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What Is An Email Autoresponder and Do I NEED One???
You’re in your business to be profitable and to make money.
And to do that, you need two basic “things.”
First, you need a product or service to sell.
Then you need a market of people who will benefit from your product and to who you can sell it to.
In today’s digital world, you can find these potential buyers through your websites and other online venues, such as social media and search engines.
You might start out creating some content and publishing it in various places online.
Maybe you put some ads on your website, social media, and Google.
However, if that’s all you do, your sales are unlikely to grow very much.
You’ll get some traffic, but your conversions to customers will be the bare minimum.
The main reason your website visitors don’t buy is that people have to know, like, and trust you before they consider pulling out their wallets and spending their hard-earned cash.
It’s important to stay in touch with your prospective customers and give them an opportunity to get to know you. And one of the best ways to do that is through your email list.
“The Money is in the List.”
It’s something you hear quite a lot when you talk to digital marketers, go through any training courses, or just read up on small business marketing strategies.
And there’s a great reason for it.
Sending emails to a targeted subscriber list is one of the most profitable things you can do in your business.
And for email marketing, your best friend and most essential tool is your autoresponder.
It allows you to collect email addresses (also called building your list) and then send out email messages to that list of subscribers.
Even better, you’ll be able to create a series of autoresponder messages that build relationships with your subscribers (you know, getting them to know, like, and trust you) and even sells for you even while you’re busy with other things in your life or your business.
So What Is An Email Autoresponder?
We talked about email autoresponder services as a way to build a list and send emails to your subscribers.
With an email autoresponder service, you can send emails in a few different ways.
You can send email newsletters, broadcast emails, and even automatic blog broadcasts.
What is a broadcast email?
When you send a broadcast email, you send an email to your list right now, and it goes out to everyone who is subscribed to your list.
This is a great way to make announcements or to market time-sensitive offers. And it’s a good way to profit from your email list and generate income right away.
A newsletter is a great example of a broadcast email, as is a “single email” that you send out to your list on a consistent basis.
A newsletter is a great way to build relationships and trust with your list as they get to know you and come to expect another email from you.
They even welcome your emails.
But there is also something called an autoresponder message, and that’s where the real magic happens.
Benefits of an Autoresponder Email
The biggest benefit of autoresponder emails is that you do the work once and then benefit from it for months and even years to come.
How An Autoresponder Works
You set up an email list and write a series of five or so emails. And then load them into your email autoresponder account.
To make things simple, let’s say you make the emails to each go out a day apart so 5 emails are to be sent over the course of 5 days.
Your first subscriber, let’s call her Jane, signs up on Tuesday. She’ll get the first email on Tuesday, the second email on Wednesday, etc.
Your second subscriber, let’s call him Bob, signs up on Thursday. He gets the first email on Thursday, the second email on Friday, and so on.
Why is this important?
If you had sat down on Tuesday and sent out a regular broadcast email, Jane would have got it, but Bob would have missed it.
And what happens with everyone else who signs up for your list next month or even a year from now? They would never get those original emails you’ve spent all that time and effort writing.
Why an Autoresponder is Different
But, if you set up those emails as an autoresponder series, each person that subscribes to your email list will receive those five emails over the course of the next five days, even if they sign up weeks from now.
So you can put in some work today and benefit from it for weeks, months, and even years from now.
As your email list grows, your readers will get a chance to know, like, and trust you without you having to send each of them these emails individually.
And as they start receiving your relevant offers, you’ll continue to see your sales going up and money coming in.
Choosing Your Autoresponder Service
So now you know what an autoresponder is and how your business can benefit from one. Your next step is to choose an autoresponder service.
Here is a list of four of the more popular services.
Each of these will allow you to build your list and then email them both broadcasts and autoresponder emails. All four companies at this time offer free trials, so you can try them out.
- Aweber – Good reporting, large template database, and excellent customer support.
- MailChimp – Easy to use, great pricing for smaller lists, not a lot of customer support.
- GetResponse – Great data, good split testing options, and integrated landing page designs.
Constant Contact – Great customer service, good mobile design at this point, but a bit pricier than the other ones
And of course, we love Karta and suggest it for our clients because it truly is an all-in-one marketing platform and does more than autoresponder emails, but full marketing campaigns, landing pages, sales pages, checkouts, help desk, and more.
You can get a Karta extended trial here.
With any autoresponder service that you choose, make sure that it’s easy to import email addresses and contact information from your own database of leads and customers.
Most services make this easy.
Using Autoresponders To Grow Your Business
We’ve covered what an autoresponder is and what it does, and we looked at a few examples of different autoresponder services. Now let’s look at how we can use an autoresponder to grow your business.
Remember again that a reader has to know, like, and trust you before he or she turns into a customer.
Your first goal will be to build a relationship with your readers, and autoresponder messages are a perfect way to do that.
An automatic welcome sequence will also make you more memorable to your subscribers, making them less likely to unsubscribe and more likely to take action in your future emails.
An Example of an Autoresponder Email Sequence
For example, Sean started his email list for our museum, Miles Through Time, several years ago.
And at first, he only sent one email a month and had no automatic welcome sequence; some people also call this an onboarding sequence, and let me tell you, these make a big difference.
Without the welcome sequence, Sean got little response and quite a few unsubscribes each time he sent an email out.
And if you think about it, that makes sense.
Someone signed up for the Museum email, and let’s say it was the day after he sent out his monthly broadcast. That means it would be a month before they ever heard from him again.
By that time, they may have forgotten they signed up, and then when they got an email from Sean Mathis, they were like, who is this guy? And are likely to unsubscribe.
There was no connection from the museum to Sean Mathis, and so much time had gone by it was easy for them to just push his email aside or even spam him. No Bueno.
So I gave Sean a template for a welcome sequence, and we outlined what he wanted people to know about.
- First, they needed to know who Sean was and why he started the museum. They needed to know about Sean’s grandpa’s 1959 Cadillac Coupe De Ville and how the story of that car makes the museum very different than others.
- Then he wanted to introduce Truitt, the museum’s director, and one of the reasons the museum has thrived.
- He wanted them to know about events, how they could get involved and that the museum was a nonprofit and relied on donations and volunteers.
- He also had been featured on the news a couple of times, so he sprinkled those videos in there, too, to show he’s legit and to get to see his personality and the museum through video.
After that email sequence (I think it’s seven emails), they know Sean and Miles Through Time, what he stands for, why he’s doing it, and how they can be a part of it too.
They are now vested in his story, and now, when the next email comes out, even if it’s a month from now, they remember who he is.
How an Autoresponder email builds relationships
And every email broadcast is an opportunity to get more people involved, and if Sean asks for help, people respond. If he has an opening for an exhibit, people respond. And if he needs to raise funds for a specific cause, people support him.
And it’s because he set the tone from the beginning, began to build a relationship from that first automatic email, and he only had to do the work once.
Could an Autoresponder Help Your Small business?
Do you ever feel like you could get people to buy if you could only talk with them for a while? If they got to know you, what you’re about and how you could help them, it would be no problem?
You may not have the time to do this with every single person that comes in contact with your business, but you can let your autoresponder do this for you. At least much of the leg work is all on autopilot.
🎬 Are you ready to put all of this into action?
How to get started with an Autoresponder Email Series for your Business
Here’s how you can take action:
1. If you don’t already have one, explore the different autoresponder services discussed here, or you can check out my extensive post about the Best Email Marketing Software. Then pick one to start with. Set up a trial account and import your current database of leads and customers.
2. Start exploring the interface and get familiar with your autoresponder service. Watch or read some of their tutorials, so you know how the basic functions work.
3. Make sure you have at least one ‘list’ set up in your service that includes the target recipients of the email series you’re going to create.
If you want some help with this, I have several trainings in the Smart Arsenal that walk you through each step, setting up your email list and how to get people on that list, and how to write your autoresponder to welcome your new subscriber or to start selling right away.
And I have templates you can use, so you aren’t starting from scratch, so you know exactly what to say.
If you need help or have any questions about this leave a comment below or check out one of the email marketing courses here to get you started!
About Digital Marketing Expert Torie Mathis
Torie Mathis helps entrepreneurs, like you, use digital marketing to grow your business without wasting time, money, or your sanity. She is a best-selling author, Army veteran, speaker + trainer, and your digital marketing coach. You don't need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. In fact, you don't even need a lot of time. What you need is to be SMART.
What do you think? Let's talk! Leave a comment.
Hi! I'm Torie!
I help entrepreneurs (like you) use digital marketing to get more clients + make more money. And I make it easy!
You don’t need crazy tech skills, buckets of cash, or dedicated staff to market your business. You don’t even need a lot of time.
What you need is to be SMART.
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