If you own a local brick and mortar business, do you know what the most important piece of information is from your customer? Their email address. Why? In the old days it was their phone number. But with caller id and everyone screening calls, communicating via a personal phone for business purposes has become almost obsolete. Think about it. You use your cell phone mostly for your friends and family, right?
So if the email address is the most important piece of information, how do I communicate with my customer? You use an autoresponder. What is an autoresponder? It’s simply a tool loaded with pre-built messages in order to keep your business, message, promotion, or whatever in front of your customer via email. All you have to do is get the customer to opt-in to your offer. Or, in layman’s terms, agree to give you their email address.
How do you collect email addresses, you ask? Well, for the traditional brick and mortar business, you simply ask for it. In the online or internet world, you provide some offer or promotion in exchange for the email address.
Why is collecting email addresses important? Think about it again. How do you communicate? The majority of today’s business world communicates via email. If you don’t collect your customers email address, rest assured your competition probably is. You see, statistics show that if you keep your company’s name, offer, or promotion in front of your customer at least on a weekly basis, your sales should increase approximately 20% – 30%. After all, if that customer purchased from you in the past, with good product and service, they will most likely purchase from you again. So keep your message in front of them.
How do I set up an autoresponder? Its very simple. Most autoresponders today come complete with full video tutorials on how to get setup. With a little knowledge, you can customize your offers and messages to you local market. These messages can be set to be sent out at any given date and time. So while your busy taking care of your customers needs, your autoresponder handles your communication and messages via email.
How expensive is an autoresponder? It varies depending on the number of email addresses, but usually starts around $15 per month. As your local business grows, your online business will grow proportionately.
There are several reputable autoresponder companies today that provide a quality service. (Aweber, MailChimp, ConstantContact, GetResponse, GVO, etc.) Most come with excellent support and training to meet your companies needs.
In today’s competitive market, some autoresponder companies are combining certain online communication tools your business may need in order to make your business run smoother. For example, your autoresponder may also provides video email services to your customer in order to send a video message of your offer. In addition, some companies also provide online conferencing (in lieu of GoToMeeting) in addition to the traditional autoresponder messaging.
If you make a concentrated effort to collect your customers email address and follow-up with pre-loaded messages to those customers, your business will flourish.