> Auto Responder vs. Auto Response
Auto Responder vs. Auto Response
| Posted: Wednesday, April 22, 2009
When I was a child I watched Godzilla movies with glee. The thrill of watching two rubbery monsters battle it up amongst the backdrop of a smallish (and now that I think about it, very similar) cardboard city was an experience I absolutely loved. You know, up until the point I’d fall asleep. Then, as luck would have it, the movies were so long and pensive (?!?! ) that I’d still get to watch the finale even after I had awakened from my slumber.
Regardless of how exciting or involved those movies actually were, though, they did have one common thread…they always were titled something like: Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster
or Godzilla vs. the Giant Wachamadoogle
…I think it was an effort to create some sense of excitement. After all, as I suggested earlier, Godzilla movies weren’t always good at…sustained interest. So they needed something to create that sense of excitement that would pull you in even more.
That said, today I am writing about auto responders. And, while perhaps not as “exciting” as Godzilla vs. the Kong-a-nator
, they're still a vital part to your marketing channel enjoyment. An auto responder, of course, is simply an email marketing program that automatically sends out messages to your email subscribers so you don’t have to. It’s sequential email marketing at its best…or worst, depending on how it’s used.
Why Auto Responder vs. Auto Response
? Because I find that often people mistake the tool for the method. Thus, I’ve created some basic principles to help you create better messaging with your auto responder (email marketing) program:
1. You should use an auto responder like iContact, Constant Contact or Aweber to provide an instantaneous customer service to your prospects and clients. This allows people to get information right away when they request it and increases your capacity. That doesn’t mean that you should be aloof or rote in your messages you create. Always think about what the user desires and provide that information in your email series. Don’t use an “auto response” for your messages. Make sure you are thoughtful, considerate and provide real responses, not just filler.
2. Make sure you’ve planned what you want to say over the long term in your email series and stick with the plan. An important aspect of a good auto response email marketing plan is to make sure your content stream makes sense to whomever signs up for your email update list. And stick with it for consistency sake.
3. Make sure you have real content, not just promotional material. Don’t confuse the email sign ups for people wanting to be pummeled by your great advertising and promotional ideas. As great as they are, the people who just put their email name in for your content on “practical tips” or “great ideas” more likely than not is expecting that…not a series of ads for how they can buy your product.
4. Bonus principle: Use “double opt in." If your email marketing program doesn’t require an opt in with a confirmation link, be careful. It truly is one of the best ways to get qualified leads for your business. If I subscribe, you send me a confirmation link, and I click on that…well, it means I definitely want your info (and subsequently become a much stronger lead). If I don’t - well, you probably didn’t want me on your list anyway as I’d be taking up space in a better qualified group.