I have been doing some research on autoresponders recently, learning how it all works, what it costs to add an autoresponder to my many blogs and websites, and exactly how I want to use this great tool. Autoresponders are remarkable, versatile programs that do so much more than just automatically send you email.
Here are a few ways others are creatively and productively using autoresponders to grow a list of like-minded people who want helpful information sent directly to their email box. Also, you can make some money at the same time.
1. Publish a newsletter.
Most quality autoresponders will manage newsletter subscriptions and follow-up automatically. They even automatically handle unsubscribe, without you lifting a finger. Your newsletter can keep your visitors informed about your latest thoughts, your services or products, while building your reputation as a credible expert.
2. Write reviews.
On topics that fit your area of expertise, write reviews of hard cover books, software, music, e-books, movies, TV shows, etc., and put each review in an autoresponder.
3. Distribute your articles.
Writing and distributing targeted articles is a powerful tool to build your credibility, bring traffic to your site, and increase your sales potential if you have products to sell. If your articles contain valuable information, many editors will print what is known as a resource box for you. A resource box contains your bio and a brief description of your service or product. It can also contain your autoresponder address.
Let’s say you’ve written fifty articles. Feed them to your autoresponder subscribers with an invitation for them to republish your articles on their blog or website, unedited of course. Each of your articles should include an Author box with links to your main website or blog.
4. Create mailing lists.
Inform subscribers to your articles when you’ve written new ones that they may want to publish in their own newsletter or website. If you run many blogs as I do, create an autoresponder for each topic, that way your subscribers only receive information targeted to their area of interest. Most quality autoresponder services allow unlimited autoresponder accounts. Avoid any that limit the number of autoresponders accounts or who charge based on the number of emails you send. Above all, avoid free autoresponders.
5. Sell something and automate your sales process.
Again, if you sell anything online, use an ad to insure repeated exposure of your message. There are many free classified websites. Just do a search. The biggest is Craig List. This has been proven to effectively increase sales. In your ad, put the URL of your sales page and your autoresponder address so visitors will be exposed to numerous marketing materials. This multiplies the chances of converting visitors into customers.
For example, if you’re selling a particular product, put testimonials about how spectacular it is on your autoresponder, and add a detailed, enticing description of your product with a direct link to the sales page.
6. Distribute advertising.
Let’s say you sell advertising on your website or in your newsletter or e-zine. When you write your email messages, tag each message with information about your offer and let the autoresponder send the information about rates and how to place an ad automatically to everyone on your list. Then have your autoresponder follow-up. It can also send notification of any special advertising deals you are currently offering.
7. Distribute an email course.
If you have created an email course, each day, have your autoresponder send out another lesson. Just be sure that each lesson has quality content and only a subtle sales pitch. Your content will do the selling for you, and will do it much more effectively. You can include tips centered on a different topic for each lesson, then point them to your product which will benefit the reader. Again, do NOT hard sell. Let your quality lessons sell for you.
A good example is how I promote Article Post Robot at the end of each post on my blogs. See my Author Box below.
8. Automate a reminder about your service or product after a visitor has completed your course. This will increase the possibility of sales from visitors who have taken your course but are dragging their feet about actually making a purchase. You can also use these reminders to promote new products or services.
9. Distribute free reports.
This gives your visitor an idea of the type of information you can provide and the quality of your product or service. Make sure these reports are not sales letters or you will more than likely lose a potential customer than gain a sale.
10. Create polls on your site and place the results in an autoresponder.
Your visitor will then be motivated to sign up in your autoresponder, and you will have a record of the visitor’s email address who participated in the poll. Or create a contest or trivia quiz and have any visitors that want to participate send their responses to your autoresponder. Your autoresponder can be set-up to send them a confirmation of their entry.
11. Offer a trial version of your product.
Give your prospects a sample of your eBook, course, software, membership, etc. People who are exposed to a little taste often end up wanting the whole pie. You will capture their email address when you offer them a free trial from your website. Set up your autoresponder to give instructions on how to obtain their free trial, and then make sure to follow-up to try and close the sale.
12. Link to pages on your autoresponder.
For example, a page could be your sales page that contains graphics, promotional articles, and text links that interested visitors might want to consider.
13. Use an autoresponder on your order page.
Post a request form for visitors to be notified of special offers or discounts in the future. This creates a very effective mailing list that contains the names of people who are already your customers.
14. Create a links page for your autoresponder subscribers.
This is a page that stands by itself. Your links page should contain up to fifty links that would be of particular interest to your visitors. Make sure to add your promotional copy at the top or bottom of this page.
15. Finally, and this is most important.
You need to have an “unsubscribe” link in all email messages. You should also give your real name, address (if you are comfortable giving it) and your city and state at the bottom of every email message. The CanSpam Act requires you identify yourself as the sender. Do NOT send emails to anyone who has not requested contact from you. That is spamming and could get you blacklisted by your internet provider. Any emails I get that do not have a method to unsubscribe get reported as spam to my email provider.
These are only 15 of the many creative ways autoresponders are being used. My idea is to use an autoresponder to allow subscribers to download free eBooks and software that may be of interest.
As for costs, they are all over the map.
My blogs are hosted for free but do not have an autoresponder option, only email. However, I currently host four websites at a paid hosting service which has unlimited autoresponders as part of the hosting package that I am already paying for monthly. It’s a cheap date all around and its one of the top hosting services on the web. I can have as many autoresponders as I need at no additional charge.
Many hosting services offer similar advantages so shop around. Be sure they have top notch support because, in the beginning, you will probably need help. My host has 24/7 toll free telephone support and, believe me, I have used them many times. I am a newbie so I need all the help I can get.
I plan to add an autoresponder sign up box soon to all my blogs. Visitor sign ups will be redirected from my blogs to my autoresponders at my hosting service and the autoresponders will do the grunt work.
Autoresponders – another tool to attract more and more visitors!
Yours for success.