One of the first questions I get when it comes to building an email list is: “what am I going to send people once they join my list?”
The idea that you need to be constantly churning out new email content to keep the people on your list happy and in the loop is valid … but also really daunting. And for most small businesses, this strategy is not always the best use of your time.
That's where an effective autoresponder series comes in.
What An Effective Autoresponder Series Looks Like
The less stressful way of going about taking care of the people who join your email list is to set up a drip campaign, also known as an autoresponder series or sequence.
This is a series of emails that you've pre-written. They are programmed to be sent out at a set interval after someone joins your email list.
My autoresponder style: a lesson series
I design my drip campaign to be a series of lessons. I believe that the more we can educate people who have just discovered us and joined our list, the better we'll be able to connect with them. This gives us the potential to sell something down the line.
When you lead with valuable information – with no strings attached – it's way easier for people to take you up on any future offers that you'll make.
It's also important to lead with actionable educational material because it showcases your expertise and builds credibility.
If you're teaching your new subscribers something new (and especially if you can keep your education on the entertaining side!), they're a lot more likely to think of you first when they are ready to buy something.
They're also more likely to remember you fondly, and recommend you and your offerings to other people especially if they felt like they got a lot of great value from your welcome sequence.
How To Create An Effective Autoresponder Series
Creating and integrating a drip campaign in your email marketing system is super simple!
Your Email Marketing System Setup
This is where having the right email marketing system really comes into play. Fortunately, most of the major players offer this feature.
Essentially, you'll need to create a new drip campaign (also known as an autoresponder series or timed email sequence) … and you’ll be off to creating your very first autoresponder email in no time at all!
Each email marketing system does it a little different, so don't be afraid to reference your email marketing software's support section or contact their customer service department if you get stuck!
What To Write About
After you've set up the technical side within your email marketing system, it's time to decide how many of the drip sequence emails you want to write…and what to put in them to increase your odds to making more sales down the line.
I recommend writing all of your emails out in your favorite writing program (I'm a fan of Scrivener myself) and then copy and pasting into your email marketing system once you've spell checked and ensured all the emails flow together.
Unfortunately, since each business is so different, I can't prescribe a formula for you.
But I do recommend that you include the following elements in your drip campaign:
1. What To Expect
What can your subscribers expect from your emails in general…and specifically from this campaign? Communicate how many, how often, and what topics you'll cover.
2. Your Story
It's always a good idea to include your story and why you created the business that you're in today. This gives them the opportunity to connect with your mission on a deeper level.
3. The “What”
The “what” – this is the content that you'll be sharing with people, it could be tips, stories, tutorials… fun and educational is the idea!
Offer resources to help them along their journey: these could be resources that you've created, found, or even your paid programs and offerings.
5. A Call To Action
Adding a call to action to share your free series with others is a great way to expand the reach of your business. After all, there's a good chance that they are connected with other like-minded people who would benefit from your business.
6. Encourage Them To Communicate
If you're just getting started and your email volume is manageable, you can also ask people to hit reply to one of your emails and answer a question or two about what they need help with.
7. Ask For The Sale!
Ask for the sale! This is the missing piece of most email marketing drip campaigns … if you don't have a direct call to action in your emails that tells people about your products or services, they won't know they're available!
The Rest Is Up To You
So these are my tips for getting your very own drip campaign set up in your email marketing system!
And once you've set up your drip campaign, you'll have 5-10 emails that automatically welcome people to your world, and there won't be as much pressure for you to pump up new content each week.
Of course it's still good to get into the habit of emailing your folks regularly … but at least you know they're being well taken care of right after they join your list!
If you’re feeling stuck on how to get someone to subscribe to your newsletter, check out the 30 Day List Building Challenge here. You’ll learn how to grow your list more in the next 30 days than you have all year.