7 Awesome Ideas For Your Auto-Responder Series
When building your email list, your auto-responder sequence allows you to automate a huge part of your business and saves you a lot of work.
But sometimes it can be hard trying to decide what to put in your email sequence.
In this post, we’re going to look at some different strategies that you can include in your auto-responder email follow-ups. None of these strategies are new, but they are all proven to keep your subscribers coming back for more.
You’ll be able to provide them with tons of value, make sales on autopilot, and receive an ongoing stream of useful feedback from your readers that you can use to craft even better content for them.
These strategies will be pivotal in determining the effectiveness of your email list and the rate at which it grows.
So, straight to the question:
What do you send your subscribers after they’ve opted into your list?
Because it’s obviously going to be a waste of such a valuable asset if you put them on your list but don’t send them anything.
The great thing about auto-responders is that most of that work you can automate, which means you’ll only have to set it up once and it’s done.
Of course, there’s the part where you have to send one-off emails to your list in real time, but using your auto-responder capability to send email sequences means you don’t have to do a lot of the work manually.
Having said that, sometimes it can prove difficult trying to decide on what you’re going to send to your subscribers. So let’s jump right into the specific strategies that you can use.
1. Send A Welcome Sequence
Your Welcome sequence is what you typically send your contacts simultaneously with your front-end offer.
This means that during their first few days as subscribers they will be receiving more emails from you than usual, but that’s not a bad thing.
The Welcome sequence should be all about getting your subscribers oriented to you.
You can use it to:
- Show them what you are all about
- Tell them what they should expect from you
- Highlight some of your best stuff
- Ask subscribers to white-list your email address to ensure that your emails get through to their inboxes
- And so on…
It’s all about getting your subscribers set up, and this sequence probably won’t last more than 4 or 5 days.
At this point, you’ll consider them indoctrinated and oriented. They know who you are, and what they can expect from you.
2. Run An Offer
When someone opts-in for one of your lead magnets, you’re going to send a targeted front-end offer along with that lead magnet. Place the offer on the page that they see soon after opting in – the confirmation page.
On that same page, you’re also going to have the acknowledgment that they’re going to receive the lead magnet that they signed up for.
Along with displaying that page to them, you also need to put them on an auto-responder that promotes your front-end offer for a few days.
That means if they don’t take your front-end offer immediately, it’s alright because you’re still going to have those 4 or 5 days to get them to make the purchase.
And so that’s the initial set of emails your subscribers are going to get during the first few days. You run a front-end offer and promote it to your new subscribers, at the same time as the Welcome email sequence.
3. Build-In Survey Questions
Survey questions are a very powerful way of getting ongoing intelligence about your particular audience.
Their answers will probably give you new and exciting ideas for products, blog posts, and it will also give you insights as to the type of wording that your audience uses.
When doing surveys, always try to use open-ended questions as much as you can, instead of simple check boxes and radio buttons.
Get them to type whatever it is that comes to mind for them so that you’ll be able to see the kind of words and language that they use. All that will help you build content that resonates better with them, as well as create better products and sales messages.
For instance, at PlanetBizOp.com, I could ask my audience a question such as:
‘What is your biggest challenge when it comes to starting/building/growing/managing your blog?‘
This is actually a great question to build into your email sequence.
You can send your subscribers one email saying, ‘Hi, I really would like to find out what’s going on and what I can help you with.
So can you answer this question for me: What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing right now?’
To make this strategy even more effective, rather than sending them to a survey form or anything else that is anonymous, why not ask them to reply to that email with their answer?
If you do that, make sure that you’re going to get those emails.
When your subscribers reply, they’re showing engagement with your list, which tells major email providers that your audience is engaged, and that makes it more likely that more of your emails will get through the filters into your subscribers’ inboxes.
In addition to helping you stay out of the spam folder, doing it this way is also more personable.
People like sending emails to other people, not robots, and when you send emails back, it sets up a personal communication between you which is important for building stronger relationships with your audience – much more effective than sending them to a form on the Internet.
Building survey questions into your auto-responder series is something that you can do throughout your entire sequence to help you get an ongoing flow of feedback from your audience.
4. Show Them Your Best Posts
If you have any of those posts on your blog that are truly outstanding, then highlight them.
Send those posts out to your email list of subscribers to give them tons of value over time. This is a wonderful and easy way of showcasing some of your best stuff without having to do it manually.
So if you’ve got lots of epic blog posts gathering dust in your archives, then simply surface them and continue to make use of those assets.
A little marketing tip:
Make sure that there are compelling CTAs (calls to action) inside each and every one of the blog posts that you’re sending to them.
When you promote a great post, it’s also an opportunity to make money for you, so don’t forget that and be strategic inside the posts that you highlight to your subscribers.
Highlighting your most awesome content and sending them out using follow-up automation puts your business even more on autopilot and effectively frees up tons more of your time.
5. Do Promotional Sequences
This is similar to the second strategy we discussed about running a front-end offer to your email subscribers.
But, in the first one, we’re talking about people who recently signed up while in this one, we’re focused on creating promotional sequences for different products and sending those to your list.
For instance, a couple of months after your subscribers opted-in, you send them a promotional sequence. You have an email series that you write in advance where you maybe tease a new product and then promote it to them.
As a marketer, you probably already know how this goes because you’ve likely been the subject of many email promotions from other people in your industry or different ones. You can build these types of promotional emails into our follow-up sequence and run them automatically.
This means that you’ll be seeing consistent sales coming in over time without even having to lift a finger.
Each time a subscriber goes on your list, they are going to be on their own schedule which is unique to them, but they will see the same promotions as everyone else when the time is right.
So, run these promotional sequences. They are very effective whether you’re using your own products or affiliate products.
6. Promote Various Lead Magnets To Your Subscribers
Lead magnets can come in any shape or form, and in addition to the initial one they signed up for, you can still offer your subscribers more lead magnets.
In fact, it’s actually never a good idea to only have one. Multiple lead magnets help you promote things to different people with varying interests.
Based on each of their interests, you’re then able to sell them things that are more relevant to them.
Say, for instance, that a person got on your list from lead magnet #1 (whatever that is for you), they could also be a fit for lead magnet #4.
So over time, you can promote and cross-promote your various lead magnets to existing subscribers.
Make them opt-in again for new lead magnets.
Don’t think it’s alright to simply hand them over to them just because they’re already on your list. You want your subscribers to take a particular action, and that action is to opt-in again.
It’s a way of raising their hand and showing more engagement as opposed to just collecting stuff from you.
After they opt-in, you now know that they are interested in that particular lead magnet, and you can then create a product promotion as a follow-up. Make sure that it’s tightly related to the lead magnet that they signed up for in order to increase your chances of making sales.
Basically what you’re doing here is that you’re cycling your email subscribers around.
They come to your list in one way, and you send them emails over time, but then once in a while, you bring them back to the top using another pathway.
You send them different promotions based on the lead magnets that they opt for.
Promoting multiple lead magnets to your email subscribers is a very powerful tactic when it comes to building and growing your list.
Also, while you’re doing this, you’re segmenting your list which means that you’re dividing it based on your subscribers’ interests. By taking a look at what they’re opting-in for, you’ll have a better understanding of what each of them wants, so that you can serve relevant content to them.
7. Do Evergreen Product Launches
These are similar to running promotional sequences, but evergreen launches are set up a bit differently since you’re launching a product. It could be that you’re opening up an online educational course for signup with the idea that it will close back down again soon.
You can put such evergreen launches on autopilot and run them to your list periodically.
There are many ways in which you can do this, for instance, you can send an email saying, ‘Hi, the cart is open, and this course is now available for sign-up’ You can then run a promotional sequence for that course for 4 to 7 days and then send another email saying, ‘I’m closing sign up for the course now.’
Yet another way you can do it is by leading up to a webinar where you can have all this on automated.
You can even automate the webinar itself (but that’s something we’ll talk about in future posts). There are many ways of doing this and it works with either your own or affiliate products.
So, that’s the basic idea behind doing evergreen launches.
It’s simply a launch sequence or process that is going to run automatically, and it’s a very, very effective strategy.
Let’s do a quick review of all the strategies that we discussed here:
- Send a Welcome sequence to help orient your audience about who you are and what they can look forward to.
- Run a front-end offer to your new email subscribers.
- Build survey questions into your email sequence so you can collect ongoing intelligence from subscribers.
- Show them your best posts. Go beyond the welcome sequence and make this an ongoing thing. From time to time, search through your blog archives to find some of your forgotten gems and promote them.
- Do promotional sequences for your own products or affiliate products.
- Promote various lead magnets to your existing subscribers so that you’ll be able to segment your list and send more targeted promotions.
- Do evergreen product launches.
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Updated: Originally published November 25th 2018