An autoresponder is a software program which automatically replies to emails with a pre-written message. For example if you are going on vacation you can create an autoresponder message which says “I am on vacation now and I will return your email when I get back on July 1 st.”
So when somebody sends you an email your autoresponder program will automatically reply to anybody who sends you an email with your pre-written vacation message.
This type of autoresponder is the simplest type of autoresponder.
The next type of autoresponder is a Timed Autoresponder. A timed autoresponder will send out an initial email responding to any emails which are sent to it. But in addition to the initial autoresponder message a timed autoresponder will send out additional autoresponder messages days after the initial email is sent out.
For example you could set up a timed autoresponder to send out automatic messages every 3 days for a month after the initial email response.
Each follow up email can be a different message. A timed autoresponder system will allow you to pre-load as many automatic messages as you wish. You can then tell the software at what time intervals to send out the messages. You can have the messages go out every 4 days for 1 year automatically or at any time intervals you wish.
Essentially a timed autoresponder will send out periodic follow up emails at any time interval you choose for as long as you want.
Do you think that automatically following up with your contacts will valuable information would help develop a trusting relationship with your prospects and increase your sales? You bet it will!
Some marketers develop 7 part tutorials and upload each part of the tutorial to a separate timed autoresponder message. They offer their prospects a valuable tutorial if they subscribe to their autoresponder series. Then the prospects will receive a new part of the tutorial every few days from the autoresponder software automatically.
Most people use autoresponder services such as Aweber or Getresponse.com. These services will give you forms to put on your site which will allow you to collect the names and emails of those who wish to join your autoresponder series.
Most autoresponder services will include unsubscribe links in the follow up emails which allows your prospects to unsubscribe at any time from your autorepsonder series.
Another feature of autorepsonder services is the broadcast feature. Say you have collected 1000 emails of prospects who have expressed interest in your business. Then say you have a special deal to offer your members. Most autoresponder services will allow you to send a special broadcast to your entire list of autoresponder prospects.
Sending broadcasts to a targeted list of broadcasts is one of the effective marketing tools I have found. I have a list of over 100,000. I can send targeted offers to my list at any time and every time I do I get sales!
Autoresponder services will provide forms that you can put on your site to allow people to subscribe to your autoresponder series. If you subscribe to my newsletter from the forms on this page my autoresponder service will automatically send you the initial follow up email and then timed follow ups every 4 days until you unsubscribe.
Bottom line if you are not collecting the email addresses of your visitors and following up you are throwing away money. I would sign up for an autoresponder service right away and start collecting the emails of all your visitors. The simplest to use and best service I have found is Aweber. You can get a 30 day free trial of their service right here.