Ask any veteran Internet marketer about converting visitors into sales, and you’ll get one answer: it’s all about the follow-up.
Truly, it’s more than just increasing the volume of traffic that gets to visit your site. After all, a good 98% of your daily visitors, at the average, won’t decide to purchase your products or rent your services. But that’s not to say that they won’t be interested in the same offer tomorrow, or that they won’t be interested in future offers.
Hence, it has become necessary to “capture” these “leads” so that they may be informed of upcoming offerings, or better yet, so that you could warm them up for your current offers. This can be done by employing an opt-in system that would invite them to subscribe to a mailing list. By gathering their names and email addresses, with their permission of course, you would be able to contact them periodically with informative materials, usually carried out through the use of an eZine or a newsletter, as well as occasional distribution of freebies to win their favor for a possible sale.
There would be no problem if you’re dealing with ten or twenty subscribers, as you could write to them individually. But such number isn’t sustainable by a long shot, however. You should aim for a mailing list that would reach the thousands. And that would make it difficult for you to prepare personalized emails.
The crux of an ideal mailing list, therefore, is an efficient autoresponder system that would cater to your every need with regards to the matter.
A mailing list of considerable size powered by a good autoresponder system consistently provides some generous earnings for many Internet marketers the world over. A lot of online businessmen can rake a profit from their mailing lists alone.
But what is an autoresponder system? An autoresponder system is like a digital secretary. It will take care of your subscribers by providing for an opt-in system that would allow them to subscribe to your mailing list. An autoresponder system would also take care of the distribution of emails to your subscriber base.
You could simply prepare your messages in advance, program them in the autoresponder, and preset the intervals by which the said messages will be delivered. You could even separate your subscribers into various groups. One group would be for those who have yet to order, for example, and the other is for those who have already made a purchase. This would allow you to use two different approaches in dealing with them.
Also, a good autoresponder system would help build the customer’s, prospective or actual, trust in your services. With a good autoresponder, you could provide for an efficient technical support program. If your client would email you a question about one of your products, for example, you could preset the autoresponder to reply with a general FAQ so that he may be properly guided.
Not all autoresponders are built the same way, however, and much care should be exercised in choosing the right one perfect for your particular needs. Here are ten questions you need to ask before you decide enrolling for an autoresponder service:
- How many accounts can you create with their system? Some business plans would require you to have different accounts for different product.
- How many lists can you build? There are also some business plans that would require different lists for different groups of clients?
- How many follow-up messages can you preset?
- How many subscribers can the system hold? And correspondingly, how many subscribers can the system respond to?
- How much customization is allowed? You need to make your subscribers feel special somehow, so the names included in your message, as well as some parts of the message itself, should be customizable.
- How can the system gather prospective subscribers? The process should be simple and convenient, otherwise, the target’s patience will just be tried.
- Will you be able to send your messages in .html and .doc formats?
- Will you be able to track your subscribers for the purpose of target marketing?
- Is the scheduling system fully automated?
- Is the autoresponder easy to use?
If the autoresponder service you are considering favorably satisfies all the questions above, and it is being offered at a reasonable price, then it would be wise to grab that deal as soon as you can.
Remember, if you’re running an online business, a good autoresponder should be one of your primary investments. It could be the key to an excellent conversion rate.