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Automate With An Autoresponder

(c) 2003 by Cheryl Williams Levey,

As your business grows, you will find that people will contact you with the same inquiries. Answering each of these emails individually, retyping the same responses over and over, takes a lot of time - time that is better spent on other aspects of business.

The answer is to get an autoresponder system, and ask people to opt-in to it to get the answers they need.

Basically, an autoresponder system is a system that sends emails out for you automatically. You can use them in several ways. The simplest is to ask your website visitor to fill out a form that will capture their email address for your mailing list in return for an automatic message to be sent back to them - immediately. Things like price lists, product descriptions, articles, etc. can be put into an autoresponder to be sent this way.

Here's another example of how you can use an autoresponder "campaign."

  • You write ten different email messages. They can be about anything, really. To start with, they should be about promoting your business and why people should do business with you.
  • You upload those ten messages into your autoresponder system. These ten messages are called an autoresponder "series" or "campaign."
  • You decide how often each person in your list will receive one of the messages. For instance, message one will go out upon request, message two will be sent three days later, message three will be sent three days after that, and so on. If you send ten messages every three days, you are "dripping" on those subscribers for 30 days. ("Dripping" means that you continuously follow-up with people who have requested information from you.)

When someone requests information from any of these kinds of autoresponders, they immediately and automatically receive the first message in the campaign, and then receive all the other messages sequentially at the predetermined time intervals. You personally have done absolutely nothing except set the messages up in the first place. Then, you do nothing and the autoresponders work even when you're not around.

Automatic and immediate!

Why not just send them to your website? Because you might not ever know they were there. If they opt-in to an autoresponder, you have their email address and (with your autoresponder) can follow-up with them as long as you like -- or until they opt-out.

So, what autoresponder should you use? There are hundreds to choose from, and you should choose based on your business and your personal preferences and needs.


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