What is an autoresponder? An autoresponder is the tool that allows you to automate communicating via email with people who subscribed to your email list. Once a person has opted-in or subscribed to your email list, the autoresponder sends emails you want to send.
The entire email marketing industry, and probably internet marketing industry for that matter, is made possible by autoresponders. It is estimated that 281 billion emails are sent each day. This is made possible only by autoresponders.
There are basically two types or flavors of autoresponders.
- Software programs you install on one of your domains. There is typically a one-time fee to purchase an autoresponder software program. And, if your hosting provider allows it, you can send emails directly from your server. Otherwise you can use a 3rd party email sender service (like Amazon SES , SendGrid, or Mailgun) to send your emails.
- Autoresponder services provided by 3rd parties. These services typically charge a monthly fee which can increase as you acquire more subscribers or send out more emails.
Most autoresponders allow you to send two types of emails:
- A sequence of prepared emails each subscriber starts to receive as soon as they opt in to your email list. This sequence may consist of several emails or it could contain hundreds of emails scheduled to be sent over the coming months.
- Broadcast messages you send out to everyone in your list regardless of when they opted in.
Autoresponders help you automate campaigns to teach or promote. The emails can be customized with the recipients name to make it look more personal.
What Is An Autoresponder?
This video explains more concepts about autoresponders. After watching, you’ll be able to answer the questions: “What is an autoresponder?” with ease.
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Hi. John here with another introductory internet marketing video.
Today I want to talk to you about “What is an autoresponder?” You hear this word thrown around a lot. It’s important to get an autoresponder and a lot of people don’t really understand what an autoresponder is. So I thought I’d just take some time out to discuss the basics of an autoresponder, or the components of an auto responder.
You hear a lot of people talking about building your list. What they’re really talking about there is using an autoresponder to capture names and email addresses of people that you can market to. So let’s consider what an autoresponder really is.
What is an Autoresponder?
An responder is a system that usually resides on the internet somewhere, maybe a service that you subscribe to. It might be a system that you’ve bought and installed on one of your own domains.
What it allows you to do is to find people who want to give you their names and email addresses in exchange for something of value. You may have seen this. People will say to you sign up for my email list and i’ll send you a free seven part miniseries, or i’ll send you a free PDF, or a free video, whatever it is. So, an autoresponder is a means of capturing these names and email addresses in order that at some point in the future you can actually send out email messages.
Now, these email messages might be sales messages, marketing messages. But, there should be a good mix of good value content in there. Things that your subscribers will really appreciate receiving, and not just a constant barrage of buy this, buy this, buy this. Personally there’s nothing annoys me more than receiving those kinds of messages.
So let’s take a moment and consider what are the actual components of an autoresponder. I’ve identified 10 things that I think are key to making up a good quality autoresponder. The first few are really basic.
What Is An Autoresponder? Capture Name and Email Address
You need to be able to capture names. I would go a little bit further say you need to capture names and email addresses. Most autoresponders will allow you to capture much more as well: telephone numbers, mailing addresses, details of where they saw an advert, notes, anything like this. .
However, I will caution you. The studies have shown that the more information you ask for the less likelihood is that somebody will subscribe to your list. I find that a simple name and email address, you could even say first name and email address, if you want, is usually enough. And you only want the first name because you want to personalize the messages.
What Is An Autoresponder? Scheduled Message Sequence
You want the ability to send scheduled emails. So if you’re offering somebody a seven part miniseries that they’re going to receive over the next seven days. you don’t want to have to go in there every day and send an email to everyone that’s just joined. With an autoresponder what you’ll do is you’ll set of all seven emails in advance. And you’ll say at intervals of one day send these messages out to people that just joined my list.
You can actually take this further and you could say that after the seven you want to send additional messages out. Some of which will be content some of which will be sales messages. I’ve known of people that have sent up a whole year of daily email messages that go out to people. The beauty of this is, when somebody joins your list you don’t have to do anything for that first year if you don’t want to. They continually are being contacted by you or by your autoresponder. So they feel that they’re building this bond with you, building this relationship. And if you do have new content that you want to add, you can simply just tag it onto the end of those 365 messages that are already there.
What Is An Autoresponder? Broadcast Messages
On top of this though you want to be able to send what’s called a broadcast email now broadcast emails are where you want to say I want to send an email right now to all these people on my list. Or I want to be able to send these five emails on these specific days. This is really useful when you’re launching a new product, or when you’re taking part in somebody else’s product launch. So you can sequence all of the emails in advance and you don’t need to remember to be there and push the button at the right time.
What Is An Autoresponder? Connect to Your Blog
I think a good autoresponder nice be able to link to your blog. if you subscribe to my list you’ll know that every time I produce new content on my blog you’ll get an email message. I’ve noticed a lot of the more well-known people in internet marketing circles are doing this. the great thing is is you’re providing content, valuable content, to your mailing list on a regular basis.
Link to Social Media
I also like it to link to social media. So when any of my broadcast emails go out it also updates my Twitter and my Twitter feed, also then updates my Facebook and my LinkedIn, and my friend feed, and my Plaxo. And all of these things are all driven simply by me sending an email out through my autoresponder.
What Is An Autoresponder? Track Open Rates
Now once you’ve started sending emails and you’re starting to build up a list, you need to be able to track the open rates. So you need to be able to say, okay, if I sent this to a hundred people how many of those hundred opened it. And what can I do to improve the open rate in future emails? So you might want to write a better subject. The subject really falls in with any sort of headline in copywriting terms. So if you can write better subjects or better headlines you’ll get more people to open your emails.
However I will caution you a lot of people use trickery to open these emails. They’ll say, “Response required”, brackets, personal message John. I hate that. If the subject has nothing to do with the message inside, that’s usually a signal for me to unsubscribe for a mailing list. Take that as a word of caution.
What Is An Autoresponder? Link Tracking
Alongside this you want to be able to do link tracking, So you know how many people have opened your email. If you put links in there, you want to know how many people have clicked on those links. And. if you’ve put three links in there, has everyone just clicked on the first one and ignored the others? Or does one of the links stand out more than the others? You need to know these things.
What Is An Autoresponder? Segment Your List
As you grow your list, you want to be able to segment it. So if you’ve got a list of 10,000 people, and you’re not sure which is the best of three emails that you’ve written, what you can do is, you can send each of those three emails to a segment of maybe 200 random people on your list. Your autoresponder will track who gets which of them. From that you could see which email gets the best open rate, which one gets the best link tracking. And you can also potentially see from these which one achieves the best sales figures. Once you know which of the three is the best, you send that one to the rest of the list. You can only do this if you have this list segmenting capability within your autoresponder.
What Is An Autoresponder? General Reporting
now on top of the tracking for individual emails you want to be able to see general reporting to see how your list is growing all the time. See how your open rates are improving all the time. How your link tracking is improving all the time. And it’s really helpful to be able to get that big picture in order to be able to fine tune your marketing.
What Is An Autoresponder? Unsubscribe Facility
Now key to any autoresponder is there must be unsubscribed facilities there. So when you send a message to somebody they need to be able to click a button which says “unsubscribe from this list.” If you don’t do that and they want to be off your mailing list, they’re more likely to send a message to your ISP saying this person spamming me. Then you’re likely to get shut down really quickly.
What Is An Autoresponder? Double or Single OptIn
And that brings us on to one final point about autoresponders and something around which there’s a lot of debate. And that is the double opt-in. So I just wanted to share my thoughts on this. A double opt-in is where when somebody joins the mailing list, they get an email confirmation which says we’ve just received this request, please click this link if you really want to receive emails. The two sides of the argument are by doing this you have the potential for somebody who’s giving you their name and email address to say actually you’re not. I’m not that bothered. And yes you can lose a few people like this. But in reality, most people who request, certainly in my experience, follow through and confirm. On the other hand, if you don’t do a double opt-in, you leave yourself wide open to people saying I never asked for this and therefore this person’s spamming me. The benefit, it’s a double opt-in is that you can say, “No, no. You asked for this and you even clicked a confirmation link on this day at this time.” As far as I’m concerned, double opt-ins for me are here to stay.
So that’s it for now. I’m John Landells from internet marketing with John at www.joeygunz.com and I’ll see you in the next video.
http://www.johnlandells.com/internet-marketing/autoresponder/ – Autoresponders are the key to a long-term, profitable Internet Business. Discover what they are and why they’re so important is this video.