A good friend of mine (who works at a marketing and graphics firm) recently contacted me asking about setting up an email form and using HTML to send it for one of her clients. The customer wanted a simple submission form so they could collect email addresses and send out blasts through their email program. Obviously unaware of autoresponders, I typed the following up and sent it back (and decided to paste it here on my blog for convenience to others!)…
Here’s the gist of a basic email funnel with an autoresponder service…
Customer visits site. Site has signup form. Customer signs up.
Email address info goes to autoresponder or list provider. Double optin email from provider sends a confirmation “Hey, just making sure you really want to sign up” (This reduces active signups but massively reduces spam complaints). Customer clicks “hell yes I want to sign up” link in confirmation email.
Vendor written autoresponse sequence begins (Usually just an initial “Hey, thanks for signing up to receive news from us. Here’s a freebie (providing a link to free whitepaper, coupon off of next purchase, etc.)”
Anytime vendor wants to email, they log in to list provider website, craft (or paste) email, optionally set a specific schedule as to when they want it to go out, then they queue it up.
The beauty of autoresponder providers is analytics, list segmenting (buyers vs. non buyers, etc.) and no choking the heck out of Outlook when trying to send a ton of emails.