The secret to selling with autoresponders

imageThe use of a good email marketing autoresponder system affords you a tremendous opportunity to communicate with your potential clients in a way that virtually guarantees future sales.

The key to making any kind of sale is trust. At the most basic level, a potential customer has to trust that you will give them what you say you will give them. Beyond that, they have to trust that the product or service you provide them will be high quality. They have to be able to believe that you understand their needs, and are offering them a suitable solution.

Broken down like that, it sounds like it should be very simple to win a sale. However, people are not as trusting as they once were. More and more people have had the experience of being ripped off in one way or another. Particularly when you are dealing with clients over the Internet, it can be difficult to win the kind of personal confidence that is needed to secure a sale. Ultimately, the client has to feel secure before they will take a risk on you. And it is your job to help them feel that way.

The surest way to build that kind of confidence is to trade on your reputation. For example, I find it easier to order from Amazon than from XYZ Online Shop because Amazon has more to gain by maintaining its reputation than by ripping me off. This is essentially what we mean when we talk about authority.  You are an authority when your reputation is worth more than the individual product you sell.

One of the surest ways to establish yourself as an authority is to teach people something they didn’t know before. The more you are able to teach someone, the more knowledgable they assume you are.

Now you can simply put up a lot of useful information on your web site, but that has some drawbacks. For starters, it creates a situation where the client has to seek out the information on their own. The feeling this produces is often closer to being self-taught. One of the ways that companies have gotten around this is by starting blogs.

Because a weblog is time-sensitive and tends to be a little more informal than a traditional static web page, it tends to be more successful for building up your authority with your subscribers. It creates the feeling of a relationship in which you are providing excellent information and they are waiting for more. This is effective, but it is also a lot of work!

A blog is a commitment that only retains its effectiveness through long-term updating. That means creating more and more content. You also never get to assume that a particular visitor has been exposed to your previous work, but you’ll lose long-time subscribers if you rehash too much old information. So a lot of bloggers end up somewhere in the gray area, never really establishing as much authority as they may deserve, simply because they lose the ability to guage their audiences.

With email autoresponders, all of these problems are solved. There is no continued commitment to produce content, because every new subscriber will receive the same sequence of messages. All you need to do is keep your information up-to-date through minor editing. You also have much tighter control over the progress of each subscriber, because you get to design the sequence of messages to offer stages of learning. And unlike a static web site, an autoresponder series can give the recipient the feeling that they are being personally tutored. They receive a personalized message from you every so often, that is custom-tailored to their current knowledge level, and that they can respond to for extra help.

If your autoresponder series makes sense and shows your recipients how to gain the maximum benefit out of your product or service, you will not only have established yourself as an authority. You will have also convinced them that your product is truly useful. And what do you do when a truly useful product is supported by a knowledgable authority? You buy it.

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