Introduction to Autoresponders

If you’ve reached the point of exhaustion trying to keep up
with answering the mountain of emails that threatens to
bury you alive every single day, you’re ready to learn
about autoresponders.

The bad news is that people expect prompt replies to their
email inquiries. However, unless you can figure out how to
work continual twenty-four hour shifts, or hire enough
people to constantly monitor incoming emails (while they’re
eating up your revenue), you have a problem. The good news
is an autoresponder is an inexpensive – or even free –
method of quickly responding to emails. What these programs
do is automatically respond to incoming emails as soon as
they are received.

Emails are essential to your business for many different
reasons. Most importantly, these invisible email voices
give you their feedback about your website – for free!
However, if you spend all your working hours answering
these emails, how are you supposed to run your business?
The answer is simple: use autoresponders. Autoresponders
are programs that automatically respond to your emails
without you so much as having to click on your mouse.

There are a number of good reasons why you need an
autoresponder besides just answering your email. For
example, autoresponders can be used if you need a way to
send information about your services or products, price
lists, or if there are repeated questions asked across
large numbers of emails. Maybe you want to offer your site
visitors a special bonus of some kind, such as advice or
relevant articles. All of this can be handled by an
autoresponder. Additionally, you can advertise your
business and then build stable relationships with your
customers by using autoresponders.

Autoresponder programs vary from software that runs with
your email program to a specialized script that runs on
your web hosting company’s server. This kind of script may
use a web page form or simply operate with your email
account. This kind of script is programmed to send out a
standardized message whenever an email is received. The
message is sent to a particular script or email address.

Some autoresponders can do more than simply send out
standardized messages. They can send out an unlimited
number of follow-up messages sent at predetermined interval
of time. For example, you can set your autoresponder to
send out a new message every day for as long a period as
you desire.

There are numerous companies who offer autoresponders free
of charge. Your website hosting company often provides
autoresponders as a free service. If this is not the case
with your web hosting company, there are numerous companies
who offer this service for a small fee, or free of charge,
providing you attach an advertisement for their company to
your emails.

To personalize your autoresponder messages, you can attach
a signature. Signatures in this case are much like business
cards. You can include your name, company, all your contact
numbers and addresses, and a brief message.

It’s a good idea to attach a signature to every email that
is sent out. This works as a repeated reminder of your
business identity every time a customer sees it. The more
they look at your signature, the more likely your company
will spring to mind when your particular service or product
is needed.

You can create a standardized signature that every employee
in your business uses, or you can go wild, and let every
staff member create their own personal signature. Of
course, like everything in life, there are some rules and
guidelines to creating a personal signature.

Keep the length of your signature between four to six lines
of text, with no more than 70 characters in a single line.
Make sure that your email program does not cut off your
text! The content should include your name, your company
name, your email address, fax number, and any other contact
details, such as 800 numbers. Lastly, always include a
short personal message about your company. It should be a
subtle sell of your services or your products, and possibly
your company’s reliability and longevity.

Another specialized use of autoresponders is to create
courses that you can then offer your site visitors for
free. You must choose a topic in which you are an expert
and that precisely targets your potential customers.

Once you have carefully chosen your subject, divide it into
a number of different sub-topics. Then offer your site
visitor a free 10 or 15 day course, each day offering a
different sub-topic. The first topic should always be a
welcome message to your site visitor and an explanation
about what is to follow. Your explanation should be
enticing, getting the point across that you are offering
free, quality information that your target audience will
find of great value.

With every lesson, include the number of the lesson, the
topic title, information about your company and its
services or products. At the end, include a few blurbs
about the next lesson to entice the subscriber to continue
on.

Make sure each topic is packed with essential and valuable
information, and leaves the visitor lusting to know more.
Otherwise, you may lose them in the very beginning.

Of course, you have to write up your course before you can
offer it. Once you have done this, and gone over the
material carefully, employing a professional writer or
editor if necessary, you must transfer your text to your
autoresponder.

There are a number of free autoresponders you can use. Try
http:/www.getresponse.com, or http://www.fastfacts.net. Or
go onto Google and you will find a long list of free
autoresponder companies. Then sign-up for your chosen
autoresponder. Once you do, you will receive instructions
as to how to set it up and transfer your text.

Email is an excellent marketing tool; it is inexpensive and
it is fast. Use it to advertise your business by choosing
your email address carefully. Your website should contain
different email addresses for different contact requests.
For example, use info@yourdomain.com for information
requests, or sales@yourdomain.com for questions about
sales. It’s a good idea to set up one for the owner, such
as president@yourdomain.com. This presents your company in
a personal, approachable light and insures that direct
contact is provided.

Autoresponders are an effective and powerful marketing
tool, allowing you to make contact with thousands of
potential customers. This is an invaluable asset
considering how many potential customers you usually have
contact with before you make an actual sale. Essentially,
an autoresponser allows you to automate part of your
marketing campaign.

Why Write an eBook?

It’s not true that everything that has been said has
already been written. Since that unfortunate axiom
came into use, the whole universe has changed.
Technology has changed, ideas have changed, and the
mindsets of entire nations have changed.

The fact is that this is the perfect time to write an
ebook. What the publishing industry needs are people
who can tap into the world as it is today – innovative
thinkers who can make the leap into the new millennium
and figure out how to solve old problems in a new way.
Ebooks are a new and powerful tool for original
thinkers with fresh ideas to disseminate information
to the millions of people who are struggling to figure
out how to do a plethora of different things.

Let’s say you already have a brilliant idea, and the
knowledge to back it up that will enable you to write
an exceptional ebook. You may be sitting at your
computer staring at a blank screen wondering, “Why?
Why should I go through all the trouble of writing my
ebook when it’s so impossible to get anything
published these days?

Well, let me assure you that publishing an ebook is
entirely different than publishing a book in print.
Let’s look at the specifics of how the print and cyber
publishing industry differ, and the many reasons why
you should take the plunge and get your fingers
tapping across those keyboards!

Submitting a print book to conventional publishing
houses or to agents is similar to wearing a hair shirt
24/7. No matter how good your book actually is, or how
many critique services and mentor writers have told
you that “you’ve got what it takes,” your submitted
manuscript keeps coming back to you as if it is a
boomerang instead of a valuable mine of information.

Perhaps, in desperation, you’ve checked out
self-publishing and found out just how expensive a
venture it can be. Most “vanity presses” require
minimal print runs of at least 500 copies, and even
that amount will cost you thousands of dollars. Some
presses’ minimal run starts at 1,000 to 2,000 copies.
And that’s just for the printing and binding. Add in
distribution, shipping, and promotional costs and –
well, you do the math. Even if you wanted to go this
route, you may not have that kind of money to risk.

Let’s say you already have an Internet business with a
quality website and a quality product. An ebook is one
of the most powerful ways to promote your business
while educating people with the knowledge you already
possess as a business owner of a specific product or
service.

For example, let’s say that you’ve spent the last
twenty-five years growing and training bonsai trees,
and now you’re ready to share your knowledge and
experience. An ebook is the perfect way to reach the
largest audience of bonsai enthusiasts.

Ebooks will not only promote your business – they will
help you make a name for yourself and your company,
and establish you as an expert in your field. You may
even find that you have enough to say to warrant a
series of ebooks. Specific businesses are complicated
and often require the different aspects to be divided
in order for the reader to get the full story.

Perhaps your goals are more finely tuned in terms of
the ebook scene. You may want to build a whole
business around writing and publishing ebooks.
Essentially, you want to start an e-business. You are
thinking of setting up a website to promote and market
your ebooks. Maybe you’re even thinking of producing
an ezine.

One of the most prevalent reasons people read ebooks
is to find information about how to turn their
Internet businesses into a profit-making machine. And
these people are looking to the writers of ebooks to
provide them with new ideas and strategies because
writers of ebooks are usually people who understand
the new cyberspace world we now live in. Ebook writers
are experts in Internet marketing campaigns and the
strategies of promoting and distributing ebooks. The
cyberspace community needs its ebooks to be successful
so that more and more ebooks will be written.

You may want to create affiliate programs that will
also market your ebook. Affiliates can be people or
businesses worldwide that will all be working to sell
your ebooks. Think about this? Do you see a formula
for success here?

Figure out what your subject matter is, and then
narrow it down. Your goal is to aim for specificity.
Research what’s out there already, and try to find a
void that your ebook might fill.

What about an ebook about a wedding cake business? Or
an ebook about caring for elderly pets? How about the
fine points of collecting ancient pottery?

You don’t have to have three masters degrees to write
about your subject. People need advice that is easy to
read and easily understood. Parents need advice for
dealing with their teenagers. College students need to
learn good study skills – quickly. The possibilities
are endless.

After you’ve writtten your ebook

Getting your ebook out is going to be your focus once
you’ve finished writing it, just as it is with print
books. People will hesitate to buy any book from an
author they’ve never heard of. Wouldn’t you?

The answer is simple: give it away! You will see
profits in the form of promoting your own business and
getting your name out. You will find affiliates who
will ask you to place their links within your ebook,
and these affiliates will in turn go out and make your
name known. Almost every single famous ebook author
has started out this way.

Another powerful tool to attract people to your ebook
is to make it interactive. Invent something for them
to do within the book rather than just producing pages
that contain static text. Let your readers fill out
questionnaires, forms, even crossword puzzles geared
to testing their knowledge on a particular subject.
Have your readers hit a link that will allow them to
recommend your book to their friends and associates.
Or include an actual order form so at the end of their
reading journey, they can eagerly buy your product.

When people interact with books, they become a part of
the world of that book. The fact is just as true for
books in print as it is for ebooks.

That’s why ebooks are so essential. Not only do they
provide a forum for people to learn and make sense of
their own thoughts, but they can also serve to promote
your business at the same time.