"Autoresponders?" You might ask yourself. Like one of those automatically sent answers I receive when the recipient is on vacation?
No, I’m thinking of the email autoresponders you use in email marketing.
An autoresponder essentially are emails that are sent automatically. They are the first email that you might get from signing up for a product or maybe a newsletter. It is a pre set message and the first touch point with you as a customer. I usually think of them as first stage drip emails.
Historically, autoresponders have been composed in an offensive manor. Mostly because of it being a new opportunity and a new tool for marketers. They were used to “shout” out the same message every time a user signed up or touched the product in some way. Back then it got considered as a really offensive strategy to “pump out a message”.
But as the marketers got to know the tool and the technology used to compose, deliver and measure these emails they started to realize how effective it really can be once it is used the right way.
Think of the following scenario:
Jim is looking for a great e commerce platform to start an online store selling underwear. He types it in on google: “ecommerce platforms”, hits enter and boom! Among the search results he finds the second one from the top standing out and fitting his needs: “Shopify is a powerful ecommerce website solution that allows you to sell online by providing everything …”
Jim is a first timer in this market and this seems like a good fit for him. He clicks on the link and start reading. His main concerns when choosing platform is its price and features. He has great plans to take over the world selling boxer shorts and socks, so he doesn’t want to build a business on a platform that fails to deliver or is too expensive cutting his margins.
Jim soon realizes that both of those factors at Shopify, works fairly well with Jim’s idea, economy and future outlook. But after some research on other platforms he realizes that there is a less expensive alternative called BigCommerce. So he keeps these alternatives on top of his mind the whole period from starting the research to making a decision on which to choose.
And since Jim is fairly new to selling products online, he is constantly keeping an eye out for articles and blog posts on the same subject. “How do I start selling underwear online?” is a question that constantly pops up in Jim’s head.
A couple of days goes by and Jim is finally coming to make the decision. “Since BigCommerce is a bit cheaper than Shopify, I’ll go with that”, Jim figures. “I’ll just have a last look to campare before I make the decision”.
Jim browses Shopify and notices “How to start your ecommerce business - selling online 101”, the headline of a box with an input field in the sidebar. “Let’s get started on a five part course on starting a successful ecommerce business, completely free, no strings attached. Enter your email and we’ll share the key takeaways on how to get started and succeed!”
Since both of these ecommerce platforms has almost identical target groups and competing with prices, it might help for one of them to stand out. And of course they want to share their experience to make their customers (or soon to become) more successful.
Jim enters his email and submits it. Thirty minutes after that an email appear in Jim’s inbox: “Congrats on the course”, in which the five part course is outlined for Jim to read.
Three days after that another email appear: “The e commerce owners first step”. And this sequence of emails just keep coming, providing value for Jim. All of this makes Jim keep Shopify on top of his mind and since the runway to start an ecommerce business can be quite long, this gives Shopify quite a few advantages.
They now have a relationship with Jim. Shopify is in Jim’s sub conscious when it comes to ecommerce and expertise. They quickly become an authority and puts themselves right on top of the mind.
This is an easy choice for Jim.