Email autoresponders might not be your favorite aspect of content marketing. I get it.
No one loves blogs more than I do.
They’re a great way to attract an engaged audience, develop trust, and attract links.
I love blogs. But like babies and kittens, two other things I love, they’re also a lot of responsibility.
Business blogging takes time.
First, you’ve got to write terrific content that stands out from the general noise. Then you have to promote it intelligently, learn SEO for content writers, and cultivate reader relationships.
And that’s in addition to everything else you do for your business.
That’s why email autoresponders are tools that I always recommend having in place — ideally before you explore your first blog post idea.
What are email autoresponders?
An autoresponder is just a sequence of email marketing messages that gets sent to subscribers in the order and frequency that you decide.
So, when someone signs up for your email list, they get an engaging message from you right away (and keep getting the same high-quality emails from you). The subscriber wants to hear from you and you can satisfy that immediately, rather than waiting days, weeks, or even months to send relevant information to them.
Let’s say you have a seven-part autoresponder that delivers an exceptional tutorial for your potential customers — something that they’ll find beneficial and valuable, and that lays the groundwork for you to make a sale.
That email autoresponder creates a great experience for your first subscriber. And it creates the same great experience for your 10,000th subscriber.
It never gets tired, or needs the weekend off for Father’s Day or Mother’s Day (or Email Autoresponder’s Day).
It never gets bored with your marketing message. Does it get snarky or sick of newbies? Nope.
Email autoresponders deliver your best content, in the best possible order and frequency, to every new reader who finds you. Forever.
That’s why I say it’s the lazy marketer’s friend (as well as an important tool when you’re learning how to be a copywriter).
Whether you want a day off to head to the beach or a month off for a life-changing adventure, your autoresponder is back home taking care of business.
Digital Commerce Partners is the agency division of Copyblogger, and we specialize in delivering targeted organic traffic for growing digital businesses.
What do really good email autoresponders look like?
Most email autoresponders aren’t all that good, because most of them are about the marketer.
Your email autoresponder sequence needs to be about the reader.
The autoresponder’s most important function is to take people who are curious about what you do and turn them into raving fans.
That means an autoresponder needs your best content — the kind of content that makes readers glad every time they click through.
It doesn’t have to be funny, witty, charming, or poetically written.
But it has to be damned useful.
It has to solve problems your readers need to solve. You must give them small, quick wins toward what they want to achieve.
And if it can show you’re a nice, relatable, trustworthy person — not just an expert but a likable expert — that’s even better.
Email autoresponders make your case for you
You can use autoresponders for anything you need to educate prospects about before they buy.
Explore the pain and problems they’re facing today. Paint the picture of what their life will look like with that problem solved.
Address and overcome objections, outline features and benefits, and create intense desire for what you have to offer.
And if your prospect isn’t ready to buy right now, great email content will keep her “parked” until she is ready … whether that takes her six months, a year, or 10 years.
As long as you keep adding to the sequence, you can keep prospects engaged and interested until the time is right for them.
Get (and keep) subscribers
But you have to get someone interested in signing up for your email list in the first place, right?
That’s what smart copywriting and content is for … as soon as someone lands on your site, it’s your job to persuade them to stay.
Show them that what you have to offer is exactly what they’re looking for, and if they sign up to stay connected via email, you’ll have a lot more good stuff for them.
Then, once you’ve introduced yourself in email, ask them to add you to their “safe sender” list, so your messages don’t get flagged as spam.
It’s a one-two punch that helps you nurture prospects who are interested in what you do.
Build your email autoresponder first
There’s no such thing as free traffic.
You either pay for web traffic with money — with advertising or affiliate commissions — or you pay with time and creativity.
Blogging is particularly demanding of that time and creativity. So you want to make sure you capture each and every true fan you attract, from the very first days of your blog.
That’s why if you’re starting from zero in a new topic, I recommend you build your autoresponder first, before your blog launch or any attempt to sell on a blog.
And if you already have a blog going, the second best time to master email autoresponders is today.
How about it?
- Do you have an email autoresponder in place right now?
- If so, does it have the kind of content that’s going to turn your readers into raving fans?
- Are you happy with the number of messages in your sequence, or do you think you could extend it a little and deliver even more value?
If the answer to any of those is “No,” make a plan to fix that.
You have my permission to be as lazy as you like after you get it done. 🙂
Need some help with the copy for your email autoresponder?
An audience-first approach to selling creates a respect and understanding that’s hard to fake.
However, sometimes content-focused selling turns into “no selling at all.”
The good news is, you don’t have to choose between a great audience relationship and effective selling.
You can use a copywriting framework that respects your relationship with your audience and doesn’t burn any bridges.
If you want to learn more about writing killer emails, check out our free email marketing ebook below …