What is an Email Autoresponder?

One question I am frequently asked is ‘What is an email autoresponder?’ You might not appreciate this if you are just starting to use the internet to sell your products, but an autoresponder is one of the core software applications of your entire online business.  It will save you more time than practically any other software package you will ever use.

When you are running an online business your communications are generally via email, and you sell your products from a website. It doesn’t matter what your online platform is – a website, blog, Squidoo lens, forum or whatever – it’s fundamentally a website so we shall refer to it as that.

A Simple Courtesy Reply System

Let’s say you have a contact page on your site, as you should, with an email address. When somebody visiting your site emails you they expect some sort of response. You can’t be expected to provide an immediate response to every email you get manually, so you need a system that does it for you – that’s an email autoresponder.

It can be set to give a simple message:  “Thank for your inquiry – we shall get back to you as soon as possible.” Every time somebody emails you, the autoresponder will send them that message, and the sender will be happy that you have received their email. That’s a simple autoresponder, and you will find these on the email facility of any web hosting system using CPanel.

That’s the simple answer to ‘What is an email autoresponder‘.  However, if you are deeply involved in internet marketing there is a more complete answer to that question, and here it is:

What is an Email Autoresponder in Internet Marketing?

In internet marketing you offer a product for sale, you accept payment, thank the buyer, provide a receipt and deliver the product.  An email responder can do all of that for you while you sleep – assuming your product is electronically deliverable, such as software or an eBook.

You can set up an autoresponder with a thank you page, so that everybody that clicks your payment link also activates the autoresponder to send you a thank you page.  Your payment processor will generally send a receipt by email, but you can also set your autoresponder to deliver your own receipt, which can include links to similar products. Maybe you have backsells or upsells to offer – your autoresponder can be set to offer these for you every time a product is purchased.

The same software will send an email to the customer with a download link.  This will contain a clickable link that will enable the customer to download the product. Not only that, but you can set it to add that customer to an email database (or list) that retains the names and email addresses of all your customers. If you sell multiple products types, you can set up a different list for each product type. You can then send information to your lists on other products that might interest them.

What is an Email Autoresponder – Creating Prospect Lists

One of the most useful functions of an autoresponder is to generate lists of people that have visited your website and expressed an interest in receiving further information. Modern email autoresponders such as AWeber and GetResponse enable you to create a list database, giving it a name related to your niche. You can then create forms that collect names, email addresses, website URLs and so on – whichever you choose to include on your form.

By setting up other aspects of the email autoresponder, you can create ‘thank you’ pages for those joining your list and also offer and deliver free gifts to reward people that subscribe. The autoresponder software will give you a code to put on your web pages that generates the form.

When a prospect fills in the form they are sent an email to confirm – this is known as ‘double opt-in’ to avoid accusations against you from spamming.  If they fill in the form and then confirm their registration from a link on an email sent to them, then you cannot be accused of spamming. They are also sent a ‘thank you page’ containing links to any other information or gifts they have been promised.

You can program your email autoresponder to send out emails at pre-determined dates that can include parts of a course at regular intervals, information on the niche and occasional links to sales and pre-sales pages for products you are offering.

So what is an email autoresponder?  It is a means of maintaining contact with visitors to your website so you can offer them products and offer them training and advice on your niche. It enables you to be seen as an expert in your niche, which will give you prospects more confidence in you as an expert, and in your products as being of genuine value to them.

To finally answer the question “What is an email autoresponder” in very succinct way – it is software that can save you days of work each month and can make the difference between online success and failure. It enables you to make the best of visitors to your website who, without the list and autoresponder to run it, would be lost forever rather than eventually become a valued customer.
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Brian Verigin, Lead Generation Specialist. Collecting email addresses into an autoresponder is key to business success. Each lead collected is like a gold nugget you do want to fill up your bag with as many nuggets as possible. I encorporate an email autoresponder as part of YahSuccess.

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