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Your Guide To Using Autoresponders

Autoresponders serve as a passive source of income for email marketers. Let's learn more about how to use them right...

Scale and volume are primary concerns when growing your business. One of these automation tools when it comes to keeping up with your consumers is the humble autoresponder.

In this post, we will quickly run you through the basics and cover-

  • What are autoresponders
  • Why they should be on your mind
  • A few tips when you start using autoresponders

What Are Autoresponders?

In short, they are automation tools for your mailing lists that automatically send notifications to your subscribers following rules and time-intervals that you set. We usually associate them with email but text messages and instant messenger are gaining popularity as well.

For example, you could design automated responses for the following-

  •  A welcome message from your business when someone signs up to your mailing list.
  • Offer trials and discounts after a week from their signup.
  • Reminder for purchase due to cart abandonment after a few days.

How Do They Add Value

Before we deep dive into how they add value, let me add that autoresponders are straightforward to use and should definitely be a tool you incorporate into your business operations. With that out of the way, let’s look at how they add value to both you and your subscribers.

1.   It saves you time. A lot of it. Having well setup autoresponders will help you initiate contact with your subscribers, re-engage with them from time to time depending on their stage of the customer journey, and you can customize key messages without overwhelming your subscriber with information at once.

2.   Scalable. Yes, autoresponders are extremely good at being scalable. So now you can have different messages reaching the right subscriber and with some clever setup, you can have a large, customized, and ever-growing mix of messages that fulfill many of your business needs.

3.   Generating Income with autoresponders is a passive advantage of using autoresponders. They can become your salesman and help with user purchase decisions apart from building trust. They also help funnel interested users to trial or contact your business for more details.

Advantages Of Using Autoresponders

 While there is the argument that a human touch is great in business, autoresponders are a great tool to support relationship building with customers. Quick updates, relevant information, and scalability are a few great pointers.

Autoresponders offer great performance with respect to sharing information with your customers. For example, confirmation of orders or sign up and subscriptions are easily dealt with through welcome emails. Since a fixed set of rules can be quickly created for your autoresponders, they can be quickly set up and forgotten. They do their thing and you have peace of mind that they are performing as well as they can.

Autoresponders also allow you to build trust with your audience. Having specific material available to users, allows them to remember your brand as well as have their questions and doubts cleared up. Having automated reminders and personalized offers or deals will also foster trust and recognition from your audience.
The most important advantage of autoresponders, and we have highlighted it earlier, is the time you save if you use one. You are no longer handling each potential or existing customer but rolling out a bulk of your responses through automation. This spares you a lot of time to handle other pressing matters. All the more, you are able to automate the process without losing a sense of personalization and attention to different periods of your customers’ journey.

This is an example of a well designed autoresponder from POPSUGAR: By adding navigational links, they save time by having to manually direct users to important pages. By adding these links they’re making their own job easier and getting more traffic.

Now that is a lot of good points for autoresponders and I’m sure you would want to dive into setting up your own as well, which leads me onto the next portion.

How To Set Up Autoresponders

 Setting up the perfect autoresponder requires good foresight. When used cleverly, you can distribute time-dependent information in a way that matters to your reader. You do not want your content to be irrelevant and you want it to reach your customer at the right time. It would be frustrating to have your content reach your reader late. Imagine a welcome email reaching your new sign-up a month later. You would want that email out to your signup immediately, and that is where autoresponders come in.

We list out a few tips you can keep an eye out for when you start with autoresponders. They should cover broad but important concepts that you should ponder upon as you create your autoresponder content.

1 – Choose Lead Magnets And Topics Wisely

Evaluate your users’ needs ahead of time and try to answer potential questions they may have. This will help you come up with great lead magnets and topics to work with.

You can also crawl your competitions’ website to find industry trends or their social media to see what their followers ask. There is also the option of looking into comparison websites to see what areas you can highlight that could help convert a customer. Know that these trends and insights will often keep changing depending on your industry so you can always revisit these techniques to create compelling content.

Other areas for content would be:

  • newsletters packed with rich information
  • checklists that solve our customer’s problems
  • discount coupons for loyal customers
  • white papers to educate customers
Mailmunch autoresponder for an ebook: simple and direct

2 – Autoresponder Writing Tips

You can absolutely get creative with the content for your autoresponder. It is an art and like music, you really do have freedom and can experiment with it. With that being said, there are a few tips that are tried and tested and help you grab your readers’ attention.

  • Go beyond just introducing your product or service in welcome emails. Take the time to craft a compelling read by highlighting how you will improve the users’ life and a quick guide to the next steps. This will come across as thoughtful and reassuring.
  • Have a catchy subject line. Most emails go unread but drawing your customer with an interesting subject line will increase your chances of your email getting viewed.
  • Have your subscribers do something at the end of your email. This will help you gauge interest in your emails. A clear call to action also helps draw one foot in for potential customers.
A creative welcome autoresponder by Chipotle

3 – Setup Schedules

One of the best features of autoresponders is having the ability to schedule your emails. You can always start simple, like welcome emails to new subscribers, but as you gain the confidence you can quickly look at multiple schedules that cover a multitude of scenarios. Keep in mind not to swamp your readers’ inboxes. Pace out your content distribution depending on the situation. A new subscriber may need more frequent content from guides or content that will help push them down the sales funnel. An existing user might be more familiar and will be interested in related products or new features that he can use from his existing subscription.

4 – Start Sending Emails And Measure Results

While autoresponders are great at ‘set and forget’ functionality, it would be even more useful if you know what content your readers are engaging with. Results can be analyzed and trends will appear. This will help you dial down on what works and what does not, helping you improve the quality of your autoresponders.

Conclusion

And there you have it, a quick guide through Autoresponders. We have seen their value and browsed through what they can do for you. You are now familiar with what it takes to make your autoresponders relevant and compelling. We have just one question to ask you. Do you still need help with Autoresponders? What will help you become more comfortable with autoresponders?

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Rukham Khan is the content lead at MailMunch who works with a passion to write for budding entrepreneurs and marketers. In his free time, you can find him polishing his video editing chops or sweating it out on the jogging track.

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