Website Mistakes – Where are Your Autoresponders

This is a common mistake made by both new and veteran website owners. And that is either no or not enough follow up autoresponders.

First, let’s explain what an autoresponder is. In most cases an autoresponder is an email message that is automatically sent in reply when someone sends an email to that account. This can be triggered either directly by email or via a web form.

In marketing we use the word autoresponder to refer to sequential autoresponders, meaning that after someone triggers a response they receive a series of messages sent over time. This is also known as an email follow up series.

How and why you would want to use an autoresponder on your website. First – the how. Someone comes to your website and you have a spot on your website where they fill in their name and email to receive more information from you such as a free report, a free chapter or even a sample video of your product.

When they give you that information you send them an email automatically with the information they requested or information about how they can claim their promised information.

Here’s where the problem comes in. Generally, many marketers or website owners get in a hurry and insert that first message, intending to go back and add more later. But they forget all about it.

Now the why. In sending that email message you are starting a relationship with that prospective customer. This is important because, in most cases, website visitors are on your website for only a short period of time before they are off to find out what other info they can gather about that topic.

So, by creating a follow up autoresponder you can send them not only the promised information but every two or three days you can follow up with them with more information about the product that will hopefully entice them to ultimately buy your product.

Obviously the number of “touches” it takes varies on every niche market and is also determined by the price. In most cases, the higher the price the more connections you may need to make.

With most autoresponder services you can discontinue this autoresponder series after the prospect becomes a client, which of course is the smart thing to do because you don’t want to keep sending presale messages if they’ve already purchased.

But what now you may ask? Well, you will want to start a post sales autoresponder message, and this is where many marketers drop the ball. In your post autoresponder messages you want to teach them how to get the most out of your product they just bought.

Why? Because it makes them a happy customer if they actually see results from your product or service. Many times someone will buy a product and then not follow through and actually use it to its fullest and then question you because they didn’t.

If you create follow up emails after the purchase leading them through your book; course; or services then they are more than likely going to buy the follow up product or additional products from you as you release them, which of course you can add into your follow up emails.

That’s why it’s important to get both the pre and post autoresponders into place before you launch a product or get them in place shortly after so you will see more conversion – both pre and post sales.

And if you’ve hired a copywriter for your sales copy many of them will include the autoresponders at an additional price for you. Just be sure to ask and let them know the number of responders you need.

Editor’s Note: This post is pulled from Bret Ridgway and Frank Deardurff’s book “50 Biggest Website Mistakes,” available at