The ways an autoresponder can be employed to automate your business tasks are many.
Here are just a few of the typical business uses of an autoresponder:
– if an email address is no longer valid, a message can be sent from the mail server that the email is now “undeliverable,”
– if the business changes its email address or URL, a new forwarding address can be sent to those that send mail to the old address,
– if you go on vacation or are otherwise unavailable for a time, your autoresponder can alert customers to your absence and when you’ll return,
– you can have an autoresponder confirm registrations at your site, sign-ups or requests for removals from your mailing list or your newsletter, or customer requests for web site help or support,
– you can have your autoresponder actually deliver your newsletter or “tip of the day” or other marketing message at a set time,
– you can have a direct sales letter sent to anyone that requests further information, or you can send out freebies, bonuses, or other incentives without you having to physically mail the items,
– autoresponders will collect names, email addresses, and other information from potential customers, confirm their information, and forward your pre-made message or “bonus for joining” without your intervention,
– autoresponders can even be your product delivery means if you sell a digital product (be sure you understand the security protocols of this strategy because it’s easy for a customer to share your product with others in most cases.)
Autoresponders (sometimes referred to as “sequential” autoresponders) can be set to do follow-up emailing so that your messages are delivered in order or sequence and on either specified dates or at specified intervals (like every 5th day).
Emails can be pre-formatted in either plain text or HTML and your autoresponder can “recognize” and deliver whichever form a particular email address can read.
Emails can have active links embedded so that in one simple click your reader can open up a window and be transferred to a particular web page.
The work involved (other than installing the software) in setting up your autoresponder is largely a matter of preparing and formatting your messages, in advance, as you want them to appear in the email.
Then you “load” the messages into the system and specify your preferences and the timing or sequence of delivery.
Make no mistake about it – there is a fair amount of work involved in writing and preparing your responses. But the payoff is that you only have to do it once . . . the system handles sending out your messages to the proper person at the pre-appointed time.
By the way, you can have custom “fields” included in your messages so that they appear to be personalized to each recipient if you gather such details as part of your mailing list subscriber-volunteered information.
Autoresponder scripts range from the very simple to very complex. You can find some online for free or at modest cost . . . others are very pricey (like $750) depending upon the features and emailing speed and capacity you decide you need.
There are also many online application providers that will take care of all the mailing and set up for you for a fee (generally around $20/month for a limited number of email messages.)
There are some advantages to this alternative since the cost to get started is reasonable and you don’t have to worry about your ISP getting upset with your heavy mailing schedule that hogs his bandwidth resources.
In addition, autoresponder email companies work very hard to make sure that their emails are not black listed and are deliverable, something that you may struggle with using your own server and script.
The uses and creative applications of autoresponders are many and quite varied.
But in every case, the result is that you are able to perform otherwise laborious and time-consuming tasks by setting up a system that does most of the work for you.
It’s as if you hired some full time customer service employees that never expect to be paid.
What a great business automation tool!
To your online business success,