Important Features to
Look for when Choosing an Autoresponder
Why Must you do Follow-Up?
According to successful internet marketers,
good follow-ups with prospects will dramatically increase the number of
First time visitors to your site who
requested additional information (or free software or ebook) have an
obvious interest in your products or services. But the time may be
too short for them to make the decision.
However, it is important to know that these
people are your real prospects. They are usually more receptive to
whatever messages you send them about your products or services.
You must therefore capture their contact
information including name and email address and enter them into your
prospect database for you to begin the follow-up process.
How do you Follow-Up?
Following are the correct ways to do
You must follow-up quickly with new
prospects by sending them a message reminding them about your
products or services.
You must take the initiatives to contact
your prospects at regular intervals. Never ignore your prospects or
they will go somewhere else.
You must patiently take the time to
establish rapport with your prospects by offering them free help and
Address all their concerns by answering
their queries promptly and accurately.
You must take time and effort to build
the trust and establish value in your products and services.
You must demonstrate your
professionalism and the knowledge you have in whatever you do.
You must show to them that you have
anticipated their needs and you have whatever they need.
You must convince them that they want to
buy from you, and not from your competitors. Demonstrate the value
and benefits of your products or services.
Provide your prospect with the assurance
they need about your product or services including your warranty if
Tell them your product is easy to use or
install and offer them free additional help if necessary.
Explain how easy it is to order from
your site and how the products or services will be delivered to
Constantly remind your prospects about
your products or services and invite them to return to your site for
Again, never ignore your prospects just because you do not have the time
to personally follow-up with them.
Use an autoresponder to automate the tasks and to gain
continued access to your prospects.
Why do you need an Autoresponder?
Some say an autoresponder is the cheapest
sales assistant money can hire- one who never sleeps and works
diligently around the clock to convert visitors to your website into
The secret of an autoresponder lies in
automation. It takes care of the most tedious aspects of online
With an autoresponder, you can follow-up
automatically with your prospects at a pre-determined intervals (of say
3, 5, 7, 10, 14 or more days) after your initial contact without having
to do it manually.
Suppose you get 100 visitors today who
visited your site and requested for more information. So you need to
send out seven batches of 100 emails each over the next 17 days-
assuming that you planned to send out seven emails at 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, 14
and 17 days after the initial contact.
Suppose tomorrow you receive another 80
requests for more information. So you need to send out another seven
batches of 80 emails each staggered out in the same pattern.
And suppose day after tomorrow you receive
another 77 emails. So you have to do the same again.
Can you see how complicated if you were to
What do you use an Autoresponder
Following are some of the common uses of an
Collect Email Addresses
An autoresponder can be used to collect email
addresses through an online form or directly from incoming emails, and
automatically start the follow-up process.
Ezine and Newsletter Delivery
An autoresponder can be used to send periodic
ezines and newsletters while automatically accepting and removing
You can use an autoresponder to collect
email addresses for your ezine which allows you continued access to your
Free eCourses or Downloads
You can offer free multi-part ecourses or free ebook/software
downloads as an incentive for your visitors to leave their email addresses.
A great way to increase your site traffic.
You can send follow-up messages to your
visitors to remind them of what you sell and what benefits they get.
Offer Related Information
Offer your subscribers information closely
related to their topic of interest. For example, if they are interested
in cars, they are likely to be interested in car accessories as well.
Offer Promotional Coupon
You can offer promotional coupons, discount
vouchers or other incentives via email for use with your product or
You can "soft-sell" to your potential
customers by offering freebies and special information.
Use your autoresponder as a sales tool by
writing multiple automated email
messages to sell your products and services around the clock- 24 hrs a
day x 365 days a year!
After Sales Service
Follow-Up with your customers after closing
a sale to make sure they're happy with what they have purchased.
You can also use this technique to inform them of any new products,
services or special deals that you have available.
You can use an autoresponder as a way of getting customers feedback. You
can send them a thankyou message after receiving their feedback.
Post Sales Confirmation
If your product is not an instant delivery product or is pricy, use
the autoresponder to avoid buyer's remorse.
Entice customers who purchased basic packages from you, to upgrade to
ones with more features or facilities, by sending them a series of
Direct Email Advertising
You can use an autoresponder to send out
direct email advertising messages- provided you have the permission from
the recipients to do so.
MLM / Associates Programs
Use the autoresponder in any MLM / Associates program to give your
downline members a powerful tool in their sales arsenal.
Use your autoresponder as a viral marketing sales tool. Utilize the
ability to give away autoresponder accounts to supercharge your income
Send a series of motivational messages to people in your sales
organization with the autoresponder.
Frequently Asked Questions
Instead of answering the same customer
questions by email, publish a "Frequently Asked Questions" in
autoresponder format to save time and effort.
Download Back Issues of Ezine
Let your subscribers download back issues of
your ezine using autoresponder.
Other uses and applications.
There are hundreds of possible uses of an
autoresponder. The list is only limited by your own creativity. So the
possibilities are endless.
Not surprisingly many internet
marketers considered an autoresponder central to any successful
online marketing campaign.
Important Features of A
The important features found in a good autoresponder are listed below.
Those features which are more important are
highlighted in bold. But ultimately which features are more important to
you will depend on your own personal requirements.
When choosing your autoresponder, you can check the features offered against the list.
Pricing, Trial, Warranty & Support
No. of domains and no. of
autoresponders in each license.
No. of follow-up messages and
subscribers in each autoresponder.
Ability to support huge mailing
Ability to add or remove or
modify subscriber details.
Ability to subscribe or unsubscribe
prospects from multiple accounts.
Option to add banned email list for
No. of customizable fields in HTML
Message in HTML or text formats.
Build-in message editor.
Option to create sequential,
scheduled or broadcast messages.
Option to set different "From" and
Administrator email addresses.
Option to set default subscriber's
Option to use different character
Customizable double opt-in,
subscribe and unsubscribe messages.
Webpage redirect features for
subscribers, removals and double opt-in.
Ability to clone existing
Sending via Sendmail or SMTP.
Newsletter broadcast and
Sending via multiple concurrent
Sending with or without CRON.
Bounced Email Handling
Handling of bounced emails.
Add undeliverables to blacklist.
Option to remove bounced emails
after certain no. of soft or hard bounces.
Email notification about signup and
Email daily broadcaster statistics.
Broadcaster activity and progress
Option to be notified when someone
subscribes or unsubscribes.
Subscriber Manager showing name,
email and messages sent.
Type of user interface.
Remove duplication email.
Import or export subscriber
XML import or export tool.
Backup or restore database.
Database & Language
Which Features You Should
Look Out for?
Features like automatic subscription,
personalization, double opt-in, subscribe via webform or email, manage
subscribers, statistics and etc are so common nowadays they are found in
all self-respecting autoresponders.
In other words, most autoresponders in the
market today already have many of the features listed above.
However, there are still a few features
which are not common in all autoresponders. These are non-standard
features which a particular autoresponder may not have, or features
which are deliberately restricted in scope by the vendor. These features are listed below.
It is in your best interest to examine them
careful before choosing your autoresponder.
No. of domains or copies of the
software you can install. Some autoresponder vendors will sell
the single domain or copy version at a lower price, but charge you
more if you want more than one domain or copy of the software. This is a
No. of autoresponder for each license
and no. of follow-up messages in each autoresponder. Again, as
before you have to pay more if you want more autoresponders or no.
of follow-up messages.
Size restriction- Many
autoresponders limit you to the size of the subscribers database.
Newsletter broadcast ability-
Surprisingly not all autoresponders allows you to do this freely. So
this is really the deciding factor for a lot of potential buyers.
Unsubscribe feature- Important to
let your subscribers to unsubscribe freely. This is required by law
in some countries, But some autoresponders still do not have this
Import and export ability- Again,
not all autoresponders allow you to do this freely. You may want to
consider this carefully.
Backup and restore feature.
Important to be able to backup your list on your own computer!
Handling of bounced emails and adding
to a blacklist. This is getting more important because of the
large number of spams.
Free trial and refund- gives you
added security in case the program does not work the way you want.
What are the Types of Autoresponders
in the Market?
When choosing an autoresponder,
you are faced with literally thousands of options available in the
There are far too many different
types of autoresponders out there, each with very different features
and price range.
When choosing an autoresponder, you must
consider not only your current needs, but also your future needs based
on projected growth of your business.
But the first decision you should make when
choosing a sequential autoresponder is whether your autoresponder will
Remotely-hosted by an autoresponder service provider,
Locally-hosted on your own web
Desktop-hosted on your own
workstation or computer.
There are important differences between the
major types of autoresponders above.
The advantages and disadvantages of
each type will be discussed in the next
Advantages and Disadvantages of
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