Recently, I’ve been getting into a lot of automation stuff. I’m addicted to productivity apps and I love figuring out how to automate stuff in my business. Particularly when it comes to automated email sequences.
Automated email sequences might seem a little daunting to figure out initially, but once you do, holy cow! It will blow your mind away.
Before we get too far down the rabbit hole, let’s take a step back and understand exactly what automated email sequences are, so we’re all on the same page, k?
Understanding Automated Email Sequences
So, what are automated email campaigns you might be thinking? It’s a great question, and once you understand how powerful these are, you’re going to spend the entire weekend implementing them… right?!
Basically, an automated email sequence, or autoresponder as you might be more familiar with calling them, is a series of emails that are triggered when a reader subscribes to your lead magnet, newsletter or content upgrade. They can also be trigged when someone buys one of your products or services too.
Autoresponder emails are automatic. They happen without you having to be present to push any buttons (aside from the initial setup of course), and your readers feel like you’re awesome because you’re sending them the stuff they need when they need it.
Right. Now that we’ve covered that off, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.
Here’s what you’re going to learn in this blog post:
- How to figure out your best email sequence
- How to automate email sending + the tools you can use
- How to automate your blog posts to your readers
Before you can setup your email sequences, you need to figure out what the heck you’re gonna send your peeps.
Now don’t freak out. I’m going to walk you through how to do that right now.
#1: How to Come up With Your Best Email Sequence
For the purposes of this blog post, I’m going to focus on showing you how to come up with your welcome email series.
This is the email sequence that goes out after someone joins your main list, normally your newsletter list.
Deciding on the best email sequence for this can seem daunting… which is why I’m not suggesting you reinvent the wheel.
I bet you’re subscribed to at least 10 other online entrepreneurs. And I bet that at least once a week, you’re getting an email from them. Do you remember what you received from them when you initially signed up?
Go and fish out those emails and reread them. They’ll give you an idea of the content you want in your welcome email series.
If you don’t have those emails (hello, am I the only email hoarder here?!), then go and join a few newsletter lists right now and see what arrives in your inbox.
If you haven’t already, get into the H&G Secret Vault, which will give you access to the resource library plus you’ll get the welcome email series I have in place.
What to include in your welcome email series:
- The first email should deliver the freebie (lead magnet). In fact, that should happen almost straight away, within a few minutes of them signing up and confirming their email; give them what they want!
- The following day (24 hours after the first email went out) send them an email that reminds them how to access the freebie and introduces who you are and what they can expect from you
- 2 days later, another email should go out that asks them where they are on their journey. If you’re using triggers, then you can quickly segment your list into 2-3 buckets based on the actions they take from this email. For Hustle & Groove, in this email I get people to click one of three links, which then takes them to a specific blog post that helps them with where they are while also auto-magically putting them into a bucket for me 🙂
- 1 day later, another email goes out that tells them about my story, successes and failures and shares even more content with them (5 blog posts to be exact)
- 4 days later another email goes out that links to another blog post that will help them as well as a soft sell on my book, Side Hustle Blueprint.
- 1 day later another email goes out telling people about the free, live workshop training's I do and how they can get involved.
- 4 days later, one last email goes out asking them to fill in a survey that tells me what they want more information about
At the end of this sequence, they are auto-magically subscribed to the H&G newsletter, which goes out every week.
So simple, right?
The key to these emails being a success and getting opened is you being you. Let people see who you are and how you can help them. Include video messages if you want, as well as gifs if they add to your story or if they’re your thing.
#2: How to Automate Email Sending
Let’s talk about email automation tools. They are the bones of any successful email marketing campaign and will also be the lifeblood of your weekly communication with your readers.
The starting point will always be your email service provider. I’m using ConvertKit because they provide a ton of awesome automation within their service that is lacking in other providers, like Mailchimp.
Other good email service providers that have similar functionality to ConvertKit include GetResponse and Active Campaign.
You can make Mailchimp work, but it will require a bit of tweaking (actually a lot of tweaking) to make it work like ConvertKit does, so why waste your time when you can work smarter with ConvertKit?
Ok, ok, I know CK is a bit more expensive than Mailchimp and let’s be honest, that monkey is pretty darn cute! So if you have to stick with MC, here’s how you could get some automation happening with your welcome email series:
You could also use some automation recipes from If This Then That (IFTTT) to help if you aren’t paying for Mailchimp yet.
Here’s some to get you started:
If you want more or to create your own, check them out here: https://ifttt.com/mailchimp/recipes
Ok, now that Mailchimp is dealt with, let’s focus on ConvertKit.
Here’s just a snippet of what you can do with ConvertKit’s automation tools and triggers:
- Automate a sales funnel
- Move a subscriber from one tag to another based on an action they take inside your email
- Tag a subscriber based on the form they come through
- Tag (segment) a subscriber based on a link they click
- Move a subscriber from one email sequence to another when they buy
There are SO MANY MORE things ConvertKit can do, but these are just a few of the ones I use on the daily.
You can learn more about all their automation tools here: http://kb.convertkit.com/article/automation-blueprints/
This is how a basic automated email sequence goes inside CK:
#1. Reader subscribes to your form on your website (triggers confirmation email sending inside CK)
#2. Confirmation email lands in readers inbox, asks them to confirm
#3. As soon as they click the link to confirm, one of two things can happen… they can either trigger an automatic download of your lead magnet or be sent to a URL (you choose)
#4. Reader then enters your email sequence that is associated with the subscription form they came through
#5. Email sequence will be set to go out over the next 7-14 days, with an email every other day or so
#6. Once the subscriber has completed the email sequence, they are then tagged to receive your newsletter and moved to the main newsletter sequence
Once you’ve got all your forms and sequences set up inside ConvertKit, everything happens on autopilot.
Here are some other ways that you can use the automation tools inside ConvertKit:
#3: How to Automate Your Blog Posts
If you’re worried about your new readers missing out on your old blog content, Nathan Barry (mastermind behind ConvertKit), wrote an excellent blog post.
It’s about why you should use a sequence to handle your newsletters rather than doing a broadcast… You can check that out here: http://nathanbarry.com/stop-sending-email-broadcasts/.
Basically, the premise is that rather than set up a broadcast (campaign in Mailchimp) you should set up a sequence (autoresponder) for your blog posts/newsletter that new subscribers get access to once they join.
They start at the beginning of the sequence, so will get all your awesomesauce posts, while those that have been on your list for a while, are getting the fresh stuff.
It’s really a win:win.
But, you might be wondering how you handle personal touches, or what about if you want to talk about something that’s happening in your life right now?
Well, you know what?
I still put those in the email sequence. It’s still relevant to anyone new reading it and at the time, it was relevant to my current readers.
So I treat my blog posts/newsletter sequence the same way I did before, but now, I’m getting a lot more traffic to my older blog posts and more comments.
Still not sure what I mean?
Here’s a quick video to show you:
Now it’s your turn!
Automated email sequences make your business life much easier. The first part is setting up the email sequence, aka deciding what you’re going to write and then figuring out what automation you need, like adding a tag to someone who clicks a link or moving them from once sequence to the next. Once that’s all done, you can rinse and repeat for all your email sequences.
From there, look at automating your old blog post content so that your new readers aren’t missing out on all the cool stuff you’ve written.
How are you using automation in your emails? I’d love to know and if you found this post helpful, please share the love via a quick Tweet or share on Pinterest 🙂