AutoResponder Cover
Auto-response campaigns help you stay in touch with existing and prospective customers even when you are busy doing other things. Yes, every day is different and every customer is different, but if you want to be successful, you need to create standard processes and systems. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel every time you have a new project. It takes too long and it is too easy to make mistakes or forget important steps.  
Automated response programs help you deal with every customer in a consistent and high-quality manner, delivering the information they need to make informed decisions. 
For existing customers, auto-response campaigns can help generate repeat business such as when a florist reminds husbands to send flowers on wedding anniversaries or a restaurant sends a coupon for a free drink on your birthday, knowing full well you will bring friends when you come in.
For prospective clients, auto-response campaigns can help them take the next step. For example, after you send a proposal, having a series of emails prepared which answer frequently asked questions can remove obstacles to closing the sale. You probably already have all the content you need, you just need to arrange it in a logical order and schedule the campaigns. 
For leads (people who aren’t ready to engage directly), auto-response campaigns give you a gentle way to showcase what you know and help a prospect feel comfortable enough to take the next step. A well timed auto-response campaign is designed to address that moment in every sales process when a client must decide if you are the right choice.
So how do you put together an effective auto response campaign? There are three main pieces to a comprehensive program. They are:  

  1. An offer. This is something that is attractive to your prospective client. It is information or a resource that your prospective client will be willing to trade their email address to receive. It might be industry data or survey results, how-to guides or case studies, collections of blog posts, resources kits, checklists, product previews, coupons, podcasts or webinars. Every business has things prospective customers will value. Just get creative.
  2. Landing page. This is a dedicated page on your website where prospective customers can learn about your offer and make the exchange. Keep the layout of this page simple, and don’t ask for too much information in the contact form. 
  3. The drip campaign. Once you know what someone is interested in you can add them to a specific, segmented email list. You can begin sending follow up messages at appropriate intervals. While it may vary by industry, a good rule of thumb is once a week. 
  4. Don’t rely just on email. After you have sent several messages, check your stats and pick up the telephone to call people who seem to be reading most of the information you have sent. 

Looking for more examples of where to use auto-response campaigns? Listen to our most recent episode of More Than a Few Words. If you enjoy the program you can subscribe from iTunes. 

More than a Few Words is a marketing podcast for small business owners produced by Roundpeg.  Listen to new episdoes wherever you get your podcasts.