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Discover How To Use Sequential Autoresponders To Dramatically Boost Revenue And Save Hundreds Of Hours Every Month!

by Jonathan Mizel

By now, you've probably heard the term "autoresponder". Autoresponders are special e-mail addresses that automatically respond with a pre-written message whenever they receive e-mail from someone.

For example, if you send any e-mail to info@cyberwave.com, you'll receive the following message delivered back to you in a few minutes:

Dear Friend,

Thanks for requesting information about marketing your business on the Internet. Here is the list of the products and services we offer.

Free trial to our newsletter:
http://www.cyberwave.com/oml

Cyberwave Coaching Club:
http://www.CyberwaveCoachingClub.com

Test and Track your Online Ads:
http://www.TestAndTrack.com

Roll out your product to a million hungry prospects:
http://www.MarketingRollout.com

How to use pop-ups to increase profits:
http://www.AmazingPopUps.com

Recommended Products:
http://www.cyberwave.com/products.html

Sincerely,

Cyberwave Media, Inc.

© 2005 by Cyberwave Media, Inc.
1005 Terminal Way, Suite 110
Reno, NV 89502

This message is sent regardless of what your message is, what time it is, or what day it is. It doesn't matter if it's a holiday, or our office is closed, or we are off fishing someplace, the above message will automatically be sent.

Sequential Autoresponders

Sequential autoresponders reply like normal autoresponders, plus they can be programmed to follow up an unlimited number of additional times, over a period of days, weeks, even months.

We aren't going to extol the benefits of sequential follow-up in this article. You should accept as fact sending more than one response to a prospect will increase your response and profits. In many cases, it's substantial.

Not using a sequential autoresponder in your online business is dumb!

Nonetheless, many marketers don't use them because nobody has explained how powerful they are, how many hours they can save, or how much money they can generate.

You are about to discover several totally unique methods of using sequential autoresponders, including two case studies of sales processes that doubled, even tripled the profits generated from the exact same traffic.

Here's how: Sequential autoresponders squeeze more money out of each prospect because they expose them to a variety of messages through multiple points of contact (e-mail follow-ups). Prospects may not be in the mood to hear your message when they receive your first follow-up, but a week later, they are.

They may have experienced a business or personal problem your product or service solves, or they may want to move forward with a project you can help them with. Using automated follow-up means you stay in touch, even if they deleted your previous message.

How Do These Systems Work?

Sequential autoresponders send multiple follow-ups to prospects who request information from you via e-mail. When someone sends a message to your system, or fills out an opt-in form on your site, the sequential autoresponder sends an immediate personalized confirmation message (or sales letter) as well as any sequential messages you have programmed into the system.

After you've set up an account with a provider, you'll be instructed how to set the system to send follow-up messages. You can even set your own subject line. Add more follow-up messages the same way, and repeat the process as many times as you like.

Give Yourself A Raise

It takes a few minutes to set a system up, which is why many people don't do it. But once it's done, you can sit back, relax, and watch your cash flow increase dramatically with little or no additional work, especially if you implement the techniques we reveal below. Many business owners report that following up multiple times is like getting a 50%–100% profit raise!

Make sure your autoresponder service has these important features:

1) Personalization: If you have the prospect's name, or you use an opt-in form on your site that captures this information, you can easily personalize your message. You can also personalize all follow-up messages, even the subject line, with the prospects first and/or last name (depending what you collect). This make people feel special, and it increases response.

2) Date specific: If you are presenting a deadline to your prospects, you can set the date anywhere between 1 and 5 days ahead.

3) Import/Export Capabilities: You can easily import or export leads from database to database, or add people to other databases.

4) Management of bad addresses and unsubscribe requests: If you have a large list, this can be a laborious job. However, using a good service means all bad addresses and remove requests are handled automatically using an interface that's user friendly for your prospects (one click removal).

5) Mass personalized follow-ups: Probably the most important feature is the ability to re-mail prospects after the initial sequence of messages has been sent. All the mailing is done in a few easy steps, through a Web based interface and from the service's server as opposed to your server. There's no importing or exporting, and all the bad addresses and unsubscribe requests are automatically removed.

5 Unique Ways To Use Sequential Autoresponders In Your Business

Because you can deliver multiple messages, sequential autoresponders are a perfect way to deliver content, as well as sales letters or teaser ads (or a combination of both), to your opt-in list.

Here are a few common, and not so common ways to implement a sequential follow-up sales process on your site.

1) Deliver a multi-part sales letter: This can vary from a complex process that sends a sequence of different letters all attempting to close the prospect (highly effective), to sending slightly different versions of the same letter (more effective than just sending once). You can simply add 2nd notice (etc.), to the subject line if you are pressed for time.

2) Deliver a multi-part training course: We've seen many online businesses create multi-part training courses which they deliver using a sequential autoresponder. The idea is to deliver a stream of content the prospect finds valuable. After the content has been received and digested, the theory is that a subsequent sales letter will be read with equal fervor.

3) Deliver static content disguised as a newsletter: We'll review a case study of this technique below. In a nutshell, it involves writing several issues of a newsletter or publication beforehand, and then using the sequential autoresponder to deliver them. The secret is to make each issue "timeless" so they appear fresh and new, regardless of when the sequence begins.

4) Deliver special offers: We have clients who capture names and addresses from their website forms and promise nothing more than advertising offers. They use sequential autoresponders to deliver a constant stream of ads for affiliate programs and per-lead advertisers.

5) Deliver multi-part confirmation messages with subsequent teaser ad follow-ups: Similar to the strategy of upselling more products from the thank-you page after the customer buys the first one (to latch on his/her buying mood and credit card in hand), you can also queue up additional offers sent out on schedule via e-mail over a period of weeks and months.

Case Study #1: HigherResponse.com

Marlon Sanders is one of the sharpest marketers I know, so I wasn't surprised to hear he uses sequential autoresponders for multiple applications, including staying in touch with paying customers after they make a purchase.

If you bought his The Amazing Formula, you have seen first-hand how his system works. If not, then pay attention.

Marlon uses a 4-step follow-up process that kicks into action the moment you hit the submit button on his order form. Here are the specific elements of his sequential autoresponder messages:

Immediate follow-up. Marlon automatically sends a personalized note that confirms the purchase, and thanks the customer for ordering.

Day 1 following last response: Marlon sends a personalized message asking if the prospect was able to download the product, and thanking them again for their purchase.

Day 2 following last response: Marlon sends a personalized message telling the prospect about another secret bonus they can retrieve for free. This cuts down on refunds and post-purchase remorse.

Day 12 following last response: Marlon sends a personalized message asking for a testimonial.

Marlon revealed he's also launched a new system that will continuously follow up as many as 100 times over 12 months. He'll program in "new feature" announcements, new product launches, and of course, teaser ads that lead to affiliate programs for products he recommends.

This means his sales process will automatically solicit people, drive them to a site, and collect their money, all while Marlon is busy not working.

Case Study #2: Cyberwave Media

We use sequential autoresponders to deliver the first 9 issues of our free e-zine, which are simply excerpts of our paid newsletter provided as a free sample, and laced with advertising and subscription information.

The best part is, we appear to be hardworking, diligent marketers, sending thousands of personalized messages to our e-zine list every single week. And we are, we just choose to do it automatically (and you should too).

We've taken 9 of our best back issues and re-worked them to remove dated references and events so they are evergreen (timeless). Then, we inserted a Java date generator at the top of the page that always reads the current date.

When e-zine subscribers receive our e-mail notification and click on the URL for the latest issue, the date always appears to be current and the issue looks like it was released that day.

When new issues are produced, we add them to the the follow-up sequence. This is an amazing way to automatically deliver a publication, especially a free e-zine.

Here is our sequence:

Immediate follow-up: We automatically send a personalized note confirming the opt-in e-zine subscription, thanking the customer, and giving them the URL for the first issue.

Day 3 following previous response: We automatically send a personalized message giving the prospect the URL for the second issue.

Day 4 following previous response: We automatically send a personalized message giving the prospect the URL for the third issue.

Day 3 following previous response: This is a teaser ad for a product we sell.

Day 4 following previous response: We automatically send a personalized message giving the prospect the URL for the fourth issue.

Day 3 following previous response: We automatically send a personalized message giving the prospect the URL for the fifth issue.

Day 4 following previous response: This is a teaser ad for a product we sell.

Day 3 following previous response: We automatically send a personalized message giving the prospect the URL for the sixth issue.

Day 4 following previous response: We automatically send a personalized message giving the prospect the URL for the seventh issue.

Day 3 following previous response: We automatically send a personalized message giving the prospect the URL for the eighth issue.

Day 4 following previous response: This is a teaser ad for a product we sell.

Day 7 following previous response: We automatically send a personalized message giving the prospect the URL for the ninth issue.

Day 7 following previous response: We automatically send a personalized message giving the prospect the URL for the tenth issue.

Day 14 following previous response: This is a teaser ad for a product we sell.

To try it out for yourself, go to http://cyberwave.com/ezine.html and complete the form. You'll see how the sequence is crafted and how we include references to offers within the overall promotion (or maybe you already did).

We are in the process of adding additional follow-up messages, most of which will be advertising offers sent over a 12-month period (move over Marlon).

Specific Techniques To Improve Response

1) Drive the traffic to a web page: Under most circumstances, we believe it's better to drive traffic to a Web page than deliver a sales message or content via e-mail. It bears testing for your own business, but realize when you utilize the Web to deliver information, you have the following control:

· You can put a counter on the web page to track readability: Some people are embarrassed by how few prospects actually read the mail they send, and would rather keep their heads in the sand. But if you are interested, deliver your content over a website and use a counter to measure not only conversions, but also e-mail click-throughs (note, you'll lose a few prospects forcing them to go to the Web, so test like we did before committing to this process).

· You can control the formatting and look of the document: Writing in HTML allows you to use fonts and font attributes, colors, centering, and graphics, giving you more control over the end-user experience.

· You can easily include links, banners, and other advertising within the document: Links can be included and made more subtle since the entire URL need not be used. Affiliate tracking codes can be embedded in simple text like "Click Here" to create more seamless promotions.

2) When creating a sequence of messages, read each one as if it's standing on its own: We see people using a sequence of letters that are so interconnected, they don't make any sense unless they are all read at the same time. Make sure each communication stands on its own and encourages people to move forward in the direction you want them to.

3) When personalizing, avoid these common errors: Some services allow you to put a default name (like Friend), after the salutation. However, we've found it's best to eliminate the comma and start your messages with the word "Hi" rather than "Dear". This way, if no name is available, the message will still make sense. Avoid unnecessary personalization within the body of the message that won't look good without a name inserted.

Service Providers

There are many sequential autoresponder service providers, some of them excellent. However, because follow-up e-mail is one of the most important parts of our business, and because we make so much money from it, there's only one service we recommend.

Setting up a system requires some time and energy. For us, it's worth the extra few bucks to ensure our prospects get their mail, and we get the pay-off from our effort. That's why we recommend AWeber, the granddaddy of paid sequential autoresponder services.

It's ranked by many as the most reliable, and costs between $10 and $20 per month. You are allowed to set 7 follow-ups, with additional ones costing about $2 per follow-up per month. Here are the main benefits of using Aweber:

1) Unparalleled reliability and customer support: If you want to know for sure your mail went out, use AWeber. They are by far, the most reliable service, and are located in the US. When you need tech support, or you want to place a call to their offices, it's convenient.

2) Spam intolerant: Aweber is on acceptable terms with the anti-spam community (they cancel the accounts of spammers). Our research shows Aweber isn't blocked by any major domains, nor are they in the real-time blackhole list, meaning a vast majority of the mail goes out (hence, a reliability ranking of #1).

3) No other competitive products: Some autoresponder services promote other businesses' products, some of which may be in direct competition with you. If this bothers you, use Aweber, since their only product is the service itself.

4) Unlimited broadcast follow-ups: You are limited to seven automatic follow-ups, but you can send unlimited mass follow-ups to your list anytime you want. If you are using the techniques mentioned in the second case study, this is an important benefit.

5) Tracking code insertion: You can add tracking codes to your autoresponders so you know where the lead comes from. This is a great feature.

6) Import and export functionality: Not only can you export leads, you can also import them, allowing you to send mass e-mail (opt-in only, of course) to your other lists.

We use AWeber exclusively at Cyberwave Media, and have nearly a dozen accounts. While there are cheaper alternatives, we don't recommend them for businesses who take their marketing seriously.

Your Homework

Here is your assignment. In the next 7 days, set up a sequential autoresponder account and program at least 3 follow-ups, either content or sales-based. You may use the newsletter technique, the customer follow-up technique, or any combination of what we presented here.

Better yet, be creative. Find a new format to test, or make one up of your own! The important thing is to be proactive in your marketing, always thinking about how you can make more money with less effort.

You'll quickly discover using a sequential follow-up is one of the easiest ways to extract more revenue from the same number of customers with no additional work.

And that, my friend, is the power of using automated marketing!

Jonathan Mizel is a well-known and respected Internet Marketing expert, and is often found advising well known companies such as Microsoft, Intel, and American Express.

 

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