2012 Copyright Komes Network Why You Need Autoresponder Anything that saves you time and effort in running your virtual corporation is worth having, and autoresponders are a huge timesaver. You may have seen advertisements for programs that promise to get you rich quick and make money while you sleep. Most of them are scams, but they are based on a powerful tool that really can make more money for you if you learn to use it properly: autoresponders. An autoresponder is an e-mail based program that does exactly what its name suggests: sends out an automatic response when an e-mail is received. Nearly every successful online business uses autoresponders to achieve and maintain a big-time image without spending a fortune or lifting a finger. You’ve probably seen autoresponders at work if you’ve ever signed up for an e-zine, newsletter, or other electronic mailing list. The instant you send a message to the subscription address, you receive a reply with either a welcome message or a request to confirm your subscription by clicking a link. Most list-building software comes with built-in autoresponders, and many web hosts are now offering autoresponder options for the custom e-mail addresses they come with. When you set up an autoresponder, you don’t have to make delivery instantaneous. Autoresponders allow you to preset a series of messages to be delivered on a timed basis to each address it receives: you can send out several messages once a day, every other day, once a week, or even once a month. This makes autoresponders great tools for marketing and newsletter delivery. How to Use Them What should you use an autoresponder for in your business? The possibilities are endless. Following are just a few examples of the many uses for autoresponders. Frequently asked questions. Most web sites have an extensive FAQ, or Frequently Asked Question section. Many people don’t want to bother searching through them to find what they’re looking for. You can create a shorter version of the most popular FAQs about your company for visitors to request from your home page. “More information.” How many times have you seen this: “For more information on this fine product or service, e-mail email@example.com”? Use an autoresponder to capture e-mail addresses and provide customers with a compelling sales letter about your product or service. People are more likely to read an e-mail with detailed product information than they are to read long blocks of text on your web site. Be sure to include links to your ordering page in your information letter. Newsletters and e-zines. Using autoresponders is a great way to manage subscription lists for newsletter and e-zines. You can keep all your contact e-mail addresses in one place, allowing you to send your newsletter as well as occasional updates and special offers. If you write your newsletters ahead of time, you can simply plug them in to an autoresponder, set the delivery date, and forget about it so you can concentrate on other things. Free promotional giveaways. One great way to gain exposure for your business is providing your potential customers with valuable free information. You can generate articles, article series or even e-courses pertaining to your business and set them up for timed autoresponder delivery. The owner of Flowers Forever might write a series of articles explaining the best way to grow and maintain an indoor garden. Just as with your sales letter or newsletter, be sure to include special offers that are only available to people who request your article or e-course as well as links to your ordering pages. Viral marketing. With any message you send out from your autoresponder, you can include an incentive for people to spread the word about your product or service. You can offer a free gift, such as an exclusive e-course or a sample of your product or service, for anyone who passes along your sales letter, newsletter issue or article to a certain number of friends, usually ten or more. Viral marketing can be a rapid and powerful tool for expanding your business across the internet. Product delivery. If your product is in an electronic format, such as an e-book or audio file, you can set an autoresponder to deliver the product instantly upon receipt of payment. This saves you a lot of time in fulfilling orders and ensures every product is delivered promptly. Order confirmation and follow-up. Even for physical products or services, you can use an autoresponder to instantly confirm to a customer that their order has been received and will be acted upon. For order confirmation, you can set up a two-message delivery: instant confirmation, and a follow-up thank you message timed for arrival a few days after you anticipate order fulfillment. Following up with customers is a great way to ensure repeat business and project a big image. Aside from the built-in autoresponders that come with many list management services and web site packages, there are companies specializing in autoresponder technology. Autoresponder services range in price, and are generally either free or billed monthly. Free autoresponders often include banner ads, but you can find a company that will use small, unobtrusive ads relating to your product or service. Paid autoresponders generally offer far more features and unlimited numbers of preset, timed messages. If you plan to rely heavily on autoresponders to run your business, you should consider investing in a paid autoresponder service. The time you save when your company practically runs itself will be worth every penny.
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