An Expert Guide On How to Use Auto-Responders to Increase Your Sales

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Auto-responders are a great marketing tool for e-business but they are also quite often misunderstood and rarely used, especially by small business owners.

The best thing about auto-responders is that they allow you to run a completely autonomous marketing campaign that helps get you closer to your audience while requiring very little input from you.

While you may be offering some of the best products and services in your industry, with good website templates and quality content, research shows that only a few buyers are impulse buyers (15%) and the rest prefer to spend time researching online and considering available options.

When your visitors sign up for weekly or monthly newsletters, it gives you a platform to inform them of new products and also to assist with the research process by discussing reviews, testimonials, sales, special offers, and anything else that might persuade them to make a purchase.

As a way to maximize returns, we’ve outlined an expert guide with tips on how to use auto-responders.

Select a smart topic for your auto-responder

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If you find that your readers do not respond well to your auto-responder series, there’s a possibility that you’re not satisfying an informational need, so consider your topics carefully.

Just as you’d allocate time to creating any new content, research your audience’s needs and find out some of their pain points. Here’s a quick guide on this:

Ask your readers. They are a reasonable starting point and you can question them via email or telephone individually; alternatively, conduct a survey.

Connect through social media. It’s your ideal tool for market research and a neutral place to generate discussions and commentary. Watch the most active hashtags in your niche.

Analyze your own content. It might give you some ideas for your auto-responder series. Find out which posts generated the most response from your audience.

Research relevant keywords. It might not be possible to know exactly which topics your readers want, but using the Google Keyword Planner tool might show you some of the more common keyword searches.

Present your content

One option is to cover your full blog post in your email (you can send them a full e-book), but it’s also possible to present only a portion of the content — e.g., a few paragraphs — and then include in the content a link to the complete material.

You can also choose to send them a summary of your piece and give them a link to the original post.

How to deliver your auto-responders

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Once you determine the right number of emails to include in your auto-responder series, the next step is delivery. Expert marketers insist there’s no right or wrong way to deliver the emails, so you might consider the following:

  • Test. Once you have the schedule in place, watch out for unsubscribes. Perhaps you might like to attempt two variations to find out which one works better.
  • Emulate. Identify a smart marketer and try to emulate some of their tactics if you find a series that clicked with you.
  • Go with a hunch. Is it possible your readers are anxiously waiting for you to deliver the emails? If so, you could send them in consecutive days: or space them out by two or two or three days if you think they might appreciate that.

Which is best: short or long series?

A short series might appeal more to your new readers because they are yet to dig into your content. Also, it’s much easier to produce.

Long email series, on the other hand, allow you to delve deeper into a subject and it can also help your lead nurturing because you’ll be making regular visits to the subscriber inbox.

Whichever you choose, make a point of including a good selling point. For example: “This short series of 5 emails will guide you through an expert crash course on (topic).”

The length of your emails

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There’s nothing particularly wrong with long emails, however you should strive to offer true value with every sentence. Edit the copy to make sure everything is relevant and useful to your audience so the readers don’t grumble all through the content.

That said, most readers like to blast through email rather fast, so if you’re having doubts just give them a snippet of the article and include a link to a page on your blog or website where they can read the entire piece.

When you use auto-responders cautiously and with a genuine desire to offer value, like free website templates, among others, you will start building your email list, one agreeable reader at a time.

Ready to take action with what you have learned today? Create a Free Website with Bookmark!

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Originally published at on December 1, 2016.

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