You have probably heard the term drip marketing before. It makes you think of a series of automated messages that go to anyone interested in your product. The beauty of this vehicle is that it never sleeps.
The term email marketers use for drip marketing is autoresponders. This is a series of scheduled emails that go out over a period once someone joins a mailing list.
Autoresponders achieve these aims for the professional email marketer:
1. They give someone an incentive to join your mailing list. Unfortunately "Join our mailing list" has lost its attraction.
2. They start the selling process before a new subscriber even gets their first newsletter. You gotta love that.
3. They ensure the newly added person does not forget about joining the list. Think about it: If you only send out one newsletter a month and someone signs up the day after you sent out your last newsletter, it is going to be a while before they get your next one. By that time they might forget they ever signed up for your list and, therefore, unsubscribe when they get your first newsletter, or worse, hit the Spam button.
4. They develop your authority in the minds of the recipients. Autoresponders should feature your best content, which then impresses upon the reader that you know a thing or two about your business.
5. They get shared and forwarded since they are your best material.
6. They make you look really professional. The reality is that most email marketers are not using autoresponders. For some reason they do not get how to set them up or think it is just too difficult. Thus, they skip this step and leave it to you to set yourself apart as a polished pro.
Believe me when I say that you are missing out on a big part of professional email marketing if you neglect to set up an autoresponder series. Within Constant Contact, my preferred email solution, you can set up as many as 10 emails in a series. You can set them up to go out with just about any interval you want. I recommend one week apart and schedule somewhere around 4 or 5. That is a good number and puts plenty of content in action.
Be sure to use the same template or something very similar to your current newsletter so there is no loss in branding from one email to the next. You want to look professional. And avoid including any content that is time-sensitive. The reality is that once you set it, you are going to forget it and you want the content to last for a while.
One cautionary note: With Constant Contact, if someone unsubscribes from the autoresponder, they are leaving your mailing list. So, make sure it is really good content!
So, I hope I have convinced you that you should be using autoresponders. They are an included service with a Constant Contact email marketing account and I suspect they are included with most professional email marketing services. This means it is not about money but time. Block out an hour on your calendar in the next week and meet with a teammate to brainstorm about what type of content would get people excited to sign up to receive. In some cases new subscribers will be more excited about your bonus content than your newseltter!
If you would like a sample of an autoresponder series of just two emails, you can join my list on my website to trigger mine. My other website has a series of five emails set up and I even created an animated video to promote it.
If you have questions about setting them up or what content to place in there, please post them below. I would also like to hear of any additional tips you have regarding the use of autoresponders.
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