Choosing and Setting Up Your Email Autoresponder System

In order to run an email marketing campaign, you will need an Autoresponder system, which is a web-based email marketing software that will deliver your email messages to your list. Autoresponder systems are affordable and make the emailing process truly “hand-off” once you set everything up.

1. Choose an Autoresponder service company to use. These companies charge you a small monthly fee to hold your list of email addresses and messages.

Some of the most popular are Aweber.com, iContact.com, and Constantcontact.com.

2.  Add contacts to your Autoresponder system. This can be done manually. However, if you have an opt-in form on your website, they will be automatically added.

3.  Create some starter email messages and add them into your Autoresponder system so you can start following-up with your list.  Continue to send them messages that contain valuable information.  Never let your list run cold!

4.  Generate an opt-in form to place on your website. Once your Autoresponder is setup, you will have the ability to generate an opt-in form to place on your website.

An opt-n form is a simple HTML code that is generated by your Autoresponder. When setting up your code, you will determine what information you want to capture. Obviously, you will need their email address, but you can also ask for additional information such as their name, address, phone number, etc. However, the less you ask for, the more subscribers you will get.

Capturing Email Addresses on Your Website

It has been proven that giving away a free gift in exchange for email addresses works better than any other method. Visitors are more apt to give you their email address if they get something in return. However, whatever you decide to give them must be valuable and something they would benefit from. Make sure it’s enticing enough to make them leave their email address to get it.

As mentioned earlier, your Autoresponder opt-in box on your site will be responsible for collecting email addresses, but you must have a way to entice your visitors. You can offer things such as:

Discounts and Coupons: Most businesses sell products and services that benefit from the use of coupons. Everyone wants to save money these days so offering a discount or coupon could prove to be very powerful for building a list.

Free Ebooks/Reports: A lot of people are online searching for solutions to a problem or need that they have. Free reports are the perfect way to give them the information that will solve their problem or fulfill their need.

Free Video Guides: Video is quickly becoming one of the most powerful marketing methods online today. Many people would rather watch a video than read an e-book, so you should definitely cater to this market.

Free “How-To” Tutorials: Tutorials are an excellent way to build an email list. This is because a tutorial provides a LOT of value to subscribers who are looking for a solution to a problem.

Emailing Your List

Once you start building your list, it’s time to connect, educate and “soft-sell” to them by providing them with valuable information…This could be things such as newsletters on topics of interest, “how-to” tutorials, etc.

Coupons and promotions should be worked in – do not bombard your list with hard-selling methods. It is not effective. The most important aspect of email marketing is “relationship-building.”. Use email to get familiar with your list and to allow them to get to know you.

People buy from those they know, like, and trust – this is a known fact. So establishing a relationship is one of the most profitable things you can do to get a strong connection with local consumers. Whatever you do, just be sure to provide your list with valuable information and don’t bombard them with promotional offers.

Also be somewhat conservative about how often you send emails – there is a such thing as “too many emails” when it comes to email marketing. Don’t hit your subscribers with constant emails because this will reduce the perceived value of being a part of your list. Once the value is gone, people will quickly opt-out.

Instead, only send out emails periodically and this could vary depending on the nature of your business. However, in most cases, just sending one email per week – or even two emails per month is more than enough to build a strong connection with your list.