If your business isn’t currently scheduling at least one series of automated email autoresponder for your customer and prospect list, then in the words of marketing expert Chris Hexton of Vero, you’re missing out on “the email marketing sweet spot.”
Autoresponders are a timesaving way of being able to connect with your list, or a segment of it, via a series of personalised and relevant emails sent on autopilot. It’s highly efficient because the email series is created once, and then just ticks along in the background each time someone joins your mailing list.
Seems too good to be true? Well, it’s not really.
While the concept of an autoresponder may appear glaringly simple, marketing experts recommend some definite strategies for success and I’ve collated some of their very best tips.
Find your audience’s need and meet it
Discover what your target audience needs or wants and then create a series of informative emails resolving their issue. Useful and relevant information, without a hard sell, builds trust and positions you as an expert in your niche.
Matt Carter of Unbounce advocates over delivering value to your prospects. He explains that offering a series of exclusive and informative content to your list will serve the purposes of:
- Allowing you to present yourself as an authority in your niche
- Providing repeated exposure to your business in a relevant context
- Illustrating your capacity and offerings before asking for a commitment. This builds the trust which is a critical element in any relationship.
Automate without being robotic
You may know that your email is being systemically sent, don’t let it be impersonal. You want to let the recipient feel that you just wrote and sent the email out to them, and not the masses.
Ben Chestnut, co-founder of Mailchimp, stresses “the key to a good autoresponder campaign is to not let the recipient feel like it’s an autoresponder campaign.”
Write is a personal tone and style. Don’t go crazy with images and ‘slickness’. Make them feel like you have written this just for them.
Consider how trigger-based emails can increase conversions
Identifying when people leave your site without committing to action can provide context for following up with an autoresponder.
According to Vero’s Chris Hexton, determining which actions will trigger an autoresponder is a strategy likely to “get more opens, clicks and conversions” and that “sending personalised offers to customers based on their on-site behaviour is an incredibly effective email marketing tactic.”
Have you had dealings with Amazon, arguably the world’s most successful online retailer? If so, you’ve more than likely experienced firsthand their strategic use of trigger-based autoresponders too.
Practical ideas that can be implemented as autoresponders
If you are new to the concept of autoresponders then Mailerlite, a simple email marketing tool for small business, has these ideas for getting started.
- Educating your audience with a series of informative emails them about your niche. Remember, this builds your position of expertise.
- Revisit content. New subscribers may not be familiar with your previous, yet relevant content. An email series sending them to your previously published content makes good sense for organic click-throughs too!
- Invite people to connect with you on the social media channels you use. Each email could describe what you publish and share on different social media with an invitation to connect.
- Keep in contact and periodically ask questions to learn what they are struggling with. This strategy continues to work well for Derek Halpern from Social Triggers.
- Familiarise your audience with practical features of your product (or service) and the benefits they may be unaware of.
While it may seem a lot of work initially, auto-responders are an online marketer’s dream. They keep working while you are focused on other areas of your business and are a powerful way to increase conversions.
If you are considering what email service to use, I’ve put together my favourite services here for you.