Internet marketers argue about the length of an effective autoresponder series since forever.
Some think 52 emails in an autoresponder series are ideal so you have one email per week for a year. Others say you should have 365 in your series to cover every day of the year. Then some argue it’s best to send an email once a month.
However, what counts is not how many, but what’s inside of those emails.
Every online business needs an email autoresponder series because you need a method to nurture your leads and turn them into buyers to make a profit.
That’s exactly what autoresponders are brilliant at if done correctly.
It's not how many emails in your autoresponder series that counts but what's inside of those emails.
Step 1: What’s your goal
Your very first step is to figure out what is your goal with the autoresponder series. The purpose is going to be different for each entrepreneur.
Do you want to:
- Make more sales?
- Build a long-term relationship?
- Create a buzz about your business?
- Launch a new product?
- Become the dominant industry influencer?
However, making friends, being top of mind, and building your brand are all byproducts.
That’s not your main goal.
Your only purpose with autoresponders is to move people deeper down your funnel towards the buy decision.
Without this clearly defined goal, you can’t pick the best strategy.
Step 2: Segment Your List
Email list segmentation is the process of breaking down your email list into smaller groups based on specific criteria. You may use demographics, buyer personas, interests, and other psychographics, stage in the sales cycle, etc.
Do this so you can send more targeted, specific, and relevant email messages to each segment. By being relevant to a specific interest group will get you better results.
According to a study by Mailchimp, an autoresponder provider, sending an email campaign to a segmented list gets you, on average:
- 14.4% higher open rates
- 62.8% higher click-through rates
- 8.5% lower unsubscribe rates
Putting it differently, segmenting your email list will bring you a much higher ROI on your campaigns which means more profit. You have to segment your list.
The easiest way to segment your list is to do it from the moment that someone subscribes to your email list.
Step 3: Choose the Right Email Service Provider
There are many email marketing service providers in the market, but there is only a handful that will serve you the best in your business.
It’s hard work and takes effort to create autoresponders and email sequences, and switching platforms later will be difficult. You would be better off to select the proper platform from the beginning.
Look at three criteria when you choose a solution for your email marketing automation. Make sure it integrates well with third party solutions. It must have the ability to segment your list to send highly targeted emails. Lastly, you must be able to automate functions based on the actions of subscribers.
The entire process of sending emails must be scheduled and automated.
Step 4: Map Out Your Entire Sequence
It is important to draft an outline for your email sequence so you know exactly what you want to say. There is no universally accepted rule on how long these email sequences should be.
It’s far more useful to think about your goal with the email sequence and then make your sequence just long enough to accomplish your goal. So, the purpose of your sequence should determine the length of your sequence and how many days apart you should send the emails.
Maybe you just need 3 emails. Or perhaps you may need 10 emails in the sequence for launching a larger product. You will seldom need more than 10 or 15 emails in an email autoresponder sequence.
Write an outline for the email autoresponder series from start to finish. List what topic(s) each email will cover and the call-to-action for each email.
Your call-to-action could typically be something like click on a link, share your blog post on social media, reply to your email, or buy your product. In every single email you send, you must hit on some want, need, desire, or problem of your reader.
Start with an opener email and close the series off with a closer email in every series you send. This will package your autoresponder series nicely.
An example of a sequence for launching an information product
Email 1: Introduce yourself and thank them for subscribing.
Email 2: Agitate the problem and explain why it matters to build the demand for your product.
Email 3: Explain what they need to do to solve the specific problem. This builds your credibility.
Email 4: Explain in more detail how exactly to solve the problem. Start transitioning to the sale and mention your upcoming launch.
Email 5: Launch your product. Tell them that your product is live and can be purchased in the next few days. Add real scarcity by telling them you will close your cart and then it won’t be available.
Email 6: Remind your subscribers about the product. Share how many people bought it so far to provide proof of its usefulness.
Email 7: Last day before closing – first email. Tell your subscribers that there are 24 hours left and your product won’t be available after that. Remind them about the benefits.
Email 8: Last day before closing – second email. Highlight scarcity and that there are only a few hours left before the opportunity will be gone.
Email 9: Two hours before closing. This is where you go full scarcity and focus on the change people want to make in their lives.
Email 10: Cart closed. Send an email to explain to users the product is no longer available to purchase. Share figures about how many people got into your program. Thank everybody for their support.
Step 5: Write an Email Autoresponder Series that Converts
The hardest part is writing the emails in your autoresponder series and to make sure they convert. You may outsource this task to a professional copywriter. However, if you want to learn how to do it yourself, here’s what you should keep in mind when writing emails.
Firstly, focus on the reader and always write your emails to address the needs of your subscribers, not yours.
Secondly, offer ways to solve their problems and don’t simply talk about your products and how great they are.
Thirdly, use personalization. Personalizing the content of your emails, based on your segmentation, will make it infinitely more relevant and valuable to them. Personalization means addressing their specific needs, not simply using their name.
Fourthly, write great subject lines. If it doesn’t catch their attention, people won’t open it. It will pay you to spend the majority of your time writing and polishing your subject line.
Fifthly, use a clear call to action. You should be direct and bold in your call to action. Tell the reader what to do. Make sure your link and call to action are visible.
Step 6: Monitor and Improve
You should never set and forget your email sequences.
It will pay you handsomely if you monitor the performance of each email in the sequence to identify areas of improvement. Use A/B split test to make those improvements.
Here’s what you should pay attention to when you analyze your autoresponder campaigns.
1. Open rates. When people don’t open your emails your efforts will fail from the start. If you have low open rates, test the relevancy of your emails, subject lines, and times of day you send them.
2. Click-through rates. Are people taking the action you want them to take? If you have a low click-through rate check if the headline and content are congruent, the content offers real value, are you explaining the benefits of clicking, and is your call-to-action visible and clear.
3. Unsubscribe rate. Make peace with unsubscribes because it’s part of the game. Usually, people who unsubscribed would never have bought from you anyway. However, if you have a high unsubscribe rate, check why people have subscribed in the first place, or are you sending too many emails or irrelevant emails? Find out how you can serve them better.
Email autoresponder series goes way beyond asking how many emails to send. It is also far more complex than simply automating what you send to your subscribers.
An autoresponder series allows you to be proactive in engaging, nurturing, and sending subscribers deeper into your funnel to turn them into paying customers.
Autoresponders give you the ability to turn your business into an automated sales machine!
Do you want to learn more about effective email copywriting?
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Perhaps you are struggling with email marketing and are frustrated with the results you get. You want your readers to open your emails, read them all the way through, and then take action.
This course shows you best practices in email copywriting to skyrocket engagement and sales.
Head over to our course to learn more about the course and then decide if you want to sign up.
Do you already use autoresponder email series and how are they converting? Please share your tips and tricks in the comments.
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