Do you reply to your subscribers questions?

41 replies
I'm wondering how other email marketers handle questions from subscribers. Do you answer all your emails from your subscribers?

I've emailed a publisher of a list I'm subscribed to before and he has always been kind enough to answer my questions. I know he has a rather large subscriber base, but he has on several occasions taken the time to reply back to my questions. I ended up making a purchase through his affiliate link because of him answering my questions.

Just for him taking the time to write a quick reply he is now getting reoccurring monthly income from the tool subscription I had bought through his link. I might have still bought the tool without his input, but since he took the time to help I used his link.

I know for some it would almost be impossible to reply to all your emails. However taking to time to do so may go a long way in building up your relationships with your subscribers and also your income.
#questions #reply #subscribers
  • Profile picture of the author Danny Cutts
    Hello,

    Yeah I reply to them :-) Or as many of them as I can!

    They can be bothered to sign up you have to show them the say love :-)

    Danny
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Yeah I reply to them :-) Or as many of them as I can!
      That. Right there.

      I reply to 100% of the people who email me based on one specific message in the welcome sequence. When I ask my subscribers a question, I try to reply to all of the answers they send me. For the rest, I'm running at around 85% for the past couple of years.

      Yes, I track that.

      The challenge with doing this is that people get to expecting replies, and if they're among the 15% at some point, they can get crabby.


      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author Tom Ryan
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        I reply to 100% of the people who email me based on one specific message in the welcome sequence. When I ask my subscribers a question, I try to reply to all of the answers they send me. For the rest, I'm running at around 85% for the past couple of years.

        Yes, I track that.

        The challenge with doing this is that people get to expecting replies, and if they're among the 15% at some point, they can get crabby.


        Paul
        That's the thing, once you do start replying people start expecting a reply every time they email you. I imagine you can get some crabby folks if their expectations are not met.

        Thanks for your reply Paul, I'm on your list and was wondering how you handled receiving emails from your subscribers. Hitting the 85% mark is pretty impressive as I imagine you have a pretty big list and get a fair amount of email from your subscribers.
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        • Profile picture of the author jbsmith
          Absolutely - I've even jumped on Skype or on the phone with them, produced a quick tutorial video for them or, on occasion, made a tweak to their site or software for them.

          My subscbribers are the foundation of my business - especially in today's day and age of social networking.

          I've had people on my list that still communicate regularly after 10-years!

          I had someone send me an unsubscribe a couple of weeks back apologizing that they were leaving my list because they have moved on to another job and have sold their online business (for a nice profit I may add!)

          For me, not only does answering your subscribers questions make sense on so many business levels, it feels good from a personal level as well.

          Finally,that doesn't mean I don't refer them to paid resources if I believe they are ready and the service is rock solid for what they need...my litmus test is if I think they can turn the investment I'm asking them to make into at least 3X more profit - then it makes sense.

          Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author Gijsbertus
    I think one should, without a shadow of a doubt.You might even mention (autoresponder/etc) that it will take some time, a few days, a week, ten days to answer... but DO answer.

    We are already in a virtual world here, let's not make it an unpersonal one.

    That's my vision and honest opinion.
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  • Profile picture of the author PLRExpress
    I always reply to any questions from subscribers. I think it helps to keep in contact with people that are following your work - whether or not it's going to directly help your income or not.

    I think that if people have taken the time to sign up, then that definitely deserves correspondence.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom Ryan
      I reply to all my subscriber questions, although my lists are all rather small. I'm not sure how I'll handle it though once I start getting hundreds of emails/week.
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  • Profile picture of the author TopKat22
    I do reply when I get to it. However, now that I have multiple lists growing in size, I don't know what I might have to do.

    When it got out of hand to begin with, I added a FAQ page and put it in the sig of every email which helped.

    However, when someone wants a whole lot of advice, I do have to tell them there well be a fee.

    There is a difference between answering a few simple questions and being a full time mentor/trainer.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom Ryan
      Originally Posted by TopKat22 View Post

      I do reply when I get to it. However, now that I have multiple lists growing in size, I don't know what I might have to do.

      When it got out of hand to begin with, I added a FAQ page and put it in the sig of every email which helped.

      However, when someone wants a whole lot of advice, I do have to tell them there well be a fee.

      There is a difference between answering a few simple questions and being a full time mentor/trainer.
      This is were I could see answering emails being a problem. Some individuals will just demand too much of your time. The only option other than ignoring emails would be as you suggested offering training for a fee.
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  • Profile picture of the author JennyBizz
    Right now my list is still at a size where I am able to answer questions individually. I know that my list will grow and this may not always be the case, but I hope to answer questions as long as I can. Treating your list like GOLD is the way to go!
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Wilson
    I always reply. That is a real online relationship.

    Customers that trust you will check out your offers!
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  • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom Ryan
      Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

      I reply to as many questions and comments as I can. As your list grows larger, it becomes harder and harder to answer all questions, but I still try.

      As list owners, we should always attempt to communicate with our subscribers in a personal manner, but I caution budding list builders not to be guilted into enormous amounts of one on one mentoring. Every so often, a subscriber will attempt to take advantage of a situation.

      I have had a guy sign up at one of my squeeze pages for a freebie that I was offering and then threaten to post negative things about me online if I did not help him complete his project. This kind of subscriber is not the kind that you want on your list. He will never succeed on his own, no matter what kind of personal attention you give him. The worst part is that when he fails, he will blame you. Delete people like that from your list.

      For the most part, my subscribers are kind and thankful. I appreciate all of them and do my best to communicate with them like I would a friend.
      Yeah, I think for the most part people wont try to take advantage of you; most will be really thankful for the reply. I know I was.

      The thing is when I emailed the newsletter publisher, I made sure to thank him for his time, and I had no expectations that he would give it to me. I think it is great that he gave me his time, and it goes along with building that trust and relationship, but expect or demand that time.
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      • Profile picture of the author WD Mino
        What a refreshing post, thanks!

        It is quite simple. people who are on my list have paid to be there so if they have questions, I have answers and if I don't I will find out. These are people not email addresses so I treat them as such and the fact they are asking shows they respect you and your opinion, in a world like this, that is darn cool!
        cheers
        -WD
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        • Profile picture of the author Tom Ryan
          Originally Posted by WD Mino View Post

          What a refreshing post, thanks!

          It is quite simple. people who are on my list have paid to be there so if they have questions, I have answers and if I don't I will find out. These are people not email addresses so I treat them as such and the fact they are asking shows they respect you and your opinion, in a world like this, that is darn cool!
          cheers
          -WD
          Good points WD, the fact that they are even asking you questions means that they value your opinion, which really is cool.

          Good point about the paid subscribers as well. If your list is full of paid subscribers or customers, you definitely should be taking the time to reply. I'd still try to reply to everyone, but I'd probably give priority to those on my buyers lists.
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        • Profile picture of the author JMSD
          Originally Posted by WD Mino View Post

          What a refreshing post, thanks!

          It is quite simple. people who are on my list have paid to be there so if they have questions, I have answers and if I don't I will find out. These are people not email addresses so I treat them as such and the fact they are asking shows they respect you and your opinion, in a world like this, that is darn cool!
          cheers
          -WD
          Heartily agree with you, there. I answer all queries and I'm particularly appreciative when I receive a response from people on whose list I feature as a subscriber and/or buyer. I do make sure, however, that I don't abuse the privilege by respecting the person's time.

          One person's attention to detail in this regard is breathtakingly impressive - Bill Myers. Long before I joined his membership site, he responded in great detail to my questions on various topics.

          As a result, not only did I join his membership site (have been a member for years) but have also purchased every product of his.

          A few minutes spent building relationships can pay great dividends. Those subscribers who demand more than is reasonable can be politely deterred from further demands by suggesting that additional help would be available at a fee or referring them to a paid product (yours or someone else's using your affiliate link, of course). When done tactfully, no offence is caused and goodwill is retained.

          James
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    • Profile picture of the author marchenzo
      @ E. Brian Rose.

      Hi Brian,

      I have sent you two PMs here with regards to my google red carpet membership. Can you let me know when you have them.

      Thanks and regards.
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesRichardson1
    I got a response from Mark Hoverson one time and I open up every email he sends me because of that. I never got a response from Jonathan Budd which is definitely understandable but I always think of that when I see an email. I still open some of them. My point is Mark Hoverson emails I open because I know deep down he cares enough to go out of his way to still be personal.
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  • Profile picture of the author YourProfessional
    I do. (except recently where I was going through a family thing)

    I'm also always available on Skype, for my subscribers who have it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Val Wilson
    Unless you are just trying to milk them for all they're worth, the point of having a list is to build a relationship with your subscribers. You can't expect to do this if you do not take their questions or concerns seriously, so for me answering emails personally is a definite yes.
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  • Profile picture of the author plongmire
    My lists are growing but I'm still not at a point where I can not answer and help in most cases.

    The second email I send out actually encourages people to respond to me, I want to know where they are, what projects they are working on and how can I help them.

    This does a couple of things for me. It builds trust of course, but it also allows me to offer other products and or advice on how they can improve their products.

    I do include affiliate links in the products I recommend, but I make sure that the product I recommend will actually work for them.

    I cant remember a time that a conversation and recommendation did not get purchased. BUT, and i know you wont believe me, but it really isn't all about the sale. For some reason in my world I FAIL almost every-time when I get caught up in the money.

    This is not a holly than you or anything,,,but for some reason when I try to monetize things for money sake, it just does not work, but when I set out to really see someone succeed, it seems to always work...

    Plus the more people I can get up and running the more people I can get for affiliates, or companies I can use in the future for the services they set up...

    Oh I got this from a warrior some time back, but here is the second email I send...

    Hey

    Have you gotten a chance to dive into the the material I sent?

    I want to make sure you get the absolute most from this business
    model I've shared. It's extremely powerful... and pretty simple
    too.

    Before I start sending you more great content to help you build
    onto the information, I need to ask you a question...

    What is it you would like me to teach you?

    I don't like to dilly dally on what content to send you. I only
    want to deliver content works for you. That's why I'm asking
    you right now.

    Your help makes my products and my emails the best they can be. I
    would be so appreciative for the help.

    Just hit reply now and tell me what it is you want.

    Thanks. I will be in touch soon,
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  • Profile picture of the author nicholasb
    Yes I do, it helps to buld the relationship, helps you get into the minds of your list, and raising the conversion of your offers drastically
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  • Profile picture of the author john pearson
    Yeap I reply to them, magically they bring more customers to my website.
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  • Profile picture of the author ZaphodBeebleBrox
    Another +one here, it's a no-brainer and the ONLY way to build a sustainable business is to build a solid reputation. I wish more IM'ers understood that it's not about "taking" (email, sale, etc.)...true success comes from providing real value and that means giving of your time freely and helping those depending on you at all costs to succeed.

    As my lists grow and my membership user-base, it can sometimes be a challenge to respond to everyone, but I MUST do it. I am at a tipping point right now and rather than leave any email unanswered, I will be hiring someone to help me manage my inbox.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Clay
    As long as the subscriber is being nice, then yes, I will do my best to answer the question.
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  • Profile picture of the author SuiteJ
    Yeah, I always answer. How long it takes depends on how full my inbox is, but I always reply.

    I get a LOT of pretty vague newbie questions about how to do something that requires explaining many steps (usually designing/tweaking Wordpress), so what I do to save me a ton of time is answer with a quick screencast using Jing video service (or upload my own).

    A 2-3 minute screencast is often WAY faster than writing out a lengthy "how-to" answer and customers seem to appreciate a visual walkthrough as well, so it's a win-win.
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  • Profile picture of the author barbling
    I always try to.

    True, sometimes it gets difficult with all the insanity going on in me life, but what goes around, comes around.

    So I help when I can.
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  • Profile picture of the author dame016
    Replying to your customers personally can indeed improve your sales and your relationship with the customers. To do that, you can maybe hire a VA to do the tedious task for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author JCorp
    always. and when I get a ton of repetitive questions, I make a quick video and address them all. they're your sheep, you're the shepherd...it's only right to help them out when you can.
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  • Profile picture of the author feliciayapsl
    Answering the subscribers' questions is a way to build relationship with your lists. It can serve you well in the long run.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tom Ryan
      It's great that you all do your best to answer all of your subscriber's emails. It goes a long way in building that trust and relationship, and shows your subscribers that you are a real person that cares about their needs.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mohammed Hammad2
    I always said we should FOCUS on the relationship we have with our list.
    and what is more efficient than dealing with them personally by answering their questions?

    Another thing I always do that I surprise them with a free Skype Q/A session, where they all gather together in a Skype chat room and they ask me their questions while having fun
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
      Definitely. That's customer service - and for those who are not yet customers, pre-customer service.

      I never us No Reply e-mails to send out my autoresponder e-mail, so members can just hit REPLY and ask a question. Anybody who has ever mailed me has most likely received an instant reply from my poor, over-worked Mail Slave, letting them know I will be answering ASAP (and allaying any worries that their mail didn't get through). I check my inbox every morning over coffee and take care of answering any questions or solving any problems.

      It really doesn't take that long and it is well worth it in the relationship you build with your prospects and customers.
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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        Anybody who has ever mailed me has most likely received an instant reply from my poor, over-worked Mail Slave
        I can attest to this. Along with the fact that Riley's MailSlave is noticeably more clever than its "master."


        Paul "Slave to Email" Myers
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  • Profile picture of the author monetization
    You want to always be replying to your customers. It would be irresponsible to have a loyal list of followers and then ignore their emails (no matter how big someone's list is). Usually the guys who have huge lists will at least have an assistant respond to emails.

    Either way, communicating with subscribers is the key to creating better relationships, which almost always equals more money.
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  • Profile picture of the author WBO
    You should always take the time to reply to subscribers, after all they're the ones who are going to buy your products.
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  • Profile picture of the author dagaul101
    That personal touch is what seperates the genuine affiliate marketers from the fly by night ones
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  • Profile picture of the author jgant
    I reply to questions from subscribers and inquiries through my websites.

    Sometimes I write a blog post answering the question and respond with a link to the post. This way I add content that is obviously in demand and answer a subscriber directly.
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  • Profile picture of the author Osman_M
    Its all part of building a relationship with your list. You should really try your best to answer as many question and respond to comments as possible. You never know that the one question you answered for a person might just turn into a paying customer and refer your even further.
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  • Profile picture of the author AmandaT
    I always do my best to answer emails. I even send emails to specific people on my PLR list. When deciding on a new pack I look over suggestions people have given me and I will email them asking for more specifics on what they are looking for.

    The only issue is with my biggest list... sometimes I'll send out a broadcast and spend two days answering emails. Normally I start going through the emails and when I start seeing common questions I write it down and skip those emails and then send a broadcast answering the FAQs.
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  • Profile picture of the author Keith Everett
    Of course, they are people who pay for my lifestyle, why shouldn't I answer them ?

    Keith
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by Tom Ryan View Post

    Do you answer all your emails from your subscribers?
    No, but I do read them, and if you hit "reply" on any email I send to any of my lists your reply will land in my inbox.

    Earlier today one of my subscribers asked me who the hairy guy that sang "Scarborough Fair" with Simon was and if it was Phil Spector. I will probably not answer that one.
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