#96: “Set and Forget Systems” – Autoresponders

Oct 4, 2020 | Marketing / Automation

When you hear someone say you need to build your list, what they are talking about is building your list of subscribers. And yes, you could have a simple opt-in form on your website in which someone gives you their email address and a few weeks later they will get your monthly newsletter. But that is SO 2010! People nowadays expect some form of communication after they sign up for something or they won’t stay on your list for long.

And this is where autoresponders shine – they automate the way you communicate with your list of subscribers, clients, prospects, and customers.

In this video, I give you 7 suggestions for how you can use them and I tell you the two most popular and affordable software apps, so if you want to add this tool to your marketing toolbox, you can do so for under $20 a month.

Welcome to Systems Sunday and this month our theme is “Set and Forget Systems” and, of course, at the top of the list is autoresponders.

When you hear someone say you need to build your list, what they are talking about is a list of subscribers. And yes, you could have a simple opt-in form on your website in which someone gives you their email address and a few weeks later they will get your monthly newsletter. That is so 2010! People nowadays expect some form of communication after they sign up for something or they won’t stay on your list for long. And this is where autoresponders shine. They automate the way you communicate with your list of subscribers, clients, prospects, and customers. These are the email marketing messages that are sent automatically and are triggered based on rules and time intervals that you define.

I use autoresponders every single day in my business and yet I never have to really think about them once I’ve set them up. The main benefit is that they save you time. But I think, more importantly, they help you build trust with your subscribers, clients, prospects, and customers.

If you aren’t yet using autoresponders in your business, I want to give you some suggestions for how you can use them and I will give you a list of the more popular apps to get you thinking about this very important business tool.

First, the basics.

An autoresponder is a series of emails, usually focused on a specific topic, delivered in a predetermined sequence at predetermined intervals. The process can begin when someone subscribes to your general email list. Alternatively, you can create new lists catered specifically to those who want the content.

If things go as planned, your email autoresponder series will build trust with your prospects. Your messages will make regular appearances in their inboxes as you share, educate, train, coach, whatever it is that you do. If your content is well received, you’ll essentially be training the reader to open your emails, visit your website, and ideally, do business with you.

This is the formula, simply stated by Neil Patel:

Repeated touches and visits = familiarity = trust = sales.

Here are some other ways you can use them:

  • When someone subscribes to your newsletter, you could send a single welcome email introducing yourself, and setting expectations around the frequency of emails, and the type of content they’ll receive.
  • When a subscriber signs up for a free trial of your product or service, you could send them an autoresponder ‘welcome’ series with tips on how to get started, and information on the different features available.
  • If you have subscribers’ birthdates in your database, you could send an autoresponder on their birthday with a special birthday offer or discount (who doesn’t love presents on their birthday?).
  • When someone clicks on a specific link within one of your previous newsletters, you could send them an autoresponder series with content around that particular topic.
  • If you have an online store, you could target users who have abandoned their carts with a promotion code to entice them to buy.
  • When a customer purchases a product online, you could send an autoresponder with additional information about how to care for the product.
  • If a customer’s subscription is coming to an end, you could send an email autoresponder a few weeks beforehand to remind them to renew.

You can get as fancy as you want, having an entire campaign of follow-up emails that educate or nurture the prospect, it’s really up to you.

You may be tempted to get a free autoresponder, such as a WordPress plugin. I would steer clear of these for the simple reasons that they lack support if you run into any problems, you could be opening yourself up to spam, you won’t be able to migrate your list should you sign up for another service later, and they usually don’t come with any type of tracking tools. Not to mention that the laws to protect user data are becoming standard and these plugins will usually fail to meet privacy criteria. Save yourself a headache and go with a hosted solution.

Getting started with an autoresponder doesn’t have to break the bank. Many programs have been around a long time and they are way more robust than when I began using them 15 years ago.

Two of the most popular ones to get started are Aweber and Mailchimp.

Both Aweber and Mailchimp have a free plan, Aweber is up to 500 contacts and Mailchimp is up to 2,000 contacts. There are limitations with each of the free plans, but they will enable you to create follow-up sequences, send broadcasts such as your newsletters, basic segmentation so you can keep track of contacts and what they are doing. But even if you should need more, both Aweber and Mailchimp’s pro or standard plans are under $20 a month, very affordable.

Both have tutorials or you can easily find “how-tos” on YouTube so setting them up should not be too much of a challenge. I’m including links below, so be sure to check them out to see what would work best for you.

Adding a set and forget system such as autoresponders will help you build trust with your audience, save you time, and is a very effective tool in your marketing toolbox.

If you found today’s video helpful, check out my Business Building Action Kit on sale. This kit comes with a step-by-step for 7 Ways to add more subscribers to your list this month, a worksheet, an action checklist, a 4-week done-for-you calendar, a resource directory with links to tools and resources, and a 21 ideas blueprint. I cover how to build your community, daily list-building activities, finding your perfect list-building mix, and more.

Next week we’ll go over another set and forget system, where we will go over the 7 elements to make an irresistible lead magnet. 

Catch up on other “Set and Forget Systems” episodes + resources mentioned in the video:

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