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7 Profitable Ways to Use Autoresponders

By Angela Wu
Posted Sunday, July 11, 2004

A visitor clicks on the link to your site and starts reading. She's intrigued and nearly ready to buy -- but at that very moment, the kids come back inside and she leaves the computer to tend to them, meaning to go back later to make a purchase.

Chances are, you just lost a sale. There are countless reasons why an interested prospect may not buy right away. Even if they intend to re-visit your site later, 'later' may never come -- they might not even remember your URL!

By capturing your visitor's email address, you can follow-up with them and increase the likelihood of catching them at a time that they're ready to buy. Here are a profitable ways you can use autoresponders to help convert more of your visitors into paying customers:

1. Distribute a Newsletter.

Most good autoresponders have two important features that are perfect for distributing newsletters: a personalisation feature, and a broadcast feature. Wouldn't you be more likely to read something that's directly addressed to you?

2. Automate Your Sales Process.

Repeated exposure to the same message has been shown to increase sales. In an short ezine ad, for example, where you only have a limited amount of space, why not publish your autoresponder address instead of a website URL? With short ads like these, your objective is to generate leads, not make a sale. By directing readers to your autoresponder, you have multiple opportunities to convert your leads into sales.

3. Use Them to Distribute Your Articles.

Writing articles and making them freely available for reprint is an excellent way to build credibility, drive more traffic to your site, and increase sales. In return for providing content-rich articles, editors will print your 'resource box': a short description of you and your product or service. Within your resource box, you can direct readers to write to your autoresponder for a free email course, free story, or whatever is appropriate for your line of business.

4. Send Advertising Information.

If you sell advertising on your website or in your newsletter, you can set up an autoresponder to send this information automatically to a prospect's email box. This does a few things: first, it's convenient for your visitor. Second, she'll have it available whenever she wants to refer to it (instead of trying to remember your URL). And finally, you can set up your autoresponder to follow-up with her. Plus by capturing her email address, you can send her notifications of any special advertising deals you have available.

5. Distribute Free Reports.

Free reports give your visitors a taste of the type and quality of information you can provide. People who like your report will be more inclined to purchase something from you in the future.

Do NOT make your free report a disguised sales pitch for your product or service. People will easily see through this and you'll have lost a potential customer by not providing what was promised!

6. Distribute an Email Course.

Why not offer a mini-course by email? Every day or two, send another chapter of your course. Once again, the key is to provide content -- not a sales 'pitch'! Let your content help you do the selling. At the end of each message, include a paragraph or two tying it into your product, and invite your prospect to make a purchase.

7. Offer a Trial Version of Your Product.

If you're selling an eBook, software, course, or website membership, you might offer trial versions to interested prospects. Many people prefer to "get a taste" of what they're buying before they pay for the full version. In this case, you can capture their email addresses by offering them a free trial from your site. Your autoresponder provides them with instructions on how and where to get their free trial ... and then follows-up with them at appropriate intervals to try to persuade them to purchase the full deal.

About the Author
Angela Wu is the editor of Online Business Basics, an exclusive newsletter for eBusiness beginners. Visit ( for tips on building a business on the web.


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