People buy people – and that means you need to be a real person and communicate directly with your customers and potential clients. But we all have just 24 hours in any day and you need to use them wisely to avoid burnout or finding you haven’t earned any money this week, because you’ve been so busy communicating with people!
Automation – in its place – can do a great job in keeping interested people interested and funnelling them into your direct communication system when the time is right – for them and for you.
Autoresponders are an excellent way to do this job.
How to use an autoresponder effectively
- A nice ‘thank you’ message when people sign up to your list.
- A message explaining how to get their free download.
- A series of tips around your area of expertise to give great value.
- An online learning programme – a lesson a week, a day or a month – depending on how in-depth the learning is.
- A nurturing series of messages for people who have shown an interest in your product or service – to keep them engaged.
- A sales series offering people something ‘just for them’ – and make sure it is just for the people who have signed up to your list. This can be a limited time offer, a discount, a two-for-one, or introduce a friend offer.
- Follow up information after an event they’ve attended, whether that’s online or offline.
The possibilities are endless – and these different ways of using an autoresponder can be combined, so someone who gets your free download could also get your tips or your offers too.
The three important steps to take
ONE: Write every message as you would if you were just emailing one person. This may take a while (or you could outsource it to a copywriter who can get your voice authentically) – but you only have to do each series once. It’s important that every message sounds authentic.
TWO: Be clear about what you want people to do when they’ve read each message and put it where people can easily see it. If you want them to visit your website, give them the link to the correct page; if you want them to phone you, put your phone number in the call to action.
THREE: Find a data management tool that is reliable and get to know how it works properly. This may be MailChimp, AWeber, Constant Contact, SendFox or something else.
You’ll also need a follow-up system for replies. Who will answer enquiries? What process will people follow – e.g. will you set up a phone call, ask them to complete a form, redirect them to your website, send them a standard reply for their particular query? It all depends on what outcome you want and the type of reply you get.
Get these things right and you’ll have more time to spend on the things that will make your business profitable – and also grow a community of interested people who could become potential clients in future too.