How Does Autoresponders Work?


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This transcript is from the sixth session of the Small Business Internet Marketing Workshop. It focuses on how does autoresponders work. Some of the topics included in the session are how to craft your own whitepaper, how to promote it, and how to create emails that convert.

To learn more about autoresponders or to watch the other workshop sessions, visit

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How Does Autoresponders Work?

  1. 1. 1 AUTORESPONDERS The constant sales machine David: In this session, we’re going to be talking about autoresponders. The way that I see autoresponders is almost like a silent constant sales machine that goes on in the background to educate your clients and potential clients, who you are, what you provide without you having to do the same thing over and over again. If you’re in a service-based business and you’re getting clients calling you up, typically you’re going to have quite consistent regular questions that come through that are the same. So rather than saying the same thing over and over again, how about answer it once, answer it perfectly, get it into an autoresponder series, which I’ll take you through, and educate the client as to what it is that you do offer and provide. So that’s what this session is all about. Why create a white paper Most people come and go The way that I’ll create an autoresponder series, the first thing that I want to do, an autoresponder series, it’s all just about capturing the lead. Most people when they visit your website, they’re going to come and go. They’ll hit on the website and they’ll just nick off, and you’ll never see them ever again. That’s why we talked about some of the bounce rates and things like that. What we’re looking at doing is making sure that we capture that lead so that we can continue to market to that lead. Trust is the biggest hurdle As I talked about when Pete was talking about the on page conversion, the biggest hurdle that people have to overcome when doing business with a business online, if they don’t know this business from anyone, there’s no recommendation, there’s no whatever and they just found it by searching on Google, it’s trust. They want to be able to trust and believe what it is that you’re saying is true. How do we get to that point in time? We need to continue to communicate with them so they build up that rapport.
  2. 2. 2 Ryan, we were talking during the break, and he said he’d gone to Melbourne SEO Services, had a look around, had a look at some of the different videos, read the white paper report, and felt like he knew me before he even got in the room. That’s what we’re trying to create here so that way you get that connection, but it’s not my time. I didn’t sit on the phone with Ryan for three days, half an hour each day or something like that. It shortcuts that rapport-building process. Capture their e-mail So we want to try and capture their e-mail address and the way that I do that is we want to entice them by creating a white paper or a free report. This is again when we think back to the different structure that I took you through at the start of the day. Firstly, we set up the avatar. Then we make sure, once we’ve set up the avatar, we do the keyword research. Then we make sure that we do the on page optimization and get that right. Then we do some quick cash with the pay per click work. Then after that, we do the SEO link building. At this point in time you might add in some web 2.0 because it’s easy to set up profiles. Then you’re starting to get a bit of activity on your website. Now let’s see what we can do to capture that lead. The reason when working with a client I push this further down the path, is because it takes a little bit for me to educate the client as to why they need this. A lot of them don’t understand, but the power, a lot of people talk about the idea of the power is in the database, that back end. Just recently we did a launch in the stock market niche. We’ve got a really extensive database in that niche and we just launch a product and I’m launching it to them with no other JVs or anything and we make a really good business just out of doing these little launches. That same thing can apply in your local business. You build up that database. You can continue to market to them as well with special offers and things like that. Position yourself as an expert and build the rapport So writing a white paper gets you to position yourself as the expert. The way that I like to write the white paper, I talk about how I craft it. I talked about building the rapport and there’s a little shot of what I’ve got on my website, an eye catching graphical representation of the free report that I offer on Melbourne SEO Services. And then I give them a very clear call to action. Click here, enter your details and download. I’m telling them exactly what they need to be doing. I’ve got that on the website.
  3. 3. 3 Law of reciprocity and micro commitment The other thing, once someone enters in their name and they sign up to your autoresponder series, it’s almost like they’ve made a micro commitment to doing business with you. Once they’ve said, I trust you enough now to enter my e-mail address, it’s like they’re on that slippery slope now down into my business. They’ve slipped in now and then I can start to introduce them to all of my other products and services, who I am, what I do. Getting that initial micro commitment is important. Question: Just a question about your little Click Here. Did you test that as opposed to having the little boxes to fill in underneath? David: Good question. I haven’t tested it. The reason I did it was this is built on WordPress. You can actually build a website that looks pretty good on WordPress and doesn’t look like a WordPress blog. But this report here, that’s site-wide. So regardless of where the person is, they click on it and it leads them back to this page and I’ve got it in there. So it was more of a design point of view. I probably should test, but they’ll click that, they’ll get redirected to this point. Hopefully then, when they click it, let’s see what happens. I’ve actually set an anchor so it should take me right to the point. Pete: I’m with Ian. I reckon you should test it. David: The good takeaway there is you don’t have to get everything exactly 100 percent correct and you can still make a business that really works. How to craft one Once you’ve got that micro-commitment, we get them on the database. I want to talk briefly about, well, what do we put into this report? This comes back to this idea, and not enough people do it, get really clear on who that avatar is, it makes all the difference. It sounds kind of hokey and it sounds like there’s a bit of extra work and counterintuitive. But I’m telling you now, start there and your marketing will be so much sharper. Get inside that client’s head. Figure out what their biggest frustration is. Once you know what that avatar is, find out what it is that’s stopping them from doing business with you or what is their biggest hurdle or issue. For video, I’m frustrated that I’ve got this project manager breathing down my neck. I have to deliver this video by five o’clock on Friday. Otherwise, my boss is going to crack it at me.
  4. 4. 4 If that’s your target market, on your website then what you’d do is you’d have a video front and centre: Are you tired of having your project manager breathing down your neck? He’s got this deadline and you just want to get the video done. Don’t you want someone who can handle it all for you? I’ve got a free report. You can sign up below this video that will take you through seven things that you need to look for when selecting a video company that you want to work with. Then you figure out what those seven key frustrations are and pretty much you make sure that you tick each one of those frustrations. As they’re reading the report, it’s almost like, oh, they’re talking to me. You build up that rapport of you talking to them, positions you as the expert. And then at the end of that report, that’s when you introduce your business. So the report is always about the client. It’s always about helping them overcome something and fulfilling some issue that they have. It’s almost like you’re selling yourself by default as a byproduct of putting out good content. So it’s not about you, it’s about them. Using the magic numbers, this is just a copywriting thing, I might use 3, 5 and 7. So there are three things you must know about lower back pain or seven things, they’re just numbers I like to use. That’s from a copywriting point of view. I think they tested it and found that it was more effective. Introduce your business at the end, I talked about that. Make sure you have a very clear call to action, that’s really important. I don’t think enough people understand the power of the call to action throughout everything that you do. Ben knows this when we do videos and so on. At the end of every video, I tell them what to do. Watch the next part; head over to If it’s something on my website, what is the next thing that I want them to do? I’ll tell them, enter your details above and sign up for the free report, or pick up the phone and call me. So at the end of that report, you have a very clear call to action. In your notes, I’ve got the SEO manifesto which is at the back of the slides. We won’t go through that now, but you can have a look at that in your own time and just see the way that I structured it. The first thing that I did was I introduced the issue: Are you at the Top of Google When your Clients are Looking for You? As a person who’s interested in SEO, that’s important for me. That’s why I came to this business. I want to be at the top of Google. So I’m talking right to them.
  5. 5. 5 Then I move through the process of, here’s how excellent SEO is done. Then at the end of the report I say: here are seven or five things that you must know about an SEO company before you do business with them. Obviously, I tick all of the boxes and then at the end I say, you want us to handle your SEO. You want to leave it to the experts? Then pick up the phone. Call us and get a free quote. It’s a really good example if you can create something like that. It may depend on your business as to how you pitch it. Some businesses are going to be different from other businesses. Promote the heck out of it Self-hosted vs. service Then you just want to promote it heavily. So you put it all over your site like we were talking about before. I’ve got it on site wide. Click here to download the free report. And I’ll have to test entering my name and e-mail in there just directly beneath. Use / I typically like using e-mail services that are hosted and managed through a third-party company like AWeber or GetResponse. These particular services will collect people’s e-mail addresses into their system, and then enable you to follow up with then and set sequential messages that you send out. They’ll also ensure that the deliverability on your e-mails stays very high. That’s the reason I go with them. I have tried hosting solutions myself. But the problem with hosting solutions yourself, once you get your database to a certain size, it becomes awkward to manage. And if you get blacklisted for whatever reason, your e-mail deliverability might drop through the floor. But AWeber and GetResponse, their whole business is making sure that their deliverability is high. Make them an offer The idea of promoting them heavily and making them an offer, the offer is Download this Free Report. It’ll tell you everything you need to know about SEO.
  6. 6. 6 Get a nice graphic Have a nice graphic, thinking about the way the eye works. When you’re looking at a page, the eye gets attracted to images and then it looks at text directly beneath images, that’s just the way that people scan websites. Have a link to it on all pages / above the fold Have an image, the eye will go there. Then the eye will follow down, read the text underneath, which will say, Click here to download the free report. It’s a very clear call to action. Coming back to what Pete said, have it above the fold; anything you want to do and get a response to, it’s good to have above the fold. Pete: I just want to jump in here a second and give you another idea about how you can use the sort of style of white paper and autoresponder online in a different sort of way. Something we do with the telco company is, on our site we’ve got a request a quote function. People can click a big red button and request a quote. This takes them to fill out a form which asks them what sort of a system are you after, how many handsets, how big is your office, all that sort of thing. What actually happens is, the moment they submit that, they get an e-mail back from our system straightaway: ‘Hi Scott, thanks for enquiring about a phone system. One of our sales team will be with you shortly. If you need someone to actually respond straightaway, please give us a call. I’ve also taken the time to attach to this e-mail a copy of our free buyer’s guide. It runs through the top seven tips to actually think about when buying a phone system. It’ll help you when choosing a system from us or anybody else, from our Sales Manager.’ When they actually request a contact form or a request a quote form, they automatically get this response straightaway with that free white paper. The amount of responses we get straightaway, because people fill out this form, get this autoresponder which looks like it’s been sent from our sales manager, reply saying, Hi Scott, No, I’ll wait for a call. Not a problem at all. We probably get two or three responses automatically a day to this. The customers are amazed, oh, great thanks for the report. I had a read through it. Then when we actually call them to actually go through that request a quote to put a proposal together, they are much more educated. A lot of them have actually read it and it makes the sales process a lot easier because they’re educated about the process.
  7. 7. 7 They’ve gone through what we want them to go through and they love it. Oh, thank you so much, you’re trying to help me here. So it makes that sale a lot easier as well. So it’s not only about building a database, it’s about increasing conversion rates. Question: The free report that you give them, is that a surprise, or do you tell them that they’re going to get that? Pete: It’s a full surprise, so we don’t mention it anywhere on the site. We have a section on our site about download a free buyer’s guide and then there’s a moving guide for moving your business. We’ve got a bunch of white papers, but that’s purely a surprise. It looks like the sales person has read their request and responded, saying, thank you, we’re really busy at the moment. One of our sales team will get back to you in the next 24 hours. If it’s urgent, give us a call. But in the meantime, I’ve attached this for you to read through. They just go, wow, it’s all about reciprocation and you give something first and they’ll feel obliged to give back something to you. And hopefully, it means a cheque for a phone system. Automatic sales machine David: Then building that autoresponder system, you can have sequential mailings go out to them. I’ve just given you a little bit of a template here that you could follow for most local businesses. Day 1, or immediately, once they enter their details, they’ll get sent the free report. This is something that AWeber and GetResponse can handle for you. So if you’re unfamiliar with autoresponder services, it’s a pretty simple process. Usually the way that I like to do it, Day 1, they get the free report. Day 2, I’ll say who we are, educate them as to who we are, tell them the story. When you have a look at the About page on Melbourne SEO Services, I talk about, hang on, we started off in the stock market niche. We were never going to be an SEO company. I was doing SEO for my own business and we were getting some fantastic results. Then it evolved into what it is that we’re doing. So everybody’s got a story to tell and you just need to drag that story out because people connect with stories. If you can build that into your process, what made you get into the marriage celebrant business? What made you want to get started and how have you built up that expertise in that area?
  8. 8. 8 After a few days you might introduce the services that you offer and say, here’s what we offer. You might also, Day 7, similar to what Pete was saying, this works incredibly well. I have a set format that I send out my e-mails and it’s got a set signature and a set way that I write the e-mail. Then I’ve got, usually at about Day 4, I’ve got an e-mail that’s super short. It just says something like, hey, a quick question is the subject. Then, hey it’s Dave. I just wanted to check in. I usually like to check in with people after they’ve subscribed for about a week or so, just to see how you’re going. If you’ve got any questions, give me a buzz, here’s my personal mobile number. Cheers, Dave. I don’t put any signature at the bottom, nothing like that. People contact me saying, they’ll send something through e-support, like, oh, yes, I do have a question. Thanks for checking in. It’s that really personal contact, but I only have to give that personal contact once they’ve put their hand up and said I’m interested. That’s the Can I Help e-mail. Then maybe after 10 days, it’s building the testimonials idea. The biggest issue people have when doing business with people is believing what it is they have to say. That’s why testimonials are so important. Testimonials are key. In a moment I’m going to teach you how to do a good testimonial. So when we have a break in a little bit and you get a chance to do a testimonial with Ben about today’s workshop, you’ll know exactly what to say. The testimonials process, if you got good value, and you’re getting good value out of today, then if you can show that you give the client the result, then they’re going to be happy to give you a testimonial and that helps people build that trust with you. Then I have a content day. It might be some more free content. Make them an offer. Once they’ve been with you for a little while, start to make offers to them. Keep adding content. If I have a look at my trading list, I’ve got over 12 months’ worth of autoresponders. So someone joins up with me and they get 12 months of me hitting their e-mail box. Over time, I’ve started to test them and rewrite them and ripped ones out that I didn’t think were working and started to play round. If you could build something like that in your business, could you imagine how much extra free time that would give you and it would just be this massive lead funnel. The aim of the game then would be, how much traffic can I drive at the website? Then you start to use SEO pay per click type of thing, then use that to convert them and you only chat with people when they call up and say, I’m ready to order. Here’s my credit card details.
  9. 9. 9 E-mails that convert I just wanted to talk about how to write e-mails that convert. I like to include, text, video, audio and PDF. Hit them on multi modes. Everybody learns in different ways. So if you can give them different ways to learn, they’ll most likely consume more information. So send some videos, send a PDF, that type of thing. Make it short and to the point. I think we’re all at a point now where we’ve got so many distractions in our lives, that people will find it refreshing if your e-mail is short and to the point. It says, hey, I’ve got this free download for you, go check it out, rather than some massive bit of text. Personal, conversational tone is very important as well. When you look at any of my communications that I do in any of my businesses, I try and be really personable. I want people to feel like they can reach out and connect with me and it’s written into the way I write my language. Don’t try and come across as some used car salesman, come across as a friend. I’m trying to help my clients move their businesses forward. This is a Jim Rohn quote, if you help enough people get what it is they want, you’ll get what you want. I’m always, how can I serve, how can I serve because I know that builds that rapport with them. That’s just how I do it. Write to a friend. Read it aloud. Reread it before you send an e-mail. It’s always a good idea to reread it aloud. Often you’ll find little errors that you missed because as you’re scanning over it, you put words in there that aren’t necessarily there. Make sure that you read it or get someone else to read it. Then optimize your landing page. At the end of each e-mail, you want to be giving them a very clear call to action: here’s what you should be doing next. Ok, if we’re talking about testimonials, you say, click the link below to watch what the results were that Heather got recently for ISO Consulting. Watch this video. That tells them exactly what to do. Then when they hit that landing page, you can optimize that landing page like Pete was talking about, to get the best conversion out of them.
  10. 10. 10 Anatomy of an e-mail Let’s think about the anatomy of an e-mail, just what is involved. You’ve got a from. From is the first thing that people see when they look at an e-mail address. They’ll see, who is it actually from? If it’s someone that I trust and I believe, then I’ll open it up. From It’s like people talk about when you open letters. I think it’s more of an issue in the States than it is here in Australia. But in the States, they get a lot of direct mail over there. So people will open letters over the bin and you’ll just drop in the letters that you have no idea who they’re from and you look for the ones that are addressed to you and from people who you know, and they’re the ones you keep. It’s the same sort of thing in the e- mail space, people look who it’s from. Subject Subjects are obviously important. And this is a little bit of a copywriting thing, I think at some point, copywriting is a skill you should look to learn. Personalization {firstname} Personalization, if you can embed their name into the e-mail: Hi Dave, and that again starts to build that rapport. Don’t overdo it though because you don’t want to mention it every two seconds, and then it just feels canned. The best way to think of this is, once you lift out of your head, put yourself into that avatar and think, how would I want to be communicated to? That’s the best thing that you can do, how would you like to be communicated to? No one likes a cheesy salesman. Everybody likes a friendly, conversational tone. So just do that, just like you’d talk with at friend. Ok, someone is interested in MetaStock. Talk to them. Why would they choose MetaStock? MetaStock is good for this and this reason, as though you were talking to me or just a friend or someone who you knew.
  11. 11. 11 Link at the top, bottom and middle In the e-mails as well, put multiple links. Because when people open an e-mail, people are trained to click blue underlined links. That’s what you’re trained to see, you see a blue underlined link, you click it. That’s just training over the years. So have a blue underline link straight at the top of your e-mail. So when they open it, if they’re going to click it, they can click it. But have it a couple of times. I usually have it top, middle and the bottom. Call to action Call to action, we talked about that. Another thing I like to do, autoresponder systems will require you, due to the CAN-SPAM Act law, to put in your contact details, your name and all that kind of thing and have an unsubscribe button. Using "=====" Usually what I’ll do is, I’ll put one of these dashed lines. I’ll get to the end of my e-mail, I’ll press enter, enter, enter, enter, this far down, then I’ll put the dashed line. What that does, when the message gets sent out, it pushes that unsubscribe below the fold. This reduces the chance of someone unsubscribing. If I wrote a really short e-mail, and then it’s got unsubscribe, if they want to dig a little bit deeper, they can. I’m not going to stop them from unsubscribing. But it’s a good way to reduce your unsubscribe rates. 64 characters long I typically do text. I’m not one for doing html. Have you done any testing with html? So text e-mails. There’s an example e- mail. We just had a launch just recently for the Online Trading Mastermind. It did extremely well and that’s an example of the way that I do e-mail. You can see the link at the top there, the way that it’s formatted to 64 characters wide. I’ll tell them exactly what to do, there’s a call to action: Check it out and let me know what you think. Click the link below. There are a few points in there and it’s in your notes, so you can have a closer look. But that’s the way that I structure my e-mail, just pulling together everything that I just talked about there.
  12. 12. 12 Database goldmine Then the idea of monetizing: the database is a goldmine. Once you build up that database, then you can continue to market to that database as I talked about. So there are lots of things that you can do. Survey your list - trading database Once you get over 250-300 subscribers, start to do things. Survey your clients. Ask them what it is that they want: what’s a good product and service that they’re wanting? How do they want to consume information? If you run a survey, you can find out more about that avatar. Heather, you were talking about how do you find out about who your perfect target market is and what it is that they’re doing. If you’ve got a database, you could e-mail that database a survey, using a service like SurveyMonkey, with a series of five multiple choice question and answers and then you can find out exactly what it is. We did that for the trading database and I found out they’re all males. They’re over 50. They prefer to trade part-time. They don’t have much time. They like DVDs and things like that. I found out a whole series of information. So when I next create my information product, I create what it is that they’re looking for. Question: My question is, what tools do you use for surveys and how do you collate that data? David: SurveyMonkey is probably a good one. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s cheap. You can just build surveys and you send an e-mail to your list and say, click this link here to complete the survey. You might incentivize the survey if you’re finding you’re not getting enough people filling it out. 4-day cash machine - MFC launch There are other things you can do on the back end as well. Once you’ve got a database you can do special sales, there is a four-day cash machine thing which is a thing Frank Kern talks about. You just do a promotion over four days and just building some amazing value into this offer where you say, for the next four days, if you book a celebrant service, we’ll also throw in this, this and this. Say, but it only lasts for four days. So it’s trying to get them to take action.
  13. 13. 13 Product launches - TYTP launch Do product launches. Product launches is a whole thing unto itself. There is so much money in product launches. It’s not funny, if you’ve got a database. If you want to find out more about that, go have a look at Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula. Affiliate promotion - OTM launch Then you can do affiliate promotion as well. I did a promotion just recently to my list. So I’ve built up that rapport over the years, and now I’m their trusted advisor in the stock market space. When I introduce and recognize someone who I think can add value to them, then I do a JV for them. I’m helping Justine Pollard resell her course to my list and I’m helping manage the launch of that particular product to that niche. There are a lot of things you can do once you get a database. That’s the main thing. Extra bits and pieces example The MetaStock example that I was just going to talk about there is, I’ve got over 12 months’ worth of content preloaded into this autoresponder series, just to give you a little bit of an idea. Why not build it up over a very long period of time and just keep on making them offers? Again, it might depend on the type of service you’ve got. If it’s a funeral service, then it might not necessarily be as applicable. But you could do some affiliate type thing there surely. I don’t know what you sell to someone, a holiday? I don’t know. There are plenty of different ways for that back end. List and Profits On the back of your manuals I’ve included a book. I’ve purchased the reprint rights for you guys for a course called ‘List and Profits.’ It talks about how to build and cultivate your list and what are some suggested titles that you can use. It’s a pretty chunky manual, and it’s really good and will take you through the process of how do we build this database up, how do we continue to market to them and that type of thing. SendOutCards SendOutCards is something as well. I might throw that to you, Pete. Perhaps you can talk a little bit about SendOutCards and how it relates to autoresponders.
  14. 14. 14 Pete: Yes, sure. Tim can probably chat about it too. I think Tim is a member as well. Basically SendOutCards is an offline autoresponder service which I have been playing with for about 12 months and getting some good success. It’s basically an autoresponder service but done with postcards and greeting cards. So you actually set up a responsive service so that when someone actually buys from you for example, they get a thank you card, how’s it all going card. Three hundred and sixty-four days later, hey, it’s the 12-month anniversary. Can I give you a discount? You actually do that by direct post which I think is a fantastic service and I’m getting a lot of very cool success with that. You can actually upload your own handwriting. You fill out a form and they’ll upload your own handwriting to the service and the cards are printed in your own handwriting. It’s pretty impressive when you get personalized addressed mail and you open it up and it’s a thank you card from somebody in their handwriting and it’s all automated. Again, you just upload your clients to the service once a month and then automatically they get all these autoresponders, not only by e-mail but can do via post which is pretty cool. So if anyone is interested in that, they can come and have a chat to me afterwards. If you go to, you can sign up there for a seven-day trial for the service. David: The other thing as well, the greatest salesman of all time, they say, was a car salesman called Joe Girard. He’s in the Guinness Book of Records for selling the most number of cars. One of the things that he did was to continue to communicate with someone after they purchased a car. So he would send them cards, one almost every month. There would be a card for birthdays, Christmas, Easter, everything. He would have 12 cards that would get sent out. This was before SendOutCards, in the ‘50s and ‘60s. This would have made his job so much easier. If you just think about cards, people might buy a new car every four or five years. What’s the cost of me sending out twelve cards, one a month for five years? Probably $50 or $60 and you keep that communication going. What happens when they want to buy a car? You’re front of mind. You’ve been sending them birthday cards for the last five years. That’s who I would want to buy a car from.
  15. 15. 15 Pete: I actually recently got one of my Filipino virtual assistants to go into my Facebook account and touch base with all my friends and get their addresses, and go through their Facebook birthdays and upload all my friends’ information into the SendOutCards. So all my friends get personalized birthday cards from me without me doing a single thing. So it was pretty cool. Question: Slightly off topic on the Filipino virtual assistant. If I want to find out more about the outsourcing, I’ve gathered we’re not talking about that today. David: I’m glad you asked. I’ve got three copies of our last workshop that we ran. And it’s funny, the biggest response we got out of all the different sessions that we ran, was my section on outsourcing. So we’ve got three copies of that. We will be selling them for just shy of $300, so $297. It was a full-day thing. It was just me talking one hundred million miles an hour, so you might want to watch it a few times. You can chat with Meagan about it. I’ve only got three to take home today. In addition to that as well, we’ll be looking at doing an outsourcing workshop because I think that is an area, we’ve pretty much got it down but it’s something that took us many years to perfect. I think people read ‘The 4-Hour Workweek’ and they realize how much you can get done once you start to outsource your life. That’s been a huge growth thing for our business. That’s step one, and then the workshop for that will be a day workshop where we’ll go through that. Let’s have a break.