Autoresponders - What are they and why are they important?

How much time do you waste per week manually replying to enquiry requests that come through your website? Typically these are 'thanks for getting in contact with us' emails. They help you establish communication with the prospect, whilst giving you time to get back to them.

Or do you have a software-based product where you email new users details on how to get started with their new app? 

Manually replying with the same emails over and over again can take up hours of your week. They are vital in keeping that prospect or customer engaged, but copying and pasting the same email every day can seem incredibly counter-productive.

Well, that's where autoresponders come in. In this article, we will delve into the world of automated emails and show you where you can be using autoresponders to save your business both time and money.

What are autoresponders?

An autoresponder is a sequence of automated emails, delivered in pre-planned successions and timed intervals. These messages are designed to generate engagement and ultimately move the contact towards a desired goal.

Autoresponders are triggered by a specific action, this could be joining an email list, becoming a customer, or making a request for more information.

Autoresponders are different from an email newsletter. Whilst with newsletters, if a contact joins the list they will receive the next email to be sent out, with autoresponders the contact triggers an event and the communications from the very start of the sequence. 

For example, you create an onboarding sequence of emails that drives someone from first logging into your app, to actively using and advocating for it. No matter when someone signs up, they will receive the first email, then the second, and so on. With newsletters, someone may join a list and receive issue 52 of your newsletter as their very first email. 

The key feature of autoresponders is that they are automated and scheduled. This means that you don't need to write each email out every time you want to send it. Create the sequence of emails once and then it's good to go for the foreseeable future.

When should you use autoresponders?

There are a number of scenarios in which an autoresponder series can help your business accelerate growth and drive engagement through your communications.

The first example could be when someone signs up for an ebook you put out. You get prospects to submit their information in exchange for a killer piece of content you have created. Now when someone submits that information, what do you do with it? A lot of businesses add them to a generic email list where they will receive your marketing promos every week.

But how relevant is this content to the ebook they downloaded? This is where an autoresponder series can be used to drive more related content into the prospect's inbox that increases the open and click-through rate. They don't end up joining an email campaign halfway through the series, they get dedicated to content that builds upon the ebook they downloaded earlier. 

Autoresponders are also commonly used in the onboarding process. When a customer signs up for your software, a series of automated emails can be used to guide them through the process of getting set up and using your app. 

They can also be used by B2B companies as hold off emails whilst you create the prospects quote or get back to them regarding their enquiry. If you have ever received a 'thanks for emailing us, we'll get back to you shortly' email, that's an autoresponder. You can't always get back to new enquiries straight away, so these let them know you have received their enquiry and are working on it.

These are just some of the instances autoresponders can be used to drive businesses forward. Chat to our team today to find out the ways they can help your business. 

Why are autoresponders important?

Chris Hexton of Vero found that emails sent based on customer actions get more opens, clicks and conversions because they are contextual. Studies have also found that emails like abandoned cart reminders see a massive 40% click-through rate for B2C retailers, compared to the industry average of around 2-5%. 

Different content is more engaging in different parts of the customer journey. By using autoresponders, you can nurture a prospect through every stage, all the way to purchase and beyond into customer loyalty. 

By setting up autoresponders, you won't have to create the relevant content for every single prospect that comes through your CRM. Create it once and you can let the software do its thing on your behalf. As people join your mailing list or sign up as a prospect or customer, they will then receive a series of emails that you have designed to get them to the next step.

How do I send autoresponders?

Sending autoresponders is super easy if you have the right tools behind you. Software like Fortifi gives you everything you need to create as many autoresponder series as you like, whatever the event. 

Create meaningful communications with your subscribers from the very first email by setting up a series of emails in Fortifi. You can customise everything, from the event trigger, the length of the sequence, to the time between emails. Set up sequences for cold leads, prospects, customers and repeat purchasers, and as your contacts move through the process to purchase, their communications will also change. 

You can find out more about Fortifi's Autoresponder software here.

Our top tips for sending autoresponders

Whilst getting running with autoresponders is really easy, there are a few things we recommend you consider before you delve into the world of automated emails. 

1. Don't overdo it - make sure the time between emails is an appropriate period and that you aren't bombarding the user with emails five times a day, that will eventually annoy them.

2. Make sure you are GDPR compliant - if you are sending a sequence of emails, firstly make sure you have the correct permissions to do so. If these are off the back of someone requesting a quotation through a form on your website, ensure that the communications you send them are only to do with that quotation. If they are off the back of a software download, you can assume that they will want to be sent details on how to get set up with the software. Always give them the opportunity to opt-out of any email communications at the bottom of your emails.

3. Keep the content relevant - same as with any email communication, you need to ensure the content of the autoresponders are relevant to what the contact signed up to in the first place. You should also run an audit on your autoresponders regularly, making sure that the information is up to date and that the content is moving prospects towards your desired goals. 

Leave the follow-ups to Fortifi

Here at Fortifi, we support marketing and sales teams across a range of industries, making their daily lives easier with the help of automation technology.

With Fortifi Autoresponders in tow, you can put your communications on autopilot whilst ensuring you send the most personalised emails designed to drive engagement with both your prospects and your customers. 


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