If you’ve never used an autoresponder or aren’t sure what one does, they’re simply an automated email series that sends out emails automatically for a specific purpose.

I’ve written about free downloads to develop your list and start building relationships with new people into your marketing funnel, but there are other ways to use them.

They’re really good for delivering ecourses.  If you have a series of lessons, it’s much easier to set up an autoresponder so that each lesson is delivered at regular intervals, than having to do it manually.  If you’re smart you can have your payment system to trigger the first lesson to go out and then the rest will be delivered at intervals you choose – weekly, fortnightly or monthly – or any other period.

If someone has signed up for an event well ahead of the date, autoresponders can be set up as event reminders at regular intervals so you get fewer no-shows.  You can use this for joining instructions, directions to the venue or online login information, useful pre-event learning or reading and much more.

If you’ve run a course, workshop or seminar you know some of the people who attended won’t put their learning into practice right away.  Autoresponders are excellent learning follow-ups to remind delegates to take action and give them some hints and tips on getting things moving.

So someone has bought your product and they’ve gone off into the sunset.  How can you ensure they’ll get the best possible results with it?  Send them a series of autoresponders to give them product guidance, tips for use, basic installation instructions or a set up guide.  Yes, these may have been included in the instructions that come with the product – but there’s still plenty of brownie points to be gained from being pro-active in supporting your customers.

If you’ve offered people something on your website and they’ve expressed an interest, but haven’t followed through, or they’ve made an appointment and then cancelled it, autoresponders can maintain your visibility in case it’s just a bad time for them or they’re not quite convinced.  Don’t sell too hard, just remind them that they can make a new appointment or re-engage whenever they’re ready.

This isn’t a definitive list – just some ideas to get you started.