39 Profitable Reasons To Use Autoresponders For Email Marketing
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Conventional wisdom says that whenever you launch a website, publish a blog, sell an ebook, or plan any kind of online venture you should do this…
Get An Email Autoresponder.
“Why?” asks the writer/blogger/entrepreneur. Pat comes the reply.
“Because the money is in the list – so start building your list”.
While that’s a good reason in itself to get involved with email marketing, there are 39 others to get yourself an email autoresponder, and we’ll talk about all of them in this article.
At the end of it, you’ll understand:
- What is an email autoresponder – and why do you need one?
- What’s a “mailing list” and how to go about email marketing?
- Why is there money in marketing to your list?
- Why should you invest in a monthly subscription service to build one?
- And what is the best email autoresponder service?
I’ve been using email autoresponders since 1997. They have been an integral part of my online success, in selling info-products, gaining readership for my blog, and managing my non-profit work.
What you’re getting from this brief analysis is the condensed and distilled experience of 15+ years of personal email autoresponder use, along with hours of concentrated research, and surveys of other email marketers who extensively use auto-responders for various purposes.
What Exactly Is An Email Autoresponder?
An email autoresponder is a script or computer program used for email marketing that runs on a Web server and allows you to send out emails to a list of email addresses (ranging from 1 to 100,000 or more).
You add email addresses to the list through an online subscription form. You pre-load email messages to go out to this list of addresses on a schedule. You decide the interval between each message in the series. That’s it.
Then your email autoresponder takes over. It will automatically send out your sequence of emails, on the pre-defined timetable you decided, to each address on your list – without you having to do a thing!
So here’s how including email autoresponders in your online process can add value, convenience, and boost your bottom-line profit.
1. Email autoresponders help you build a targeted list of leads, subscribers and customers.
No matter where you get visitors to your website or blog from, the chances of their coming back often is slim. Unless you can find a way to remind them. Invite them back. Entice them to visit again. That’s where your email marketing strategy and autoresponder can help.
By signing up leads or prospects to your email list, you have a chance to reach out to them as often as you like – and that channel of communication opens up several possibilities.
2. Email autoresponders let you automatically follow up with your list.
When was the last time you stepped into a bar, or walked into a park, or ran across a stranger on the street – and instantly became best friends, trusted each other with your lives, and continued in a perfect relationship for years and years?
Never? Yup, me too!
Relationships take time to nurture, grow and deepen. The first time is just an introduction. With promise. It can lead to something more. Or not. Email marketing software like autoresponders give you that chance to develop a relationship with your new leads, prospects and subscribers. And do it automatically, through pre-written and scheduled email marketing messages that go out in a sequence over time.
3. Email autoresponders help you win the battle for attention
Everyone reads email.
Yes, even in this era of scattered attention and diminishing time spans, we read our email. Maybe not as often as before, but still a lot more frequently than anything else (except maybe text messages on our phones!)
In fact, the #1 reason most people log on to the Web is to check on email. And with email autoresponders, you can reach your audience where they already are paying attention – in their email inbox.
4. Email autoresponders let you engage your audience
When you leave college, change jobs, or move to a new town, and lose contact with friends for a long period, the relationship cools down or even dies out completely. Relationships can only thrive with continued interaction.
Email auto-responders allow you to continue engaging your online audience through a series of follow up messages. If you tailor your email marketing correctly, most of your subscribers won’t even realize that those emails have been written and queued up long ago. It will seem as if you are personally reaching out to them in real-time, engaging them in conversation, and helping them solve problems.
In this way, your set of pre-scheduled email messages can grow a budding relationship into full blown loyalty and trust.
5. Email autoresponders can help you create a good impression
Imagine a day as owner of a store, standing behind a desk to greet new customers and visitors to your shop. Your greeting might be bright and happy – or, if you’re suffering from a nagging headache, or lack of sleep, or need a cup of coffee, your “Hello” might sound like a funereal condolence!
With email, you can overcome moodiness and tiredness through technology. Your chirpy, warm, funny and welcoming email message remains identical day and night, all year round. New subscribers feel energized and excited about meeting you and getting to know you… even if you’re having a bad day. Your email marketing helps create a good impression.
And because they feel good about knowing you, your audience is eagerly awaiting the next communication. Keep delivering value, and you’ll have them eating out of your hands, hanging on your lips, even ready to buy whatever you’re selling.
6. Email autoresponders can build your brand
I emailed a Web design company recently. Their email autoreponder sent me an immediate notification, which said:
“We are out at lunch and probably having a few wines so when we’re over our hangover we’ll get back to you. If it’s urgent call someone else. In other words thank you for your enquiry and we’ll get back to you in 24 hours!”
It’s a lovely note that brands this company – RedFish media at redfishmedia.com.au – firmly in my mind (and yours) as an edgy, creative, easy going team of designers.
While the tone and phrasing may not be right for your line of work or business, the point is that a simple email auto-responder message can enhance your brand and endear you to the right kind of prospect.
7. Email autoresponders keep your customers in the loop
Once a customer buys from you, an email autoresponder can serve as an excellent way to keep in touch, share updates, offer them bonuses and gifts, and build loyalty in several other ways.
Without an email marketing autoresponder, the only way to accomplish this is to manually send letters or emails to individual customers, managing the schedule on a calendar or organizer. With technology and automation, this entire process can be set on auto-pilot. Just install your autoresponder, program the series of follow up messages, and keep adding new buyers into the system – leaving everything else to your autoresponder.
It’s easy-peasy customer relationship management!
8. Email autoresponders ensure higher delivery rates
With a professional email autoresponder service, your emails will have a higher chance of being delivered to your subscribers’ inbox. Not just delivered, but done in a timely fashion – which can matter if you run time-sensitive promotions.
Email delivery has become an insanely complicated technological process. With multiple blacklists and numerous spam-fighting initiatives by ISPs and hosts around the world, your email marketing delivery system must be able to work some ninja magic and comply with a ton of regulations to be able to avoid the spam blackhole and reach a prospect’s email inbox.
Because email delivery is their core competence, autoresponder services make sure they are in compliance with rules and regulations, and the best ones ensure 99% delivery rates – hard to match by any other alternative.
9. Email autoresponders avoid blacklisting of your domain
There are scores of email blacklisting sites, some with a huge impact on the world of digital communication. If your domain name makes it onto these lists, ANY email that includes your domain name will get filtered out. This means even if your partners, friends and associates email their customers, subscribers or leads about your business, their email will not reach the recipient!
Email autoresponder services can avoid your domain getting on such blacklists.
In my own email marketing, I primarily use Aweber.com– though I have had accounts at several other autoresponder services over the years. There are several reasons I prefer Aweber over the others, and you can learn more about them here.
PROTECTION AND SAFETY
10. Email autoresponders safeguard you against spam allegations
With the CAN-SPAM regulations in effect and penalties for unsolicited bulk email marketing growing harsher and costlier, if you intend using email marketing to build your business then being on the right side of the law is important.
And in a trigger-happy virtual universe, any disgruntled, impulsive, or mischievous person on your list can cause untold misery by reporting your email as spam. That is unless you run your list through an email autoresponder service. If you do, the policies and systems they follow should protect you against unfair accusations.
11. Email autoresponder services guard your subscriber data
High profile services easily become targets for hackers and trouble-makers. We hear about some getting hacked every now and then, with the resultant loss of private data of users raising a hue and cry.
As a list owner, you are responsible for the security and privacy of data submitted by your subscribers. And protecting that data through encryption and secure passwords can be a technical challenge – one that could make you liable for unintentional breaches and even hostile attacks.
Email autoresponder services will invest in the technology necessary to safeguard privacy, and you can sleep more peacefully knowing your subscribers’ data is safe.
HIGHER SALES CONVERSION
12. Email autoresponders transform casual visitors into loyal subscribers
Your traffic building efforts may funnel visitors from diverse locations to your site. Most of these first-time arrivals won’t ever come back – even if they enjoy what they see.
But there’s something you can do to entice them back… add them to your list.
This gives you a “foot in the door”. A chance to win their attention. Convert it into interest. And grow it into loyalty. Email autoresponders can achieve this automatically, through the power of follow-up email marketing communication.
13. Email autoresponders can enhance response rates
Your audience may respond well to email marketing. But with a strategic sequence of email based communication, you can double, triple, or multiply this response by an even higher figure. Email autoresponders let you plan and execute such a campaign effortlessly.
By delivering valuable content, engaging your subscriber’s attention, involving them in several aspects of your business and marketing, and gradually winning their trust, you can have people eagerly awaiting your next email – and even writing to ask if you’re ok when you don’t write for long!
That’s how many experienced email marketers like myself can achieve email open rates of 70% or higher, and click-through rates of 30% consistently… when the industry standard for email marketing is in the 5% (or lower) range.
14. Email autoresponders improve sales
Repetition is the key to successful marketing. Rarely, if ever, do prospects buy a product or service the very first time they hear about it. Studies suggest it takes up to 7 exposures to the same message before it makes a lasting impact.
Email marketing auto-responders can help you deliver those 7 exposures – without sounding like a stuck record player!
By weaving your marketing message into other communication, you can educate, inspire and entertain your readers, while subtly placing your advertisement in front of them until they take action.
15. Email autoresponders save you time
In 1996, I managed my first email list using MS Excel. I entered names and email addresses into a spreadsheet. Then using the “mail merge” feature of MS Word, I would generate email messages to send them. It was messy, time consuming, and prone to mistakes.
And I couldn’t schedule messages ahead of time. Nor could I ensure that people who joined later could get earlier emails in the series, while older subscribers got newer ones. Well, I could have done it manually – but it would have taken an immense amount of time and effort to keep track.
Today, email autoresponders make this a piece of cake! You simply set up your system once, and each new subscriber added to your list will receive the exact same series of email marketing messages, on the schedule that you decide… and it all happens automatically. It’s almost magical!
16. Email autoresponders can automatically announce blog posts
As a blogger, you post new content periodically. While some of your audience will choose to follow updates through your blog’s RSS feed, most will not. That’s where email autoresponders can help.
Many email autoresponders let you integrate your blog with your email list in a very helpful way. Each time you publish a new blog post, your RSS feed will be used to generate an email message to your subscribers, letting them know that you have published fresh content… and it all happens hands-off!
With a little extra effort, you can even turn your blog posts into newsletter content, and push it straight into your subscribers’ email inbox.
EASE OF USE
17. Email autoresponders are cheap
Compared to the cost and trouble of posting a letter in the mail, or the time involved in sending out individual email marketing messages to hundreds of readers, email autoresponders are an extremely cheap option for mass communication.
Emails are free to send. And with affordable payment plans, even top quality email autoresponder services are modestly priced.
18. Email autoresponders are scalable
Most email autoresponder services will not limit your campaign size. This means you can send out messages to hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of subscribers for one flat fee.
A few services will charge you extra for higher volume mail-outs, but in almost all cases a stand-alone autoresponder service will be cheaper than an email list managed through your Web hosting, ISP, or other service provider.
19. Email autoresponders are always on
Your autoresponder is a 24/7 salesperson, never sleeping, never tired, never resting. You can queue up messages to go at any time, and even if you’re out of the office, on vacation, or fast asleep, your marketing missives will go out right on the dot.
20. Email marketing with autoresponders is easy
You can learn to use an autoresponder quickly, even without much technical skill or knowledge of the underlying technology. The best services have a ‘point-and-click’ interface that lets you set up an autoresponder sequence just by typing into boxes and clicking the right buttons.
Creating an email list building form to go with your autoresponder is also easy. Most services offer ready-made opt-in forms that you can customize to fit your website’s design. No coding or scripting is necessary. You just copy the generated code from a box and paste it into your web page – and voila!
You’ll have a ready-to-go opt-in form that can start signing up new subscribers and growing your list.
Ok, so if you’re keeping count, we’ve talked about 20 reasons why you should use an email autoresponder service.
But I promised you 39, so here are the next 10 reasons…
21. Email autoresponders serve users without Web access
Though it’s hard to imagine when you have high-speed always-on broadband, there still are places on the earth where Web access is a luxury, and people are hooked to the Internet only via email.
The good news? Email marketing autoresponders allow you to reach even this audience, and communicate with them effectively.
22. Email marketing autoresponders can help close more sales
An email address is even better than a phone number. While it may take experienced sales people who are skilled at telemarketing to close a sale on the phone, email autoresponders can achieve the same result with skilled copywriting – which you can “set and forget”.
The sequence of messages that can be scheduled for delivery over time will prepare your prospect, give them all necessary information, and condition them over time to be receptive to your sales pitch when it finally arrives.
The result? More sales.
23. Email autoresponders make it easy for prospects
Your autoresponder sends email marketing messages in a series. By setting up filters, or by manually saving your messages in a folder, your prospects and subscribers can have handy access to all your emails.
This makes it more likely that they will go back and review information they need to make decisions, solve problems, and learn more about you and your business. Over time, this translates into greater trust, more loyalty, and eventually into doing business with you.
24. Email autoresponders kick off a viral effect
Emails are easy to forward and share with a friend. Email autoresponder messages can launch such a viral spread. By sending your list a catchy, inspiring, funny or outrageous message that captivates them and makes them want to share it with someone, you can extend the reach and impact of your business – at no extra cost.
Trying to achieve this with any other medium, like a video presentation or Web-based game or smartphone app can be much more complicated and costly. With email marketing with autoresponders, it’s just about finding the right message and match it to your audience.
25. Email autoresponders can grow engagement through personalization
Think about this. If you get two identical email marketing messages, and only one of them addresses you by name, which is more likely to win your attention? Obviously, the one that calls you by name.
That’s the power of “personalization” at work. And email autoresponders allow you to personalize emails to your list in several more ways. You can sort your subscribers by interest, age, geographic location and more – and then send specific sections of your list a message that incorporates these elements.
By building a deeper engagement with your prospects, you’ll enjoy higher response rates from your email marketing.
26. Email autoresponders let you send customized messages – whenever you like
Without an autoresponder, your emailing schedule will be defined by various limitations. You must be available at your office. You must have time available to write and distribute your message. You must be able to sort and segment your list as you send out emails.
With autoresponders, you can achieve “mass customization” through the use of dynamic ‘place holder tags’ which are inserted into your email message, and pull personalized snippets from the database to generate a uniquely tailored email to each subscriber on your list.
What’s more, through the power of scheduling, you can time your messages to go out at the specific periods where your testing shows that they will be most effective.
27. Email marketing autoresponders let you run multiple lists
With a single account at an email autoresponder service, you can run multiple lists. Each list can be for a specific purpose. For example, you might have one list for prospects who have not bought from you, another for your customers, and a third for your affiliates and partners. Or you might segment your audience by interest area, or specialty, or even by the promotional activity or source that brought them to your list.
28. Email autoresponders allow better targeting
Once you segment your audience by building lists around specific demographic groups, you can market your products to the most relevant sections – without turning off others.
Since email subscribers can be fickle and will not tolerate off-topic messaging for long, you can ensure that readers get only content that they have expressed an interest about. This in turn ensures higher response rates to your email marketing, and generates more sales through a better match between offer and prospect.
29. Email autoresponders automate list management
Another time-saving feature of email autoresponders lies in list management. If a subscriber wishes to leave your list, the process is automated through an “unsubscribe” link that’s included in each email message that you send out. The subscriber clicks on the link, and is automatically removed from the list and will not receive future mailings.
Through some advanced automation features, it is possible to intelligently segment your email readership based on their interests. You can program your autoresponder to automatically remove them from one list if they join another. For instance, once a subscriber orders your ebook, you can move them to a “customers only” list – and take them off the “prospective buyers” list, so that they will not receive annoying promotions and pitches for a product they already bought!
30. Email autoresponders allow broadcast messaging
While there are advantages to email marketing by segmenting your audience into several lists, there are times when you might need to send emails to your entire readership. Most email autoresponder services make this possible through a “broadcast messaging” feature.
Not only can you have your message sent to multiple lists at the same time, you can also schedule them to go out at a specific time, and segment the audience it reaches in other ways. For example, you can send a broadcast email marketing message only to subscribers who joined your list last year, or who are of a particular age group.
Some email autoresponders have advanced features that allow you to broadcast only to those subscribers who did not take action on earlier emails. This prevents annoying repetition of the same message to readers who have already acted upon it.
For my own email marketing, I prefer to use Aweber.com, although I have had accounts at several other autoresponder services over the years. There are several reasons I prefer Aweber over the others, and you can learn more about them here.
Whew! There sure are many reasons to get an email autoresponder, huh?
Well, here are a few more compelling reasons why email autoresponders are helpful to your online success.
31. Email autoresponders can deliver documents digitally
Even if you do not have a website, you can distribute digital documents such as PDF reports or ebooks through email autoresponders. You can create a follow up message in your autoresponder sequence, and attach the file to the message. Whenever you schedule the email to go out, it will be delivered to your subscribers – along with the file attachment.
32. Email autoresponders can deliver a complete course
When you extend the ability of email autoresponders to deliver files to a series of such documents, you’ll realize that an entire digital course or program can be distributed via autoresponder.
You no longer need expensive membership site scripts, and don’t have to struggle with technical challenges in setting up profiles for members and protecting your site behind a password. Just attach the downloads to your email marketing autoresponder messages, and then control how members subscribe to that list.
TRACKING AND TESTING
33. Email autoresponders allow extreme tracking
With email marketing, everything can be easily monitored.
You can get detailed information about your campaigns and determine how well they perform. Drilling down into specifics can help you identify your ideal market segment, and evolve demographic profiles of your best clients.
By using tracking links to measure subscriber behavior, you can compare various elements of your call to action, email copy and audience targeting. All the data that you gather from email campaigns can help you identify your market better, in order to tailor future offers to their needs and desires.
34. Email autoresponders permit “under the radar” testing
Email autoresponders let you track and test different variables by running split tests and comparing the performance of each variation against another. You can try out different email subject lines and salutations. You can experiment with your offer, price, bonuses and guarantee.
You’ll see the results right away, and can tweak your campaigns for maximum impact, making steady improvements in your results. The best part email marketing is that your “guerilla testing” can happen under the radar, out of sight of your competition.
35. Email autoresponders leave permanent records
In a selling context, email autoresponders make sure that your offer and the details of your product or service that are included in the content of an email message will provide prospects with all the relevant information necessary to make a buying decision.
It even averts the possibility of middlemen and salespersons misrepresenting your offer in a way that will later lead to complaints and refunds.
36. Email autoresponders integrate with other elements of business
Even if you run a small business, there are several areas where you can profitably integrate an email marketing autoresponder. The only requirement is that your autoresponder should play nicely with other technology that runs your business.
Welcoming new prospects who subscribe to your company’s newsletter can be managed by your autoresponder. You can use an autoresponder to notify participants who enter competitions, remind customers about membership renewals, send out shipping notices about purchases, follow up on shopping cart abandonment, or confirm event bookings.
With some creativity, you can use email autoresponders to solicit customer feedback, get testimonials, handle customer support and even generate new referrals from happy buyers.
37. Email autoresponders give 100% list ownership
With your own email autoresponder powering your lead and customer database, you have complete control over your list and your email marketing activities. This means you can send emails and follow up with your contacts because they have explicitly granted you permission to communicate with them.
To ensure that you are in compliance with guidelines and laws, make sure that your opt-in process seeks permission from new subscribers while providing details about what you will send, on what frequency, and how you will safeguard their privacy and personal information.
Having such control over your database and the permission to continue to communicate with your best prospects can be a serious business advantage.
38. Email autoresponders may be a differentiator
If your competition does not use the powerful technology of email autoresponders to serve their customers, then having one for your business can put you at a significant advantage. Even with a rudimentary strategy behind your email marketing, you can achieve significant boosts in bottom-line profits, making an autoresponder one of the most versatile tools in your marketing arsenal.
39. Email autoresponders introduce readers to your archive
Over the years, you have created a lot of content for your customers and prospects. Even with a well planned and designed website or blog, most of this content is lying buried inside archives, and is hard to find or access.
Email marketing with autoresponders can bring this content back into the spotlight. By adding a link to every piece of evergreen content you create (and have created in the past) to your autoresponder sequence, you’ll be able to notify your new subscribers about it over time.
As your email subscribers keep receiving valuable content over and over again, they will develop a lasting trust in you and your business, which translates into several advantages over your competition.
So, there you have it.
39 great reasons to get yourself an email autoresponder.
Any one of them, by itself, can transform your business, boost your sales, grow your brand visibility, power your blog, extend your reach and skyrocket profits exponentially.
Taken together in combination, the result could be EXPLOSIVE.
That’s why so many business coaches, experts and guides will insist firmly that you and every other online entrepreneur, blogger, author or affiliate marketer should get an email autoresponder at the earliest.
Even if it is only a free email autoresponder service, it’s better than nothing.
And many autoresponders offer a risk-free low-cost trial to get going. In most cases, your growing list and the additional profits you’ll generate from email marketing, will quickly reimburse your investment into the auto-responder service.
See this brief review of the best email autoresponders.
No matter which service you finally choose for your marketing needs, I hope this list of 39 reasons will convince you to sign up for your own account right away, and get started with building your list and developing a trusted relationship with your audience at the earliest.
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