What Is An Email Autoresponder

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written byTrevor Vernon
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Everything you need to know about an Email Autoresponder

In the field of email marketing, you must have heard a lot about email autoresponder. Ever thought about what it is and how it works? In today’s article, we will share it all with you. So let’s dig in and learn everything about it! First things first! 

What is an email autoresponder?

An email autoresponder is basically a tool that sends an automatic text or mail when a pre-defined trigger is initiated. It is just like something that works 24/7 for your business and helps to automate it. From welcoming the new customers to constantly reaching out to people with some valuable content and telling them about the new offers is what an email autoresponder does. In short, it helps people build trust in you, connects them to you, and keeps them coming back to you. You just have to write once and schedule it to be sent automatically to the customer. 

Examples:

Let us now have a look at some of the popular examples:

  • Welcome Emails:

Have you ever notices that whenever you sign up for a service or buy a product, you get a welcome email in your inbox? These emails are not sent individually to the customers but are triggered with an automated response. It is simply a marketing strategy to welcome new customers. Along with the welcoming texts, the mails usually also contain things like ‘next step’ or ‘further offers’ etc to make the customer stick to the brand and keep coming back. Sometimes, signup coupons are also added in the welcome mails, so this is said to be one of the major components of the email marketing strategy. 

  • Upsell and cross-sell emails:

These emails are sent into your inbox once you purchase certain products. The email usually contains recommendations based on something similar to what you have already bought or of similar interest. This is a common way to lure the customers to shop again from your store or buy more products and services. An example of this is when you buy a shaving cream from a store and an email received in your inbox not only tells you about your shipment status but also about the other shaving products you can buy for even better results. 

 

  • Email Courses:

Email courses include a series of emails that are sent over a certain period of time. These emails are based on the teaching lessons on a specific topic. Each day, a specific email on a specific lesson may be sent to the user and this may continue for as long as mentioned in the course duration. These courses are a great way to educate the users on a certain topic and convert them into loyal customers. 

  • Abandoned Cart Emails:

These emails are sent to those customers who have added products to their shopping carts but haven’t yet checkout. This is a reminder message for them to buy the items before leaving. This type of autoresponder is a must-have in online stores as it helps greatly in sales and keeps reminding people to buy products they like.

 

Now that you have a basic idea of what an email autoresponder is, let’s now have a look at why they are so important in a business and why you must have them! 

Benefits of Email Autoresponders:

A lot of people say that an email autoresponder is a lazy approach to email marketing and we have to agree on that! Once you set up the whole system, it sends emails automatically and saves a lot of your time and effort, so yes it is lazy but in a great way!

So what benefits do email autoresponders give to your business? Here’s the list of some major ones:

  • When you start a new business, the first thing you do is build an email list. Once you have an email list built up, all you need is a welcome email that is once generated for automated response and does the rest of the job itself. You won’t even imagine how many subscribers would keep coming in if you have something exciting to offer.

  • Sometimes people are confused about whether to buy a product from your brand or not. These emails give them an insight into your brand and build trust so that they know exactly what you have to offer and choose you over others. 

  • You can deliver some great and valuable content to your customers. This may include some blog posts, ebooks, or email courses that can benefit your subscribers.

  • You can stay connected with people. This tracks a way for your success and builds a long-lasting name for your business. 

  • Email autoresponders help sent the same kind of content to all the subscribers, so all of them can have the same great experience. 

  • You can send offers and promotions to the customers without sounding salesy. This is a great way to engage someone in buying products from your brand through click and convert. 

o now you know why an email autoresponder is so important in business! Let us now have a look at how you can create an email autoresponder and what are some of the basic steps. So let’s get into this. 

Some Basic Steps to create an Email Autoresponder Series

Do you want to create an email autoresponder series? Over here we have listed some of the steps that you can follow to make your email autoresponder series which has the most chance of success. So, let’s get started...

1.      Define a Goal

Before you begin to write your emails, first define your goal. You have to ask yourself: what do you want to accomplish by setting up the autoresponder?

·         Do you plan on launching a new product?

·         Do you want to promote and advertise your services?

·         Do you want to form a relationship and nurture it?

·         Do you want to cross-sell or upsell?

·         Do you want to create and increase brand awareness?

·         Do you plan on showcasing and spread your industry knowledge?

After you realize your goal, you will know exactly what kind of autoresponder you want to set up. For instance:

Are you interested in increasing sales and intend on selling more products? 
Abandoned cart, cross-sell, upsell, and sales email is more effective?

Are you interested in creating a new relationship and nurturing it?  
Perhaps you are more suited with a case study, welcome email, resource list, or a success story.

Do you plan on showcasing and presenting your industry knowledge? 

Sharing blog posts, podcast promotion, and email courses can help you display your thought leadership.

The intent of any autoresponder should be to channel your subscribers deeper into your email marketing funnel other than being informative and useful for the subscribers.

That is why it is of utmost importance to have clarity of mind before your start writing any email. Whatever you write in these emails will govern the strategy for your email series.

2.      Design the sequence of your emails

If you want to make a series of emails instead of just one, outline your sequence from start to end. For every email, define the purpose of the email, its call to action, and what is it that should trigger its launch.

For instance: let’s suppose that you have an ice cream shop and you plan on setting up a series of email autoresponders to welcome the new customers who have signed up for your e-newsletter. In this case, your sequence should look something like this:

1st email: Email for the welcome.

Aim: To welcome the customer and give a coupon.

CTA: Coupon Redeem

Trigger: As soon as the customer signs up for the newsletter.

2nd email: Follow on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram

Aim: Encourage customers to follow with offers like events and promos announcement on social media.

CTA: Follow on social media.

Trigger: Email can be sent after a day or two of signing up

3rd email: Invite the user to your event like sundae Sunday

Aim: to invite and engage the user to your next event.

CTA: Accept the invitation and attend the event.

Trigger: Sent after 2 days of signing up.

3.      Writing the emails for series

One of the hardest things in the process is to write emails. Here you can seek professional help from a copywriter to help you write engaging emails.

Writing a good email is critical as many of the autoresponder series fail because they focus too much on the brand and don’t engage the user at all. While it is important to promote the brand, also focus on the needs of the user and address them.

So, the next time you write an email, think about the problems of your user and how can you help them. If the user thinks that the email was helpful, he will be tempted to open and read the mail next time too!

4.      Queue up all the emails

The next step is to load all your email content in the email service provider keeping in consideration that the sequence matches well with your branding strategy. For that, you can use the existing templates that you already have in place. Once you have loaded all the content, next you have to set the trigger, schedule the first email and then go ahead with the rest of the emails. The trigger in the case of an online grocery store, for example, can be when anyone signs up for the monthly newsletter.

 

Now it depends upon the capabilities of your ESP and your sequence goal that how you set your emails to be delivered. They can either be sent as a drip campaign or a behaviour-based campaign. A drip campaign is the one in which you send emails every single day till the campaign ends, whereas the behaviour-based campaign is the one in which emails are sent based upon the triggers initiated by the users (for example an abandoning cart).

 

5.      Test thoroughly and make sure everything is working properly

Once you have email content is generated and scheduled, next you have to test it very thoroughly to make sure that the trigger and response are working properly. If everything is okay, this means that now you can sit back and enjoy while the autoresponders take care of all your email marketing needs.

Although this seems like a one-time process, you have to regularly review your email content to make sure that it is up to date. You can even add more emails to your sequence with time, whenever needed. This is usually required when the business expands and you get to know more and better ideas of email marketing.

 

You can also track your emails from time to time to make sure that they are effective and showing good results. This is be done by adding Google campaign URLs to the CTAs, which will help in monitoring the overall effectiveness of autoresponders in Google Analytics.

Conclusion:

And that is everything about it! We hope that we have covered all the major aspects of autoresponders with you. Just know that autoresponders have almost become a necessity in the world of email marketing. With a little bit of effort, you can deliver valuable content to your audience which can in return increase awareness and trust in your brand and help promote sales and marketing. 

So if you still do not have the email autoresponders ready, start today. Just follow the simple steps and start with the welcoming email first. Gradually you will get to know more about how the system works and as your business grows, you can add more emails in the sequence. Establish a long-term trust relationship with the customers with your brand and watch it grow! Good luck!