Automate Your Web Business

By: David Coyne

Whether you sell products or services on the Internet, you should get an autoresponder as soon as possible. It’s an immense time saver. And for most online entrepreneurs time is in short supply.

What is an autoresponder?

Without getting too technical, it’s like an automated email program that responds twenty four hours a day to any inquiries you receive about your product.

When a prospect sees your advertising, they send an email to your autoresponder address, and it replies immediately with your prewritten message about the product. Remember, people want info as soon as possible. If you have hundreds of inquiries a week, you’ll eat up too much time following up individually.

Best of all, you can load a series of email messages into the autoresponder and have it automatically send messages at specific intervals.

Why is following up with several messages better than only one? Consider this fact from the National Sales Association: 80 percent of sales are made between the fifth and twelfth contact.

Impulse buyers are a rare breed.

How do you get started with an autoresponder

The easiest way is to sign up for an account. They are lots of autoresponder websites and both GetResponse (http://www.GetResponse.com) and RapidReply (http://www.rapidreply.net) offer free accounts. However, with free accounts you’re usually limited to inserting 10 to 20 prewritten messages.

Once your account has been activated, you’ll be assigned your own autoresponder email address that you can use in your advertising. Write a series of email messages to load into your account. Concentrate on the benefits your product offers.

If you’re not confident about your writing abilities, you can get sales message templates to model or adapt for your own use. Try Autoresponder Magic: http://www.autorespondermagic.com/?19597.

Once you’ve loaded messages, you need to decide on when each message will be sent to your prospects. Most experts suggest you should contact prospects at least weekly. Experiment to see what’s best for you.

Your autoresponder will create a mailing list that includes everyone who’s inquired about your product. Most accounts will let you import and export name to and from your list.

You can also send out an ezine using an autoresponder. Just cut and paste your content as you would with a sales message.

Be sure to include a way for prospects and customers to unsubscribe to your mailings. GetResponse will automatically remove unsubscribers from your list. It can also tell you if it was unable to contact recipients due to invalid email addresses, over quota accounts, etc.

Once you get the hang of using an autoresponder, you’ll wonder how you managed your business without one.

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