Everybody has different responses to Autoresponders and I can understand why. But, what I want to explain to you in this section is how Autoresponders can work really well for you.

Let me start by painting a picture for you. Imagine there are three separate people out networking, meeting people at the same event and all three of them are great IT guys. They’re all really clever and experienced at fixing computers. Somebody in that room just happens to have a problem with their computer and speaks to all three IT guys. They exchange details and all three of them promise to get in touch.

The first one goes back to the office, they put the potential customer’s business card in what I call “The Business Card Filing System” (that’s the stack of cards that you’ve got at the end of your desk / corner of the top drawer), answers a few urgent calls and forgets to get in touch. Now, it’s very unlikely that they will get the business.

Person number two gets back to the office, quickly writes an email saying; “Hey Sarah, it was great to meet you at the networking event. If you do continue to have that problem with your computer, then please do get in touch. I’d love to help you!” In a couple of minutes, they’ve just radically improved their chances of getting the business.

Person number three has decided to send out an autoresponder. It’s already set up and it’s a sequence of informative emails. The first one says, “Hey Sarah, really great to meet you out networking. I understand the problem that you might be having with your computer and I’d really like to help. In the meantime, I’ve got some tips to keeping the viruses away from your computer. Over the next few days I’m going to send you these tips.” In maintaining more regular and helpful communication, they have just massively increased their chances of getting the business.

Another example is used at our events. The first autoresponder goes out prior to the event with final details, such as parking. The next email is scheduled for after the event. When somebody comes along to an event, we know that on the day that they leave the program they feel really fired up. They’re going to go out there and they’re going to improve their website and put all of the learning into practice.

The next day it is back to the daily routine, with a few extra emails to respond to as they were out of the office the previous day. It is soon hard to remember, let alone apply the planned actions. To encourage them, we can send a daily autoresponder email containing a little snippet that was covered on the program. As we do that, we add a lot of extra value and we make sure that the information that we teach actually sticks. It is more likely that people will then take action, see the results and be keen to attend or recommend our future events.

What about if you provide a service and you know that after a set period of time, it needs repeating? Let’s say it’s a car MOT which should happen every year. What about every time somebody leaves your garage having just had a service you put their details into an autoresponder that is sent out in 11 months’ time.

Without you having to remember to get in touch at the time, they receive an email saying “Hey Fred, your car had its last MOT 11 months ago and it’s due again in a month. We’ve got a special offer of a half price full valet for any cars that are booked in with us this week” This is a great way to encourage new sales using autoresponders.

One of the great ways to use autoresponders is for lost proposals. Any business will try and win every piece of business they go for, but no one is successful all the time. My company doesn’t have a 100% conversion rate, but if we don’t win the proposal the first time around, we the contact to an autoresponder.

That autoresponder starts by saying: “We’re really sorry that we lost the chance to do business with you. If there’s anything we can do in the future we’d like to. Regardless of who you go to for your web project, there are some things that you really ought to know. We will send you those things over the next couple of weeks.” We follow this up by sending some tips to the client that we may never get to do business with.

You may think that that’s just helping them to not come to you, but in reality the reverse happens. It builds up our credibility and shows that we’re willing to help people, even if they didn’t select us as their supplier at that point in time. We’ve seen people come back to us as a result. We use the same technique if we lose a client. Maybe that client moved away because they believed they could get more value or a better price somewhere else, this does happen. Instead of just ignoring that customer leaving, we show them that we still continue to care by using autoresponders.

So, I’ve shown you a few different ways that you can use autoresponders to your advantage and how you can avoid using them to spam. If you’re about to write an autoresponder and you feel that what you are writing is just spam, then don’t write it. Only use autoresponders to automate what you would have done anyway if your memory and your time availability were good enough.