3 Autoresponder Ideas From Real Businesses
By Kristen Dunleavy October 1, 2015
Wouldn’t it be cool if you had a small army of clones to help with the day-to-day tasks of running your business? Ok, maybe that’s a little weird. But who would argue with the extra help?
Autoresponder emails won’t sign off on invoices for you, but they can help build connections with your followers.
Get 100% Higher Engagement
Yep, that’s right. Autoresponders get 100% higher engagement than email newsletters. How do they work?
An autoresponder series (sometimes called a follow up series) consists of automated emails that you create ahead of time that automatically get delivered to your new subscribers. You can create an autoresponder series with as many or as few emails as you want.
The best part? Once you set up your series, your work is done. Your autoresponder emails will keep your subscribers engaged over time while you’re busy doing other things – like working on that next big project or grabbing some coffee with a friend.
You can use autoresponders to teach your subscribers about the value of your products or services and help them get to know you better. Here are some ideas for what to write in your autoresponder series.
So how are real people like you using an autoresponder series? Let’s take a look at three different autoresponder strategies from three different businesses.
Strategy #1: Autoresponders for Promoting Your Blog
Nomadic Matt is a travel blogger dedicated to teaching people how to travel smarter and for less money. His blog has a ton of content already, so Matt uses a lot of it in his autoresponder series.
Email #1: Welcome and Getting Started Email
Every new subscriber to Matt’s list receives a welcome email with everything they need to get started, including four guides and links to his FAQ page and forum. He asks people to reply directly to his email to let him know how he can help them plan their next trip. Matt even includes his P.O. Box asking subscribers to send him a postcard from their trip – an awesome personal touch!
Email #2: Top Blog Posts
After his welcome email, Matt sends his subscribers a message with his top blog posts. The curated message helps his new subscribers catch up on all the content they may not have time to seek out on their own.
Email #3: Useful Resources
There are thousands of travel resources out there, and no one has time to comb through them all. That’s why Matt compiles an exhaustive list of his favorites, along with a short description of each. His subscribers can easily refer back to this email any time they plan a new trip.
Email #4: Popular Industry Topic
Just about everyone gets stressed out about traveling, so Matt tells his subscribers exactly how to plan their next trip to help save them time and anxiety. He even provides his own detailed itinerary that he used when he traveled to Europe for the first time.
Email #5: Promotional
Have you noticed that Matt provides a lot of free stuff up front without asking his subscribers to buy anything? He waits until his fifth autoresponder to promote his travel guide. At this point in the series, Matt’s subscribers have become fans – and people who are your fans are a lot more likely to buy something from you.
If you’re a blogger, you already have the content you need for your autoresponder series. Using your autoresponders to tease your best blog posts and share your most valuable resources will build trust and turn your subscribers into your biggest fans.
Strategy #2: Autoresponders for Scheduling Consultations
LearnVest is a financial planning company that provides coaching, custom finance plans and loads of resources to its members. They use their autoresponder series to show off the value of their services and convince subscribers to become paying members.
Email #1: Welcome/Consultation
The first step toward getting subscribers to become members is prompting them to schedule a consultative call. The goal of LearnVest’s welcome email is to show people how easy it is to get started.
Email #2: Value of Services
Subscribers who haven’t scheduled their consultative call might be wondering what they get when they become a member, so LearnVest shows them a detailed sample plan in their next email. This type of message shows the value of LearnVest’s services.
Email #3: Schedule a Consultation
For the people who aren’t fully convinced they need to become members, LearnVest shows them a variety of different financial goals. Chances are, subscribers will relate to at least one of these goals and feel encouraged to join.
Email #4: Value of Services
This message breaks down the mystique of financial planning into a single, digestible idea. To find their flex spending number, subscribers must click “I want my number” and schedule a consultative call.
Even if there is just one action you want your readers to take (like scheduling a consultative call), an autoresponder series gives you a multitude of ways to stay on your audience’s minds. When LearnVest’s subscribers are ready to get serious about financial planning, guess who they’ll call?
Strategy #3: Autoresponders for E-Courses
Tiny Designer is a resource created by designer Jarrod Drysdale that helps designers and non-designers work better together. Jarod uses autoresponders to give his readers a free, five-part email course to teach people about effective design. Subscribers can choose which course bests suits them: there’s one for designers and one for non-designers.
Each lesson in the course focuses on a new topic each week for five weeks. The lessons are detailed (around 1,200 words), conversational and answer subscribers’ biggest questions about design. Jarrod ends every lesson asking for feedback from his subscribers. Here’s what the full course looks like:
Once Jarrod’s subscribers have finished his e-course, he sends them PDF downloads of the course for designers and the course for non-designers, and encourages subscribers to share them. After that, Jarrod continues to send his subscribers articles from his blog, but not before letting them know what they’re about to get.
E-courses make it easy for your subscribers to digest your big ideas. Consider using autoresponders to spin your existing content into an e-course to show off your expertise and educate your subscribers.
Now It’s Your Turn
Now that you’ve seen how a few other businesses are using autoresponders, we’d love to hear your ideas. How do you use your autoresponder series? Do you have one in the works? Tell us in the comments!
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