Autoresponders: Coming Back For More
There was a time when having an autoresponder was a significant perk in ecommerce web design. The early versions of autoresponders would only allow for a one-time auto response. This meant that online business could send a thank you note, catalogue or an ‘about us’ email, but that would be the extent of the auto response messages the system could send. The business owner could only make the choice of one item to send to all customers. If the owner changed what was sent it was changed for all subsequent auto responses.
Today the idea of an autoresponder as a perk seems somewhat ridiculous. Most web designs offer a singular autoresponder either as an add-on or as part of the design package.
The reason it’s ‘no big deal’ these days is the advent of sequential autoresponders. This technology is what allows businesses to send follow up materials that can come in more than one mailing without requiring you to personally manage the information distribution.
Perhaps the biggest reason for using sequential autoresponders has to do with the need for customer impressions. If you can develop a series of emails or even an ecourse filled with knowledge-based information on your industry or product you can allow this content to be sent in order and at prescribed times.
Potential customers need multiple contacts in order to familiarize themselves and become comfortable with your ecommerce store. Unlike the ‘five and dime’ growing up, most ecommerce businesses are conducted by people customers don’t know and autoresponders can help potential customer learn more about you, your services and your ability to serve them.
Since knowledge is an important component in developing and marketing your website it should come as no surprise that content can help you convert the casual visitor to a trusting customer.
Some autoresponder emails are hard sell, but I’d like to suggest that your autoresponders be information-based and that you approach providing knowledge to your customer as the basis for the email with an emphasis on selling a product as a secondary motivation.
We’ve all been hit up by high-pressure salesmen and most of us don’t like it. When it comes to the Internet if you come on too forcefully it’s really easy for your potential customer to hit the delete button and refuse to open anything else that you may send.
The best advice I can give is to ask you to make sure you send quality material in your autoresponders. If you do you make it possible for your visitor to want to see your emails the next time your autoresponder sends them out.