E - Commerce Solutions

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How to easily automate your
most time-consuming e-mail chores

I’ve seen it happen to some really intelligent business owners... You start out with the best of intentions. You grow your web site traffic, run a few successful promotions, and suddenly you go from personally answering a handful of e-mails each day to drowning under hundreds of customer inquiries, questions, and requests! Managing your e-mail suddenly becomes a full-time job!

If you really plan to grow your business, you can’t afford to be spending your days chained to your computer, replying to e-mail after e-mail individually. Even if you’re using "canned messages" (i.e. pre-written e-mails that you can just cut and paste), looking after your e-mail one message at a time can quickly become overwhelming.

And this is where a lot of new e-business owners find themselves stuck. You’re tired of wasting your days replying to the same e-mails over and over again, but the idea of automating the process seems even more intimidating! Yet you have heard that there are scripts and software out there that will give you the power to...

  • Anticipate and instantly respond to the needs of your customers by answering common questions on the spot.
  • Give potential customers the exact information they need, exactly when they need it – when they’re still a hot prospect – so they can make that important buying decision.
  • Capture the e-mail addresses of visitors to your web site so that you can market to them again and again – for free!
  • Increase the perceived value of your web site by offering free reports or articles that can be e-mailed to prospects the minute they request them!
  • Dramatically reduce the time you waste on daily chores so you can start growing your business instead of getting trapped running it!
  • Start capitalizing on the lifetime value of your existing customers – automatically increasing your sales without increasing your workload!

Did you know that all of the automation I’ve mentioned so far in this article can be accomplished with one simple tool called an "autoresponder"?

Here's how it works:

Before we go any further, I want to assure you that autoresponders are not difficult to use. So let's take a deep breath and get past any technophobia that might be preventing you from making your life a lot easier – and your business a lot more profitable!

An autoresponder is basically an e-mail tool that is designed to automatically respond to any incoming messages to a particular e-mail address that you set up. Confused? Then let me give you an example that will clearly illustrate exactly how this works…

A visitor arrives at your web site and reads your sales copy. They're interested in your product, but they have a question that needs to be answered before they'll consider making a purchase. So they e-mail you at faq@yoursite.com (an e-mail address you’ve set up for just this purpose).

Your experience answering customer questions has shown you that there are 10 or 12 questions people ask over and over again. So rather than answer each person individually, you put together a "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ) e-mail. You spend an hour or so writing it, making sure that it's thorough and that it ultimately directs the reader back to your web site to close the sale.

You then set up this FAQ e-mail in an autoresponder, so when the visitor e-mails their question to faq@yoursite.com, they are automatically sent your FAQ e-mail. It’s neat, clean, and simple.

The e-mail your visitor receives might read something like this:

Subject: Answer to your question


Thank you for your inquiry. Our experience has shown us that most people ask one of the following ten questions, so we've sent you this informative e-mail because we know that your time is valuable and we want to make sure that your question is answered as quickly as possible.

If you find that your question is not answered below, then please do not hesitate to e-mail us at info@yoursite.com We'll be happy to answer any further questions you may have.

Yours truly,

Your name here.

*** And answers to your 10 most frequently asked questions start here ***

Within 5 minutes of sending their e-mail to faq@yoursite.com, the visitor receives your e-mail via your autoresponder. They read through your FAQ e-mail and find the answer to their question.

The visitor is impressed because…

  • You anticipated their needs
  • You replied instantly
  • You answered their questions
  • You made it easy for them to e-mail you any further questions

… and this means that you look extremely professional. This instant reply also lends your business a measure of credibility because you've made it clear that your customers are your first priority and that you take your business very seriously.

Do you think this visitor will go back to your web site to make their purchase? Chances are very good that they will. In fact, the probability that you will close this sale is much higher than if you had forced this person to wait a week for a reply. (Or hadn't answered at all!)

How much time did this take you? None. You wrote the e-mail and then used the autoresponder to automate your customer service. You now provide fast, high-quality customer service, decrease your workload, and only respond to customers who have unique questions or situations that need your personal touch. It’ll take you just minutes each day to respond to customer inquiries instead of the hours it did before you got automated!

Now, that's some pretty cool technology, wouldn't you say? Well, I haven't even told you the best part yet! In addition to these "immediate" autoresponders -- that get sent out instantly -- you can also set up a series of delayed or "sequential" autoresponders. Here's how it works:

Suppose someone sends a message to your faq@yoursite.com e-mail address. They instantly receive your "Frequently Asked Questions" e-mail... and then automatically receive another message a few days later! It might look something like this:

Subject: Follow-up to your inquiry


I just wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you didn't have any more questions. (If your question wasn't answered by the FAQ I sent out the other day, please drop me a line at info@yoursite.com).

I also wanted to let you know about a special that we are offering to new customers. If you decide to purchase within the next 7 days, I'll give you a big 20% discount off your first order!

Remember, this offer is valid for new customers only, and expires in the next seven days! Click here to visit my site and find out more about this special offer.

Yours truly,

Your name here.

Just like with the autoresponder that gets sent out immediately, you only have to write this ONCE, and simply tell your autoresponder software to send it to everyone who sends an e-mail to faq@yoursite.com after three days.

Can you even imagine how difficult this would be if you were doing it manually? You would have to save every e-mail you received, and then reply to them after 3 days had passed. Using autoresponders, you just write the message once, and the software takes care of everything else!

And you don't need to stop at just two messages. You can set it up so that everyone who sends an e-mail to your faq@yoursite.com address receives one message immediately, another three days later, another one four days after that, one more seven days later, and another after three weeks! In fact, as long as you have the right software, there is no limit to how many messages you can automatically deliver to your customers and subscribers!

How can I make it happen?

So now we’re back at square one, aren’t we? You want the autoresponders and the powerful automation they can bring your e-business, and now you have a general understanding of how they work, but how the heck do you add them to your web site?

Good question! You basically have four choices:

  1. Your web host: If you are willing to commit to a long-term contract (i.e., one year or more), you can sometimes get a couple of immediate autoresponders for free from your web host. Unfortunately, I STILL haven't found a web host that will provide sequential autoresponders, meaning that you'll have to look elsewhere for this service.

  2. Autoresponders with rotating ads: You can get "free" sequential autoresponders if you are willing to let other companies advertise in your message however, I don’t really recommend this. You can’t control the ads that appear in your e-mails, so these ads can really distract your reader from your sales message, and you appear "unprofessional" because it’s obvious you’re using a free service. You’re basically giving someone else free advertising, with few benefits to you. Free isn’t always as good as it might sound!

  3. Paid autoresponder services: You could also use a paid autoresponder service. This can give you flexibility in deciding exactly what autoresponder plan is right for you without being forced to include advertisements in your message. You'll also have greater flexibility to customize your autoresponders than if you were to use a free autoresponder service.

    The only real drawback is that they can get quite costly. Paid autoresponder services can cost as much as $20 or $30 per month per autoresponder, while others will charge you a fee each time someone requests your information. If you decide to go this route, be sure that you really shop around because the cost can get out of control very quickly if you're not careful.

  4. Mailloop 6.0: This powerful piece of software gives you unlimited immediate AND sequential autoresponders, meaning that it's the only autoresponder program you'll need. You can literally set up HUNDREDS of different autoresponder series, and -- since it all runs off your own computer -- you never have to worry about your autoresponders suddenly going "offline."

    (I should also mention that Mailloop does a lot more than just autoresponders... It is actually a complete e-mail automation package. You can run all of your e-mail promotions through it, use it to automatically subscribe and unsubscribe people from your opt-in list, manage your customer and subscriber databases, and so on and so on...)

    You can read much more about how this incredible program works by
Final thoughts:

Don't be intimidated by this simple technology. Like I said, if you can install and use software (it's as easy as clicking a few buttons and following a few instructions), then you can easily use autoresponders to automate.

Ideally, your goal should be to get automated and then grow. Of course, some of you may already be drowning in e-mail. If that's you, don't keep putting this off! E-mail automation is going to be critical to the success of your e-business.

If you're automated and using autoresponders to manage daily chores, then you're going to have time to focus on promotions and growing. If you're drowning in e-mail, you're going to severely handicap your sales and income because you'll be too focused on trying to just stay afloat.

Autoresponders are easy to set up and they offer a wide variety of opportunities to automate different aspects of your business. From customer service... to order confirmations... to following up with potential customers... it's an easy way to give customers the instant service they're demanding, while increasing your sales and actually freeing yourself from tedious chores.


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Last Modified: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 1:40 PM