques with less risk.
- Target Marketing – Autoresponders typically capture a wealth of information about a subscriber, such as name, email, and location. You do, however, have the ability to ask questions of prospects before they sign up or assigning subscribers to different lists based on the page on which they sign up. This helps targeting individual segments over time.
- Efficiency – Autoresponders increase your communication efficiency in several ways. First, once the sequence of emails is set up, it literally runs by itself. Second, if you wish to send a broadcast message to everyone on a list, it’s very straightforward vs. using traditional email clients to send hundreds of emails which may be treated as spam.
- Effectiveness – Email is still considered the top method for sharing information. Sequential email marketing success depends on several factors; however, it has proven a simple and effective method for engaging customers over the long-term. Thankfully, most autoresponder services include trackable links and detailed subscriber statistics to monitor the effectiveness of your various campaigns.
- Broadcasting – Most of the emails you send using an autoresponder will be pre-loaded and delivered according to a schedule and frequency that you determine is appropriate for your market. In some cases, it might make sense to send a broadcast message – a note to all or a set of your subscribers outside the regular stream of emails. For example, you might have urgent news to share and broadcasting is a great feature to make this easy.
- Customization – The leading autoresponders give you a number of options to customize your campaign. You can customize the sign up form, the variables you want to collect at sign up time, the frequency of email delivery, the follow up messages (including html) and the option to send text-only messages.
For a small monthly fee (usually $10-$20), autoresponders offer tremendous value, security, and growth opportunities for your business.
Are you using an autoresponder? Which one do you prefer? Tell me about your experience.