Autoresponders: Ease Your Life
What every small business operator always lacks is time. Sometimes lack of time leads to inefficiency, what in its turn, leads to business failure even if you have plenty of financial resources.
That is why there are so many programs designed to automate every business step starting from sign up process and ending with processing online payments.
Autoresponders play a special part. At the dawn of their usage they greatly assist in solving the most time-consuming business task that is customer support. Nowadays there are other ways of how autoresponder can help with your everyday routine tasks. Below are the most common tasks where autoresponder fully reveal its potential:
- Customer support;
- Singup/unsubscription procedures;
- Timely delivered emails;
- Electronic materials on request;
Response tracking. The usage of autoresponder as a customer support is based on the topic your customer interests in. Whether it is problems with program installation, billing or general question, it will reply with pre-written answers the same moment email was received from customer.
In very basic way autoresponder can simply notify customer/visitor that his/her inquiry was received and will be answered within 24 hours.
Subscription/unsubscription is also usually required instant notification. The majority of existed mailing scripts have an automatic notification feature, still in its basis it is the same old autoresponder.
Ezine or newsletter subscription is not the only process where autoresponder can give you a hand. They help in many cases with all sorts of email notifications of successful sale, accepted inquiry, thanking for completing the survey and many other cases.
Next way of autoresponder usage proved to earn huge income to many online entrepreneurs. Timely delivered follow up emails that are based on autoresponder are widely recognized as a must-have marketing strategy. The theory behind claims that biggest customer response is gained at 8th contact only. That is why business owners setup a follow up autoresponder sequence that, when signup for, starts emailing pre-written messages on specified time basis - daily, every other day, weekly, biweekly etc, generating the biggest possible response rate on complete autopilot, without any need of owner interference.
Email courses are small variation of previous strategy. They were designed to educate interested people, work the same way as product follow-ups do, still serving as a perfect marketing tool for generating subscribers, customers without any hassle.
Publications on request play another important role. It may be articles, reports, brochures, schemes, ebooks, audio, video files, any electronic media may be emailed in the body of the email message or as an attachment to every person immediately on their request and to an email box they considered to be the fastest to download from, presumably, ISP's.
As strange as it may seem, autoresponder may be used for tracking response rate as well. For instance, by putting slightly different autoresponder email addresses on different web-pages you can easily count how many requests came from each page, testing which web-page generates the biggest interest.
To track ezine advertisement response you will also have to setup a different autoresponders for each ezine you plan to run your advert in. At the end you will see how many people each ezine has sent you and generated the biggest income.
Dominating majority of web-hosting plans, offered today on the Internet market, come with simple, usually unlimited, email autoresponders. That means they can help in 4 main cases that we have discussed above, except for timely delivered emails. That is because they imply one-time reply email, so you can setup (1) customer support emails, (2) subscription notifications to both your subscriber and yourself, (4) publications on request, (5) response tracking, but (3) timely delivered emails like email follow-ups or courses.
In order to offer automatic, say, weekly, email courses you will have to look for:
1) custom autoresponder internet application (script);
2) 3rd party autoresponder providers.
The rule of thumb is to know your needs and resources. First choice is preferable if you know what FTP and CGI mean or have someone with basic knowledge of how scripts are setup, want to install it once and forever, have time and money to make one-time investment. You can even try to find free script that in some cases may be even quicker to setup than sign up for some 3rd party service.
Autoresponder service, provided by independent Internet company, is easier for new comers as all technical stuff will be hidden, leaving simple web-interface to manage your autoresponders. For such convenience Internet companies will charge you on monthly or yearly basis, although there are free so-called adware autoresponders available.
In general you can find discounted all-in-one services, hosting offers or mailing lists coming with follow-up autoreponders and allowing you to save money.
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