Autoresponders Help Bring Business on Autopilot
An autoresponder is simply an email that is sent automatically in response to an email that’s sent to a certain address. You may have an autoresponder set up to welcome your newsletter subscribers–and if you don’t it’s a good idea to let subscribers get a personal email from the boss when they subscribe. This simple concept can be used to create a whole network of autoresponders that can respond automatically to your newsletter subscribers and other prospects, so that they appear to be getting a lot o f personal attention through the sales cycle, but it’s happening automatically.
Here I share with you how these setups can work, using as an example my own planning of autoresponders for my own business. These take some thought and work to set up, but not nearly as much as your Web site did, and they add a lot to its business effectiveness.
How It Works
There are lots of fancy (and some expensive) tools for sending autoresponders, but your ISP likely has a basic autoresponder setup that, along with your newsletter, can do the job for you. You need to have two capabilities: the ability to send an email when an email is sent to a specified address, and the ability to schedule emails to be sent.
As an example, here’s a chart that I’m using to plan my own autoresponder network. This plan includes a free course in Web marketing that I’ll offer to newsletter subscribers. Why give away a good course on Web marketing? At the end of the course the more technical among my readers will go do it themselves, but they wouldn’t have become my clients anyway. The less technical will see what’s involved, be convinced that I’m an expert, and call me if they have a need.
This figure is a diagram that I’m using to plan the autoresponders. The white boxes are events and the yellow boxes are labels.
Everything starts when the prospect subscribes to this Newsletter, at the upper left corner. Then they receive a nice welcoming note from me, and after that they’ll be getting newsletters. That nice note also offers a free course in Web marketing and link to click. If they click the link then they’ll get another brief welcome from me (not shown on the diagram) and the course, delivered as emails. Eventually these emails may include videos.
Each of the course emails will have the same links to click, one to request more information about services that I offer, another to ask about pricing (very cheap), another that’s the “I’m ready to buy” note that asks for a phone number so that they can get a personal phone call. It’s not shown on the chart, but the newsletters will themselves have some buttons to click to get automated responses.
This diagram is called a “mind map”. I constructed it using SpiderScribe, a free tool that’s available on the Web. There are many mind map tools that you can use, or even a white board. As you can see, though, it’s very valuable to design your sequence of autoresponders with a diagram like this.
Commercial Autoresponder Services
Your ISP may or may not have all the capabilities you need to implement this. However, you’re in luck, because there are many autoresponder services available. Some are very reasonable, some expensive, some are even free. A Google search will get you started so that you can evaluate what’s available. There’s no single answer for everyone.
The Bottom Line
The work to set up an autoresponder service is worth it because it can create a rich experience of interaction with you for your prospects. In addition, this is a way to help create those seven credible exposures that are critical to have a prospect be ready to do business with you.