So you don’t have a way of managing all of the customer responses coming through your inbox? I can relate, please let me share a personal story.
When I first started my online business, I didn’t know what an autoresponder was, and I was intimidated by setting one up on my site. I simply had an HTML form set up that would send e-mail address of people that wanted my newsletter straight to my inbox. I can only imagine the amount of money that I was leaving on the table. I had no way of responding back to my potential customers. When I saw a newsletter signup come into my inbox, I would copy and paste a reply back to them.
The times have changed. Not only is the above situation not acceptable, but there’s no way you can effectively grow your business without an autoresponder.
After all, since you now have your website set up to sell your e-book, you are going to need a way to handle the various types of correspondence being sent to you from potential customers.
Autoresponders are an effective and economical innovation (software program) designed to “respond” to any messages a website receives. Thousands of online businesses use autoresponders to send a confirmation “thank you” notice when anyone registers with their email address on the site. Think of them as an answering machine for your website.
Using an autoresponder is a critical component to having a successful ebook business. Not only do you need to respond to messages and inquiries, you must implement an email sales campaign to promote your ebook. If you were to try to manage the emails yourself, the task will eventually become impractical and extremely time consuming. You could hire someone to answer them, but when your site is receiving several hundred hits a day with an average of 50% registering to receive more information; you would need to hire several people thus making the cost very prohibitive. In business, “time is money and money is time”, and online, and autoresponder is the only solution.
If you do not have an autoresponder, you will lose sales, and lots of them. If you are not using an auto email program to get these non-committals to return to your site, you will not be able to sell your ebook to them. It’s really as simple as that.
How does an autorepsonder work? By utilizing the information you input into the programs, the Autoresponder will automatically answer any email or sign-up your site receives. You can even program a variety of responses and how many times you want to send your customers an email; plus any sales receipts, download information and access, support problems – can all be effectively handled by an autoresponder. Obviously if there is a support situation, you or your webmaster will need to step in and fix the problem, but the autoresponder can easily let the customer know that someone will be emailing them soon to help.
Due to the nature of your business (e-book sales), you will need a variety of email autoresponses depending upon the situation. A typical list of responses for an e-book sales site might include some or all of the following:
1) Thank you response for visiting and signing up;
2) Free newsletter emailed to all sign-ups;
3) Special offer emails to entice purchase;
4) Purchase notification/invoice;
5) Thank you for purchasing;
6) Informing of your newest e-book;
7) Offer free course/bonus for signing up;
8) Notification of problems/complaints received from customers;
9) Notification of feedback received.
Basically the uses of the program are endless, in fact anything that you would want emailed to several customers can be handled through an autoresponder. And just like the almost limitless uses, there are a vast number of autoresponder companies vying to handle your e-business correspondence.
Many sites have free autoresponder programs available which handle minimal email tasks; however because you are trying to sell ebooks, you should look for a system or service that does not limit the capabilities of your emails. Make sure you get unlimited email size plus you will need the ability to send multiple emails to the same person over a period of time. Remember, the reason for sending several emails over a course of time is based on the fact that most customers (about 60% - 70%) do not purchase on their first visit. If they are interested in learning more about your ebook, they will sign up for more information. And this is when you use an autoresponder to send multiple targeted information emails to drive those reluctant customers back to your site for the purchase. You will also want to have the ability to track your emails to assess the effectiveness of such a campaign. We use www.aweber.com and www.getresponse.com is also a good solution.
The messages you will want to send will depend upon the reason for the need to respond. One way you can handle this by having multiple email addresses for your site. Here is a short list of email addresses you will need:
If you need additional addresses, do not hesitate to set them up and use them; the more you categorize your customer’s emails, the better you, your webmaster and your autorepsonder program will work. The autoresponder will know the difference between newsletter sign-ups, customer logins, purchases, and so on. This is all configured in the program, as is sending notification emails for receipt of a customer’s inquiry at one of your listed email addresses. Again, you or your webmaster will manually have to answer any inquiries received at a site listed address. Unfortunately at this moment in time, autoresponders cannot read and answer emails. I would imagine that sometime in the not too distance future this will become a possibility. One can always hope!
Now you understand why autoresponders are an important if not critical ingredient in developing a productive, functioning, 24/7 e-book sales site. Using one will help increase your sales, drive those hesitant potential customers back to your site and take care of those everyday tasks associated with having a professional and courteous Internet business. Offering excellent customer service is a significant business building tool, especially for online businesses when a customer assesses you and your site faster than you realize.