Are autoresponders dead? Some would say so. They seem like an early 2000s form of marketing. They’re a pre-programmed set of emails that go out one at a time on a schedule. Is that really how we consume content anymore, waiting for the next juicy bit on someone else’s time table? Not really.
But we wouldn’t call them dead just yet. They still have their uses, but it’s now a specialized tool rather than a one-size-fits-all tool for customer communication after a conversion. Let’s take a look at the role of autoresponders in today’s content marketing world.
Social media replaced the brand email
Before social media became popular, marketers needed a way to keep the mindshare of visitors over time. The major communication tool prior to social media was email and SMS. So it made perfect sense to use these tools to keep up the conversation afterward.
It was a great audience too. Since the recipients had already interacted with your company by giving over their email or phone number, they weren’t completely cold. The people were ‘in the list’ and marketers segmented those lists, devising complex ways to communicate with customers after conversion.
Then social media came along and upended the bucket. Getting regular emails now feels a little invasive in a world where we usually consume contact through social media. But this is actually a good thing. It means that you need to step up your email game to compete. How do you do that? Write more focused and timely content!
Email as an information packet
The key thing to remember when using an autoresponder today is to not think of it as a way to send marketing messages. Each email needs to provide some sort of value to the reader. If you can set up a habit of providing useful information in every email, you’ll keep the attention of the reader.
Here are just a few ways you can offer useful information:
Product add-ons – Make a follow up to the content they got when they gave you the email. This can be a tutorial or an FAQ on the product. It’ll make the reader more curious about the product and want to take the next steps.
A personalized message – Do you want to invite people to talk on a forum or on social media? Make a letter that reads like a personalized message inviting them to take one step further. The same thing can be done to get them to learn more about a new product.
Sharing content – Consider your email subscribers to be next-level blog readers. Give them blog posts, but add on additional information to make it seem like they’re special.
Apps and autoresponders – If you have an app, an autoresponder can be your best friend. Improving your content is one thing, but if you program your app and your autoresponder right, you can send context-sensitive emails to your users when they perform certain actions. That frees your marketing messages from a scheduler, and it also allows you send another type of email.
If your app has any sort of statistics or updates, sending a daily email summarizing them is a great way to keep attention. The content is always different and it’s relevant to their use of the app. If you’re all out of content to write about in your emails, the app can keep sending messages so your brand awareness remains high. And, not a lot of apps tap into the power of email.
So, autoresponders aren’t dead, but they do need to be used differently. Don’t use them like you’d use social media posts for brand awareness. Make the content worth opening and directly relevant to actions the reader has performed.
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