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I was once hired as a Human Resources Department consultant to a business that had grown very quickly. Within a couple of years, they expanded from 200 to 700 employees.


But they didn’t automate. So the people in HR had to do the same processes — hiring, salary changes, benefits enrollments, and more — for so many more employees. Many of them were working 60 hours a week!

You don’t want to do that. You need to automate your business. Luckily, an Internet business is well suited for automation.

There are many ways to automate an Internet business. In this post, I’ll cover autoresponders.

What is an autoresponder?

An autoresponder is 1 or more emails that go out automatically when someone signs up for your email list. An autoresponder could also go out after someone buys one of your products or services.

An autoresponder could be as simple as a thank-you email or it could contain an entire course. I signed up for one email list that has sent me over 100 emails — all autoresponders! But that’s going a little far.

Why use an autoresponder?

An autoresponder automates the development of a relationship with your new subscribers. Here are 6 ideas for autoresponder emails:

  1. Thank them for subscribing.
  2. Tell them how to get the most out of your website/blog.
  3. Give them 1 or more special tips.
  4. Offer them a discount on a product or service (special for new subscribers)
  5. Provide a short course, sent out over several days or weeks.
  6. Ask new subscribers if they have questions and encourage them to contact you.

Most autoresponders are free, but you can create a paid course and deliver it via an autoresponder.

Planning an autoresponder

Think carefully about the impression you want to give your new subscribers and what you want to offer them. You might not want to sell to them right away, for example. But it’s up to you.

How to create an autoresponder

You usually create an autoresponder with your email service. For example, I use MadMimi, but all of the major email services offer autoresponders. MadMimi calls autoresponders drip campaigns; it’s the same thing.

Each email service will have a slightly different setup, but here are the general steps:

  1. Find the autoresponder feature in your email service.
  2. Set the list that the autoresponders will go to. You use multiple lists to segment your subscribers by interest, event, etc. Most email services will let you have different autoresponders for each list. This is very important, because you may want to say different things or make different offers to different groups of people.
  3. Write your autoresponder emails.
  4. Set the timing. For example, my first autoresponder is sent 1 day after a person subscribes, the next one is sent 3 days after, and so on.
  5. Start the campaign.

Caution: If you have people already on the list when you start the campaign, they will get the autoresponders. This can be inappropriate if you are thanking them for signing up. You may be able to exclude existing members or you might want to start a new list.

What did you think?

When you signed up, you probably got my autoresponder. What did you think of it? Was it helpful? What could have been better?

Leave a comment, because your feedback will be helpful not only to me, but to others as they craft their own autoresponders.

How are you using autoresponders?

Do you have an autoresponder? What do you say? Your ideas will help others that are just starting out!

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    1 Response to "How to automate an Internet business: Part I-Autoresponders"

    • Jen Adams Juan

      Thank you for this post! I have a MailChimp account that I signed up for back in 2016 and until now it’s just there sitting and waiting for me to start a campaign. I hope to give it some time real soon because I plan to turn my blog into an income-generating platform. Your post reminded me of it. 🙂

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