Using Autoresponders To Grow Your Business

E-mail has become your primary way to communicate with your customers. You are using it to answer questions, send proposals, follow up with customers, confirm orders, provide company information, and maintain relationships.

Are you using email as effectively as you should be? 

According to Jupiter Media Metrix: 
  • 38% respond within 6 hours or less
  • 62% take longer than 6 hours to respond
  • 33% take 3 days (or longer!) to respond
  • 24% have given up responding to customer requests entirely!
Number as of October 2001

It is disheartening to see so many businesses not taking advantage of email.  Email makes it so easy to connect with your clients and to build a relationship with them.  

What most companies face is that when they first started using the Internet, they were getting only a few emails a day and could handle them just fine.  However, as they marketed their site and ran promotions, the interest in their company grew.  With this growth came more emails, more than they could handle.  At this point, they had four choices: to hire an additional person to maintain email, automate email responses, add more information to their website, or not to keep up with email responses.  

Not keeping up with emails is not an option if you wish to grow your company.  People using the Internet to purchase a product or service want the information NOW!  They are not willing to wait three or four days for an answer. Not responding will just send them to your competition... the ones that do respond quickly.  

Hiring an additional person to handle email is not very feasible for small companies.  You don’t want to spend your increase in profits on another employee.  

Adding information to your website is a great idea! This will cut down on emails and phone calls asking the same questions, over and over again.  Adding a FAQ section to your website will help even more.

In my opinion, automating your email responses is your best choice.  Autoresponders are not difficult to use and are easy to set up and to update.  An autoresponder is basically an e-mail tool that will automatically respond to any incoming message to a particular e-mail address.  

For example:  From experience (emails you have received) you have learned that there are nine very common questions people ask before they purchase your product.  On your Web site, set up an email address - questions@yourcompany.com.  If you set up an autoresponder, the sender of an email to questions@yourcompany.com will automatically receive an email with your most frequently asked questions.  Your email might look something like this: 

Subject: To answer your question

Hello, 
Thank you for interest in XYZ Company.  Through the years we have learned that most people ask the same nine questions.  We know your time is valuable and that you want to make your buying decision quickly.  To this end we are sending your our most frequently asked questions and their answers.  

If your particular question is not answered below please feel free to contact us at info@yourcompany.com or call us toll free at xxx-xxx-xxxx.  

We look forward to servicing you in the future.  

Have a great day,
Your name here.

List your top nine questions and answers here 

What does this do for you?  One important thing is that you do not need to take the time to respond to the email.  In addition, within 5 minutes of sending an email, your customer receives your autoresponder and is able to read through your more frequently asked questions.  

In addition, you started to build a relationship with this client because you: 

  • Anticipated their needs
  • Answered their questions in a timely manner
  • Made it easy for them to contact you for further assistance
  • Treated your customers with care and take your business seriously

Autoresponders can be set up on most email accounts.  If you are unsure on to set them up, contact your hosting provider or Internet Service Provider and they can assist you.

How Often Should I Submit My Site? 

As a general rule, every six weeks is safe and helps ensure good placement. A more aggressive marketing campaign would consist of submitting your site every four weeks. If you are submitting more than one page of your site, you will want to spread out the submissions over several days. There should be a least 24-hours between each submission to the same search engine.

October 1, 2001

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