How to Begin Using Email Autoresponders

Imagine you’re a manufacturer of really useful widgets, let’s say auto parts, and your products get sold nationwide.

You’re faced with a choice:

  1. Make each widget by hand and post individually to your customers as the orders come in.
  2. Find or get a machine made that produces those widgets for you, and a distributor get them to the right people.

Now, if there’s no difference in quality between the handmade and the machine-made widgets, and your distributor’s a pretty reliable guy, which method would you choose?

Of course you would choose the automated route, wouldn’t you?

That’s exactly the same with auto-responder emails.

What are autoresponders?

The original definition was simply an automatic response to an email, for example an out of office reply. An autoresponder these days is an automatic email that can be sent as result of more complicated processes but it still gets released in response to a ‘thing’ – an event or a date.

So, what’s the point of autoresponders?

They’re sent automatically when that particular ‘thing’ happens. That can be a given number of days after the subscriber signed up, or when a particular action takes place on a website, in more complicated procedures.

There’s no sacrifice in quality or a lack of personalization because it’s still you who has to craft the email, and email marketing firms like Redcappi make it easy to address emails personally to your customer.

Why use autoresponders?

First and foremost, autoresponders save you a lot of time, just like that automated widget process would. Even individually emailing a small number of customers will eat up valuable time that you could be using to market your product.

Secondly, they allow you to keep in contact with your customers. Without them it’s all too easy for them to forget about you. Remind them who you are and what you offer, on a regular basis to keep them active and interested in you.

Thirdly, autoresponders provide opportunities for promotion – whether that’s a new product, e-book, event, service or article. Turn subscribers into buyers and improve your conversion rate by using autoresponders.

Give me some examples of autoresponders

Use autoresponders to contact your customers after they’ve shown an interest in your company:

  • By sending a thank you/welcome email once they’ve confirmed their subscription, delivering your free product if you’ve offered one.
  • By sending a series of how-to emails explaining how to use your service or product.
  • By informing your subscriber that their trial period has ended and letting them know what happens next.

Autoresponders can also be used to keep in touch with subscribers long after they’ve purchased from you:

  • By offering them a reward to renew a lapsed account.
  • By letting them know about new products they may be interested in.
  • By offering a training course in which the information is split into a series of emails.
  • By solving a problem in three steps.

 

How often should I send autoresponders?

If you have good information to share, set up a series of one-a-day emails over 3 or 4 days or even up to a week if it’s useful stuff. After this initial blast, once a week is advisable (twice at the very most). News websites email more frequently, but that’s because lots of up to date information is what news sites are all about.

The most important thing to consider is the amount of informative content versus sales content. Strike a good balance.

Is it easy to set up an autoresponder with Redcappi?

Our autoresponders are as uncomplicated as we can possibly make them to make it easy for you to set up emails in no time. Here are the steps:

1. Click the ‘Autoresponders’ tab.


2. Click on ‘Add Autoresponder’ to create a new group.


3. a) Give your autoresponder group a name (this won’t be seen by your subscribers and is only for your reference); b) Select the list you’ll be sending the email to and c) Click ‘Save’.

Now you’ll create the campaign that will be part of your autoresponder group:

1. Click ‘Add Campaign’ button to start creating your first autoresponder email.


2. Create an autoresponder and when you’re finished, save and proceed to the ‘Campaign Options’ page.
3. On the ‘Campaign Options’ page, enter the number of days from which email will be sent (you can change/edit this later at anytime) and click ‘Start Autoresponder’.

A word of warning

Keep your autoresponders up to date. If details of an offer or contact information change, make sure it’s also updated in your emails as well. Because they work so well, it can be easy to forget they exist!

Summary

Whether you’re a B2B website, a bricks and mortar shop with a website, or an artist, autoresponders are an excellent way for you to remind those interested in you that you’re around and remain top of mind.

Even if a subscriber doesn’t purchase from you right away, by keeping them informed and maintaining a relationship with them, you may benefit further down the line. Autoresponders are a no-nonsense way to help you maintain this relationship.