Basics About Email Marketing Autoresponders for Small Businesses

email marketing autoresponders

Basics About Email Marketing Autoresponders for Small Businesses

Using an email autoresponder to keep in touch is a relatively simple way to bring in more sales without having to generate a ton of new leads. There are some tips and tricks to understand before launching into your first autoresponder sequence. Today, we’re going to talk about the reasons why your small business needs email marketing autoresponders. We’re also going to look at some simple ways that this connection can help you build loyalty and strengthen your brand.

What is an autoresponder?

Think of an autoresponder as your virtual assistant. Your autoresponder keeps track of emailing your clients at different times to keep them in the loop with what’s going on at your business.

Emails anytime

Autoresponders are designed to send pre-written emails at any time you want. Whether that time is as soon as a new user subscribes to your email list or at 6 a.m. ET when your prime demographic wake up and checks their email, an autoresponder does the hard work for you. Using an autoresponder gives you plenty of time to focus on the other parts of your business. You get to keep the flow of your business without breaking it up due to busy work. An autoresponder sends an email when someone registers on your email list or your e-course offering. You can even send emails while you’re sleeping or on vacation. No one has to know that there’s a robot behind your emails.

When should you implement an autoresponder?

Whether you’ve got a thriving blog or business, or haven’t launched your site yet, you should implement an email autoresponder. It’s never too late to transfer your communication to an automated system, nor is it ever too early.

Setup takes time and accuracy

Getting your autoresponder set up does take a bit of time. You need to choose an email host, port your email list and input all of the information you want for welcome emails, courses, e-books and more. While your autoresponder host takes care of the details once the service receives everything, the initial setup and scheduling are a bit tedious. That’s why it’s a solid idea to set this up before your site goes live, so there’s a smooth user experience from day one.

What goes into a successful autoresponder campaign?

Having an autoresponder and seeing success as a result of autoresponder communication with clients are two very different things. The technology to enable an autoresponder is great, yes, but it is a little bit useless if you don’t make the most of it.

Establish a marketing plan

Regardless of your business and niche, you need a solid marketing plan to see your marketing efforts (one of which is your autoresponder campaign) succeed. While we hope you’ve already got a solid marketing plan in place, it’s never too late to get your act together. Your marketing plan directs your autoresponder activities depending on how you want to communicate with and influence your customers. If you have products to sell, you need to push goods and promotions. If you’re trying to sell ideas or creative services, your clients must have entirely different information.

How-to guide

A how-to guide through an email autoresponder is an easy way to get people to learn more about your brand and the products or services that you offer.

Send chapters

Setting up an autoresponder to launch a how-to guide is simple. All you need to do is prep the information that you want to go to your customers and set it up to be delivered in three, six, or however many logical chapters you desire.

Customer appreciation emails

Customer appreciation emails are usually one-off emails that you send when someone interacts with something on your site. Appreciation emails come after someone signs up for your email list or purchases a product on your site.

Brand reminders

You can also set up a customer appreciation email to be automatically sent two weeks after purchase as a friendly reminder of your brand and to request a review. Another idea is to have these emails automatically go out the day before your Christmas shipping cutoff, on Mother’s Day, or whenever it’s convenient to you and relevant to your customers.

Weekly or monthly tips

Do you sell a product like a coffee maker or creative service? Give your customers weekly or monthly tips to help them get more enjoyment or use out of their product.

Updated info and enticing ideas

Product suggestions can include enhanced product information such as recipes for making delicious espresso beverages with the coffee makers that you sell. Send a weekly doodling prompt to get people to break out the pens and custom journals that you offer. Tips can also be useful for selling ideas. If you provide business consulting services, send out weekly or monthly “clean up” ideas to help individuals clean out their email inboxes or hard drives, for example.

An e-course

E-courses are a fantastic way to get new customers to hop onto your vision and look to your brand for expertise. As you share a relevant e-course to future customers of your brand, you build interest in the products and services that you offer.

Develop a series

Consider delivering e-courses daily for a week or every few days for a month. These might contain a series of chapters that build on one another to present learning material in easily digestible pieces. Popular e-courses include courses on crafting, cooking and creative processes. Generally, at the end of an e-course comes a call to action to buy your company’s products. For instance, you might have tips that help crafters make better projects or creatives get some personalized help toward achieving their goals.

Creating content for your autoresponder

Before your autoresponder can get your content out to your subscribers, you’ve got to develop the content you need as a distributor. Setting up content can be something fresh and new – like an exclusive e-course that covers additional material beyond what your blog offers.

One time only

The nice thing about using an autoresponder is that you need only develop the content once and you can distribute it again and again. You can use an autoresponder to help you earn money while you sleep. All you need to do is input the content you want and set a schedule to trigger email delivery. Then your autoresponder can handle the rest, whether you’ve got one customer or 50,000.

Follow-up emails

Follow-up emails are one of the first items that you want to include in your autoresponder toolkit.

Prompt responses

You can trigger these emails to release when a customer fills out a contact form or call to action on your site. As soon as an email address goes through the system, your autoresponder can send the appropriate response, whether it’s a new sign up or a routine purchase.

Abandoned carts

When a customer comes to your site, fills a cart, and then leaves your page, you can use an autoresponder to remind them an hour or a day later that they left something – your products – behind. Abandoned cart reminders are a good way to jumpstart customers’ memories and get them to return to your site and follow through on a purchase.

Capture missing sales

Of course, you certainly don’t want to sit around and monitor everyone’s cart to see whether they make a buy or not. That’s why an autoresponder is so useful – it can capture your missing sales without you losing out on something that slipped your notice when you stepped away from the computer.

Scheduling emails

Scheduling emails is obviously an important part of working with your autoresponder. Even though an autoresponder does a great job of keeping track of your customers and email offerings, it’s not a person with a brain.

Reminders matters

Your autoresponder can only do what you program it to do, so setting up scheduling times and reminders is critical. Your autoresponder host will have templates that you can use to schedule your emails and trigger them to be sent to customers.

Keeping track of email interactions

Using an autoresponder host allows you to track the activity associated with your emails. Who is opening your emails? Which customers are clicking through to your site? Who sticks around to visit other pages on your site? Are your emails gathering sales?

Track metrics

Answer these and other questions through metrics that your autoresponder host collects. Your autoresponder keeps track of email information and presents the results to you in easy-to-read charts and graphs that give you important insight into the health of your email campaigns

Setting up and running an autoresponder is a good way to engage customers and find new sales when you’d otherwise miss out on interested customers who can’t yet commit. However, starting up an autoresponder for your site does take a lot of work and time commitment. If you’re curious about using an autoresponder and think that it could help your site but you don’t know where to start, get in touch with us to learn more about our autoresponder services.

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