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What is an AutoResponder?

[ 0 ] April 13, 2008 |

An autoresponder is a vital tool if you are going to make money online. The easiest way to think of an autoresponder is to think of your email inbox. All of those spam emails that are sent out are done so with an autoreponder or email service.

This type of service is not only good for sending out one-time emails but you can also pre-load multiple email messages into it so that it sends them out over a timed interval automatically. Marketing rules say that you have to make contact with someone or “touch someone” up to 8 times with your message before it actually sinks in and they make a purchase.

Let’s say that you were trying to sell an ebook that you just wrote, or had re-sale rights too, from a banner ad you have on your website. If people don’t keep coming back to your website time and time again you will only have one opportunity to sell it to them. How many people do you actually think are going to buy it from an ad on your site? Very few.

Okay, now let’s say you try a different approach. Let’s say you don’t advertise the ebook for sale on your site at all. Let’s say that you give away a FREE chapter of your ebook. You offer it for FREE by putting a small amount of autoresponder code on your site along with some sort of banner or text. This code allows people to enter their email address. Once they press submit, your autoresponder service, automatically sends them a link to this FREE chapter. The person then downloads the chapter you promised them. Now, you still haven’t made a sale so your probably wondering how this approach works better?

Well … let’s say that you give the person who requested the chapter a few days to read it. Then, your autoresponder sends them an email message asking them if they liked it as well as another link to order it from you. By doing this, you have reminded them about your ebook, you have touched them twice and you gave them another opportunity to buy it. Those who really liked your FREE chapter will buy it. Others, may take a while to come around. So, a few more days later you send them another email you crafted and pre-loaded into the autoresponder. This email mentions the benefits of your ebook or how it is going to solve their problem etc.

Maybe you hit a nerve with this email and you get a bunch more sales. For some, it will take more coaxing so you keep writing emails and pre-loading them into your autoresponder. Maybe you find another product you can give them if they order your ebook. Maybe you offer a discount for those who haven’t ordered. Once you’ve touched them enough times or you have made them an irresistible offer, you’ll see that your conversion rate go through the roof as opposed to just throwing a banner ad on your site.

Now, that sounds great! You really can sell a lot of ebooks instead of just a few here and there. Well … it gets better!!! You still have their email address and by signing up for the FREE chapter they also agreed to receive other offers from you. This means that you can keep sending them emails about any neat offers you come across. So not only can you sell something else to those people who didn’t buy your ebook but you can sell even more stuff to those who did buy it! It’s a known fact that once you’ve sold a product to someone you become a trusted source. So, if you recommend other products to them, they’ll be more apt to buy from you or through a link you send them in an email.

So now you know the importance of having an autoresponder, which ones are the best? Well, it really depends what you’re after. If you need to send out emails on a regular basis then you’ll want to go with a service that offers unlimited messages that you can send out. The autoresponder of choice amongst internet marketers is Aweber. They really do offer a fantastic service at a very reasonable price. Here’s their pricing for Aweber:

Service Plan Pricing Savings

Paid Monthly $19.95 n/a

Paid Quarterly $53.85 $6.00

Paid Semi-Annually $101.70 $18.00

Paid Yearly $179.40 $60.00

(this works out to $14.95 per month)

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These fees allow for up to 10,000 subscribers in your database. If you have more than 10,000 subscribers each additional 10,000 is $9.95.

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So there you go, you can see that it is very reasonable to have your own unlimited autoresponder service. Personally, I went for the full year of service. I figured I was going to use it to make lots of money by sending out emails so why not save a few bucks with the yearly fee?

Here’s the link to sign up with:

Aweber – Autoresponder Service

Aweber Autoresponder Service

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Now that you have a feel for Aweber, let’s talk about 2 other very good email services. These services offer a few other features and tools that Aweber does not but they are also more expensive. They have some better email creation tools, tracking, templates and other neat things that you can use. I would suggest checking these other 2 programs out just to see if what they offer meets your needs better. The 2 programs below offer FREE trials so give them a shot with a small list just to see the difference.

For one of my other business projects, I actually use Vertical Response (below). I do so, because I started with them and didn’t feel like migrating my list over to Aweber. Plus, I really like the stats feature they offer. It tells me exactly how many email were sent, how many got opened, charts, graphs etc. I then compare this data to other campaigns I’ve run to see which campaign is performing the best. (you can do tracking with Aweber too by inserting code into your email links but it does take a little extra work)

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Constant Contact – Email List Management Tool – 60 Day Free Trial

Constant Contact -- FREE Email Marketing

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VerticalResponse

Vertical Response is a very much like Constant Contact. (I actually use this service for another business that I run.)

VerticalResponse, Inc. Micro Bar

As a final option, you can always purchase your own autoresponder software and install it on your server. The advantage here is that once you buy it, you never have to pay again to send out emails. I really suggest staying away from this method though unless you know what you are doing. I say this because people have been bombarded with spam for so many years they get a little grumpy when they receive too many emails. If a person thinks you have sent them spam and you haven’t followed the CAN-SPAM Act rules precisely, you can have your website shut down. So as I said, be very careful when deciding on this option.

I have a few programs I can refer you too or sell but I am deciding against offering them to you for the reason above. If you really want one of these programs just do a search under autoresponder software you will surely find what you are looking for.

Okay, now that you have a good feel for autoresponders, it’s time to get one. You cannot wait on this. If you’re serious about making money online you’ll hear the term “the money is in the list” over and over again. Well, you can’t build a list without an autoresponder so don’t delay. Even if you are a newbie, at least sign up and get a feel for how they work. This will put you ahead of the curve and you will be able to easily add the necessary code to your website.

There are many facets to email marketing. In the future, I’ll expand on this topic and how to get the most out of your autoresponder so please check back regularly.

All the best …

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