This is a follow-up to the recent post: how often should you send email to an affiliate list.
Having a preset email sequence is a great way to provide automatic content to list subscribers. But sometimes you want to send a broadcast message to your list.
Unfortunately this can be hard to do – Especially when you run the risk of sending multiple messages on the same day.
As you know, sending too many messages is the quickest way to overwhelm and ultimately piss off your subscribers. You lost all credibility when that happens.
Fortunately there is a way to mix broadcast emails with a lengthy autoresponder sequence.
Here’s how to do it…
Autoresponders are the best way to deliver specific content to brand new subscribers. When a person joins your list, he or she gets the emails that provide niche education while promoting your top affiliate product(s).
The problem with autoresponders is they don’t talk about what’s new in your business.
Every niche changes. You change. Your market changes. Your subscribers change.
Simply relying on an autoresponder sequence is a quick way to become out-of-touch with subscribers and current events in the marketplace.
As you can guess, the solution is to send broadcast messages to your list. With this type of email you can:
- Promote brand new affiliate offers
- Give updates on current posts
- Notify subscribers about a contest or drawing
- Increase following on a social media channel
- Presell an information product you’re about to publish
There are countless things you can do with broadcast messages. But like I said, it’s dangerous to send them when you’re worried that subscribers will be overwhelmed by too many messages.
Fortunately I have a solution…
List subscribers should get a certain number of autoresponders before you send them a broadcast message. This is super important! You see, the biggest benefit to an autoresponder sequence is you get to present YOUR brand and personality to subscribers. This is how you build a solid email relationship.
For example, my email list emphasizes the importance of focusing on a single affiliate marketing business. This is a different strategy than what’s recommend by most affiliate marketing ‘experts.’ So the first part of my autoresponder sequence is dedicated to TEACHING subscribers on how to dominate one affiliate niche.
My point is simple. You want to deliver a consistent marketing message to every subscriber. And the best way to do this is through autoresponders.
So how long should a subscriber be in an autorepsonder sequence?
At least a month. Personally, I prefer two months. But a month is long enough for you to give subscribers an idea of who you are and how you can help them.
Typically a month’s worth of autoresponder content works out to a total of ten emails. (You’ll want to read the last post on how I do email frequency.)
Once the month is up, you’ll start to send these subscribers a mix of broadcast and autoresponder messages.
Let’s talk about how to do this…
I gave another piece of advice in the last article:
“ After a month limit your email messages to four or five days.
This is wrong if you want to send both broadcast and autoresponder messages.
Instead of doing this, you want to send one broadcast message and one autoresponder every ten days. That averages out to be a message every five days.
The trick is to make sure you’re not sending an autoresponder and broadcast message on the same day. Again…this will piss off subscribers and result in a lot of unnecessary unsubscribes.
With Aweber it’s not that hard to make sure you’re not overwhelming subscribers. Here is a four-step process for setting this up:
Step 1: Decide “Who” Receives Broadcast Messages
It’s important to deliver an uninterrupted stream of messages to new subscribers. So your first step is to decide when a subscriber stops getting “autoresponder only” messages.
My advice is to select a range of subscribers based on a monthly basis. (ie: after 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, etc.) This will make it easier to compute when you get to step #3.
For “month-old” subscribers this works out to around ten messages.
Step 2: Deliver Autoresponders on Certain Days
So you’ve identified “who” will get broadcast messages. Now you need to change the settings on every autoresponder after this message. (ie: autoresponder #11, #12, #13, etc.)
Start by setting the interval to 4 days (or longer.) I like this number because it lets you deliver pre-written autoresponders while also giving you the opportunity to deliver broadcast messages.
Next you’ll select two consecutive days when a subscriber won’t get an autoresponder message. I prefer Wednesday and Thursday because they are the days when something “new” typically occurs with my personal brand.
On Wednesday I’ll send out the broadcast message. And on Thursday, subscribers “get a break” from ALL email. Again…this is all about not overwhelming them.
Finally you want to make sure the message is sent from Midnight to Midnight (or at a time range that you prefer.)
Okay…this might be little confusing.
So here is a screenshot on how to set it up:
Step 3: Created a Segmented Broadcast List
Go to your subscriber lists. In Aweber this can be found at Subscribers –> Search
What you’ll do here is create a segmented list for the 1 month+ subscribers. Choose the date when you’ll send the broadcast message and go back one month. Then save this segmented list. I prefer to save it as the day that I target from a month ago. So if I sent a message TODAY (May 1st, 2012), I’d save the segment as: 1apr12.
Here is a screenshot of how to do this:
Step 4: Send a Broadcast Message to a Segmented List
Finally you’re ready to send a broadcast message.
Go to Messages –> Broadcast Messages –> Create a New Broadcast Message.
Write whatever broadcast message you want. Then find the Send to Segment feature and choose the segmented list you set up in step #3. This will deliver the broadcast to every subscriber who has been on your list for at least a month.
See how it looks here:
It can be confusing to figure out who receives autoresponders and who gets broadcast messages. So I mapped out a simple chart that demonstrates what we’ve discussed so far:
Unfortunately I can’t provide an exact interval between these emails. These numbers vary according to: When a person joins, the interval between autoresponder messages, and what days you send out broadcasts.
So use this table as a general idea – Not as a “mandatory” thing to do with an email list.
In summary, the best way to mix broadcast emails with an autoresponder is to:
- Deliver an autoresponder sequence for a predetermined amount of time (Usually a month)
- Set the remaining autoresponders so they’re not delivered on certain days
- Send broadcast message on the days when subscribers don’t receive an autoresponder
This step-by-step blueprint is the best way I’ve found for educating subscribers while sending them relevant, up-to-date email.
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