This is a guest post from my friend and brilliant business coach, Sue Painter. Sue is one of Michael Port’s Book Yourself Solid Coaches, a coach for Ali Brown’s Elevate program, and a successful entrepreneur. I always appreciate Sue’s perspective on business and marketing. We use follow up sequences (autoresponders) heavily in our business and when we were creating several new ones earlier this year, Sue reviewed and provided feedback on almost every one, ensuring what we create is easy to understand and easy to use!
In this guest post, Sue shares 4 steps on how you can use autoresponders to get more sales and more clients — Enjoy!
If you market on the Internet at all, you probably pay for an autoresponder program like Infusionsoft or 1shoppingcart or aWeber.
Autoresponders give us the capability of reaching out to touch the prospects who have subscribed to our lists or who have purchased from us. Using our autoresponder’s capability to contact these people over and over again is what keeps prospects and clients “warm.”
If you gain a subscriber to your lists and never reach out to touch that person again, you’re not likely to change that prospect into a buyer of your products or services. If you do a one-time sale to a customer or client, but never make another offer, you’re likely not to work with that person again.
I’ve seen business owners use their autoresponder or follow up system to thank visitors for subscribing to their list, but after that do absolutely nothing more with their list. There is no follow-up campaign to reach out and touch those subscribers, other than perhaps an intermittent e-newsletter. Sad to say, I’ve seen this over and over again.
Not using your autoresponders is bad practice because:
- You’re paying every single month to have access to your autoresponder system, but it’s sitting idle other than for one “thank you” e-mail. If you’re doing this, you’re using your autoresponder to about 10% of its capacity, at most.
- Your list of subscribers is getting colder by the week.
- You’re not reaching out to existing customers (buyers) with new education, information, and offers – you’re just processing the one sell and then letting that customer grow cold.
I think beginning business owners get this habit because they are coached in the beginning of their business to create an opt-in and “build their list.” There are far fewer programs that teach what to do with that list, and what to do with prospects who have already become customers. So…
Here are four simple steps to get a lot more use out of your autoresponder system and increase your income at the same time:
Make a detailed list of every smaller product or service that you are willing to offer as a “free taste” or an “irresistible free offer” to your website’s visitors. You may have an opt-in offer already in place. If you do, check to see how well it’s converting for you — meaning how many people each month have actually signed up for your offer?
Making a list of other potential irresistible free offers will help you plan out follow-on campaigns for your opt-in list, as well as give you other opt-in offers to try if your current one is not converting for you very well. You might have a free e-course, a few MP3’s that you are willing to give away as a download, a brief e-book, a set of videos — see what’s in your “free taste” closet and list them all.
- TIP: Every time you create something that could be useful as a free taste make sure to update this list!
Make a second detailed list of every product and service you offer and the price of each. I often find when I work with clients that there are little “special” offers a client has set up for a one-time event that are not integrated into their marketing funnel. You can use these special offers creatively to make more offers to your lists, or to add them as bonuses to existing offers.
- TIP: Remember that every time you create a new offer, you can update this list and look for new combinations to package together or use as bonuses.
Make a list of how many different autoresponders (lists) you have already set up in your system. Beginners might only have an autoresponder for their opt-in offer. But if you’ve been in business any length of time, you’ll have other lists in other autoresponders. People who bought a particular product or service will be in a separate autoresponder. People who have signed up for your list-building teleseminars or webinars will be in separate autoresponders. People who signed up for your e-newsletter when you went out and made a speech might be in a separate autoresponder list.
People get onto your prospect and buyer lists for different reasons. It’s useful for you to know and work with each of these autoresponder lists, and keep active contact with each of these groups.
- TIP: Every time you create a free or paid offer you’ll have a new list of people who take you up on it. Make sure you add this new autoresponder list to your master list.
Next, take some time to think strategically about each of your separate autoresponder lists. Look at each one. First, see if you have “free tastes” that would be valuable content to one or more of your lists, based on what they opted in for or bought from you before. Second, see which of your products and services would be a natural “next step” for each of your lists.
Basically, you are starting to thoughtfully develop a follow-on campaign of free valuable content and additional offers for each and every one of your autoresponder lists. You are personalizing this as much as you can, based on which list they are on, which tells you a little bit about what they are most interested in.
- TIP: I recommend reviewing the campaigns you create at least twice a year, and changing things up in response to what’s working and the new opportunities you see.
I call this 4 step process my “list building recipe” and teach this often to clients and through webinars.
- Think about what you have in your “pantry” for “free tastes” and “products and services.”
- Match these ingredients up to your autoresponder lists.
- And finally, think through how you are going to “cook up” these pantry ingredients for each of your lists.
What do I mean by “cooking up?”
That’s how you are going to offer your ingredients. You might turn a group experience into private one-on-one work, for instance. Or, you might decide to group together several of your ingredients of “free tastes” and “products and services” in a way you’ve never done before.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say that 8 months ago you offered a free webinar on how to get organized for Christmas and you had 100 people who signed up to attend that webinar. Since then, you haven’t sent them a single thing other than perhaps your general e-newsletter.
Looking around at your “free taste” list and your “product and service list” you realize that you could easily create a follow-on campaign to that list of 100 with several things they might well be interested in. You have a short MP3 recording of a speech you made about cleaning up after the holidays, and you have a $97.00 product that teaches people how to plan for putting on several holiday parties all in one week’s time. You realize that these 100 people might well be interested in both these things.
You create a series of e-mails that will go out to that particular autoresponder list. This keeps that list of people warm, offers them useful free content (another “free taste” of you) and makes an offer for a low dollar amount. You’ll more than likely get sales — and you’ve not done anything except get your autoresponder lists organized and active!
The secret to getting more sales from your lists is to create small campaigns for each, and always be reaching out to touch those people. Use this list building recipe and you’re bound to turn more prospects into customers as well as get repeat sales from existing customers, too.
More about the author:
Sue Painter is a successful serial entrepreneur who works with small business owners intent on building their business and creating a happy life. She’s been working with small business owners since 2005, is one of Michael Port’s Book Yourself Solid certified coaches, and one of the coaches for Ali Brown’s Elevate coaching program. For more information or to get Sue’s 7 part free e-course on getting booked solid, go to www.confidentmarketer.com.