Use Auto Responders as a Marketing Tool
There are a number of opportunities for communicating with visitors to your site. For your IT department, these come in the form of electronic response communications (auto responders).
A couple of examples:
Your web site has a link that says For further information, enter your email address.
You send confirmation emails when someone buys a product or becomes a member of your organization.
These are excellent opportunities to communicate with visitors or customers. But what usually happens is that this communications opportunity is missed if left up to the normal IT staff. Let's consider a request from a visitor to join the mailing list of your e-commerce company. A programmed auto responder normally looks something like this:
You have been added to the mailing list. If you want to discontinue this subscription, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with REMOVE in the subject line.
If this is the type of auto responder you send, your organization is missing a chance for great free marketing. Enlarge your response and add a strong marketing message, like this:
Dear Shoe Owner: Thank you for inquiring about our odd-lot shoes. We'll keep you informed of the latest specials and new product arrivals on our web site. UniqueShoes4Less will always offer hard-to-find brand name shoes at substantial discounts off list price. In fact, we guarantee that you won't find lower prices on the shoes we sell. If you do, we'll meet that price and beat it by 10%. That's our "Meet or Beat" Guarantee! P.S. This week only, buy two pair of any shoes in stock and we'll ship them to you FREE! Thank you again for visiting our web store.
This type of marketing communiqué can work for none-commerce sites, too. On a membership site, a visitor's request for further information could elicit a response like this:
Dear Environmentally Concerned Citizen: Thank you for inquiring about our organization. Protecting our environment in these hard times is difficult and we need people like you on our team. Our web site will keep you informed of the latest news and threats to the health of our planet. Please take the time to visit our Nature's Wonders Online bookstore at http://www.savetheplanet.org. 10% of every sale goes to the Sierra Club. P.S. This week only, all orders will be shipped FREE! Thank you again for visiting our web site.
Every opportunity like this is a chance to touch your visitors and make them remember you after they have left your site.