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Five questions to ask when writing auto responders

Tuesday, 2 December 2014 | By Amanda Jesnoewski

Autoresponders are incredibly powerful marketing tools. Not only do they give you leverage by having your sales process automated, they also give the perception of great customer service and when done right increase your sales and conversions.


To ensure your list autoresponders are relevant, effective and profitable, here are five questions you need to answer before your fingers touch the keyboard.

1. Who am I targeting?

The most important question in any marketing campaign is “Who am I targeting?” quickly followed by “What do they want most?” These questions will determine your approach, the problem you solve, the messages you create, the tone of voice you use and the incentive you provide.


If you get this part of the process wrong, you won’t just limit your sales, you will risk being irrelevant, which can result in a surge of unsubscribes.

2. What is the sales process?

In order to write a successful autoresponder series, you need to know the sales process you are taking your customers through. What is the purpose? What is the big picture and what small action steps or purchases do they need to make for you to build trust, establish your credibility and prove your value?


This will determine how long your series of autoresponders are, what incentive and information you include and what products and services you sell first.

3. Where will they be coming from?

It is important to consider all of the different channels someone may use to subscribe to your list. For example a Google search, social media campaign, strategic alliance, customer referral, business directory and so on.


Determining where potential customers will come from and how they may hear about you, can give you an indication of their level of knowledge in regards to your business, impacting the level of detail you go into.

4. Why did they subscribe?

Try to anticipate the reasons potential customers have for subscribing. You’ve piqued their curiosity with an opt-in or teaser, but what other information do they want to know and need to know to feel like they are receiving value? What will keep them on your list and get them buying from you?

5. Could they have already bought what I'm selling?

Have you ever got an autoresponder pushing you into a purchase you already made with a person or business? It's annoying and can cause customers to unsubscribe.


The truth is you can't always anticipate what stage of the buying process your reader is in. They may not follow the sales process you have set out in your autoresponders; they may jump ahead, particularly if they can openly buy on your website before subscribing.


For this reason, it pays not to make any presumptions. When writing your autoresponders make sure they are relevant and interesting to all readers across all buying stages and give alternate options for those who may have already purchased.


What are your tips for using autoresponders?