This past weekend I had the privilege of speaking to a large group of leaders at the Creative Memories Leadership Conference. One of the key points that I shared was how social media can make you more efficient as a leader.
If you are a leader, think about all the tasks you do manually every day:
- Answer the same questions over and over (probably on the phone)
- Send training to new recruits manually, at specific intervals you’ve defined
- Send out notifications to your team members
- Follow up with individual customers, telling them about new products and specials
Etc., etc., etc…
Yet tools exist that can help you automate some of these tasks, freeing up your time for income producing activities. And one of my favorite tools for leaders is an autoresponder.
What is an autoresponder? It’s a tool that enables you to send email messages to a group of people. But the beauty of a true autoresponder is that you can use it not only to send a bulk message once, but you can also use it to send messages at specific intervals, such as the first, 3rd, 5th, and 7th days of a new recruit’s business. All you then need to do is add someone to the list, and the autoresponder makes sure the messages get sent. In fact, it can even customize that message with specific info you’ve set up for your contacts.
You can also use the autoresponder to broadcast messages to some or all of the people on your mailing list. Add people on your lists to certain groups, and then you can message a specific group or groups, or everyone on your list, all at one time. Use this feature for your team newsletter, your customer newsletter, messages to just the leaders on your team, etc. And the best part is that you can do it all with only one account.
There are many autoresponder tools out there, and some are better than others. I have personally used Constant Contact, Get Response, and my current tool, Aweber (affiliate link). Of all the tools, I like aweber best, because it follows all the CAN-SPAM laws, allows you to create custom subjects and opt-in messages, and allows you to set up the interval messages I describe above (you couldn’t do that with Constant Contact when I used them…someone let me know if that’s changed.) All of these tools have attractive templates that allow you to create eye-catching messages. What I like about Aweber, however, is that it also provides a text option for every email you write, because not all email providers accept HTML messages.
All autoresponders have a fee. However, when you consider how it can help you more consistently follow up with customers, while also staying in touch with your team, I’m sure you’ll see how it pays for itself.
One of the folks who heard me speak this weekend asked me to provide more information about autoresponders, thus this post. I hope you find it helpful! And if you want more specific information about how to use autoresponders for your business, you may be interested in the new training recording I have coming out shortly: Team Building Through Social Media. I promise to share more information about this course when it’s available.
Now it’s your turn…do you use an autoresponder? If so, how do you use it for your business? What’s your favorite tool? Can’t wait to read your thoughts below!