Automation is an important part to any business. The less time you devote to doing small redundant tasks the more time you will have to devote to primary business activities, such as: product development, advertising, customer service, and list building. Or, you may want to have more time for enjoying other things in life other than working, so the more you automate your business the more time you will have available to spend on whatever you desire.
Putting an online business on autopilot is not very difficult and much of it can be done by simple using autoresponders to do many simple tasks for you. An autoresponder is a software program that you pay usage fees for, or that you buy and put on your own hosting accounts server. It is a program that responds to email inquiries from other people with whatever you program it to send out. And it can also easily be programmed to send out email messages that you enter into it at whatever time you want. Therefore an autoresponder, abbreviated AR, can be used for many purposes to assist in handling business communication activities.
An AR can be used to promote your products or services and to get people to visit your website. Just type or copy and paste your sales or informational message into your AR and have it sent out to whoever you have entered into the AR. Then, when a person receives your message and visits your web site and makes a purchase you can have your AR setup to deliver another message to them. The message would thank them for their purchase and then deliver their product and receipt to them.
You may also program it to give your customers detailed instructions on how to go about obtaining their products and describing other products you have to offer that they may be also be interested in purchasing. In this way you have the ability to promote more products and possibly make more sales. You can also program your AR to send out follow-up messages a day or two after a purchase to ask customers if they are satisfied with their purchase. This assists in building strong customer relations and also gives you another opportunity to promote more products while saving your time.
It will also allow you to make more back-end sales by using follow up messages every few days. It is advisable to always include some meaningful and relevant information in your follow up messages so your messages do not appear to just be blatant sales messages, which most people do not generally like or appreciate. The beauty of all this is that you can be off doing something else while much of your business communication activities are being handled automatically by your AR.
Autoresponders are great for training and teaching purposes. Many college professors who teach correspondence courses set up their lessons in an AR and then send them to their students at specified times throughout the semester. And, because the courses being taught often do not vary much from semester to semester, or from year to year, the lessons can be set up one time and used over and over again with only minor adjustments being needed.
ARs are great for providing training lessons to all types of groups. For example, a 12 week training course can be written in advance and then scheduled for deliver when the time is appropriate. The lessons can even be set up to be delivered to different groups at different time intervals. ARs are great for keeping members of an organization informed of upcoming events, deadlines, and special offers or promotions.
Promoting products for sale is one of the most popular uses of autoresponders in online business. But when using an AR to promote your sales just realize that most potential customers do not like the direct hard sale approach and it has been documented that on an average a potential customer must hear from you at least 7 times before a sale is made. It is usually best to contact potential customers in the first 2 to 4 messages with valuable information that is interesting for them to read or use in their lives. It is good to give away something of interest and value and to thank them for subscribing to your email newsletter or ezine.
It has been said that the best way to entice sales is to build interest slowly and start with an informative message about something that interests your reader. And, when you do try to make a sale be sure to focus on a problem or solution that your product or service will help resolve for them. Gain their confidence by providing free information that is relevant, accurate, and informative for them.
There are many AR services available and you can certainly find them by doing a search with any of the main search engine services. Many AR services will give you free limited service, but be cautious of these AR services because they will put their advertisements on all of your outgoing messages, or limited the amount of messages and subscribers you can send to. These things certainly will not help your business any. Be very careful when choosing and signing up with an autoresponder service to use in your business.
Some popular ARs frequently used are listed below:
And, of course there are many, many more so please do a good and thorough investigation and analysis before deciding which AR to use. If you are a beginner then you may want to try the free service listed on the last line above. It is called, EGGS for short. It is very easy to understand and to use. It does have some limitations but it has plenty of functionality for most people and there is no cost
involved unless you would like to donate.