For many years, the autoresponder has been the go to tool for small businesses to stay in touch with their clients and prospective clients.
I mean, what sounds better than writing a bunch of emails, scheduling them out for weeks (or months) into the future, and then just sitting back and watching the sales come in?
Autoresponder software made it easy to keep sales prospects warm until they were ready to buy. They also helped keep you and your company’s name in front of your prospects with very little effort.
But that’s all ancient history now.
If you are still using autoresponders, you are probably still reading a newspaper… yesterday’s newspaper.
What is an Autoresponder?
An autoresponder is a system or tool that allows you to write a series of emails in advance and then send them out over a period of time in any predetermined sequence. The autoresponder handles this all automatically.
For example, let’s say you have a group of prospective buyers for your product or service but they are not quite ready to buy. And let’s say there are a thousand people in this group. It’s not really practical to manage every single person individually, without automation.
How do you keep this list warm? And how do you stay in contact with them without being intrusive? You already know this group isn’t ready to buy… you just want to make sure that when they ARE ready to buy, they will be contacting you.
Using an autoresponder software is an easy way to stay in touch with all those people with little effort. You simply write the emails, build your campaign and the rest all happens automatically.
That all sounds great! What could possibly be better than an autoresponder?
A workflow is a tool that allows you to group several client activities into one simple sequence. Where an autoresponder can only handle emails, a workflow can include emails, text messages, phone calls, to-do’s, assignments, and much more.
Workflows give you much more flexibility to communicate with your prospects and customers the way THEY want to be contacted.
What if the person you are trying to reach is not an email person and does better with text messages? Workflows would work better with them. What if it makes more sense to call a prospect to check in, rather than send an email? Workflows. What if your campaign would work better if your assistant got involved somewhere in the middle of your sequence? Again, workflows is the winner.
Here are some examples of what you can do with Workflows:
- Send emails
- Send text messages
- Send email and text notifications
- Change system settings like categories, flags and custom fields
- Assign todo’s
- Trigger events outside the CRM
Then between each workflow step you can specify a delay in minutes, hours or days. So for example if you want the first step to be triggered today and the second step to be triggered in a week, you would add a 7 day delay. Or if you want your emails to go out at 9am in the morning, you would add a step telling the system to wait until 9am before the email is sent.
A workflow can do everything an autoresponder can do and more. Ultimately, workflows have replaced autoresponders as a better, more flexible way to keep in touch with your prospects and customers.