As a consumer it can be the bane of our existence. It fills our inbox and slows down our day. It is also an excellent source of procrastination.
As online business owners, we rely on email to build lists, communicate with followers and share content. But in order to get people to read what we write, we have to respect that our readers are busy. We need to earn the right to be in their inbox.
There are two types of emails in the world. Autoresponders and broadcasts. Used effectively, they earn you the right to appear in in boxes around the world, build your list and make your clients raving fans.
Let me explain the difference:
An autoresponder is an email that goes out automatically. The date it goes out is triggered by either an action or some amount of elapsed time. If you’ve bought a course and immediately got an email thanking you for your purchase, that was an autoresponder. It responded automatically when you checked out.
Many online marketers follow that email up with another the next day. This one makes sure you received your product links and gives you more information about the course. You may get three or four of autoresponders encouraging you to use the program, leave comments and ask questions. Those emails are triggered by the fact you bought something. No one is at their computer sending them to you. They go out automatically every few days to people who bought a product or service.
Autoresponders can be used to make sure that people are happy with their online purchase, but where they are fantastic is when used to get a brand new customer to engage with you. While the first email might just be a thank you and a welcome to the program, subsequent emails can address questions that you’ve found common among other students during the first few days after they’ve purchased. Maybe you have a beginning module that challenges people’s thinking and you know that it slows people down. You can schedule an email to go out three days after someone purchases that product to addresses the issue by saying,
“Hey, I know this is tough work you’re doing, but I wanted to pop in and let you know that it’s difficult because you are being challenged. Don’t give up. Respond to this email and let me know where you are stuck.”
I promise — well written autoresponders can truly make people think you are reading their minds.
You are probably on a few lists where you get weekly or monthly updates. Maybe it’s a newsletter, weekly blog post or video. Subscribers to my list get a weekly email that tells a little story and provides a link to my most recent blog article. Those are emails I write fresh and send out each week to my entire list. They are called broadcast emails because I’m “broadcasting” them to everyone at once.
Now, just because I send those emails fresh each week, it doesn’t mean I write them each week. Even broadcast emails can be scheduled in the future to be sent, but they are sent according to a specific date and time, not according to an action (like making a purchase). In my case, I write 5-10 emails and blog articles at once and schedule them to go out weekly.
You can use broadcast emails to discuss current events related to your customer’s businesses, or new technology developments. They are fresh and current. If you are a web designer that just discovered a great new plug in, you can very effectively use a broadcast email to let your subscribers know about the latest development and how it affects them.
Email Best Practices
So, to summarize:
A broadcast email is sent out to many people at one time. Typically, a broadcast goes out to your entire list, but in some cases it might go out to a smaller group. The point is, it goes out to many people at once. An autoresponder goes out only to people who have performed a certain action.
Both types of emails have specific purposes and, used correctly, can really help you to build your list. It would be considered email best practice to use a combination of the two.
Life is busy and inboxes are full, there’s no space for boring people or boring emails. Use email effectively and your customers will look forward to seeing you in their inbox each week!
Copyright: belchonock / 123RF Stock Photo