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
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 –
- 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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 email@example.com, they
are automatically sent your FAQ e-mail. It’s neat, clean, and
The e-mail your visitor receives might read something like
Subject: Answer to
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
We'll be happy to answer any further questions
you may have.
Your name here.
And answers to your 10 most frequently asked questions
start here ***
minutes of sending their e-mail to email@example.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!)
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!
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:
someone sends a message to your firstname.lastname@example.org 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:
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 email@example.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.
Your name here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.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:
- 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.
- 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!
- 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
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.
- 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
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
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.
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.
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.