Many successful Internet entrepreneurs depend on their autoresponder sequence.
It’s the mechanism they use to earn a full-time income. If they didn’t have email; they wouldn’t earn a dime.
The problem with email marketing is it’s completely depended upon subscriber response.
If people aren’t clicking links, they’re not checking out your offers. And if they’re not checking out offers, you’re not making money.
So how do you fix a low response? Or more specifically; how do you turn a weak autoresponder sequence into a profit-pulling email list?
Today I’ll list fourteen answers to these questions. All of these are part of the report I’ve written: 45 tips to take your email marketing to the next level.
#1: Provide Quality Content
People join a list to get expert information. These subscribers are not your personal ATM machine. So don’t treat them that way!
I’m all about generating an income. But I also provide great content…for free. I’ve learned a simple mantra:
“Help people first and you will make money”
The first thing a subscriber notices about an email list is the quality of information. Your job is to build a solid relationship by providing value upfront. The selling should come later.
#2: Promote Multiple Products
Some marketers make the mistake of promoting a single product. Remember your list is full of multiple people with multiple problems. Your job is to let them know about offers that can help them out!
An autoresponder sequence should promote a variety of solutions. These are the products that solve very specific problems in your niche. Start with the biggest obstacle in the first few emails and then go from there. (This is a topic I cover in the post about creating an autoresponder sequence.)
#3: Link to Free Resources
For a long time, I was a firm believer in monetizing each message. Now I realize that subscribers want value from a list. Simply put, they want free, no-strings-attached information.
As you’ll see below, a great autoresponder sequence tells a multi-part story. It uses personality to talk about a particular problem. And it also links to free sites full of additional information.
Be sure to refer to things that don’t lead to Internet income. Remember, the goal is to build trust. You do this by providing information that isn’t self-serving.
Even better, this “free stuff” can actually put money in your pocket. It trains subscribers to click on your links. Ultimately this increases the click-thru-rates (CTR) to premium offers.
Remember —> More clicks = More money
#4: Tell Stories and Anecdotes
Storytelling can captivate the attention of an audience. Many people are on your list because they believe in your personal brand. Give a few anecdotes and you’ll strengthen this relationship.
Stories should be a major part of your email sequence. These will comes from personal lessons you’ve learned in this niche. They work best when directly related to the topic of that email.
Think about each message you send. Is there a quick story that can be included? Was there an “ah-ha” moment that helped you overcome an obstacle? If so, throw it in there!
#5: Interject Your Personality
My autoresponder series is an extension of my personality. I tell stories. I’m funny (or at least try to be.) And I give my personal viewpoint. In short, I’m a real person!
As an example, here is the start of an email I sent over a week ago:
I didn’t do anything special here. Instead I wrote things that popped into my head. One of them was how uncomfortable I felt because of the heat. So I tied this into the introduction of the email. What’s interesting is I had a few people send replies; saying this message made them laugh.
Don’t be afraid to be a genuine person to subscribers. You’ll discover that it’s a great way to build loyalty and a following. People want to business with people. So use your personality to BE a person.
#6: Create Open Loops
I’ve known about “open loops” since my Psychology 101 class in college. Unfortunately, I never thought to use them in email until I read the Autoresponder Madness course.
What’s an open loop? It’s using cliffhangers and suspense to engage an audience. When applied to email marketing, it’s a multi-message sequence that explains a core concept.
Your sequence shouldn’t be a collection of single emails. Instead, they’re part of a lengthy story that keeps a subscriber’s attention. In a way, it’s like your favorite T.V. show (ie: Lost, 24, Game of Thrones or True Blood.) You tune in each week to see what happens next.
Open loops are created by referencing a topic that will be covered in a future email. To make things really interesting, use multiple open loops throughout the series. So when one loop closes, another is opened.
This technique causes an insane response with subscribers. I implemented this technique three weeks ago, and I’m already getting emails from people begging me to re-send a message because they missed an “episode.”
Use open loops to increase open rates. It’s a subtle art where you give a *hint* to a solution. But it takes multiple emails to tell the whole story. Do this in an autoresponder sequence and people will open your messages.
#7: Use Dispensed Learning
Information overload should be a real concern to Internet marketers. Nowadays, everyone has access to an unlimited amount of knowledge. It’s YOUR job to help subscribers filter this information and make them take action.
One technique I’m currently using with email is a dispensed learning platform. Simply put, I don’t give away all the information upfront. Instead, I’ll drip-feed content to subscribers.
“Dispensed learning hooks the interest of subscribers. They don’t just get an email. Instead they receive an individual lesson that’s part of an advanced course. Each email moves them one step closer towards mastery of a concept.”
Read that paragraph a few times. Let it sink in. This simple philosophy can turn an ordinary email list into a group of information-hungry subscribers.
#8: Give a Homework Assignment
One of the best open loops is to provide a homework assignment with each message. This creates a sense of continuity and purpose. Your emails should give specific instructions about how to overcome a certain problem – Even it’s to buy a product you’re promoting.
This is yet another technique to train subscribers to take action. Not only do you talk about a problem; you provide people with the tools to fix it.
Typically I’ll end each message by telling people what to do. Sometimes I’ll make them test a specific technique. Other times I’ll provide a document they need to read. And once in awhile, their “assignment” is to check out an affiliate offer.
#9: Use Short Text
This idea is more about style than substance. It’s important to write email that commands a person’s attention. A great way to do this is to use short, punchy sentences.
Again, take a look at the above email image. Notice how the sentences are very short. This text breaks numerous grammar rules. But it gets the job done because it helps people take action.
My advice is to use short text when writing an email. In a way, this is similar to how you’d write copy on a sales letter. One resource that’s helped me learn this skill is the Copywriter’s Handbook by Robert Bly.
#10: Use Short Widths
I also recommend keeping the width of the email to a minimum. The text length that I currently use is 50 characters. This is a lot shorter than the 60 or 65 character limit that is recommended by some email gurus. Use a short width and you’ll make it easy for people to read your content.
Do this. Take a look at the header I use for each message:
This is exactly 50 characters. Write this down at the top of each email. This will help you format the text and keep the sentences short.
#11: Read Your Email
You should be getting feedback from list subscribers. Some of this will be specific questions. Others will be constructive (and sometimes negative) criticism.
This information is invaluable because it shows how people respond to your autoresponder sequence. Your job is to take their comments and turn it into content. Often these responses can form the basis of future emails you’ll create.
#12: Answer Questions
This ties-in with the previous idea. You should answer questions within an autoresponder sequence. Personally, I don’t respond to many emails that I get in my niche. (That’s because I get dozens every day.) BUT, I’ll often take a question and use it as a foundation for an email.
This technique creates a lot of social proof with an email list. Subscribers see that others look to you as an authority figure. Answer a common question and you’ll show that people always seek your advice.
#13: Offer Bonuses
Affiliate marketing is a great way to make money with an autoresponder sequence. Unfortunately, many people get minimal results with this business model.
The trick to this business model is to offer a bonus offer IF a person buys through your affiliate link. What I like to do is point out a “negative” in the product I’m promoting. Then I’ll position my bonus as something that fills this void. This is a great way to incentivize an affiliate offer.
There’s a reason why so many Internet gurus recommend this technique –Because it works! Offering a bonus item is a great way to motivate those subscribers who are on the fence. Remember, people are on your list because they like your personal brand. So offer them a bonus YOU have created.
#14: Track your Email Campaign
In the last few weeks, we discussed the importance of tracking. The only way to know if an email campaign is effective is to measure the results.
It’s important to use tracking when trying to revive a lifeless email list. Specifically you should measure:
- Open rates
- Click-thru rates
- Product purchases
- Daily growth
You’d be surprised at how a few changes can impact an autoresponder sequence. The trick is to use metrics to get statistical proof that something is (or isn’t) working.
How to Breathe Life into YOUR Autoresponder Sequence
Autoresponders are still a great way to make money online. The problem is it’s impossible to get results with a boring collection of emails. Now is the time to breathe life into your email sequence!
Stop creating messages that don’t relate to one another. Instead use these fourteen ideas to craft a quality; attention-grabbing autoresponder sequence. Do this correctly and you can literally write your way to online success.
To learn more, I recommend checking out my report on email marketing.To Your "Internet Lifestyle",