Responsive, responder marketing

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011 by Richard Howe

E-mail autoresponders are one of the most powerful online marketing tools around, allowing you to provide information instantly and automatically to site visitors.

However, knowing how to use this great facility to your advantage is not so obvious. So here's a look at how you can apply them to save time and increase sales.

Welcoming new list additions

It's easier to keep your old customers than go out and find new ones, so making anyone feel welcome who takes the time to sign up for your newsletter can have people coming back to buy again and again.

Set up a pre-written welcome email, keeping it short and simple. You can always add a few links to parts of your website for good measure. Then, schedule this to be sent out automatically after a new sign-up. You can even put a bit of a delay on this to make it feel more "human".

Product feedback

You've sold one of your brand new t-shirts, and you want to know how your customers are find it. Does it fit ok? Have the colours run? Using an auto-responder to trigger an email a month after purchase is a great way of getting this valuable information from your customers. 

Your big event

Whether it's the launch of your latest product, the opening of a new branch, or just a day out for your clients, use an auto-responder to remind people of dates, things they have to bring with them and so on.

Schedule a series of emails with all the necessary details a week or two apart. Then leave it to run automatically, and concentrate on your other event planning matters. 

Multi-part Courses

Offering multi-part courses is one method to keep visitors coming back to your site. You can use this to help establish yourself as an expert in your field - even if you really aren't!

Any good document you have written  on your industry can be broken down into different "chapters" and set up in your auto-responder at different intervals. Once the recipient gains enough confidence through your course, the chances of them buying a related product from you are that much greater.  

Sales and support

If you are selling information products, auto-responders are a great way to get the item to your customer instantly upon payment. It doesn't stop there though. You can then provide after-sale support such as a thank-you message, a testimonial request, or to introduce some related products they may be interested in.

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I gave Richard a very vague brief about how we wanted the general feel for the Harley Wines website and said it'd have to please various parties and that this could lead to a lot of back and forth as we tried to please everyone.While it did lead to a lot of back and forth Richard was patient and helpful throughout, and I never waited long for any response or changes from his end while he had to often wait patiently while I got the green light from various members on my end.

However not once did anyone on my end ask for changes to the style or layout of the website and it's had nothing but praise since it's launch.

Considering we did not have a clear idea of what we needed Richard got the sense of the company and really captured the spirit in a wonderfully laid out and user friendly website. I cannot recommend him highly enough!

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