Crafting an Effective Email Autoresponder Series
If you are serious about converting your leads into customers to make more sales, you MUST create an email autoresponder series to nurture and gain trust from your list.
The best part about autoresponder series is, it’s a set and forget thingy and in this post, I will share with you the 6 important steps in crafting an email autoresponder series that converts.
What Actually is an Autoresponder and why we need it?
It’s not a secret and also there’s not argument that Autoresponder is the most powerful tool which ALL online marketers MUST have for making sales.
It helps to keep your potential customers engage, learn more about you, build relationship and best of all, it also helps to identify which lead is interested in which product and even better than best, it allows you to automate your marketing and sales pitches.
So, what exactly is an autoresponder?
Well, it’s a tool which is capable to send email sequence automatically to specific people on your email list according to your segmentation which is triggered by specific events like when they first join your list or their browsing behavior or buying a product or specific link is click or shopping cart abandonment or downloading a PDF and many more.
Of course you will have to create your autoresponder series in advance and then setup the appropriate action which trigger the autoresponder to start sending to that specific lead.
You might ask “Do I really need an autoresponder?”
The answer is very simple: ALL ONLINE BUSINESS MUST HAVE AUTORESPONDER SERIES
Autoresponders Nurture Your Leads
We all know that in order for your client to buy something from you on the internet, your client need to know who they are buying from and is the seller trustworthy and so on, so by using the power of autoresponder, you have the tool and opportunity to start building relationship with your potential client the moment they join your list and also to monitor their behavior.
In the beginning, you can offer them value by providing valuable information, insights and teaching them what they want to learn via an automated on-boarding process. Once they are comfortable with you, you can start your sales pitches.
I personally prefer using autoresponder series compare to broadcast as for broadcast, it will only go out to the people who are currently on your email list, meaning if you send broadcast today, those who join your list tomorrow will not get it but by using autoresponder, you can be assured that everyone gets to see your best content, and everyone gets their own unique, personalized experience.
Autoresponders Turn Potential Customers into Buying Customers
Let’s be honest here, the main reason for our present online is to make money and that is EXACTLY what autoresponder does best. It allows you to study the behavior of your leads and allow you to collect information like how they react on certain things thus allow you to build the “know, like and trust”.
Once you’ve got all the information, you can start your sales pitches according to their liking – this is very powerful and you definitely sell more without being overly “salesy” or pushy.
Hint: if you incorporating scarcity into your campaigns, you can easily boost your sale up a lot!
Now that your eyes are opened and you can see the power of autoresponder what’s the next step?
Create a highly effective autoresponder series
Let’s dive into the 6 steps…
Step 1: Choose a Goal for Your Autoresponder
There are a lot of combinations of goals you can create but we are going to discuss the main 4. Choose one or a combination of the below for your autoresponder series before creating it.
A. Use it to send new subscribers a “welcome” or “thank you for subscribing” sequence
This is the first email which you send instantly after someone subscribe to your list. This mail can be just a link to your free download offer, or just a thank you note or a call to action to check out your kick-ass blog post.
ALL your list MUST have a welcome series: DO NOT skip this opportunity to “bait” your new subscribers and turn them into your loyal fans then teach them to buy from you.
Here’s a very powerful example from ahref:
- Day 0 -Instantly after you sign up for their free trial, you will receive educational email about backlink
- Day 02 – They will teach you how to get backlinks effectively
- Day 04 – They send you a video that show you how to steal SEO traffic from your competitor
- Day 06 – They will send you a list of SEO tutorials
As you can see that Ahref is using their autoresponder to educate their free trial customer how to use their tools and as a result, their paid customer conversion shot up.
B. Use it as a free mini course(Lead Magnet)
You can also use a lead magnet to bait new subscribers to opt in to your email list.
This is commonly done in the form of a free “mini course”, or a free “challenge” or a free “PDF”, which promises to deliver a series of emails containing lessons or other valuable information over the course of several days or weeks.
There is a high perceived value with a mini course or a challenge like this, which makes it a very effective lead magnet.
C. Use it to make sales on autopilot 24/7
This is what I see most of the time and it’s widely use by product launchers and affiliate marketers utilizing a sales funnel out of email autoresponder series. It is also used by some software companies, eCommerce businesses and service providers.
You can also utilize this method to create a series education emails then invite them to a recorded webinar where you make the killer sales pitch.
The possibilities for autoresponder sales funnels are endless, so I will leave it to your own creativity and imagination to create one.
D. Use it to promote cross-sells or reminder.
You can set it up as a promotion cross sell at a discounted price or one time offer after they paid for their purchase. For example, if someone bought a digital camera, send them a one time offer at a discounted price for tripod.
If you are selling vitamins that last for 30 day, on the 25th day, send them a reminder that their supply will run out in 5 days to get them to re-order.
This is the beauty of autoresponder, all done automtically, you only have to setup once!
Step 2: List segmentation
It is also very important to segment your list to a smaller groups base on specific criteria such as demographics, buyer personas, interests, etc.
By doing so, you can send more targeted and relevant offers to each segment which in return will get you better results.
According to a study by MailChimp, sending a campaign to a segmented list gets you, on average:
- 14.40% higher open rates
- 62.83% higher click through rates
- 8.54% lower unsubscribe rates
In other words, by segmenting your list, you will get a much higher ROI on your campaigns.
Step 3: Choose the Right Email Service Provider (ESP)
In order to schedule and send your autoresponder series, you’ll need an Email Service Provider.
Below are the best few ESP you might want to consider:
Aweber is great for people who are just starting out, as it is easy to set up and it provides a clean and intuitive user interface. It’s very user friendly.
It’s very easy to create segment, based on opens, clicks and purchases. It integrates with Warrior Plus, JVzoo and many more using API
If you are just starting out, you should go for Aweber.
Convertkit is more advance and of course more expensive compare to Aweber. It has a lot more function compare to Aweber like build your own autoresponder automation funnel, tagging and much more: Don’t worry, it has a lot of training video to guide you through.
If you want more control, you should go for Convertkit
The Conversion Pros
The conversion Pros is one of my favorite as it has all the functions that I want including sms/text broadcast, blog platform, mobile page buiider, invoicing tools, link rotator, webinar builder and more.
It take some time to get used to it but they never run out of video training so don’t worry, you will be fine as long as you watch the video training.
If you want more than what aweber and convertkit has to offer, you should go for The Conversion Pros
All of the ESP above have autoresponder capability, but for the more advanced the tool, you will have to explore which ESP suites your needs. All the ESP above offer either 14 days or 30 days free trial so go ahead, test drive them then choose the one that suites you most.
Step 4: Mapping Your Entire Autoresponder Sequence
Before you start to do anything, you should draft an outline of what you are trying to achieve and once that is done, you need to make a decision on how long you want you series to be. How many days? How many emails? How far apart between each mail?
There is no preset rule as to exactly how many emails you must have in your email series. Ideally, your email series should be long enough to help you accomplish your goals, no more, no less. So its length should be determined by its purpose, your segments, subscriber’s preferences, etc.
You must also decide how many “value” emails you will be sending before going for the hard sell.
As for myself, I always do the 70/30 rules: 70% value 30% hard sell.
Once you’ve made your decision, outline of your series from start to finish, describing what topic(s) each email will cover and the call-to-action for each email.
Step 5: Write an Autoresponder Series that Converts
Writing emails is an art and trust me this much, it’s the hardest of them all BUT you only do it once. You need to learn copywriting or you can outsource it to professional copywriters.
If you are on a budget, you might want to learn to write it yourself. You can get some useful information from our Copywriting Section and below are some tips you might find useful.
Focus on your readers
You must always write your emails with your subscribers in mind, offer to solve their problems and help if they need one. 99% of emails I receive daily talk about products and how great the product is and this will only pissed your subscribers thus forcing them to unsubscribe or worst, move your email to spam folder.
So before you start crafting your emails, ask yourself these few questions
- Why they subscribe to your list?
- Why should they read your email?
- What benefit you have in store for them?
- What are their biggest struggle?
- What goal you want to set for them?
- How to hard sell them without being to obvious?
Once you’ve got all these identified, you can easily craft your autoresponder series and lead them to your final goal.
Step 6: Monitor, Track and Improve
Even though autoresponder series are basically a set and forget thingy, it’s not something you abandon and let it run after the set up, instead you have to closely monitor which specific email has higher or lower open rate, which email has got good or bad click through rate and are the sales page converting?
All these can be achieve by using a good tracker like “Clickmagick”
Once you’ve got all the data, do some A/B testing to make some improvement to get your desired result and once you’ve achieve what you want, you can leave it and forget it.
Autoresponder is a very powerful tool which ALL Internet marketer MUST use. It goes beyond just automation! It has the power to allow you to build your subscriber’s trust, it has the power to allow you to turn cold subscribers into warm subscribers, it has the power to turn tire kickers to paying customers.
That is the power an autoresponder holds!