Autoresponders - What They Are and Why You Need Them
- By Ricardy Banks
- Published 04/24/2008
Autoresponders are excellent promotional tools, essential for Internet business. Some call them by the technical term, whilst others say automatic eMailer, eMail responder, autobot or mailbot. Whatever you call them the important thing is that they automatically respond to incoming messages, hence the name, and they do so without human intervention.
Autoresponders are great time-savers and you can use them for a variety of tasks. They never take a break, work 24/7 all year for no extra pay and hardly ever check in sick (providing you use reliable suppliers). Autoresponders never query the task you set them and they follow your instructions to the letter. You will notice the plural being used, so you can see that more than one autoresponder is usually required.
With the Internet constantly growing, and new users coming online daily, you have a truly international marketplace at your disposal. Competition is fierce, especially in certain markets. Many thousands of companies are already competing for business so you must do whatever it takes to give you an edge. The last thing you want is to gain that edge, attract hundreds of visitors daily, and then fail to capitalise on the advantage you worked hard to gain.
All the companies and experienced marketers know that getting visitors is only the first step in business. What comes next is conversion; turning those visitors into customers. They know they won't convert all their visitors to customers, and they also know, or soon learn, that few visitors buy anything on their first visit. It's commonly stated that it takes an average of 5 to 7 visits before a visitor will make a purchase. The key to your success on the Internet lies in bringing those visitors back for further visits until they buy.
And that's where autoresponders fit in. Successful businesses know they must bring potential customers back, and the best way to bring them back, achieving a good conversion rate at the same time, is by using autoresponders. You do this by offering your visitors something as an incentive to return. The offer can be for additional information in keeping with site content; maybe a Free eBook or a Free report.
If your website has lots of really useful content, and/or you produce a regular newsletter, your offer can be for Free notifications of website updates or a Free subscription. Anything of quality will do as long as it's on the same subject they came looking for, or closely related to it. Set up an autoresponder and it will generate a code for you to put a form on your website. Place the form beside or beneath the offer and interested visitors can fill in their name and eMail address.
You will need to write a generic response to the subscriber's request and load it into your autoresponder. As soon as someone fills in your form and hits the 'Submit' button their message goes to your autoresponder and your message goes back to them right away. This will show you're serious about serving the customer and give them the feeling of personal service. Personal service on a scale a single person would be unable to provide to thousands of customers, clients and enquirers.
Customer service is a major key to business success and autoresponders provide that service better than humans. They do exactly what you tell them and what the client asks. You can purchase or license scripts to install and run from your website, programmed to run on servers, or pay for the services of one of the many autoresponder providers.
Your main objective is to make sales but your first priority should be to provide useful information and to capture as many names and eMail addresses as possible. Put faithful autoresponders to work for you, establishing a sense of trust in your visitors, and the sales will follow. Your autoresponders will help keep your customers and leads happy and up to date on your business, feeling special because you're sharing and taking care of them.
Autoresponders, used correctly, can be the pulse of your business. It's a good idea to ask someone you trust to recommend a good supplier rather than choosing a supplier at random from the search engines.