Joe is enjoying his holiday in Hawaii. Joe, who is used to getting tens of business emails every day, doesn’t worry about his absence from business. A small but handy program, called an Autoresponder, takes care of all of Joe’s emails. Autoresponders are everywhere – from the casual “I am on a holiday” to the more serious “Out of Office” type responses.
What is an Autoresponder?
Autoresponders are preset emails that instantly respond to an incoming email, similar to an on-demand fax system that sends out an automatic fax message after dialing in the given number. A simple autoresponder would be the “I am on a holiday” kind that most of us would have used sometime or other. Autoresponders are small programs that are either part of an email program or run as a script on a separate server. Almost all email services and programs come with some form of autoresponder built into it, sometimes dubbed as “auto-reply” messages or “vacation emails”. They represent the simplest form of autoresponder, used for very basic needs. However, there are more advanced applications of autoresponders that can tremendously bring down marketing time and save many dollars for businesses.
Autoresponders are a key to any professionally managed business. Imagine how much time one would require to manually respond to emails from millions of users who require some basic information about a product or a service. Autoresponders come handy in such a situation. Moreover, people feel better when their emails about an enquiry are instantly acknowledged. Here again, autoresponders are the best bet for the job. But the applications of autoresponders are not just limited to answering emails. A multitude of applications are possible through an autoresponder system, with the common being
Sending confirmation emails about a purchase or an enquiry
Sending welcome message to new customers
Providing company information such as brochures, presentation materials
Conduct online courses by sending out course materials at periodic time intervals
Types of Autoresponders.
Autoresponders can be classified into any one of the following:
One-time are the most common among the two and have been long since the evolution of email itself. In a one-time autoresponder system, the program immediately sends out a pre-defined message, usually welcome emails or order confirmation and acknowledgements. One-time autoresponders are also easier to setup and manage. This type of autoresponder is usually integrated into the email program that handles the incoming messages.
Sequential autoresponders are developed during recent times. Here, a set of email messages are placed in the autoresponder system which sends them from time to time, or at irregular intervals of time. The time intervals and the frequency of the emails that are sent can be customized. Sequential autoresponders are great for sending messages on a periodic basis that actually makes the customer believe as though a real person is emailing them from the other end! Online courses, reminder services and regular content delivery like tip of the day, weekly newsletter, and seasonal promotions are typical usages of a sequential system.
Critical marketing tool.
Autoresponders score highly with any serious internet marketer. A good quality autoresponder system saves the trouble of responding to messages that least warrant a personalized reply. It allows companies to automate portions of their marketing efforts. A good autoresponder system helps in providing a good customer service thereby create affinity to the business and retain customers. It also provides an opportunity to build a quality prospect list of customers to whom information on future services and products can be emailed. Autoresponders are also finding their presence felt in some part of the sales process – sometimes, the entire sale can be completed through a series of autoresponder messages. Think of the cost-savings that companies benefit through effective autoresponder systems!
Choosing a winning program.
Okay, you have enough reasons now to get your own autoresponder. There are hundreds of programs available for free on the internet that can also do the job.
The more time you invest in a good autoresponder system, the more value you give your customers. Autoresponders helps grow your prospects list faster and the sooner you shoot the responses, the more you will be able to benefit from the powerful autoresponder technology.