Email marketing:

How to increase sales with email marketing and autoresponders

how to turn prospects into repeat buyers

It's a well known fact in business that keeping your existing buyers costs a fraction of the amount of the money that it would cost to gain a new customer. Therefore, every business should make it their priority to build a loyal customer base of returning buyers.

The secret to turning one-time web visitors into repeat buyers is communication. You need to build a relationship to your prospects and gain their trust through communicating with them. A simple online tool for that is email marketing. You can easily build a list of prospects in a way where the whole process is automated and done for you, thanks to modern technology. What you will need for that is a so called autoresponder and a well thought out email marketing strategy. Learn about both of these things below.

How to capture contact information of prospects and web visitors?

When a visitor arrives at your website, make an attempt to persuade them to give you their contact information. It could be something as simple as their email address. In order to achieve this, offer them something for free. A free report, free tool, template, script, or even a free consultation. Set up a form on your web pages where prospects can enter their contact information. A widely used tool for that is an autoresponder You can try one for free at GetResponse.

How can autoresponders help you in generating leads?

An autoresponder is a tool that sends an automated reply to people who contact you through email. The most well known example for that is the 'vacation response' in email programs, where you can set a message that says you are out of the office. Whenever someone sends you an email during your vacation period, they will receive this automated reply, so you don't have to personally check your emails and write responses.

Serious marketers and businesses use external autoresponder services to capture leads and to manage follow-up emails in which they can warm the prospects towards a buying decision. Autoresponder services are designed to build email lists, direct subscribers to 'thank you' pages where they can download the promised freebie, send out automated follow-up messages, handle unsubscribing and let businesses mail out newsletters in bulk. The whole point of it is that once you are done with the initial set-up, everything is handled in an automated way, 24/7, without needing your personal interference. Or, needing it only occationally. This saves you an enormous amount of time that you can use otherwise in your business! Below is a short step-by-step guide about how you can use autoresponders to your benefits.

Step 1: Register an account with an autoresponder service

Here are two popular autoresponder services to check out:
- Get Response: they offer a free trial for the first month
- Aweber: they offer a low cost trial for the first month

First, register an account with an autoresponder services. Then, create a sign up form there. This is the form that you will display on your website and where web visitors will type in their email address and other personal data, like name, address, phone number, interests, etc, depending on the type of information you want to gain from them.

Step 2: Insert the sign up form into your website

When you create a sign up form through your autoresponder service they will provide you with a snippet of HTML codes that you will need to insert into your web pages. If you operate a blog, then the ideal place for displaying a sign up form is in the sidebar. For Wordpress blogs there are several so called plug-ins that make it easier for bloggers to insert a sign up or opt-in form throughout their blog pages.

Step 3 (optional): Offer a freebie

A common way to increase the sign up rate of prospects is to offer a freebie. This could be something as uncomplicated as a few page long PDF report. Think of something that is related to your main product and would be of use to your prospects, so they would desire to own this freebie, and in return leave their contact info with you. Trial versions of scripts and software, check lists, document templates, tutorials and viral digital items often make up for a coveted freebie. Set up a 'thank you' page where people who signed up to your list can download your free stuff. You can use this download page to promote your related products, or to offer a discount coupon or a voucher for your paid products and services.

Step 4: Set up a sequence of follow-up messages

After you have captured the contact information of prospects, it's time to warm them to your offer. An effective method for that is to set up an autoresponder sequence. This is a series of pre-written emails that will be sent to newly signed up contacts at set intervals. A series of 5 or 7 emails are quite common, but it's up to you how many part your autoresponder sequence will consist of.

What should you write in the emails of your autoresponder series? Your goal is to increase the interest of prospects towards your product or service and to build off their resistance against making a purchase. In these follow up emails focus on the customer benefits of your product. Tell your prospects how it can help them achieve their goals. A good way to do it is to send out case studies about how existing customers used your product and how they have achieved positive results with it.

Only a fraction of the prospects who signed up to your email list will eventually make a purchase. But if you continue your job of following up with them and offering them value, you can easily turn these one time customers into repeat buyers. Keep in mind that you can use this email list to send them future updates and offers over and over again, as long as they stay on your list, which means potential future purchases, and for you, potential future income. To get a low cost autoresponder service check out GetResponse or Aweber.

How to attract more visitors to your website to sign up to your list?

Your goal is to create a big enough targeted list of prospects. After all, more prospects mean more buyers and more sales. In order to increase the size of your list, you will need to drive more traffic to your website. Check out our tutorial about how to attract more visitors and buyers to your website, here >>.

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