FEATURED ARTICLE MARCH 2013
Use an Autoresponder Campaign to Follow Up with Your New Mailing List Subscribers
by Laura Orsini
Last time, we talked about the importance of building an e-mail contact list and explored the holes your list might have in it. Once you build that list, the next step is to connect with the people on it – on a regular basis. An autoresponder campaign is a great way to do that. An autoresponder is a program or script that automatically sends or replies to e-mails via your e-mail service provider. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the term, you probably have received an autoresponder if you’ve ever contacted a company through their website to request service or help with a problem and received an e-mail response letting you know they got your message.
An autoresponder campaign involves more than a single e-mail, but rather a series of e-mails intended to invite and entice the recipient into learning more about you, your book, your company, and/or your other offerings. It plays off that initial free offer on your site for an item of value (e.g., special report, teleclasses, webinars, sample chapters) in exchange for the visitor’s e-mail address.
If your special report, teleclass, webinar, or sample chapter contains a stellar call to action, you might hear your phone ring or see a jump in sales through your site, or…
Say your free giveaway is a sample chapter of your next book. Joe Smith enters his e-mail and – voilà – your sample chapter appears in his inbox within minutes. But let's say Joe doesn’t immediately open your sample chapter, because he’s a busy man, and while he wants to read it, he looks at the e-mail, closes it, and intends to get back to it tomorrow. In the meantime, tomorrow comes, and 67 new e-mails pile on top of the very important message containing your sample chapter. He goes back through the e-mail and, yep, he sure means to get to that sample chapter, but after he finishes with a couple client calls. Whoop … 59 more e-mails pile on top of the one with your sample chapter. Soon, your e-mail is way down the list, even though Joe really does want to read your sample chapter, which could help revolutionize his business.
Why leave it to chance? With an autoresponder campaign, you follow up with Joe the next day to remind him that he downloaded your sample chapter, and encourage him to open it and read it right now. And then you also encourage him to do something else with another specific call to action.
A couple days later, you send another follow-up message, phrasing it as though you assume Joe has by now read the sample chapter, and asking if he’s had the opportunity to try out the tip you offered on page 3. And so on, following a regular schedule, for a specified period of time. Only you don’t have to remember to send these messages, because they are on autopilot, set to begin going out as soon as Joe enters his e-mail address into your capture box.
We are currently working on an autoresponder campaign to follow up our newly issued special report, "Anatomy of a Book Launch." And just to demonstrate how powerful this type of drip email campaign can be, one of our clients who promotes a health product went from selling 12 units a week prior to implementing his autoresponder campaign to 700 units a week. Who wouldn’t want that kind of success?
In an article for AllMerchants.com, Ken Hill offers some tips on other ways to use autoresponders, including :
Use autoresponders to conduct simple polls.
Use autoresponder to deliver an email course that provides a hands-on explanation of the benefits of purchasing your product.
Use autoresponders to send out excerpts of your book or info product.
Use autoresponders to schedule announcements for new blog posts or articles you've published.
Use autoresponders to send out weekly tips.
In order to begin your autoresponder campaign, you will need a subscription to an e-mail service that facilitates their delivery. Two good ones are A Weber and Mail Chimp.
Once you’ve begun to build your list, make sure you touch them regularly and cement that call to action with a strong autoresponder campaign. ■
NEXT MONTH: Why Your Book Marketing Messages May NOT Be Working – Hint: It Starts with CTA