Do Your Autoresponders Drive Your Customers Crazy?

A chained auto-responder is a sequence of emails that gets delivered automatically when someone subscribes to this autoresponder.

It is used in marketing to deliver mini-advertisements, teaser courses, demo extracts, testimonials or stepped sales letters, and all of this is designed to get the client eventually to click on the "buy me now" link for the main product that is being promoted.

There are three main problems with chained auto-responders. Avoid these, TEST your linked auto-responders before you inflict them on the general public, and you should see significant increases in your sales.

Problem No. 1 - No Content Beyond Selling

This is THE most VIOLENTLY annoying class of chained autoresponders - message after message from the same place, trying to sell you something, in so many different words. YUCK!

What marketers who don't THINK seem to forget is that folk who own and manage PCs and email aren't that stupid.

They can read and write, you know, and they are not IDIOTS.

After two or three repeats, they will immediately delete such messages from their inbox and probably put a spam block on the sender domain for good measure.

That's not what the marketeer had in mind, I should wager ...

Problem No. 2 - Too Little Content

I remember one "mini course" which contained nothing but teasers and virtually no useful information whatsoever.

Once again, look, marketeers!

If you want people to "try" the product, you need to give them at least a little taste of it.

Don't hold the glass with the sample wine under their nose, and when they reach out, oops, that'll be $875 dollars please ... but we do have a "money back" guarantee ...

This is just ANNOYING, it's even dishonourable and an angry person does not make a good customer.

Problem No. 3 - Too Much, Way Too Much ...

I subscribed to another auto-responder teaser mini course just a few days ago, and here, the folks in charge had done a 180' U-turn on the two points above, most likely because they got it that those content less/content poor efforts don't work to sell more of their product.

In their desire to have it be known how marvellously content packed the main item was, they created this huge long document, of at least 20, 25 paragraphs for the first installment of their chained auto-responder.


Now I don't know about the rest of the planet, but I'm actually quite a busy person and I get STACKS of emails every day.

I try and cut down the time I spent on dealing with email because it does get out of hand, and on this occasion I was into something else anyway.

I took just *one look* at the plethora of writing and went, "Oh god, I don't have time for that right now ..." and left it.

Have you ever left a non-priority email for later ...?

Yeah, you know what I mean.

But then, the very next day, the 2nd installment arrived. I opened it and damn me, there's another REAM of goodness knows what, but now I've missed the boat because this is No. 2 and I haven't read No. 1 yet!

I hastily closed it, feeling guilty and moved on.

But then, No. 3 arrived - another book length installment. I just couldn't handle it anymore.

I deleted the lot.

Now that's a terrible shame because there may have been valuable information I never got, and the guys who wrote this spend AGES doing it.

So, here are my suggestion for chained auto-responders copy.

1. Head it with, "Busy? Save me! I contain important information!" or words to that effect.

2. Keep it SHORT. Pick out ONE USEFUL thing and just - tell me THAT. So I can glance at it and say, "Hey, that's useful! Cool! Thanks, guys!" When I mean short, I mean anything above three paragraphs is way, way too long for an autoresponder email in this day and age.

3. Keep it TOTALLY FOCUSSED on the product you are selling. I'm on autoresponders where you wouldn't begin to guess for all the waffle, testimonials, side tracks and "personal messages" what I'm supposed to be BUYING at the end of the day!

4. Give people a chance to keep up. Space your messages three days, don't inundate us. Or better still, test this for yourself. A lot of "internet marketing wisdom" is completely out of date now because it was researched back in the days when we got four emails a week, and not fourteen thousand each. Time has moved on and requires NEW thinking, and different strategies.

My last tip on chained autoresponders is as follows.

5. Subscribe yourself to OTHER PEOPLE'S efforts.

Don't look at them as a marketeer would, but as though you were a human being in front of their computer, if you know what I mean by that.

You can learn what pleases and what works, and what doesn't.

Mark out to yourself what you like and use this in your own efforts, and avoid what really turns you off.

Lastly, keep working at your chained autoresponder copy until you have something that really works, and really brings in lots more sales.

They are a great resource - if you handle them right.

Silvia Hartmann

Author, "MindMillion"

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