The very good sign that the articles or blogs you post on your website is the increasing numbers of replies, comments, and enquiries you receive from them. These mean that you have successfully directed a very effective traffic to your site and this could easily translate to a brighter future to your business.
However, these feedbacks from your readers could also turn against you if they are not handled properly and PROMPTLY. Instead of goodwill and patronage, they may turn hostile. Hiring a well-trained virtual assistant from reputable outsourcing companies like MR. OUTSOURCE can handle this increase of traffic to your website but to make sure that your VA does not over-look or miss any reply, incorporating an auto responder into your e-mails and websites usually recommended.
WHAT IS AN AUTO RESPONDER?
An auto responder is a computer program that replies automatically to e-mail sent to it. They are often used as e-mail marketing tools to provide fast and immediate information to the prospective customers and later follow-up with them at pre-set time intervals.
Auto responders are can be used by individuals or by Web sites to automatically reply to users’ comments. The auto responder feature of e-mail can be used to inform the sender that the company could not reply to e-mails on weekends or due to official holiday; or it can be used to assure the senders that their comments are received and would be acted upon shortly; or it is used to confirm a subscription or its cancellation. Auto responders are also used by enterprises to indicate that an online purchase is being processed and this usually include an order confirmation number in the e-mail that is automatically generated and sent to the purchaser.
IMPORTANCE OF AUTO RESPONDER
For a business marketing plan to succeed, the right tools should be used. If e-mail marketing is used to advertise the business, it is best that an auto responder is incorporated to it. Entrepreneurs expect to receive tons of mails from prospective clients requesting for more information regarding products, services, and/or shipping details of placed orders. Some mails may come from unsatisfied customers with their complaints. It will take time if these mails are read one by one.
One of the things you can be done to build good relationship with customers is to always be ready to respond to their mails. Customers might think that they are neglected if their mails are not answered for days. Expect a cancellation of orders once your customers feel that their concerns are not given proper attention.
With the incorporation of an auto responder into the e-mail system, prompt replies to the comments, queries, and feedback from customers is made possible. However, would hiring an efficient virtual assistant be a redundancy in this case? No, not at all because auto responders can be very simple or quite complex and this is where a VA can be very handy and useful. Note that auto responders can be divided into two categories:
• Outsourced ASP model — these auto responders operate on the provider’s infrastructure and can usually
be configured with a web-based control panel. The customer pays a monthly usage fee for the service.
• Server-side — enables users to install the auto responder system on their own server. This requires technical skills and this is where the services of a competent VA come in handy.
Also, since a human (as against a digital software) must compose a personalize response, the VA is indeed necessary. Nothing could be more frustrating or infuriating for clients than to receive obviously canned replies to their enquiries or complaints.
HOW TO USE AN AUTORESPONDER EFFECTIVELY
There are several auto responder software applications available in the market and each has its specific features to suit the users’ requirements.
Below are some tips on how to use auto responders effectively:
• Create an effective subject line that will greet the readers first. Choose an attention-grabbing subject line which will determine if the content of the e-mail is worth reading. If will bore your readers, they will just ignore your entire message altogether.
• Personalize messages. A personal message will make the recipient feel important and special. It is very important to emphasize the advantages or benefits to the customer to urge him to buy the products or services. This is vital when a new product or service is being introduced. CAUTION: Never make empty or misleading promises that will lose the customers’ trust.
• Since the email presentation is very important, the simple plain text option should be used.
• Another aspect to focus in is the formatting of the message. Each line should end with a hard return and is only 60 characters long. This is to avoid your message from running off the screen in one long line that makes the readers scroll sideways to read.
• Include links of your website in the auto responder to help the customers find your business online more easily. However, do not just use the link to your website’s homepage. Include also links of the different pages from your website. Always provide a link back to your sales page in every email. The auto responder is there to deliver valuable information to the customers and remind them why they should buy the product. Make sure all the links are properly working.
• Include a disclaimer in the auto responder for protection from any legal dispute that an unsatisfied customer may file. Always include a disclaimer statement at the end of the auto responder message.
• Write a number of emails for your auto responder and pre-set them to be delivered every 2-4 days over a 2-3 week period. Once this is set up , it will keep on selling without any more attention.