We don’t need no stinking autoresponders

Public Relations Meaning News Media Press Communication“Sir, are you up for a little Q and A today?” I enquired of The Effective Detective to launch this episode of our weekly talks.

“What? Eh Watson? I suppose so… not as much chance to lecture of course,” replied The Detective with a slight smile on his face.

“Perhaps the answer to every question does not require a lecture sir,” I answered, then continuing on before The Detective could offer a rejoinder, “the question is simple sir, what is an autoresponder, and why do you make them sound so important?”

“Watson, the direct answer is quite simple: an autoresponder is simply a process where a set of emails are sent out to a member of your list that the autoresponder is assigned to. The timing of the emails can be set by you so that there are certain intervals of time before the next email is sent out. The emails are the same for each member of your list who receives the autoresponder emails. That much is fairly simple. Where it gets interesting, is why they are so important,” The Detective paused in his characteristic way. Sometimes I believe he is just winding up in those pauses.

“Please continue sir,” I provided an opening without opening a can of worms by making a comment or perhaps sending the conversation in another direction.

“Quite, Watson. As I was saying, autoresponders are important, although you can work a list without them. They are important in that they give you a chance to respond consistently to every single prospect that comes into your funnel. Their introduction to you can be your best stuff. If they are simply thrust into the world of your e-zines or other content, they may hit something that doesn’t immediately interest them. Or perhaps, perish the thought, you might have a bad day, and simply not be on the top of your game with your content. Whatever the reason, you could start out on the wrong foot with a new potential client. Autoresponder content can be tailored to the promised message. Perhaps it is a multiple part video course. The page that attracted your prospect enticed them with that content. They get what they expect to get, and you gain credibility,” The Detective stopped again. This time, looking at me like he expected more than a perfunctory response.

“It would seem to me sir that is also less work for you. Once the content is done, it is done – well perhaps except for some tweaking here and there. Freeing you up for both your other business responsibilities and more content.”

“I think you have the concept Watson. There are some email services out there that offer you a free version or level. Unfortunately, if autoresponders are one of the features they deny you for free, you are better off spending a little money with them to get the autoresponders. Those first few weeks after they subscribe are critical in getting your prospects to follow you. Best to bring your A game and start the relationship off right,” The Detective concluded.

“You sound like you speak from experience, sir” I said, raising an eyebrow.

“A story for another day Watson.”