Recently I’ve been talking about lead magnets and how you need to connect your website’s opt-in form with your email service provider.
You want to immediately connect with your new subscriber. Every email service provider has a feature called “autoresponders” or “sequences” (MailChimp has theirs under the category Automations).
This is a wonderful feature and I hope to help you take full advantage of it. Here’s the idea: once someone signs up to receive your free downloadable report (or whatever you offer), they will then automatically receive a series of emails.
In other words, their subscription will trigger an automatic follow-up system!
Your Automatic Follow-up System
Your follow-up system can consist of three emails sent over the course of one week or twelve emails sent within a 30-day timeframe. It’s up to you. Generally, most companies will send a series of 3—7 emails over a two-week period. But again, it depends on what you want to communicate after someone signs up for your list.
Introductory emails are more important than you may think. In fact, research has found that welcome emails are read 42% more often than any promotional emails. As an email marketer, I can tell you anytime you have those percentage points; you’d be crazy not to leverage them. With a 42% more chance of connecting with your clients in a welcome message, you want to use that attention in the most strategic way possible.
On average, welcome emails receive an unusually high open rate of 50% — making them 86% more effective than newsletters. (source: Hubspot, “How to Plan & Execute Effective ‘Welcome’ Emails,” https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/plan-execute-welcome-email)
Your welcome email (sent right after someone signs up for your list) has a 50% chance of keeping your new subscriber reading your follow-up emails for the next 6 months! This is excellent news because the more emails they read, the more money they are likely to spend with you.
Therefore, you need to get your emails right from the very start. But it goes further than that. Research has also found reader response to welcome messages could give business owners greater insight into what their customers need and how their products or services can cater to that need.
A Few “Dos and Don’ts”
If you’re sending a “cold email” to a prospect, you’ll especially want to pay attention to this section. If you’re writing email autoresponders for a new subscriber, you also want to keep these tips in mind.
Remember, email is similar to meeting someone new at a networking event. You don’t want to overwhelm them or bore them. Be brief when talking about what you do and keep the focus mainly on your audience.
Don’t include images in your first emails (this includes logos in your signature area). Images often distract a reader’s attention and can potentially cause your email to be marked as spam. For welcome emails, use only text for your message.
Do keep the text short. Short email messages (150 – 200 words) have a better chance at getting read. This is especially true for the first few emails you send. You are still building a relationship with your reader, so take it slow. You can send longer messages later (300 – 500+ words), after trust has been established.
Do get to the point. Be clear about your purpose. If you want the reader to check out popular content on your site, quickly give them the links. Whatever your goal is for the email, reach it fast. Your reader will appreciate your direct approach.
Do provide a clear call to action. Keep it short and simple. Your readers need to know what you want them to do next. If your readers must guess, you’ll probably lose them.
Examples of a call to action:
- Read more content
- Visit a product or service page
- Subscribe to your email list (If the email sequence is sent to those who ordered an item but aren’t on your list)
- Inquire about your product or service
- Join a community
- Watch a video
- A combination of the above
Do tell them what to expect from you next. This is vital to establishing a great relationship with your clients and prospects. They understand they’re now on your email list, so let them know what to expect, and how it will help them. Essentially, you’re training them to expect emails filled with great content and helpful information. This creates anticipation and will help increase your email open rates.
There are many ways to use autoresponder emails. Here are different reasons why you’d want to consider creating an autoresponder series:
- For follow-up after someone downloads your free report, watches a webinar, attends a live event, or visits your office
- To deliver an eCourse, which is educational content contained within the email itself (or the email contains a link to a webpage with the training material)
- Re-activate clients who haven’t purchased any service from you in months
- Remind prospects and clients about a service you provide
- Make a major announcement (with additional promotional copy) about a new development or special award you, your staff, or your office has won
Those are a few reasons to create an autoresponder series or email sequence. Envision your email as a news outlet, allowing you to publish your own press releases.
Whatever you’re doing that may be seen as new, noteworthy, or helpful—there’s a good chance you can create an autoresponder series around it.
Partial excerpts taken from the book, The Maverick Advisor: The New Rules of Marketing for Financial Advisors and Consultants – Get Great Clients, More Respect, and the Fees You Deserve, by Mary Rose Maguire.