The most valuable asset of the online marketer is, "Time!" Time's an
for the most part, is taken for granted. It's invisible, odorless, tasteless and
something that goes unnoticed, until you begin to run out of it and learn how
much it truly costs!
The key to becoming a successful online marketer lies in the ability to
accomplish multiple, or redundant, marketing tasks at the same time. Wouldn't it
be nice to have a clone, sitting next to you, sending out sales letters, welcome
and thank you letters, order confirmation letters or any other email tasks you
deem necessary? Well, you can have just that, and it's called an autoresponder.
Let's begin by taking a moment and explaining what an autoresponder is.
"An autoresponder is simply a program that runs through an email program that's
designed to automatically respond to any email message sent to it with a
pre-determined response, usually a sales letter, to the email address of the
person who originated the response."
Autoresponders are also known as mailbots, automatic email and email on demand.
Autoresponders were fashioned from the huge success of fax on demand used in the
Autoresponders are becoming a very popular tool in the online marketers toolbox
and it's my belief that autoresponders can increase your profits by as much as
20-25%. The advantages of autoresponders far outweigh any disadvantages of
utilizing this powerful tool.
So let's take a look at autoresponders and their essential components, the
advantages and also the disadvantages of utilizing autoresponders.
Not all autoresponders are created equal. There are thousands of companies
online that offer an autoresponder service and there are just as many options
and pricing structures. Here's my list of the essential components you'll need
to make sure your autoresponder service offers to ensure your autoresponder is
an effective online marketing tool and a valuable partner in your online
Autoresponder Naming: You'll need to be able to have quite a bit of flexibility
in the naming of your autoresponders. In order to have an effective advertising
campaign, you'll need to be able to track the responses to your advertisements.
Utilizing the naming feature allows you to have complete control over your
online marketing and advertising efforts. Make sure you have a wide array of
options available in naming your autoresponder. You want to be able to name your
autoresponder something that pertains to your product or business and also for
tracking your advertising effectiveness.
Autoresponder Length: Make sure you select an autoresponder service that offers
unlimited length for the text of your autoresponders. This may seem like a bit
of overkill but this gives you the flexibility when preparing your sales
materials. There's nothing worse than having to cut down a successful sales
letter to fit the autoresponder.
Autoresponder Free/Unlimited Updates: Make sure you select an autoresponder
service that offers free and unlimited updates or changes to your
autoresponders. In the online marketing world you absolutely need the
flexibility to be able to provide up to date product information to your
prospects and clients. Charges for changes to your autoresponders adds up very
quickly! You need to have total control and be able to add, remove or change
your documents as many times as you wish, yourself, without having to pay any
extra for doing this.
Autoresponder Keywords: Many autoresponder services require your prospects to
put a keyword into the subject line or message body. Your potential customers
may simply forget or mistype something and they'll never receive your document.
Make sure to choose an autoresponder service that doesn't require the use of
Receipt Notification: This is vital to your follow up efforts. This is simply an
email notification sent to you that someone has requested information from your
autoresponder. It provides the prospects email address and any of their comments
inserted into the body of their email request. This is simply a must have option
for any serious online marketer!
Advantages Of Autoresponders
Here are a few of the primary advantages of utilizing autoresponders in your
online marketing and advertising efforts:
Speed: This is why using autoresponders is vital to the success of your online
business. We live in a now environment and the Internet only throws fuel on the
fire. When we want information, we don't want to wait for days, hours or even
minutes, we want it now! This is especially true when we're answering an online
ad and requesting more information. A well written online advertisement will
touch prospects emotions and elicit a response, requesting more information.
When emotions are involved in the mix, it's essential as online marketers to
respond with that additional information immediately. By doing this you'll get
your sales message read in the best possible environment, by a hot prospect.
This is exactly why I mentioned earlier that an autoresponder can increase your
profits by 20-25%!
Cost: It costs nothing for a prospect to look at your online advertisement and
request more information. Unlike other advertisements that ask for a prospect to
send a SASE or possibly $1-$2 for an additional report, it costs nothing to send
an email. You're dealing with a base of approximately 75 million who have email
access and since they usually have a single monthly rate, they're not paying for
each email. So there is no cost for sending or receiving a single email message.
Using With Your Web Site: This is an excellent opportunity to provide a number
of ways to integrate autoresponders into your online marketing strategy. A
problem almost every webmaster faces is how to get vital information on the
visitors to their web site, their visitors! You can get this vital information
in an number of ways, such as, via guest books, online order forms, ezines
subscriptions and especially by offering additional free information via an
autoresponder. You can offer via autoresponder, updated price lists, product
listings, or any other information you wish to distribute. When a visitor uses
this "mailto" link they'll receive your marketing information and you'll capture
their email address.
It Automates Your Online Marketing: As I mentioned earlier, time is a valuable
and vital asset to every online marketer! Anything that an online marketer can
do to automate daily tasks makes them even more effective. Using autoresponders
is the easiest way to automate the selling process! If you don't have to spend
hours going through your incoming email and manually sending out your replies.
If you use autoresponders in your online advertising, your prospects will get
the information they want immediately and you'll have be able to utilize your
time for additional online marketing efforts. Now your marketing like the pro's
and are essentially doing two things at the same time. Then once a day sort your
requests in your follow up folders and you've just opened up a large chunk of
time to use more productively.
Disadvantages Of Autoresponders
There are hardly no disadvantages of using autoresponders in your online
marketing and advertising but here are a couple that might become minor
Almost Impossible To Personalize Your Autoresponder: Since you're basically mass
marketing with your autoresponder you can't personalize each response. There are
many services out there that do include a simple addition of the requesters
email address in a hello line but it's still not personalized. You want to make
sure you check the body of incoming autoresponder requests for any additional or
specific requests for more information and reply to those as soon as possible.
You can also tell your prospects that they are requesting information from your
autoresponder in your advertisement which tells them that they are going to get
immediate information from your autoresponder.
Spammers Collect Your Autoresponders Email Address: When you begin marketing
online you'll find that occasionally, your autoresponders email address will
get collected by the spider software used by those who collect and sell email
addresses. Then an Internet newbie buys these email addresses and sends out
their bulk email message and doesn't hide the email addresses, your
autoresponders email address is now exposed. Then an upset recipient sends his
reply back to the originator of the spam by using their "reply to" button on
their email program without deleting the laundry list of other email addresses.
Your autoresponder sends your sales letter to the sender and they just think
they were spammed by you too! Multiply this by 10 and can you see the possible
disadvantage? This has happened to me. It's fairly easy to fix by emailing any
of the recipients who complain to you and explain what happened when they send
their reply to the entire list and you might add they could also be accused of
spamming by their actions. This will usually do the trick.
A Final Thought
You can take advantage of autoresponders in any number of ways. These are very
powerful online marketing tools that increase your productivity, provide a means
to automate tasks and free up your time, provide immediate information for your
potential customers, provide customer service and can increase your profits. If
your not currently utilizing this valuable asset in your online marketing and
advertising your costing yourself potential sales and creating more work. When
you consider the cost for this resource, I think you'll agree that there isn't
another online marketing tools that produces these benefit for the price.
Good Luck and To Your Productive Online Marketing!