In this blog post, we discuss what an autoresponder is and how you can use it in your marketing. For more information about email marketing and autoresponders, contact us today.
Automating marketing with autoresponders
Automation can play an important part in the success of any growing business. The less time you devote to doing small redundant tasks, the more time you will have to devote to strategic and business development activities that require your skills and expertise.
Putting an online business on autopilot is fairly easy to do, and much of it can be done by simply using autoresponders to automate simple tasks for you.
What is an autoresponder?
An autoresponder is software that’s used to automatically respond to customer enquiries. It can be used to set up a series of pre-determined responses, or it can be programmed to respond in a more human-like manner.
This software usually either has the ability to send out automated emails or is integrated with email marketing software.
Autoresponders are mostly used in marketing for marketing campaigns, or customer support in order to handle large volumes of support enquiries.
In this blog post, we are focusing primarily on how an autoresponder can be used to achieve better results in your marketing.
Autoresponders in eCommerce
If you run an eCommerce business then an autoresponder is a great way to help nurture the prospect and, if necessary, nudge them back toward making a purchase.
Here are some examples of how an autoresponder can be used in eCommerce:
Shopping cart abandonment: This is a common issue in online eCommerce. If a website visitor has entered their email address (and some other details) but they haven’t made a purchase on what’s in their basket or shopping cart then you can use an autoresponder to remind them to check out. You can also couple this with a special offer to prompt them further.
You viewed this campaign: Similar to the Shopping cart abandonment campaign, you can send an email promoting a product that someone has viewed (or alternatives). If the user is signed in and views a product, you can set up an autoresponder to say “hey, great choice. We notice you didn’t add it to your basket so here’s a button to do that in case you forgot”.
Short blast and lead generation campaigns
Two other great ways to use autoresponders are in short one-off campaigns and in lead generation campaigns.
A short blast campaign comprises of a series of emails over a short period of time. A business offering a productivity app, for example, could offer a 5-day training on how to improve business productivity with a new email being sent out on a daily basis. When a prospect signs up, they will receive the various educational emails in the order and according to the timing set up in the autoresponder.
With a lead generation campaign, a business can offer a free eBook or some other form of “lead magnet”. When a prospect enters their email address on the website to receive the free eBook, they will receive a copy of the book by email, followed by a series of emails over time with further tips, advice and offers.
A short blast campaign and Lead generation campaign can be the same thing depending on what you are offering and how the campaign is planned out.
Using Autoresponders wisely
Autoresponders are great for businesses that want to grow, but they must be used with caution.
Promoting products for sale is one of the most popular uses of autoresponders in online marketing but it can annoy or alienate potential customers if it isn’t done correctly.
Sending too many emails or being too promotional is more likely to prompt the reader to hit the subscribe rather than the buy button.
What Autoresponder should you use?
There are many Autoresponder services available that can be found by searching on Google. Many Autoresponder services offer a free limited service but make sure to check out the features first as well as the upgrade pricing.
Once you start using an autoresponder, it can be a lot of extra work if you decide later on to move your data and processes over to a different solution.
Aweber, MailChimp and GetResponse are just a few examples of apps that offer autoresponder functionality. A fuller list of email marketing solutions, as well as tips for setting up an autoresponder, are included in How to create a successful email marketing campaign.
Need help with your email marketing?
If you need help with your email marketing and setting up an autoresponder, get in touch. We would be delighted to have a quick chat with you to understand your requirements and to see if we can help.
Call us today.
When creating content for social media, it’s important to understand your objectives and the purpose of a post and a key objective for many posts should be to drive people to your website to take action. Unfortunately, there are many challenges such as:
There are many apps that you can use to get better results from what you post. In this blog post, I address the 3 issues mentioned above with some great apps worth considering.
Note: While some of these apps offer free features, costs may be involved.
Create your own thumbnails
While images can grab the attention of followers on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, they can’t have a link attached to them like they can on a website. That’s why posts with thumbnails get more click-throughs than images.
Frustratingly, it’s difficult to control what the thumbnail looks like and on Twitter, you might not get a thumbnail at all when you post a link. There are technical ways to manage this with your website but a much better solution is to use an app that controls what the thumbnail looks like.
I use Switchy to create a custom thumbnail. It allows users to add the image, title and description for the thumbnail and you can also create a custom URL.
Creating your own thumbnails means you can make them stand out better and use the wording you want to entice visitors to click through.
Create Multiple Link Bios
I have talked about this in a previous post. Social media platforms only allow one clickable URL in your bio but by using a tool such as Shorby or Link In Bio (from Later.com) you can offer your fans a menu of options such as a direct link to your latest blog post, a link to your YouTube channel and much more - including a simple link to your website as well.
Using this option gives visitors more choice on platforms such as Twitter as well as increasing the number of clicks from your Instagram posts.
Visit Think Twice Marketing on Instagram and click on our bio to see how it works. Alternatively, you can click this link here to see the menu immediately:
Sometimes it’s great to show relevant and valuable articles to your fans from other websites but doing so means that they will visit that website and not yours! That’s where tools such as snip.ly and JotURL can help.
At Think Twice Marketing we use JotURL for our customers so that a pop-up call to action appears on the third party website, promoting our customer and driving visitors back to their site. Yes - you read that correctly - a call to action on a different site!
Imagine that you sell finance support for investments and pensions. You see a great article about how best to invest in your pension. Using a tool such as snip.ly you can have a button with a message on the site they are visit saying ‘Contact us for a FREE pension review’
Here’s an example that we have used for our own business to promote my books:
Driving more visitors to your site and generating leads
Using the apps above are a great way to generate more leads and increase sales. If you are looking for help with social media and would like to benefit from the above tools that we already use then why not get in touch with us to see how Think Twice Marketing can help? We also use other tools that provide features such as the ability to add bold and italic in your Facebook posts!
Get in touch today to find out more about our social media marketing support.
Instagram is a great platform for engaging with your target audience and although it depends on your business, Instagram typically achieves more likes, follows and reach than other mainstream social media platforms. It does, however, have one major drawback - it’s harder to organically drive people to your website.
Anyone using Instagram for business will be aware that you cannot include clickable links in standard posts to your feed and links are only possible in Stories if you have over 10,000 followers (which everyone has, right?).
The only clickable link for most Instagram businesses is the one that appears in their bio.
If you are a regular blogger or a business trying to promote a special offer - and want to use Instagram to increase visitors to your website then it can be a challenge.
How to get more click-throughs from your Instagram account
Here are 4 ways to generate more click-throughs from your Instagram profile so that you can drive visitors to your website.
When you advertise on Instagram, the ads are not just clickable but you can also reach potential new customers who don’t yet follow you by defining who your target market is. If you are running a marketing campaign, for example, with a special offer then using Instagram Ads is a great way to find new business. Advertising on Instagram costs money, making it less attractive for regular bloggers if you want people on Instagram to visit your blog posts.
When I refer to ‘Instagram Ads’, I’m talking about all forms of advertising on Instagram. It’s possible to advertise on Instagram by setting up a Facebook Ads campaign as well as advertising directly on Instagram.
Copy and Paste
The simplest and cheapest but the least effective of the four ways to drive Instagrammers to your website is to include a link in your post and ask them to copy and paste it into their browser.
Many people won’t have the desire (or knowhow) to copy the link and open the browser to paste in the link. On a desktop is easier but since Instagram is seen by almost everyone on a mobile phone then this makes the task even harder. Only people who are super keen to visit the link will spend the time copying and pasting the link.
Visit our bio
As well as having the link in your post, you can also include wording to tell them to use the clickable link in your bio. Visiting the bio and clicking on the link is much easier than copy and pasting a link into a browser but it’s not ideal if you want to send people to different pages. You can’t, for example, send people directly to your various blog posts if you are publishing articles on a weekly or monthly basis.
The ultimate way to drive Instagram followers to your website
The above 3 options overcome the issue but there is, however, a better solution...
Use a multiple links tool
At Think Twice Marketing, we use Shorby. An app that allows you to have a selection of links available when someone clicks on your bio link.
Although the bio can only have one clickable link, multiple links tools like this allow you to create a mini pop up menu on your phone with multiple links. These links can be easily edited or removed and can include links to specific blogs, your home or contact page or even to WhatsApp or Email so that they can contact you directly.
Using a multiple links tool allows your audience to quickly find the page you want them to visit on your website directly from your Instagram bio. All you need to do in posts is tell people to click on the link in your bio.
You can see how we use a multiple links tool by visiting Think Twice Marketing on Instagram and clicking on our bio link.
If you would like multiple links set up in your Instagram bio, get in touch or view the Instagram multiple links service we offer in our store.
In the past 8 years, I have certainly had many challenges creating and writing content for customers but it has given me the opportunity to refine the process so that better content can be done more efficiently. Here are 7 great tools you should consider:
Grammarly - Avoid bad spellings and grammar with this great app. You can integrate Grammarly into your processes, whether that's gmail for emails. your app you use for scheduling content or Google Docs. Although it annoys me from time to time when it isn't right, it's the best I've used and I couldn't live without it.
Stencil - This online app helps you quickly create images for social media as well as images for your website or email marketing. As well as Stencil, Canva is another tool that's more popular as well as Pablo (from Buffer) and Relay.that.
The ezgif app allow you to resize, crop, shorten and even convert videos from GIF to MP4 and much more!
Ezgif - This online tools has the strap line 'animated GIFs made easy' but it's more than that. If you have ever tried to upload a video to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram you are most likely to have come across issues such as it being too long for Twitter, not square enough for Facebook or too short for Instagram. Sigh! The ezgif app allow you to resize, crop, shorten and even convert videos from GIF to MP4 and much more!
WhatFont - This Chrome extension allows you to hover over wording on any website and see what font is being used. If you are creating images with wording then you can make sure your brand is consistent by using the same font throughout.
Eye Dropper - This Chrome extension is similar to WhatFont but is for colours. Add the extension, visit a site and hover over a part of the site and it will show you the colour as well as provide you with the exact colour code which you can then use in your image design or web coding.
Rawshorts - There are various solutions for creating fun, educational and promotional videos and Rawshorts is worth considering. The free version has limitations (no surprise there!) but it's good enough to create some great looking videos. Some of our animated videos on YouTube were created with Rawshorts.
Lumen5 - Quickly and easily turn your blog posts into a video - or add a video version to your blog posts! All you have to do with Lumen5 is add the URL of your blog post (or copy and paste the blog wording) and this handy app will break the blog post into multiple frames and add images based on the wording. If your wording says 'how to cook a great dish' then it will return images related to cooking or a kitchen. Make some changes and add some background music and you are ready to go!
These are just a selection of useful tools and based on our experience but if you would like to share your experience of other apps why not get in touch or share it with us on social media? Don't forget to tag us when you do.
Get in touch if you need help with your content marketing.
The opinions in these blog posts are those of marketing expert and book author Darren Hignett.