Your autoresponder is one of the most useful tools you possess in your marketing arsenal. That’s because it’s a hands-off, automatic way to build relationships and generate sales. But that only works if you’re setting your autoresponder up the right way!
That’s exactly what this checklist will help you determine. Before you let a single email go out to subscribers, walk through the following points and ask yourself these questions…
Whether it’s your initial autoresponder series to new subscribers, or it’s a series you’ve loaded for those who’ve been members for a while, be sure your series is focused primarily on goal.
Generally, this goal is to sell a particular product. For example, if you’re selling a low-calorie cookbook, you might send out a series of seven emails with a new recipe (and a diet tip) in every email. Those who want more of these delicious recipes will need to buy the book.
Of course making a sale isn’t necessarily always the goal. You may create a series of emails around other goals such:
- Getting people to join your social networks.
- Introducing subscribers to your joint venture partners.
- Building relationships.
- Teaching people how to get better results.
And so on. Point is, define your goal before you write a single email. And then outline your emails in a way to help you achieve that goal.
Whenever you send out an email, ask yourself if it matches your readers’ expectations as well as the purpose of the list.
For example, sometimes marketers do a personal favor for a friend by announcing a product, fundraiser, contest or other event that doesn’t quite match the niche. It seems harmless. But if even one email doesn’t meet expectations, people will unsubscribe. In other cases, they may simply stop opening your emails.
The emails you create today may be in use for many weeks, months or even longer. That’s why you’ll want to focus on sending evergreen content. Check these issues:
- Avoid sharing any dates when referring to the present. This includes talking about the year, the season, the month or even the day.
- Avoid talking about upcoming or past events that make it clear when you created the email.
- Don’t refer to products as “new.”
- Share time-tested tips and how-to information.
- Share time-tested products.
Generally, your initial autoresponder series will be all about that initial product push. But once that is over, there are plenty of mailings you can load into your autoresponder to go out for many weeks or even months to come. Here are 12 ideas…
1. The Feedback Mailing
Here’s where you ask your readers for feedback on the newsletter itself. What do they like? What would they like to see more of? What don’t they like? What questions would they like to see answered in your emails?
Which brings us to the next mailing…
2. The “Frequently Asked Questions” Mailing
This is where you answer the most frequently asked questions in your niche.
TIP: Don’t know what the most popular questions are in your niche? Check Quora, Yahoo! Answers, niche forums, niche Facebook groups and emails from prospects to see what comes up again and again.
3. The “Best Resource” Mailing
Here’s where you provide a list of the best free and paid resources in your niche. This may include blog posts, reports, apps, tools and more.
4. The “Secrets” Mailing
Here’s where you provide a high-value email with one of your best secrets. Think of this as an anchor post – except it’s an email. It’s one of the most valuable and comprehensive posts you’ll write. For best results, choose a popular (in-demand) topic.
5. The Case Study Mailing
Here’s where you share the specific results of you or someone else using a particular strategy or product. Be sure to share lots of data and proof.
6. The Inspirational Story Mailing
This is more inspirational than pure data. Here you share a story of how someone overcame the same problem your prospects are facing. It’s even better if the person in the story had some sort of perceived shortcoming. Then the reader thinks, “If this person can do it, then I can too.”
7. The “Join This” Mailing
It’s a good idea to reach out to your prospects and customers across different communication platforms. That’s why you’ll want to send out invitations from time to time to join your social media networks, such as on Facebook and Twitter.
8. The Market Research Mailing
Here’s where you send out a survey to learn more about the problems your audience is facing, what sorts of solutions they’ve tried, and what sorts of solutions they’re seeking.
9. The “Loyalty Program” Mailing
You can send out an email to invite subscribers to join your loyalty program. This is where you offer “points” for purchases, which can be turned in for gift certificates or niche merchandise.
10. The “Surprise Discount” Mailing
Here’s where you send out a secret link or special discount coupon code for one of your most popular products.
11. The “Refer a Friend” Mailing
Use this email to get referral traffic. You can outright ask your subscribers to invite their friends to view a particular piece of content, join your list, or even buy a product. Or you can offer referral rewards, such as a free product or discount for referrals.
12. The “Watch This/Read This” Mailing
This is where you send subscribers to your blog to read an article or watch a video. You might even create a “greatest hits” list of your best blog posts. E.G., “The Five Blog Posts Every Competitive Bodybuilder Ought To Read…”
Ready to get better results from your autoresponder? Then be sure to put this checklist to work for you, both for your existing series as well any other emails you load into the future!
Excellent Post!! When you look at how much you can do with auto-responders, it makes me feel almost LAZY, that mine is a little ‘one-dimensional’… thanks for the inspiration and knowledge!
Thanks for the kind words Tim!