Being an online business owner for over ten years has given me the opportunity to see a multitude of email messages, especially those from autoresponders. And as an owner of an autoresponder service I have seen many messages that can be classified anywhere from a disaster to highly professional. I am not going to get into evaluating the actual content of messages but simply how they look, what image they project and based on my experience of having sent thousands of messages out over the years, some tips to getting more of your messages read.

1. Format This seems to be one of the worst problems. Many people just type up a message, load it in the autoresponder and let it go out. Some of them go out and look like one big paragraph, others have intermittent lines going all the way across the page and automatically wrapping. Others are full of spelling mistakes. They look very unprofessional to say the least. Every autoresponder message series that I make up, and I have over twenty autoresponders working 24 hours a day, is prepared offline in a text program, usually NotePad. I format them to 55 to 60 characters per line including spaces and use a hard return(enter) at the end of each line and paragraph. Then I copy and paste it into my email program and send it to myself. This way I can see what it is going to look like and I can make any adjustments it needs before I load it into my autoresponder. This also gives me a chance to check the spelling.

2. Don’t Yell Typing words or entire phrases in caps has the impact of seeming you are yelling and is used regularly in spam to get your attention. Many of the spam filters use capitalized words and phrases against you and may forward it directly to the junk box. I see caps used the majority of times in the subject line which is probably the worst place since the filters will probably flag it very quickly.

3. Make Sure You Have Links To Your Site And That They Work So many times I see messages where there is a lot of information and I get to the bottom of message and there was no link to the sales page or information site. In addition many links, when clicked went to error pages because the link was not correctly entered, especially those long affiliate links. Remember to test the links. I always check all the links after I email myself the draft message by actually clicking on the links. I even do the link check when I am preparing my weekly newsletter to make sure all the advertiser links work properly.

4. Refer to The Subscribers Request In todays email world, users are getting deluged with email. Many online surfers are out there requesting anything and everything. So when they sign up for your autoresponder info they might forget they requested it hours or days later when they check their email again. A good way to set up your message is to start your initial message with a short statement referring to their request. I usually use something like in the first part of the message: “Hi Joe, thanks for requesting additional information regarding our autoresponder services.” (refer to whatever type info they requested) I think it is even a good practice to have the subject line of the first message refer to their request so that when they are scanning their email, it catches their attention.

I have used something like this: “Hi Joe – Here is the information regarding home business opportunities you requested”. I think also that if you have a series of messages going out over many days, that you should refer to the prior message. Something like “Hi Joe, two days ago I sent you information regarding the benefits of joining xyz business and today I wanted to highlight their great income plan.” It makes very good sense to tie the messages together, I think it is very professional and can have a positive impact. You can even go the extra step of ending a message with something like, “Well that is it for today Joe, my next message will highlight how we can work together to build your monthly income”

5. Use Personalization Tags You will notice in the examples above that I used “Hi Joe”. Most if not all autoresponder services allow you to personalize your messages. Ours for instance has over twenty different tags you can use to personalize messages. The standard ones that I always use are the first name and I always like to put the date at the beginning of the message text. I believe that personalizing the messages will get more of them read and makes it sound more like a human being is contacting them rather than strictly a machine. Of course you have to make sure that you collect their first name when you have them subscribe to your autoresponder so that the first name is in the autoresponder data base so it can be merged into each message.

6. Don’t Write A Book The best way to use an autoresponder is to highlight the benefits of your service, business opportunity, product, book, etc. Don’t try to sell everything from your autoresponder messages. Tease the prospect by giving them a little more in each message so that they will go to your web site and get the details. You want them to click through to your site. Let your site do the actual selling. Nothing turns me off more than receiving a message that is four or five pages long with huge paragraphs and goes on and on. Plus some ISPs restrict the size of emails going through their system so your prospect/subscriber may not even get all of it. Remember that your mailings are a reflection of your professionalism and can go a long way to contributing to your success.