The Black Folks’ Guide to Internet Marketing: The Power of Autoresponders

Ever wonder how it seemed that as soon as you subscribed to someone’s
newsletter or website mailing list that moments later you could receive
a personalized acknowledgment from the site owner with words of welcome
and other helpful information? Or how is it that you can sign up for a
free marketing course or other promotion and receive weekly or daily
email messages from the promoter like clockwork without fail. Are these
guys always online and just waiting to send messages out at a moment’s
notice? Have you ever thought, wow, this message is dated for today or
corresponds to this weekend or the current holiday–how it that
possible? Well, it all happens thanks to the wonderful magic of
autoresponders.

An autoresponder allows you to build your email distribution list by
allowing you to post sign-up boxes on your websites in conjunction with
some incentive for others to join your list like a free e-book, special
discount, or promises of special offers or items that are of interest
to prospective members of your list. When someone who wants to join
your list submits his or her name and email address, the autoresponder
software adds this information to your database and follows up with a
confirmation message to the submitter to ensure that the email address
is in fact owned by the person submitting and to make sure that you
don’t have robots or spam programs joining your list. It’s a security
measure for you and for the owner of the email address that guarantees
that both parties are agreeable to the exchange of messages in the
future. The real benefit of autoresponders, aside from this initial
security measure, is that you can pre-populate your response software
with customized messages to your members sent at whatever frequency you
desire.

Let’s use the example of the free email course. If I am marketing a
free wedding planning course on my website using a sign-up box that
offers a complimentary discount on stationary orders at Office Depot, I
can feel fairly confident that those in the market for stationary and
who have an interest in wedding planning will probably sign up as
subscribers on my list. Prior to setting this box up on my site using
copy and paste scripts provided by the autoresponder software, I will
have created a response message that will automatically be sent to
anyone who signs up and confirms their desire to join my list. This
message will be sent immediately to thank them and will include a link
or the attachment for the complimentary discount providing instant
gratification and responsiveness. After a day or two (or whatever
number of days I have determined), the first email message about the
course will be sent to all members of the list. The second message will
follow at the next scheduled interval and so on until all of the
messages my course have been sent, whether 10, 20, or 100. It’s all up
to me and how I want to create and schedule messages and my message
recipients receive their course lessons as if I typed them freshly that
morning while drinking coffee and thinking about each of them
personally (I probably did type them while drinking coffee, just during
a much earlier time and not individually for each person–you must
multiply your efforts). Once the course is complete, it stays on my
autoresponder server until the next person joins the list. It doesn’t
matter when a person joins, they will automatically receive messages in
the proper sequence unique to their experience based on the schedule
preset by me. The beauty of this system is that once complete, it
repeats itself over and over with no need for intervention by me except
for any special messages I might want to send for new offers while the
autoresponder sequence is running. This is an easy way to maximize my
time and energies while continuously building relationships and repeat
customers.

You can use autoresponders for courses, general contact messages,
support assistance for frequently asked questions and in any number of
other ways that allow your email to work for you on a continuous basis
while providing fast and efficient responses and services to your
patrons.

Aweber is one of the best
autoresponders on the market and I encourage you to give it a try if
you’re wondering whether an autoresponder might be right for your
business. Are others using autoresponders and what has your experience
been?

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