Imagine if John (an avid poker player) visits your website. You sell a book that helps him improve his poker game. He’s highly interested in what you have to offer, but he’s just not ready to purchase yet. He’s still recovering from that extended holiday and needs to pay off the credit card that he maxed out playing poker online.

He sees a form on your site asking if he’d like more detailed information, and so he fills in his name and email address. Within seconds an email is sent to John with a short summary of the benefits offered by your book and a couple of useful tips he can use right away.

A few days later, John receives another email that goes something like this:

“Hey John, I know you’re quite busy, especially with the holiday period coming to an end, but I just wanted to get in touch with you to let you know we’ve got a special coming up for that ‘How to win at poker’ handbook you’ve always wanted.”

John’s forgotten that he’d been looking to buy a book like this and this email reminds him that he needs to improve his game. John adds buying the handbook to his “To Do” list and goes about his daily business.

Another few days later, John receives another email; again, reminding him that the special is about to end alongside another juicy tip that’s in the book. John realizes he doesn’t have much time now, and goes off to purchase your “How to win at poker” handbook.

Every email sent to John was automated. You didn’t have to wait for him to subscribe, you didn’t have to personally address John, nor did you have to send him an email every few days.

The example above shows how a series of auto responder emails can be used as a powerful “hands off” marketing tool for your web site.

Now, take a few minutes and think to yourself, “How can I use auto responders on my web site?”

No, seriously. Stop and think. This simple exercise could easily add another stream of revenue to your web site that you didn’t know existed.

But I don’t sell anything online!

Auto responders can work for ANY business. You don’t need to be selling something online for them to work. For example, let’s pretend you have a hair styling business. You cater towards young men looking for a modern, attractive hair style. Part of your service includes helping them select a hair style that greatly enhances their facial features and gets them the compliments they’re after from the ladies.

On your website, you setup a simple form, something like: “Guys, get the hair style that’ll get you noticed. Free email report shows you how.”

Once John’s filled in the form, he gets an email with a summary of tips about the type of hair style suited for men with different features. It also mentions that you’re an expert in this field and your salon regularly helps men go from dud to stud in less than an hour.

A few days later, John receives yet another tip — this time on how washing his hair with a different shampoo can lead to different results. John starts to see how much of an expert you are, but also how much he’d rather just pay someone to take care of all this for him. He hasn’t got much time now since he’s started killing those poker sites. And so off he goes to call and make an appointment at your salon.

What else should I know?

The content in your auto responders need to be useful. Whilst including marketing hype purely about your product and services can work if there is a strong interest, you’ll usually need to provide relevant tips and information to keep your subscriber engaged and ready to pull out their wallet when need be.

You should opt to use autoresponder software that offers personalization, which includes the ability to address John by his first name, as that greatly increases response rates.

Finally, you should TEST your auto responders. Make sure they aren’t trapped by spam filters, make sure the subscribers are receiving the auto responders in the order they’re meant to be and so forth.

Armed with this new knowledge, you should be able to add an additional stream of revenue that could do some serious boosting to your profits. Some online businesses use this single marketing strategy as the sole way of getting new clients. They do this because it works!

Now, have you decided how you’re going to use auto responders for your business?