So, autoresponders allow you to automate the process of instantly replying to someone who either 1) asked for more information or 2) did something (such as buying from you).
Friend, when you start putting the wheels in motion to consistently follow up with your prospects, you'll start seeing the incredible results this amazing tool brings!
For example, you can use your autoresponder to...
1. Send instant information to people who request it;
2. Follow-up automatically with your HOT prospects;
3. Deliver a multi-step course or offer lessons by email;
4. Publish your ezine by broadcasting to your opt-in list;
5. Convert inactive or "dead" leads in your current list;
6. And promote (i. e., "upsell") backend products!
Why Put Your Business on Autopilot...
Let's say you place a simple classified ad on the Internet for your product. It carries your offer and your email address so that your prospects can contact you for more information.
Great. Now, let's also say that your ad is viewed by thousands of people and, conservatively, generates over 300 queries on the first day of publishing. That's pretty good, right?
But here's the kicker...
Every information request you receive has a specific question to answer. Now, how in the world are you going to be able to handle 300 information requests without going nuts?
For example, answering just one email may take you anywhere from 10-15 minutes! If you do the math, you have 75 hours of work ahead of you... And that's only for the first day!
That means, on the first day you'll only be able to answer just a third of those requests - that's just 100! The other 200 will still be waiting and likely lose all interest by that point!
Your HOTTEST prospects have now gone ice cold! And this doesn't account for all the future requests you are bound to receive on the second or third day your ad is published!
You Must "Hit the Iron While It's HOT!"
Prospects want information fast. But they will lose interest if they have to wait for your response! Heck, some of them won't probably even remember you by the time you respond!
And a bigger problem is, this is just for the initial reply - you haven't even begun following up with them, yet! Can you see the damage - and the frustration! - this can cause you?
It's impossible to manually handle such a large volume of requests... At least, to do it all, and on time, particularly when the prospect is "hot!" (Unless you have a staff of workers!)
If you think that hiring staff is the way to go, don't forget that on the Internet, people from around the world are seeing your ad, 24/7, around the clock. Can you afford overtime?
You advertise with your classified ad again. But this time, however, you insert your autoresponder's email address for offering more information instead of your personal one.
When someone sends email to that address, they receive a reply within seconds! Not in minutes, hours or days, but NOW!
Going a Step Further...
To this point, I'm sure you understand the concept. But now, let me show you how you can start seeing the immense profitability in using "smart" autoreponders specifically.
Let's say that the people who requested your information got it, read it over but pushed it aside... They're just undecided at this point and want to "think about it." It's understandable.
But if you leave it at that, here's what can happen...
They're too busy and never go ahead,
They lost or misplaced your email,
They became swamped with other emails,
They deleted your email by accident,
They forgot about your offer,
They lost interest in your offer,
They found a better offer elsewhere,
They forgot how to contact you,
And so on.
By increasing the number of exposures to your message, your prospects will likely never forget or lose your email, and your prospect will think of you first when they do go ahead!
If, out of those 300 initial information requests, 10 people go ahead, the remaining 290 are kept for you, added to your autoresponder cycle and automatically followed up with...
... As many times as is necessary!
Moreover, they're instantly added to your database, so you can contact them at any time, in the future, when you want! That way, you can start building a targeted opt-in list!
On top of getting automated, sequenced follow-ups, you can use it to publish an ezine, promote offers from JV partners or affiliate programs, or make special announcements!
Doing so, you've not only raised the chances of selling that customer but also increased that customer's lifetime value by increasing the number of sales... With the same customer!
For example, let's say your business is about car parts. Your initial reply sends information about your business, or perhaps about a specific part a person wants more information on.
They then get an email follow-up, once a week. They finally decide to buy. But in a few weeks down the road, you email them about, say, another part to go with the same car!
In other words, you can get them to buy again and again! They bought from you once, so trust is already established... Your client acquisition costs are virtually non-existent!
How to Structure Your Follow-up Sequence
In addition to sending email to an address, autoresponders can be triggered from a form on your website, where the visitor will enter his information and receive an instant reply.
But now you want to set up a sequence of "autoresponses," so you can send further messages to your prospects at intervals you specify (such as two, five or seven days later).
Here is an example of an initial autoresponse message...
> Dear John Doe,
> Thank you for requesting more information on our
> products earlier. I have attached to this email a
> document containing our price listings for
> August's catalogue of products.
> Please read through it at your convenience, John.
> I will get back to you the same time on Wednesday
> with our special offers.
> Feel free to send me an email or call me, toll-
> free at 877-555-1212, if you like to discuss your
> needs in greater detail.
> > Thanks again,
> Joe Bloggs
> Bloggs Business Supplies Inc.
By the way, the words in red have been automatically added by the autoresponder for you. It can capture and add a first name, full name, month, year, a few days ahead, you name it!
You can also attach documents!
Then, a series of follow-up messages are sent over time at intervals you choose! Here's one example of a sequence for following up with prospects who have requested information:
1st message is sent immediately
2nd message is sent 2 days later
3rd message is sent 5 days later
4th message is sent 8 days later
5th message is sent 12 days later
6th message is sent 16 days later
7th message is sent 20 days later
(Also, keep in mind that the timeframe may be different, depending on your type of business, product or market.)
An Example of a Follow-up Sequence
Autoresponse: A "Thanks" for Requesting Information
The aim is to thank your prospect for requesting information and introduce your website or product to them. It's important to outline the major benefits and what's in it for them!
Follow-Up #1: Introduce a Deadline or Time-Limited Offer
After a few days, your prospect can easily forget about you. Don't just remind them of your offer but also make them feel a sense of urgency, like, "I better get this before it's too late".
Use scarcity, such as time-limited or quantity-bound offer. Perhaps there are only a 17 seats left at a seminar you are promoting, or maybe only 200 copies of your book printed.
Follow-Up #2: Reinforce Benefits to Persuade Prospects
Sent 3-5 days after the original request, elaborate on the offer by reinforcing the benefits. Stress the benefits they get from buying your product or doing business with you.
Follow-Up #3: Pile on the Bonuses to Get Them Excited
Stress the bonuses or premiums (many people buy products just for the bonuses). Remind them that bonuses are limited and guaranteed for a number of days. Again, use scarcity!
Follow-Up #4: Build Value by Comparing Your Product
Demonstrate the value by comparing "apples to oranges." If you're selling a report on how to create websites, compare it to paying an experienced (and rather costly) web designer!
Follow-Up #5: Boost Desire with Glowing Testimonials
Build trust. You're totally unknown to your prospects. But they will trust you far more if you give examples of what other people have said about your company and product.
Follow-Up #6: Demand Action and Remind of Deadline
This final step of your sequence is what makes or breaks the sale. Remind your prospect of the benefits of your product, and especially the urgency and scarcity, like a deadline.
(Potential) Follow-Up #7: Do Market Research
Remember that even when the follow-up sequence is complete your prospects are still very valuable to you, whether they bought or not. First, you can contact them for research.
Ask them why they haven't bought from you. The information they provide may help you change your offer or even rewrite (or add something to) your autoresponder sequence.
Second, contact them on a regular basis thereafter (using your autoresponder's "broadcast" feature) to let them know of website updates, new products, special offers, etc.