Friday, September 12, 2008

Autoresponders: What are they and how to use them

Autoresponders: What are they and how to use them
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Many business owners are confused about what exactly an autoresponder is. . .and what it isn't.

An autoresponder is a piece of software -- either standalone or as part of something larger like a shopping cart -- which AUTOMATICALLY sends an email, or a sequence of emails when triggered.

"Triggered" in this case, means:

- someone purchases a product or service online

- someone sends an email to a specific address

- someone fills out a "name and email" form online and signs up for a newsletter, a teleseminar, etc.

- someone contacts you to learn more about your business

Once triggered, the autoresponder system sends out the email sequence as it was set up. For example:

If you go on vacation, you can tell your email system to state "I'm currently out of the office until X and will respond when I return." -- whether you realize it or not, this is a simple autoresponder. It is automatically sent to people who email you while you're on vacation.

A more complex, but just as simple to set up, autoresponder, may look like this:

Today: Client purchases your latest ebook and within minutes receives two emails: one from your shopping cart with a receipt for their payment (this autoresponder goes out without you having to set it up as a feature of most shopping carts) and a second from your autoresponder (which you created) thanking them for their purchase and providing the link where they can download the ebook.

2 days from today: Client automatically receives an email asking if they got the link okay and if they have any questions.

4 days from today: Client automatically receives an email asking if they caught the important piece of information you shared on page X.

And so on. . .you write the above sequence once and your autoresponder system will start sending it out each time someone purchases that particular product.

Let's look at that again -- you write it ONCE and your autoresponder system automatically sends it out every time the product is purchased, whether today, tomorrow or 4am on New Year's Eve. Talk about putting your business on autopilot!

Even knowing the above, autoresponders are one of the great untapped resources of today's small business owner.

In addition to the above, there are several other ways you can use autoresponders in your business to follow-up with clients and prospects, as a lead generator and even as an assistant.

Your Next Step

If you have an autoresponder system, it's time to start using it to its FULL potential and if you're not yet using an autoresponder, it's time to start. :-)

Remember, every use of an autoresponder means one less way you have to do the same thing over and over ensuring your clients and prospects receive the same great experience -- no matter when they contact or purchase from you!

For the past 5 years, Sandra Martini has been showing self-employed business owners how to get more clients consistently by implementing processes and systems to put their marketing on autopilot. Visit Sandra at for details, compelling client testimonials and her free audio series "5 Simple and Easy Steps to Put Your Marketing on Autopilot".

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