An Aspirin or an Autoresponder!

Written by Sean D'Souza

Tired of silly old email enquiries? Say hello to autoresponders!

If there's one thing that drives us all crazy, it's not having enough hours inrepparttar day. You need hours to work out your internet marketing, your sales, your budgets, follow up on invoices and god knows what else. What you're reaching for is an aspirin. What you probably need is an auto-responder. "You must be joking!" you laugh. "I've seen what autoresponders do!" I'd actually be quite surprised if you haven't. Here'srepparttar 118386 scenario-- It's 3.00 inrepparttar 118387 morning. You're sitting atrepparttar 118388 computer sending out email. Suddenly, from out ofrepparttar 118389 blue, someone (to whom you've just sentrepparttar 118390 mail) replies. You're excited. Who could be up at 3am like you?

What you've just received is an, I'm out ofrepparttar 118391 office autoreply and voila, here isrepparttar 118392 most basic use of an autoresponder. Autoresponders, are like fax on demand. You zap; they zap back.

I run a small wine company. How can autoresponders help my business? ==========

First, you have to understand how an autoresponder works. ==========

Let me make it really basic with a real life example. You hear a radio ad, where they promise you can make millions inrepparttar 118393 next 2 years. They promise to send you a tape and a brochure if you call in now. The operator takesrepparttar 118394 call and your details. She then routes your information to someone else who packs your tape, your brochure, puts a stamp on it and sends it to your mailing address. In a series of very basic steps, you getrepparttar 118395 information you desire and are now more interested in whatrepparttar 118396 company has to offer. Once you hearrepparttar 118397 tape and readrepparttar 118398 brochure and find it interesting enough, you contact them and a sale is possible.

Autoresponders work just like that. You have a link on your website or someone else's website. The link says that you are giving away free information on how to buyrepparttar 118399 best wine.

The person is interested in your offer and clicks onrepparttar 118400 link. At that precise moment,repparttar 118401 website orrepparttar 118402 HTML code generates an email with a SUBJECT forrepparttar 118403 email such as Free Wine Info. This is sent to your email address and your computer recognisesrepparttar 118404 subject headline Free Wine Info.

Automation does allrepparttar 118405 work for you from this moment on. It detectsrepparttar 118406 subject line and putsrepparttar 118407 sender's email address in your master email list of subscribers to contact. Atrepparttar 118408 same time, it goes torepparttar 118409 folder where you have storedrepparttar 118410 requested information in a file and sends that file torepparttar 118411 person requestingrepparttar 118412 information.

All this is done, without you lifting a finger. And this is justrepparttar 118413 beginning...

That's amazing! What other practical uses can I use autoresponders for?

Autoresponders haverepparttar 118414 following uses: ==========

1) Information Clients request information allrepparttar 118415 time. If you ranrepparttar 118416 wine company, you could have price lists, types of wine, even a brochure done in Acrobat Reader (pdf format) that gives tons of information about your products and company. Most people like this system because it doesn't compel them to buy. This is a very non-threatening situation.

However, they are interested in your product, and by virtue of asking forrepparttar 118417 information, go into your database. You can then follow up and ask them if they want more information. It gives you a very valid reason to follow up and convert them into paying customers.

2) Subscription to Your Ezine If you run an ezine, (you're doing a disservice to yourself if you don't) then this is a great way of getting people to getrepparttar 118418 first copy without you physically mailing it out to them. Within seconds of sending an email to you, they receive your ezine and get put onrepparttar 118419 mailing list.

These are live customers remember? All it takes for them to buy your product or service is for you to follow up.

3) Free Reports The best way to get people to visit your website or test your service or product is to give them information. Information tells them that you know your business. They don't know you from Adam or Eve. A comprehensive report (such as this), gives themrepparttar 118420 confidence that you know much, much more than what exists in this report and are in a very good position to advise them.

To get people to your website or to subscribe to your ezine, you need to circulate your report on as many websites, ezines, etc. as possible. Ifrepparttar 118421 persons reading your report find it dynamic, they will assume your abilities followrepparttar 118422 same path.

This will lead them to your website, where they will sample more about your products and services. Atrepparttar 118423 same time, because they have subscribed, you are following up with them. At some point,repparttar 118424 value generated by your product or service will be worthrepparttar 118425 price you are asking and will convert those maybes into a big yes purchase.

The last thing you need is to have your email address on these reports. It sets you up for allrepparttar 118426 nuts onrepparttar 118427 internet. However, if you have an autoresponder email address, it automatically goes to that address and sends your message to them.

* When placing classified ads, instead of supplying your regular email address, use your autoresponder address. * Appropriate News Groups * Opt-in email discussion lists * Guestbooks * Business Cards * Letter Head * Your web site

Has Hotmail Frozen?

Written by Martin Winer

Has Hotmail Frozen?

Hotmail has descended slowly, without note, into a state of completely unuseability. The problems are with accessing messages, sending emails, andrepparttar dreaded blue screen of email death: "The Server Is Too Busy". Hey Gates, I know you're a busy guy, but can't you even make servers that have time to talk to me?

There are spattered posts in assorted newsgroups with theories as torepparttar 118385 possible causes of Hotmail's problems. They range from 1) a recent merger with Sympatico, torepparttar 118386 2) recent increase in mailbox storage size or to 3) Hotmail being spammed to death.

Let's deal with each one in turn: 1) Sure Hotmail did merge with Sympatico, but so what? Why would that destroy mail functionality? Shouldn't that mean *more* resources, not less?

2) As forrepparttar 118387 increase in mailbox size, perhaps Microsoft has bitten off more than it can chew. Being a software architect, I understand that it's quite easy to design systems that don't scale well. Perhaps Microsoft's capitalistic business model of small email boxes with a fee for a slightly larger one led to an architecture that doesn't hold water inrepparttar 118388 free love of storage world. Microsoft faces stiff competition from Yahoo mail which offers 250 megabytes and GMail (by Google) which offers a luxurious 1 gigabyte of storage. This competition forced them to ratchet up their alloted email inbox sizes from a miserly 1 megabyte to 250 megabytes. This 250 time increase, across a wide user base in very short order is very likelyrepparttar 118389 cause of our current woes.

3) Finally, Spam,

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