An interested visitor who has been strolling through your site has finally come to just what she is looking for and is about to make a purchase. It’s a sunny afternoon, and her cat, which happens to be sitting on the moss under the visitor’s large fifty-year-old snow-rose bonsai tree, suddenly jumps down, and the priceless tree topples over.
In the blink of an eye, your visitor exits your site, and your sale is dust - unless you have had the foresight to utilize an auto-responder that has captured her email address. If you have installed an auto-responder, you can then follow-up with her, and in all probability, make the sale when the poor woman has finished repotting her precious bonsai.
Auto-responders are remarkable, versatile programs that do so much more than just automatically answer your email. Here are a few ideas that will help you to creatively and productively use your auto-responder to transform the casual visitor into a profitable customer. Use your auto-responder to:
1. Publish a newsletter. Certain quality auto-responders will manage subscriptions and follow-up with interested prospects. Your newsletter can keep your visitors informed about your services or products, while building your reputation as a credible expert in your particular business.
2. Publish a newsletter only for your affiliates. Inform them of current sales you are running and of promotional material that your affiliates can use themselves to increase their commissions. Include tips, advice, and techniques that your affiliates can use to successfully go out and promote your business.
3. Write reviews. Cover books, software, music, e-books, movies, etc., and put each review in an auto-responder. Review your affiliate programs, using a link to your affiliate’s page in your auto-responder.
4. Distribute your articles. Writing and distributing targeted articles is a powerful tool to build your business credibility, bring traffic to your site, and increase your sales potential. If your articles contain valuable information, many editors will print what is known as a resource box for you. A resource box contains your bio and a brief description of your service or product. It can also contain your auto-responder address. Let’s say you’ve written fifty articles. Put them on separate auto-responder accounts and create a master list that contains the titles of each article, the auto-responder address, and a brief abstract. Then promote your master list. Additionally, include your publishing guidelines so your affiliates can add their articles to your list, increasing the number of writers who are represented in your article list.
5. Create mailing lists. Inform subscribers to your articles when you’ve written new ones that they may want to publish in their own newsletter or website.
6. Automate your sales process. Use an ad to insure repeated exposure of your message, which has been proven to effectively increase sales. In your ad, put your auto-responder address where a visitor will be exposed to numerous marketing materials. This multiplies the chances of converting visitors into customers. For example, if you’re selling a particular product, put testimonials about how spectacular it is on your auto-responder, and add a detailed, enticing description of your product.
7. Distribute advertising. Let’s say you sell advertising on your website or in your newsletter or e-zine. Set your auto-responder to send the information about rates and how to place an ad automatically to all prospects’ email addresses. Then have your auto-responder follow-up. It can also send notification of any special deals you are currently offering.
8. Distribute an email course. Each day, have your auto-responder send out another lesson. Just be sure that each lesson has quality content - not a sales pitch. Your content will do the selling for you, and will do it much more effectively. You can include tips centered on a different topic for each lesson, illustrating how your product will benefit the reader. Include the tangible benefits the visitor will reap by purchasing your product. Make sure to include a paragraph or two at the end of each lesson enticing your prospect to consider making a purchase.
9. Automate a reminder about your service or product after a visitor has completed your course. This will increase the possibility of sales from visitors who have taken your course but are dragging their feet about actually making a purchase. You can also use these reminders to promote new products or services, and the products and services of your affiliate programs.
10. Distribute free reports. This gives your visitor an idea of the type of information you can provide and the quality of your product or service. Make sure these reports are not sales letters or you will more than likely lose a potential customer than gain a sale.
11. Create trivia quizzes on your site and place the answers in an auto-responder. Your visitor will then be motivated to request your auto-responder, and you will have a record of the visitors’ email addresses who took your quiz. Or create a contest and have any visitors that enter send their responses to your auto-responder. Your auto-responder can be set-up to send them a confirmation of their entry.
12. Offer a trial version of your product. Give your prospects a sample of your e-book, course, software, membership, etc. People who are exposed to a little taste often end up wanting the whole pie. You can also capture their email addresses when you offer them a free trial from your website. Set up your auto-responder to give instructions on how to obtain their free trial, and then make sure to follow-up to try and close the sale.
13. Link to hidden pages on your auto-responder. For example, a hidden page could be your affiliate page that contains graphics, promotional articles, and text links that interested affiliates can make use of. Inform visitors that they may have free access to your affiliate page by simply requesting your auto-responder. You will then gather a list of visitors who may be interested in becoming your affiliates.
14. Use an auto-responder on your order page. Post a request form for visitors to be notified of special offers or discounts in the future. This creates a very effective mailing list that contains the names of people who are already your customers.
15. Put your links page on your auto-responder. It should contain up to fifty links that would be of particular interest to your visitors. Make sure to add your own promotional copy at the top or bottom of this page.
Now that you have proof that auto-responders can be used creatively, see if you can come up with some brilliant ideas of your own!
Here are some auto-responders for you to checkout, these are just the tip of the iceberg because there are so many great auto-responders out and some cost a lot of money. You know how it goes… you get what you pay for.