Are You Making the Most of Autoresponders?


Autoresponders, those email service provider tools that send out a quick message triggered by a specific action, are a valuable but frequently overlooked marketing tool. An estimated 40 percent of B2B companies don’t use autoresponse emails as part of their email marketing strategy, and that’s a mistake. Without these messages, businesses miss out on a chance to verify a prospect’s data, ask for more information, offer better customer service, and build trust with a simple automated system. Adding autoresponse messages is one of the easiest ways to improve the effectiveness of your email marketing, and here’s how that happens.


How do you prove you’re who you say you are online? When you ask for your prospective customers’ data and collect everything from firmographic information to credit card numbers from them, they have a right to ask that question. Autoresponders are your answer, telling prospects that you’ve received their data and will treat it with care. They’re your electronic signature, one that contains your contact information and details about your company that engender trust in your business.


No matter how carefully your marketing automation system segments your audience, assigns members a lead score, and routes them to a nurture stream, you can’t market to someone you can’t reach. All it takes is a single typo in an email address to render mail undeliverable or route it to the wrong recipient, so sending autoresponder emails to ensure that you got all a customer’s information correct is vital. Ask your customers to look for an autoresponder message after any online transaction or request for more information. If your prospect wants to download your latest ebook or white paper, an autoresponder message can grant access via a password.


One of email marketing’s most useful qualities is its trackability. You know when someone read your mail, how long it was open, whether the recipient clicked through, and other key behavioral details just from a single mailing. Autoresponder emails usually aren’t opened long, but they serve as important markers for tracking downloads and monitoring your leads’ movement over time. Autoresponse emails aren’t usually loaded with content themselves, but they provide a wealth of knowledge about recipients.


The theory is simple: The more your leads see you, the more familiar your brand becomes. Autoresponse messages are a simple but often overlooked way to reinforce your brand through familiarity. If you send autoresponder email to remind customers to renew a subscription, thank them for a recent purchase, or replenish a consumable product, you have a golden opportunity to showcase who you are. Countdowns and reminders leading up to an event such as a webinar or seminar keep interest high and remind people of why they signed up for it. Even though autoresponder emails typically don’t stay open long, it’s a quick and simple way to stake out a little more mind-space with your readers.


If you have a blog or newsletter – and at this point, you should – what do you do with your older posts? With the right autoresponse email program, you redirect your audience to this older but still serviceable content. If someone has recently downloaded a white paper, for example, you have the opportunity to offer them your last two white papers in an autoresponder message confirming the download. “Thank you for downloading X, and please see Y and Z for more information” is a quick way to earn more views and get more value from older content.

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