AutoResponder: What is an AutoResponder?

AutoResponder: Add Rocket Fuel to Your Marketing Using an AutoResponder

I find that many business owners don’t know what an autoresponder is. And, those that say they do have it only partially right. An autoresponder is a marketing tool that savvy business owners in-the-know use to get more sales.

AutoResponder: The Definition

Here’s what Wikipedia says an autoresponder is:

“An autoresponder is a computer program that automatically answers e-mail sent to it.”

Yes, but there’s more to an autoresponder than that…

An autoresponder is a computer program running on a server on the Internet. It not only takes input from email, it also accepts input from web forms. And, the best ones also accept input from SMS (Short Message Service…text messages).  Autoresponders also send out messages to those who have subscribed.

How is an AutoResponder Used in Your Marketing?

Autoresponders are a powerful tool in your online marketing arsenal that allow you to:

  • Provide information to subscribers…immediately, if you like
  • Follow-up with subscribers at preset time intervals to:
    • Build a relationship with them & solicit feedback
    • Provide additional information
    • Make offers

AutoResponder Message Types

A top-shelf autoresponder can send out five different types of messages to subscribers:

  • Individual email (most autoreponders only do this)
  • SMS text message
  • Voicemail
  • Postcard
  • Letter

Autoresponder messages are organized “by campaign”. An autoresponder campaign is a sequence of planned messages sent out to subscribers at specific intervals of your choosing. You can have as many autoresponder campaigns as you want. And, with a top-shelf autoresponder provider, you can use whatever combination of autoresponder message types you desire.

Campaign Example: AutoResponder Message Types In Action

An autoresponder is helpful to just about any business. But, for an example, let’s say you offer a service…a house painting service.

You and I crossed paths, and I made you aware of how using an autoresponder could bring you more leads. I set-up a lead-capture website for you that offers a complimentary report to prospects on, say, how to pick the best house painter…or how to avoid being ripped-off by a house painting company. To get the report, the prospect must provide his/her contact information on the lead-capture site. For this example, let’s say you’re asking for their first name, email address, and mobile phone number (the last one is optional).

Here’s what happens next:

  • Autoresponder notified – The autoresponder takes the input from the web form on the lead-capture site
  • Message #1 Sent – The autoresponder emails the prospect a copy of your report…immediately
  • Message #2 Sent – An SMS text message gets sent to the prospect’s mobile phone informing them that the report has been emailed to them
  • Message #3 Sent – A pre-recorded voicemail gets sent to the homeowner’s cell phone the next day encouraging them to read the report…all without tirhe phone ringing.
  • …And, you can continue sending messages.

If the prospect did not submit their mobile phone number, you can send them an email encouraging them to text it now…and, you’ll send them a discount coupon for doing so. Pretty cool…right?

AutoResponder Providers

Some of the big name autoresponder providers are Aweber, Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, and InfusionSoft. And, there are white-label versions of them, too.

As good each one is, none of them currently offers the the array of autoresponder messaging choices and options that Instant Customer does (formerly known as Monster Follow-Up). None of the others even come close to matching Instant Customer’s shear horsepower. Besides the extra four messaging types supported, Instant Customer does “Live” Conferencing, too…for up to 5,000 participants. You’d need a third-party service (like GoToMeeting) with the other email providers. And, they only do up to 1,000 participants.

I have my choice of Auto-responder companies, and I choose Instant Customer. Take this autoresponder for a test ride, and enjoy your additional sales!

Don Roberts

Filed Under: AutoResponder

About the Author Don Roberts