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If you're a dance studio owner or dance instructor who rents space somewhere for your own classes you surely know that you've only got a limited number of hours in your day. But I'd like to remind you of one of the simplest but most effective tools you can use to leverage your time.....autoresponders.
Yes, it's been a while since I've written about autoresponders but the fact is that all your big companies use them. Not because you have to be big to do so but because big companies know how valuable they are.
What are autoresponders?
The word 'autoresponder' can actually refer to two things:
1. The series of email messages that go out to a mailing list, or
2. The actual software itself which sends out those emails.
In this case I'm talking about the idea of why you should use these email messages and the software tool itself.
Basically the reason you should use them is because they save you time. Once you have the software to send out autoresponder messages you can use it over and over and over and over. And once you have a set of autoresponder messages for a particular purpose very often they can be used again and again and again and again.
So what you've got is a tool that you purchase once but use over and over and over.
There are at least three well known pieces of autoresponder software: AWeber, GetResponse and Constant Contact. Sometimes your hosting company will also have some kind of autoresponder software in their package too. There's a free one too that I hear isn't too bad.
The most critical aspect of using autoresponders in your business management (specifically the marketing) is getting them written. All autoresponder message series are not created equally. They are usually written with some purpose in mind and thus there are some 'best practices' involved.
People who have establised reputations as autoresponder writers, i.e. Jay White, get a minimum $500 for writing one email and remember that autoresponder packages usually contain a series of at least 5-7 messages.
Most studio owners don't have the time or the inclination to do things like write autoresponder messages but, if they do, there's nothing wrong with doing so. Sure, it might not be a 'message' that employs all the little tricks that experienced autoresponder writers normally use but I'm of the opinion that doing it with sincerity counts for something in the mind of the customer or prospective customers.
That brings up another concept......what are you trying to do by using an autoresponder?
Generally you're trying to get people to click on something, sign up for something, purchase something, give you some information or get the reader to take some sort of action.
The reason that more than one email message is used is because it usually takes several messages before people 'get it' or come around to your point of view. Most experts on such things say 7 messages is about what it takes to get your message across to the reader. But some autoresponder series go on more months and contain over 50 messages.
For a dance studio....here's what I think would be some good themes for autoresponder series:
- Best dance spots in your town
- Best dance clubs in towns close to you
- Personality series on locally famous dancers
- Information about various dance styles
- Best ways to ask a girl to dance or (if your a girl) get asked to dance in a club
- Social benefits of learning to dance
- Survey results that would be of interest to dancers or people who want to learn to dance.
- News from public media (e.g. TV shows....Dancing With The Stars)
- A series on dance fashion
- Why your studio is the best studio in town
- Why somebody should audition for your dance team
- Benefits of taking 'holiday dance classes'
- Dance club etiquette
As you can see....it could be almost anything. Whatever people would like to talk about....they'd like to read about too. The only problem is, still......taking the time to do it.
Autoresponder messages generally are going out to people who are already your clients or to people whose contact info you have but they're not yet a client. And those messages are constructed differently....don't forget that.
If you're just starting out using sophisticated marketing tools like autoresponders then you're probably also on a limited budget. Thus you'd probably want to focus your expenditures on autoresponders designed to bring in new students.
That can easity be done. The way you do it is to offer something of high perceived value (i.e. a free introductory video lesson perhaps) yet something that had a low actual cost to you. Free reports are also great for that and can be used over and over.
What happens is this......
You advertise your 'freebie', people sign up to get it (on something called a 'squeeze page' or 'opt-in form'), and BAM....they're on your autoresponder list. The bigger your list the more guaranteed and predictable your income stream. It's all a game of numbers and averages.
That's just a few points about using autoresponders in running a dance studio or being a dance instructor. It's mostly just common sense once you see how the process works. But what's good about autoresponders is how they help you leverage your time.
I recently finished Jay White's course, "Autoresponder Apprecentice" and am offering my services as a copywriter specializing in autoresponders now. There are actually two special advantage I offer dance studio owners:
1. I know the dance business because I'm a hard core social dancer myself, and
2. I'm cheap right now because I'm not yet a 'big name' in the business.
Right now I'm looking for some first clients who would like me to write some autoresponders for them. You can pick the subject but it would probably be something we'd discuss first. I can make some recommendations but you'll make the final decision.
For my introductory special I'm offering a 7 email series for only $100. Each message would consist of approximately 350-500 words. I don't want any particular message to be too long otherwise the reader won't be inclined to open subsequent messages.
That's all I have to say for now but keep your eye on the blog here because I'm going to be writing some more on this subject. Meanwhile, if you have any question, don't hesitate to email or call me.