7 mistakes that get your autoresponder e-mails trashed

friday, 27 january of 2012

7 mistakes that get your autoresponder e-mails trashed

by Tom Trush

The autoresponder can transform any lifeless website into a lead-generating engine that continuously drives your marketing message in front eager prospects -- whether you're sitting at your desk or poolside under a cabana at a Caribbean resort.

After all, once you set up a series of e-mails, you're done.

Sure, you must get traffic to your website or squeeze page so prospects opt-in to your list. But once they become subscribers, you can personalize your marketing message and automate its delivery over a set period of time.

(If you're not familiar with autoresponders and how they work, click here to watch a 5-minute video)

The benefits of using autoresponders seem almost too good to be true, especially considering the minimal investment they require (some services even let you set up free campaigns). Unfortunately, their simplicity leads many to overlook important factors that can result in your e-mails finding a permanent place in the trash bin.

Below are 7 common mistakes that cause autoresponder e-mails to get ignored. You'll notice some of these mistakes can also apply to your everyday e-mails.

Mistake #1: Flubbing the From section. Don't include anything but a person's name in the From section of your e-mails. Have you ever seen a company, product or publication write and send an e-mail? Of course not ... e-mails are personal because they're written and read by people.

Mistake #2: Snubbing your subject line. Like your From section, a company, product or publication name in your Subject lines does little to get your e-mails opened. Dedicate the same attention to your Subject lines as you give to headlines -- create curiosity, deliver news and stress benefits.

Mistake #3: Crafting a corporate essay. Write in simple, easy-to-understand English. Your e-mails are no different than one-on-one conversations, so mimic the way you speak. Provide plenty of breaks in your copy (yes, one-sentence paragraphs are fine), use short words and sentences, and present questions to encourage interaction.

Mistake #4: Sending only to sell. Of course, you'll occasionally have a product or service you want to promote in an e-mail. But first deliver valuable content to prove to your subscribers that what you send them is worth reading. That way they'll look forward to seeing your name in their inbox.

Mistake #5: Muddling your message with graphics. To many people, an e-mail heavy with graphics is an instant sign of a sales message. What's more, some images and formatting can make your text difficult to read. So keep your autoresponder e-mails as visually simple as the e-mails you send to friends and family.

Mistake #6: Overlooking a call to action. Never assume your subscribers know what to do next. Whether you want them to read another article, visit your Facebook page, send you questions or click a buy button, make sure the next step is clearly stated.

Mistake #7: Sending off-topic e-mails. If your subscribers signed up for bird bath cleaning tips, don't expect them to respond to your latest offer for designer dog sweaters. You'll lose the credibility you built in previous messages the instant an off-topic e-mail hits a subscriber's inbox.

And, finally, when deciding on topics for your next autoresponder series, keep your ears open What questions do you often hear? What keeps your prospects up at night? What's getting mentioned in the media?


© Trey Ryder

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