Disclaimer: I am an Authorized Local Expert of Constant Contact. The content below should apply to all professional email marketing tools.

Marketing automation does have a pretty bad reputation and not without reason. However, using the right tools like an autoresponder series or scheduling Social Media updates can actually improve the customer experience, lead to more personalized communications and free up time to build meaningful relationships with your customers.

For the longest time “everybody” used AWeber or similar platforms to set up autoresponders but with the change to Toolkit, Constant Contact* has given a major boost to it’s autoresponder capabilities.
autoresponder

 

 

Before Toolkit the options barely covered sending one or two welcome emails to new signups. Now we have the option to set up an unlimited number of series with a large number of scheduled messages. Combined with the amazing contact tagging functionality and ability to use all Constant Contact templates the possibilities are endless.

Understanding Autoresponder

Autoresponders are used to send a series of messages to subscribers on a pre-set schedule. How often do we feel overwhelmed by the information we receive after joining a program or purchasing a software. Often there is so much to learn and know that it feels like too much work to bother. Messages sent by a series of autoresponder messages spread this material out over time. I’ll show you some examples later in this post.

Are autoresponders impersonal?

Like all the other tools at our disposal, autoresponders don’t need to be impersonal. Yes, most of us have unsubscribed from an overwhelming amount of automatic sales messages. But done right, these series actually allow us to deliver more targeted and relevant messages to a distinct user group. For example, the yoga studio in the example below can inform new members of the basics without boring all the existing members with repeat information or making the content too general to be useful. As always it comes down to the wording and design of your communications. Using a professional email marketing tool for autoresponders lets you personalize emails with the person’s real name. Wording that is written specifically for the situation the client is in has a good chance of beeing seen as personal. Finally it’s also important to get the amount of messages in a time frame just right.

      • Avoid sending too many messages in a short time
      • Make it feel natural and not too pushy
      • If possible, mix a personal phone call into your sequence
      • Do you use postcards or printed material? Make sure you coordinate this with your autoresponders

 

Autoresponder allows you to solve problems for your audience. It helps to tell your brand story without overwhelming your audience.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Autoresponder allows you to solve problems for your audience” quote=”Autoresponder allows you to solve problems for your audience”]

What kind of content do you need for your autoresponder series?

The content to use for your emails largely depends on your audience and the reason recipients end up on your list.

CASL tip: If people subscribe to a specific autoresponder you can not simply add them to your general mailing list! Of course you can invite them to join this general list along the way.

For prospects

Focus on material that outlines the benefits of your product or service. Make sure you paint a picture of your prospect’s life after purchasing.

For customers

Focus on introducing your product or service as well as your company story. If you need to explain a lot of details, a series of autoresponder emails make it easier to break things up.

For students

Autoresponders can deliver an online course. I am working on one right now (stay tuned for a series on referral marketing). I will send out each lesson with homework and further reading material and give the participants the time needed to complete the work. Everybody can join the course at their own time and because it’s delivered by email I can always respond to individual questions.

Some Examples:

We already know that detailed list posts are very helpful as blog posts. How about taking the material and sending it by email?

      • 10 Little Known Secrets About Email Marketing
      • 7 Ways To Decorate Your Home
      • 15 Ways To Help Your Community Without Spending A Dime
      • 5 Ways to Make More People Share Your Content

The key to an effective autoresponder series comes down to understanding your Audience

        1. What do they want to know?
        2. What do they need to know?
        3. What are their needs, problems, and challenges?

How to use autoresponder

Constant Contact® provides a helpful worksheet for organizing an effective series.

You can see it in action here:

This example is for new clients of a Yoga Studio:

autoresponder exampleAs you can see the worksheet helps to plan all details:

        1. Number of days after signing up
        2. Content of the message
        3. Call to action for each message

 

There is no limit for the number of messages in Constant Contact autoresponders anymore. Autoresponder is a plus feature in the Constant Contact Toolkit suite [button link=”https://businessbluebird.com/services/email/” color=”orange”]Try Constant Contact for free[/button] *affiliate link

This video by Constant Contact explains shows how to set up your series:

 

Here is the recording of my webinar that goes into more detail:

 

Find the other posts in the Constant Contact Toolkit series here:

 


Part of the content is based on Constant Contact material I am permitted to use.

Featured image licensed at depositphotos.com
*affiliate link

Published by Frithjof

Digital media strategist, coach, community manager and CEO of BlueBird Business Consulting. Blogger, podcaster, content creator and teacher with a passion. Favourite quote: “To succeed in the business of the future we have to become the very people we are trying to reach” ~ Brian Solis

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