Posted Friday, July 16, 2004
How to use autoresponders to automate your business
Anyone who has a web-based business will tell you that answering emails is one of the most time consuming chores they face on a daily basis. After answering your emails for any length of time, you'll soon see that many of the requests you receive are for the same information over and over. Instead of typing the same responses again and again you can streamline this process with the use of autoresponders. Autoresponders work much in the same way as fax on demand. They're pre-determined email responses that are triggered to go out automatically to specific email inquiries.
There are many ways you can use autoresponders in your online business. Here are my Top Ten:
1) FAQ (Frequently asked questions). How many times do you get questions on how your site or service works? Take them and answer them all in one text document.
2) Advertising Rates. If you sell ads in your ezine or on your website, set up a document containing your ad rates and demographic information.
3) Help Responses. For tech support on your site; you can make a list of possible problems with the solutions along with a note that you'll be in touch soon. This can also be used for tech support with your software or e-books.
4) Copy of your Ezine. If you publish an ezine, make sure you have an issue people can request a copy of by autoresponder. Many times people like to see an issue before they subscribe. Make sure you include subscribe information inside as well.
5) Price Lists. If you sell products on your site, supply a comprehensive list of items with pricing.
6) Services. If you perform multiple services, list them along with a brief description and pricing and how to order.
7) Vacation. If you're going to be out of touch for a week or two you can set up an autoresponder to answer your incoming mail, with a canned response of when you'll return.
8) Short Courses. Many site owners use autoresponders to teach lessons or set up a tutorial on a subject, with one lesson being sent every day over a period of a week or two.
9) Sample Chapter. If you sell an e-book, you could offer a free sample chapter to arouse interest and encourage purchases.
10) Articles. Writing articles (like this one) and distributing them online is a great way to promote your website. Setting them up on autoresponders makes it extra easy to offer them to others for possible inclusion in their ezine or on their sites.
If you're in need of an autoresponder service, check out some of these:
Send Free (http://www.sendfree.com/)
Get Response (http://www.getresponse.com/)
Free Autobot (http://www.freeautobot.com/)
Zip Response (http://www.zipresponse.com/free.html)
123 Response (http://www.123response.com/)
These are just some ideas for getting mileage from autoresponders. If you take a look at what information is requested most by your business, you'll come up with many more that will suit your need and help put your web-based business on autopilot.
About the Author
Merle is an internet marketer, promotion consultant and ezine publisher. Visit her sites at (http://www.mcpromotions.com/), (http://www.merlesworld.com/) and (http://www.ezineadauction.com/).