What are they and what are they good for?
Let’s say you set up a website. You got your Home page looking good. Your ‘About Us’, ‘Blog’ and ‘Contact’ pages are good to go. You got your contacts coming in and now you have to go in and get their emails and send them a Welcome letter as a common courtesy to your new subscriber.
The longer you go, you realize that you appreciate the relationship you have with your people, yet you find that you have other things that you ALSO have to do in order to effectively provide the kind of value you’d like to for more people.
After a while, sending multiple emails manually would take up so much time, it would kinda become your job. The goal is to start a business that can run without you having to be there every minute. Thus, setting up systems that help free up time makes a lot of sense. You don’t want to send each email if there’s a tool that can help you circulate your information to your list with one click.
Introducing the The Auto-Responder
When you see those people who are doing these online businesses on beaches or traveling and their businesses are still able to run, one of the early tools that people invest in (although there are free services) is the auto-responder.
What this does is it allows you to type up an email ahead of time where you can introduce yourself with a letter and a link to a video of you welcoming them. Not only THAT! You can also write a second, third or however many you want to put into your “Campaign” to set it on cruise control. You can send emails with different information in it that leads them to another video where you may have another product to offer or even more free information to add more value for your people.
There are different types of auto-responders I found out. You can set up a messenger type auto-responder that will answer certain simple questions. You can also set up an auto-responder to call leads you get from your website. This cuts out a time-consuming step or two. You don’t have to be there to receive the lead or subscriber, save it to your database and call or email within a certain amount of time. All of this happens almost automatically or even scheduled for certain times.
This service is one of those things that, if you’re not into the website building thing, you probably never heard of it and may not have even this was happening in the background.
There are plenty of different auto-responders out there to choose from. You can choose by price, quality, number of subscribers you can have for a certain amount of money or even customer service support. The more I use customer support for different services, the more I appreciate the value of having good experiences in that area. That said, ease of use and resources that explain or show how to use the software or plugins goes a long way too.
Some people seem to be REALLY good at knowing how to move around in multiple software applications and explaining how to use it in a teaching capacity. When you’re starting out, try to research a couple and choose. As with a lot of different areas of the website building process, you can save your list and move the list or change providers if necessary later.
It may seem like a hassle, but as I’ve said somewhere before, it’s a part of the process and once you do it, you have experience doing it and you’ll know one more thing that increases your value in small increments. Don’t be afraid of some work. It’s all good.
However you cut it, the auto-responder has probably saved more time for online bloggers and businesses than most other auxiliary website services. That being said, when all these pieces are put together it’s a wonderful sight to see it all come to fruition.