Do Off-Line Businesses Need Autoresponders?

Do you have an offline business with customers who use the Internet? Of course you do. Do you talk to your customers online? Why not?

You are in business to serve your customers’ needs. If your customers are online and you are not talking to them then you are missing an opportunity to build on your face-to-face relationship. Other businesses will answer their questions if you do not. Your customers will develop relationships with your competitors and buy their products rather than yours.

There is a simple way to talk to customers online. An email management service will allow you to use an autoresponder to communicate with your customers by email.

What is an Autoresponder?

An autoresponder is an automated email system that collects customers’ emails. It asks your customers if they are happy to receive email messages from you, which stops them being classified as spam. Every email automatically has a link at the bottom where customers can opt out of receiving future emails. This is important as well as being a legal necessity because it means that your emails are always welcome in customers’ email boxes.

An autoresponder will allow you to send out thousands of copies of the same email to your customers. It will allow you to send them messages tailored to the season. It will allow you to send out newsletters.

An autoresponder is a subscription-based service, but the cost is very low when compared to the extra revenue your emails will generate.

Why Should Anyone Sign Up to Your Email List?

Many small businesses are reluctant to send out newsletters and helpful emails to customers because they see it as ‘spam’. Only unsolicited emails are spam. This is why you give customers every opportunity to into your emails and every email contains an opt-out link. If you use an autoresponder and email management service then your emails will always be welcome.

An autoresponder allows you to talk to all your customers at once. It is like having a one-to-one conversation with a customer in your store, but you are talking to every customer one-to-one at the same time.

If your customers value the service you provide at your store or office then they will be value the emails you send them. Obviously, you have to think carefully about what you put into your email newsletters. If you treat each email as being as important as a speech to all your customers together in one room then they will be good. An autoresponder email needs to be carefully crafted to build on the relationships you already have; it needs to make customers glad they subscribed to your email list.

How Can an Autoresponder Help You

Repetition Works

A massive feature that an autoresponder gives you is the ability to repeat your marketing message in many different ways. Doing so will convince more of your customers of the wisdom of buying your services or products.

Branding

You can use the same colors and theme that you use in your high street store. The same logos and fonts, along with photos of staff members will tie together your real-world and online marketing.

Split Testing

A good autoresponder service will allow you to send out two versions of an email so you can test which brings in more business. This is called  email A/B testing.

You send out two versions of an email, see which works better and keep that one to send out again at the same time next year. Next year you write another alternative email to try to improve o the more successful one from last year. You send out two versions; last year’s winner and your new ‘improved’ version. You keep the one that performs better again. After a few repetitions of this process the emails you send out in ten years’ time will be much better than the ones you send out this year.

Spilt testing is like email evolution where only the most successful survive. This CopyBlogger article does a great job of explaining split testing.

Could You Use an Autoresponder to Help More People

Is Any Business TOTALLY Off-Line? Even if most of your business is over the counter with people from your city would it knock your socks off to increase sales by 10% just by helping people from elsewhere? The additional costs of adding an online channel to your real world business are small, yet the potential increase in business is massive.

What has stopped you from using an autoresponder service and split testing up to now? Please share your concerns using the comment box below