Introduction to Autoresponders
If you've reached the point of exhaustion trying to keep up
with answering the mountain of emails that threatens to
bury you alive every single day, you're ready to learn
The bad news is that people expect prompt replies to their
email inquiries. However, unless you can figure out how to
work continual twenty-four hour shifts, or hire enough
people to constantly monitor incoming emails (while they're
eating up your revenue), you have a problem. The good news
is an autoresponder is an inexpensive - or even free -
method of quickly responding to emails. What these programs
do is automatically respond to incoming emails as soon as
they are received.
Emails are essential to your business for many different
reasons. Most importantly, these invisible email voices
give you their feedback about your website - for free!
However, if you spend all your working hours answering
these emails, how are you supposed to run your business?
The answer is simple: use autoresponders. Autoresponders
are programs that automatically respond to your emails
without you so much as having to click on your mouse.
There are a number of good reasons why you need an
autoresponder besides just answering your email. For
example, autoresponders can be used if you need a way to
send information about your services or products, price
lists, or if there are repeated questions asked across
large numbers of emails. Maybe you want to offer your site
visitors a special bonus of some kind, such as advice or
relevant articles. All of this can be handled by an
autoresponder. Additionally, you can advertise your
business and then build stable relationships with your
customers by using autoresponders.
Autoresponder programs vary from software that runs with
your email program to a specialized script that runs on
your web hosting company's server. This kind of script may
use a web page form or simply operate with your email
account. This kind of script is programmed to send out a
standardized message whenever an email is received. The
message is sent to a particular script or email address.
Some autoresponders can do more than simply send out
standardized messages. They can send out an unlimited
number of follow-up messages sent at predetermined interval
of time. For example, you can set your autoresponder to
send out a new message every day for as long a period as
There are numerous companies who offer autoresponders free
of charge. Your website hosting company often provides
autoresponders as a free service. If this is not the case
with your web hosting company, there are numerous companies
who offer this service for a small fee, or free of charge,
providing you attach an advertisement for their company to
To personalize your autoresponder messages, you can attach
a signature. Signatures in this case are much like business
cards. You can include your name, company, all your contact
numbers and addresses, and a brief message.
It's a good idea to attach a signature to every email that
is sent out. This works as a repeated reminder of your
business identity every time a customer sees it. The more
they look at your signature, the more likely your company
will spring to mind when your particular service or product
You can create a standardized signature that every employee
in your business uses, or you can go wild, and let every
staff member create their own personal signature. Of
course, like everything in life, there are some rules and
guidelines to creating a personal signature.
Keep the length of your signature between four to six lines
of text, with no more than 70 characters in a single line.
Make sure that your email program does not cut off your
text! The content should include your name, your company
name, your email address, fax number, and any other contact
details, such as 800 numbers. Lastly, always include a
short personal message about your company. It should be a
subtle sell of your services or your products, and possibly
your company's reliability and longevity.
Another specialized use of autoresponders is to create
courses that you can then offer your site visitors for
free. You must choose a topic in which you are an expert
and that precisely targets your potential customers.
Once you have carefully chosen your subject, divide it into
a number of different sub-topics. Then offer your site
visitor a free 10 or 15 day course, each day offering a
different sub-topic. The first topic should always be a
welcome message to your site visitor and an explanation
about what is to follow. Your explanation should be
enticing, getting the point across that you are offering
free, quality information that your target audience will
find of great value.
With every lesson, include the number of the lesson, the
topic title, information about your company and its
services or products. At the end, include a few blurbs
about the next lesson to entice the subscriber to continue
Make sure each topic is packed with essential and valuable
information, and leaves the visitor lusting to know more.
Otherwise, you may lose them in the very beginning.
Of course, you have to write up your course before you can
offer it. Once you have done this, and gone over the
material carefully, employing a professional writer or
editor if necessary, you must transfer your text to your
There are a number of free autoresponders you can use. Try
http:/www.getresponse.com, or http://www.fastfacts.net. Or
go onto Google and you will find a long list of free
autoresponder companies. Then sign-up for your chosen
autoresponder. Once you do, you will receive instructions
as to how to set it up and transfer your text.
Email is an excellent marketing tool; it is inexpensive and
it is fast. Use it to advertise your business by choosing
your email address carefully. Your website should contain
different email addresses for different contact requests.
For example, use firstname.lastname@example.org for information
requests, or email@example.com for questions about
sales. It's a good idea to set up one for the owner, such
as firstname.lastname@example.org. This presents your company in
a personal, approachable light and insures that direct
contact is provided.
Autoresponders are an effective and powerful marketing
tool, allowing you to make contact with thousands of
potential customers. This is an invaluable asset
considering how many potential customers you usually have
contact with before you make an actual sale. Essentially,
an autoresponser allows you to automate part of your