What Is An Autoresponder
Growing a successful business is hard and yes, you may be spending money to bring traffic to your website but most visitors just scroll, click and leave your website and never come back! To grow a successful and efficient business, you need to build and maintain relationships with people interested in the products or services you provide and sadly, that’s where most businesses hit a brick wall.
You hear this word ‘Autoresponder’ thrown around a lot, especially in Internet Marketing or Marketing your business Online.
If you are a small business or are Marketing your business Online, it’s important to get an Autoresponder. However, a lot of people don’t really understand what an ‘Autoresponder’ actually is and how they work. This page is designed to discuss the basics of an Autoresponder and the components of a good Autoresponder.
You hear a lot of people talking about ‘building your list’ and how important it is for any business to have their own ‘List’. A mailing list is gold for any business owner and having the ability to build your own list and built it on autopilot, is essential.
When you hear people talking about building a ‘List’, what they are really talking about is using an Autoresponder to capture names and email addresses of people that you can market your products and service to in the future.
In basic terms, an Autoresponder, is simply a system that allows you to capture the names and email addresses of people and will then send them a response email automatically, once they have subscribe to your list or newsletter. The most common way to attract people and entice them to join your mailing list or newsletter, is to offer people something of value, such as a free gift, video, discount, free course or ebook in exchange for their name and email address.
Why Use An Autoresponder
Using an Autoresponder, simple provides you with the means to contact those people in the future and offer them your latest products, discounts and special offers. Howeve, regardless of what you send the, there should be always be a good mix of good valuable content in your email that your subscribers will really appreciate receiving and not just a constant barrage of sales pitches telling them to ‘buy this’. There’s nothing more annoying than receiving those kinds of messages!
What You Should Look For In A Good Autoresponder:
So what are the actual components of an autoresponder and what should you look out for?
There are several main features that a good Autoresponder should have and they are:
You Need The Ability To Capture Names and Email Addresses:
Most autoresponders will allow you to capture much more as well as just names and email addresses such as, telephone numbers, mailing addresses, details of where they saw an advert etc. However, studies have shown that the more information you ask for, the less likely people will be to subscribe to your list. Usually, asking for a simple name (or just first name) and email address is enough and you only want the first name because you want to personalize the messages you send in the future.
The Ability To Send Scheduled Emails:
If for example, you are offering a seven part course, that your subscribers will be going to receive over the next seven days or seven weeks, you don’t want to have to go into your email dashboard every day and send an email to everyone who has just subscribed. With an autoresponder, what you will be able to do, is set of all seven emails in advance and you will pre-set the emails to be sent at intervals such as one per day for the next seven days after they subscribe to your list or next seven weeks. You can actually take this a step further and you could say that after the seventh email, you want to send more content some of which will be sales messages.
It is also possible, to set up a whole years worth of daily or weekly email messages that go out to people at set times. The beauty of this, is when somebody joins your list, don’t have to do anything for that first year, yet you will continually been in contacted with your new subscribers via your Autoresponder. This is a great way for you to keep in touch and at the same time, they feel that they’re building a bond with you and building a relationship. If at anytime you do have new content that you want to add, you can simply just tag it onto the end of those pre-set messages that are already there.
Ability To Send Broadcast Emails:
You want to be able to send what’s called a broadcast email. Broadcast emails are where you want to send an email straight away to all the people on your list or you want to be able to send say five emails on specific days. These are really useful when you’re launching a new product or when you’re taking part in somebody else’s product launch, so you can sequence all of the emails in advance and you don’t need to remember to be there and push the button at the a specific set time or date.
Ability To Link To Your Blog Or Webpage:
A great feature is that every time you create new content on your blog or webpage, subscribers to your list receive an email message. The beauty of this, is you’re providing valuable content out to your mailing list on a regular basis.
Linking to Social Media so when any of your broadcast emails or blog emails go out, it also updates your Twitter and then your Twitter feed also then updates your Facebook and your LinkedIn and any other Social Media feeds. What is so good about this, is it is all automated and driven simply by you sending one single email out through your Autoresponder!
Track The Open Rate:
Once you’ve started sending emails and you’re starting to build up a list, you need to be able to track the open rate. This means, you need to be able to say okay if I sent this email to a hundred people, how many of those hundred people actually opened it and what can I do to improve the open rate in future emails? It might be you want to write a better subject line and the subject really falls in with any other sort of headline in copywriting terms. So, if you can write better subjects or better headlines you’ll get more people to open your emails!
Alongside tracking ‘Open Rate’, what you also want to be able to do, is ‘link tracking’. You know how many people have opened your email but if you put links in them, you also want to know how many people have clicked on those links. If you’ve put more than one link in them, has everyone just clicked on the first links and ignored the others or have they clicked on the links that stand out more than the others? These are things you need to know!
Segment You List:
As you grow your list you, want to be able to segment it. This means that if you’ve got a list of 10,000 people and you’re not sure which is the best of three emails that you’ve written, what you can do is you can send each of those three emails to a segment of maybe 200 random people on your list. Your Autoresponder will then track who gets which email and from that, you can see which one gets the best open rate, which one gets the best link tracking and you can also potentially see from these emails, which one achieves the best sales figures. Once you know which of the three is the best, you can then send that one to the rest of the list. However, you can only do this if you have the segmenting capability within your Autoresponder.
On top of the tracking for individual emails, you want to be able to see ‘General Reporting’ this allows you to see how your list is growing, see how your open rates are improving, how your link tracking is improving and it’s really helpful to be able to get that big picture in order to be able to fine tune your Marketing.
A key necessity to any Autoresponder is there must be an ‘unsubscribe’ facility, so when you send a message to somebody they need to be able to click a button which says unsubscribe from this list the wish to unsubscribe. If you don’t do that and they want to unsubscribe from your mailing list they may send a message to your ISP saying you are sending them spam emails which could result to getting shut down really quickly.
There is considerable debate regarding ‘Double Opt-In’. Double Opt-In is simply when a person subscribes to your email list, they receive an email confirmation which then asks then to confirm they have requested to join your mailing list and generally says something like
“We have just received a request to join our mailing list, please click this link to confirm your subscription”.
The two sides of the argument are by doing this you may restrict people actually joining your mailing list, as they will not click on the confirmation link. However, if someone wants to receive a free gift, a discount or free course, they will generally click on the link to subscribe. A ‘Double Opt-In’, certainly protects you from people subscribing with false email and also protects you from them accusing you of send them spam emails.