Today I’m going to show you how to set up a free autoresponder for Instagram and Facebook so you never miss a sales inquiry, immediately respond to all comments and DMs, and capture qualified marketing leads on auto-pilot.
If you don’t respond to all your social media engagement, you might be making a donkey move. That is, you may be missing out on valuable connections with unicorn leads.
Don’t have the time to reply to all those comments and DMs manually? With a social media autoresponder, you can manage engagement automatically and avoid losing out on leads.
Curious whether this solution would work for small businesses like yours? Follow me to Unicorn Land—where Customers.ai and InstaChamp seamlessly automate engagement and follow-ups:
- What is an autoresponder?
- Why do you need a catch-all autoresponder?
- Best practices for free autoresponders
- How to set up a free autoresponder with InstaChamp (step-by-step tutorial)
- How to set up a free autoresponder with Customers.ai (step-by-step tutorial)
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What is an autoresponder?
An autoresponder is a tool that automatically replies to certain inputs, such as social media comments and email list subscriptions. It’s a tool that can connect to a variety of channels, ranging from social media to email marketing services to SMS marketing.
Some versions are relatively basic. Simple autoresponders generally send out one or two messages on a single channel.
Others are much more complex. Advanced versions use automation workflows to create a sequence of unlimited emails or texts across multiple channels.
Some can even segment audiences and qualify leads, creating long-term automations that continue sending the right message at the right time.
Why do you need an autoresponder?
If it sounds like an autoresponder could be a gamechanger for your sales and marketing team, you might be onto something. These tools let you go bananas by:
- Eliminating manual tasks like responding to questions on social media. If you get a lot of repeat questions on Facebook, autoresponders can send helpful replies on your behalf.
- Saving time on sales development and lead qualification. Autoresponders follow up with prospects automatically—optimizing messages for each customer journey stage.
- Preventing prospects from having to wait. Autoresponders can give interested shoppers the information they need instantly—further fueling their purchase intent.
- Shifting conversations from social media to SMS and email. While Instagram and Facebook are ideal for engagement, email and text are optimal for re-engagement.
- Leveraging the full value of your marketing campaigns. You’re already marketing your business on social media. Autoresponders prevent your efforts from going to waste.
Best Practices for Setting Up a Free Autoresponder
To maximize the value your autoresponder emails and texts provide, keep these best practices in mind:
- Run a catch-all autoresponder on Instagram and Facebook. This tool replies to all engagement that more specific Instagram and Facebook comment guards don’t handle—so you never miss a chance to engage with a prospect.
- Aim to get prospects the information they need as efficiently as possible. Ask how you can help, and whenever possible, give them the chance to connect with a sales rep.
- Make a clear value proposition so you can collect contact information. In exchange for prospects’ email addresses and phone numbers, offer a discount, an exclusive resource, or an email from a human sales rep.
How to Set Up a Free Autoresponder With InstaChamp
With free autoresponder tools, you can engage prospects at no cost. Check out how you can reply to prospects and collect email addresses with the free version of InstaChamp, our Facebook and Instagram growth tool.
How to Set Up a Free Autoresponder With InstaChamp Step #1: Pick a channel
Once you connect InstaChamp to your Facebook and Instagram accounts, you have the option to set up all kinds of custom autoresponders. For example, you can create comment guards that reply to comments on certain posts or set up an answering service for your DMs.
In InstaChamp, choose a social media channel and click the Add button next to Catch-all. For this example, we’ll set up a catch-all autoresponder that works on Facebook.
How to Set Up a Free Autoresponder With InstaChamp Step #2: Create a catch-all
As awesome as keyword-based custom autoresponders can be, they won’t reply to comments or DMs that don’t fit their parameters. That’s why you also need a catch-all to respond to the rest of your comments and DMs.
When you click to add a catch-all, you’ll see that InstaChamp provides a template response. If you want to set up your catch-all really efficiently, you can click to save without customizing.
But if you want to add your brand voice to the autoresponder, click to edit the reply. You can add text, emojis, and even links.
This is a good opportunity to gather prospects’ contact details. You can ask for email addresses and phone numbers right here in your brand’s catch-all autoresponder.
It’s also a good idea to help prospects get answers quickly. To point them in the right direction, add a message that features a link list.
Your catch-all autoresponder will automatically share all your most helpful links in a single message. That way prospects won’t have to wait to access the information they need.
How to Set up an Advanced Autoresponder With Customers.ai
Could your sales team benefit from a superpowered autoresponder? Let me walk you through how to set up an cross-channel automated workflow using Customers.ai.
How to Set up an Advanced Autoresponder With Customers.ai Step #1: Choose inputs
Get started by opening Customers.ai and going to the Automations tab. Choose Our Famous Instagram and Facebook Audience Extractor.
To get maximum value from this autoresponder, you’ll want to set it up for Instagram and Facebook. For this example, we’ll start with Instagram.
To select all possible types of Instagram engagement, open the Input Trigger Data Collection dropdown menu and select all available options. Then click Let’s go.
All the Instagram input triggers you selected automatically get added to the template. You can add Facebook inputs by clicking the Add Trigger button and selecting Facebook Comments Autoresponder and Facebook DM Autoresponder.
How to Set up an Advanced Autoresponder With Customers.ai Step #2: Configure inputs
Next, set up each input and customize the autoresponder for each type of engagement.
Most inputs have two steps. The first controls when to reply, and the second determines what to respond.
Whenever possible, make sure the autoresponder is set as a Catch-all—which means it triggers only when no other autoresponders reply.
That way custom autoresponders for specific keywords or posts take precedence, and this catch-all handles all remaining social media engagement.
How to Set up an Advanced Autoresponder With Customers.ai Step #3: Create dialogues
Next, write the dialogues for each input, using the template language as a guide. You can use a similar formula for each input.
For example, you might start out by thanking prospects for their comment or message. If you’re messaging them after they left a comment, this approach is great for starting the conversation on a friendly note.
Next, ask how you can help and give them space to respond. Then ask for their email address and phone number so you can follow up.
Insert an automated notification to yourself, a sales rep, or another team member. That way you can seamlessly hand off the conversation to a human who can follow up if necessary.
You can automate this process by adding a notification widget and using the conditional logic settings in Customers.ai. For this example, we’ll notify the sales team when we receive a phone number and email address from a prospect.
How to Set up an Advanced Autoresponder With Customers.ai Step #4: Re-engage prospects
By now you’ve responded to the initial comment or DM and you’ve looped in your team for additional assistance. You could end the conversation there—but you certainly don’t have to.
Instead, you can automatically add prospects to a re-engagement workflow in Customers.ai. Rather than continuing the conversation on social media, shift over to email or automated text messages.
Using these channels, you can send emails or SMS messages that automate sales development. For example, you can use Customers.ai’s email templates to send helpful resources or exclusive offers.
Over time, you can alternate these automated emails with text messages. That way you can create valuable touchpoints across channels while guiding them toward a conversion.
Want to focus on super-engaged leads or filter out unqualified prospects? Use the built-in Unicorn Detector to separate the unicorns from the donkeys.
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Set Up a Free Autoresponder So You Can Stop Missing Leads
Hear that? It’s the sound of your autoresponders never missing a beat as they automatically build your email list, chat with prospects, and move unicorn leads through your sales funnel.
Want to test out our automation tools on your marketing channels? Grab your free VIP edition of InstaChamp and create your own free autoresponder.