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One of the most basic tools that every Internet marketer needs to use is the autoresponder. If you are trying to make money online and you are not using an autoresponder, you are really missing the point. This article will describe the basics of an autoresponder and how you can use one to help you succeed in your online business.

First of all, it is important to understand what your autoresponder really is. Many people think of them as an automatic response to customer needs (hence the name -autoresponder), but stopping there really doesn’t give them all the credit. To fully utilize your autoresponder, you need to start seeing them as your own personal sales force. However, this sales force, unlike its human counterpart, will never tire, works 24/7, doesn’t need a raise every year, and NEVER calls in sick.

The next thing to remember about your autoresponder is that it is only as useful as the person training it. Who trains your autoresponder? Of course yes!

When someone contacts you via email or a subscription sign-up form, they are telling you that they are interested in what you have to offer. It doesn’t matter if you are selling a product or service, when that initial contact is made, that person is stating that they are open to receiving your “proposal.” Think of it as a potential customer walking through the front door of your store. If you have properly trained your sales people, they will know what needs to happen next – they must sell!

Remember what I said earlier about your autoresponder being your own personal sales force? When that initial contact is made, your “Sales Team” must step in, educate your potential customer about your products, convince them that they need the products, and then try to close the deal, which of course leads to money in their pocket. However, the wonderful thing about internet marketing is that all of this can take place while you (the business owner) are sleeping, going on vacation, watching a movie with your family, or basically doing anything other than personally interacting with this potential customer. And everything happens automatically!

Now when I say “automatically”, that doesn’t mean “all by itself”. There is no magic potion for automatic responses, you still have to initially set it to do what you want it to do. Remember, you must “train” your sales force, which means that you must configure the automatic messages that you want to send to your prospects. Follow these 5 key elements and you are on your way to online success.

KEY # 1: CUSTOMIZE YOUR MESSAGES – Most autoresponders allow you to put the recipient’s name directly in the title and body of the message by simply adding ** NAME **, or ~~ NAME ~~, or> wherever you want your name to appear. Be sure to check out this feature from your vendor as there doesn’t seem to be any uniform industry standard.

Why should I customize it?

These people will receive other emails in their inbox. They may be checking their emails after a long day at the office. They may have their finger on the “Delete” key as they go through their messages trying to remove spam and viruses.

Think about it … wouldn’t you think twice about deleting an email that has your name in the title?

KEY # 2: CREATE CURIOSITY. Your messages don’t have to read like a novel. Keep it pretty short. A few well-written paragraphs will do wonders for your offer. Ask rhetorical questions like, “What if I could show you how …?” Or “What would you do if you had …” and then show them how to get the answers by inviting them to your website or giving you a call. Be sure to include their URL, phone number, etc … whatever you want them to use to contact you.

KEY # 3: MAKE IT CONSISTENT. Do you have time. Your automatic reply will continue to send you your messages automatically. So take the time to remind them (very briefly) of what you told them in your last letter and build on it with the following message. ALWAYS give them clear direction on how to learn more, how to order, how to ask questions, etc. and remind them that you will send them another message.

KEY # 4: MAKE IT INTERESTING. Try to avoid too much exaggeration. Don’t overdo your offer, but let the reader know that you are excited and try to create a mental picture for them of what their life can be like with your product or service. Tell them how you can help them achieve those results, and invite them to take action, whether that’s by visiting your site, calling, or emailing.

KEY # 5: CLOSE THE DEAL. It bears repeating … CLOSE THE OFFER! I see a lot of announcements and messages that are posted without a clear call to action. Remember, you are in business to make a profit. No closing = no cash.

Recheck your messages to make sure you are very clear on what the reader should do next. There is nothing more embarrassing than finding out that your prospects have been getting the wrong message from your sales team, so be sure to test the entire system yourself.

Your autoresponder can make or break you an internet marketer. Spend some time training your sales force, evaluate their performance by monitoring, and make changes every time you see room for improvement.

Today you have learned 5 basic concepts of automatic response. Use these 5 keys for every autoresponder campaign you have and you will be on your way to success online.

Now go out there and market!

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