Posted on April 23, 2015
The Anatomy of an Autoresponder
What makes for a really good autoresponder? It’s the question that many people simmer over, deciding what is the best content to send to an inquiry or a lead upon a form submission. Let’s examine the perfect autoresponder piece by piece to gain a better understanding.
What is an autoresponder?
An autoresponder is simply an automated email response, used to reply to a form submission. It can take the form of a confirmation email, a welcome email, or you can provide information on a product or service right away. The main idea is to send it automatically without any user intervention, preferably in real-time.
Each autoresponder starts with the basic elements of an email. The from email address, the from name, and a subject line.
A good from email and name are made up by using something familiar to the user. For example, if you have a sign up form for familyfitnessisfun.com, naturally you’ll want your autoresponder to come from [email protected]. “something” in this case would be replaced with a term more appropriate, such as info, no-reply, sales, etc. It’s really up to you to decide which term is best for your use-case.
Along the same lines as the from email address, your from name should also be equally as recognizable. Keep it short & sweet, under 20 characters, for optimal display in almost all email clients. For example, using the domain we presented above, acceptable from names would be Family Fitness, Family Fitness Fun, whereas
Family Fitness is Fun would be too long. There is no “official” rule to limit you to 20 characters, but we strongly advise it so that it is fully displayed both on mobile and desktop clients.
The SUBJECT LINE
The subject line. Ah old friend, we meet again. The subject line is the big player when it comes to open rates. Subject lines should be clear, concise, and create a sense of urgency. It’s literally the first piece of content your lead will read by email. When we write subject lines, we use the “I Test.” Ask yourself, “Would I open this email, if all I saw was the subject line?” If the answer is NO, then keep thinking. If the answer is YES, test it out on your autoresponder!
* Gym Autopilot Tip *
Use personalization in your subject line and content for better open rates!
Let’s continue. It’s time to get down to the nitty gritty elements of the autoresponder. The content. This is where you have lots of room to be creative, however be aware that long emails are not the name of the game. Short content is king! Here are a few examples of content you could put inside your autoresponder email:
- The “Thank You” – This one is great for small businesses because you can send the email as yourself, thanking the lead for inquiring about your product or service. Let them know how they can contact your company for support, and provide them with any information as needed. For example, if they filled out a form for a pricing request, you can include those details on the email. Keep it short, and to the point. Bonus points for including pictures, videos, and links to your company’s social media profiles.
- The “Confirmation Email” – This autoresponder style is typically more formal. It either requests the user to confirm their interest in joining your mailing list, or asks them to confirm an account they set up on your site. Use this kind of autoresponder really ensures sure the contact is interested in your product and/or service, as well as marking them a double opt-in, verified contact.
- The “Full Intro” – This is our favorite style of autoresponder because it allows for the most creativity. You can mix and match styles, use it as an opportunity to start selling your products or services, introduce your staff, etc. The possibilities are endless. Just remember to keep it short, and interesting. No one wants to read your entire life story in an email. That’s what your website is for! Easier said then done, right? It always is.
If you don’t use an autoresponder, and you have an online presence, you’re honestly only hurting your own bottom line. The longer you wait to contact your leads, the less interested they become. In today’s digital powered world, people crave instant responses. Ride the trend, and get on board to take your digital marketing to the next level.
Gym Autopilot is a multi-channel marketing automation agency devoted to easing the burden of a fast paced technological world. We automate gym owners' web operations to improve new member acquisition, member retention rates, and communication. Our mission is simple: "create, execute, and deliver the digital strategy."