How to Craft the best Autoresponder Series

Having a well-oiled autoresponder takes time and effort on your part. The good news is that once you finish setting it up, then you’re done.

Your autoresponder will work for you until the end of time.

However, it’s a bad idea to just throw together an autoresponder just for the sake of having one.

You should take the time to craft the most engaging and value-giving autoresponder you can muster up. You will gain more from a good autoresponder than from anything else in your business.

An autoresponder is going to work for you every time someone comes in and signs up to your newsletter. ?

Other than the cost of you getting people into the newsletter itself and the cost of your autoresponder account, you pay nothing. There is no hiring someone to stay in touch with subscribers, no cost of getting traffic to your offers and site, and no cost of staying in touch with prospectors for years to come.

An autoresponder will do its job selling for you on autopilot; that is, if you set everything up correctly. Having a good autoresponder can do many things for you. The only challenge is making it perfect.

Now, before I get into all the amazing things on how to craft the best autoresponder, I want to make sure you understand what an autoresponder sequence is and what it’s used for. Then we can get into the best type of autoresponder there is and the one that I use and I recommend you use as well.

What is an Autoresponder Series?

I am almost certain there are some of you out there who have no idea what an autoresponder series is. That’s okay. I once was clueless about it as well. Everyone has to start somewhere.

Basically, an autoresponder series allows you to set up a number of emails that get sent out in a certain order over a period of time. The more emails you stick into the autoresponder series, the more emails you have to be sent out over a time.

For example, I can write 365 emails and place them into my autoresponder which I can then set up to be sent once a day for a whole year. Those 365 emails make up my autoresponder series and the automation part of the emails are done with the autoresponder software.

It may sound confusing at first, but trust me, it’s really simple to set up. However, I don’t actually recommend that you write 365 emails to be sent out every day. That’s overkill and you will burn out those who are on your newsletter.

Among the many different types of autoresponders out there, there are five that stand out to me. These five are actually used more than any other autoresponder.

Autoresponder Series #1—The hook ‘em and sell, sell, sell, sell approach

autoresponder-series-number-1

It might seem like a good idea to do nothing except sell to everyone who signs up in your newsletter. After all, if you’re not trying to sell something, then you won’t earn anything, right? Wrong. That is one of the worst approaches by far that you can have to an autoresponder series.

Indeed, no one likes the sleazy car salesman approach. You and I hate going to car dealerships and being sold before we even step out of the car we are driving. Believe it or not, I have tried to buy a car more than once, and even before I stepped out of my car, I was already being approached by more than one salesman telling me to buy this car or that. It was not fun to say the least.

The reason someone subscribes to a newsletter is not to get promotions shoved down their throat. Their intentions were to sign up and get something in return, not be scared away because you’re telling them to buy every product you can stuff into your autoresponder series.

However, this approach does work on some occasions. For example, if you make it clear to people that when they sign up to the newsletter, they will receive promotions from you, then they will be expecting that once they have signed up.

Autoresponder Series #2—Information Overload!

autoresponder-series-number2

This type of autoresponder is one that someone took the time and effort to create in order to produce amazing content. However, what they did wrong is to have their autoresponder send out emails everyday or even multiple times a day which is a major problem.

Don’t get me wrong; having valuable and priceless information is great, but when you overload someone with your knowledge, it doesn’t matter how priceless the information may be.

That’s why the news stations don’t broadcast the news every thirty minutes. It would become more of a hassle to try and stay up to date than do the easier alternative—just tune yourself out.

The same goes for your autoresponder.

If you send out emails everyday or even multiple emails daily, it will be overwhelming to the people who are on your list. I would have to say that this is one of the worst approaches you can have to an autoresponder series.

If you do have priceless information that you want to share with your subscribers, stagger them out to be sent for a period of time. Otherwise, you will burn out your list, making your subscribers stop opening your mails. Your open rates will drop and you will end up with a dead list that won’t respond to anything you send out.

Autoresponder Series #3—The Norm

autoresponder-series-number3

There’s nothing outstanding about this autoresponder, and there’s nothing terrible about it, either. That’s why I call it the norm (normal).

I have signed up to hundreds of newsletters over the years and most autoresponders fit this type. It is widely used because it does work. However, what it lacks is the awe and excitement that an excellent autoresponder elicits. Because this is the norm, it will also just get you average results.

When I first started my business, I had this type of autoresponder; after all, it’s easy to create. However, when I saw that everyone else also had this type, I decided to build something better. I wanted to stand out from the crowd.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a good autoresponder and it can get good results when compared to others. However, it’s not my first choice anymore because it doesn’t stand out from the crowd.

Autoresponder Series #4—The One & Done

autoresponder-series-number4

Avoid this type of autoresponder at all costs. While it’s the easiest to set up, it’s not going to be very effective at doing its job.

The example above has an opt-in and one welcome email here’s some more examples of the One & Done:

Opt-in > Download my eBook
Opt-in > Buy this product
Opt-in > Go like my Facebook page

You get the idea.

The point of having an autoresponder is to have emails that are sent out automatically. If you have only one or a few emails sent out, then you can’t expect much in return.

I urge you not to create an autoresponder like the one and done. Take the time to fill your autoresponder with content and you will be so much happier in the long run.

Autoresponder Series #5—(The One I Use)

autoresponder-series-number-5-img

This is the type of autoresponder and the strategy that I use in my business. I highly recommend you use this strategy as well.

Building an autoresponder like the one I use might take you the longest amount of time to put together, but you’re going to have the most engagement with your audience. The entire point of you sending out an email is to get them opened and clicked on.

When you create an autoresponder like the one I use, you will start to see that people are looking forward to the emails you send out.

Having an autoresponder that doesn’t constantly try and sell to people shows your subscribers that they matter and that they’re not just another dollar to you.

By following this style of autoresponder, readers will get to know you gradually, and you won’t be forgotten because you are showing them why you matter.

How many times have you opted in to get an ebook and then never gotten around to reading it? I have hundreds of free ebooks I’ve downloaded that I haven’t read yet. I probably won’t get around to reading them ever.

Take a Look at a screen shot I took of how many eBooks I have on my computer:

ebook-img-screenshot

I currently have over 1,200 eBooks?!???!!?

Yea I know I get a little crazy with books. What can I say I love learning. However, I don’t think I will ever get around to reading all of these eBooks.

An email autoresponder is all about giving those who opt in your most valued content for free to show them you matter. You can even give them content that isn’t anywhere else on your site.

A good email autoresponder keeps you on your reader’s mind. Click To Tweet

How Often Do Autoresponder Messages Go Out (Message Frequency)?

Having more emails go out to subscribers is not always better for your bottom line. Like I said earlier, you want to avoid the hook ‘em and sell, sell, sell, sell approach. I’ve heard a number of people say that the more emails you send out, the more likely you’ll be successful.

That’s far from the truth.

Don’t think for one second that quantity will bring you success. Having too many emails, whether they’re good or bad, will lead to information overload for your subscribers.

I think the best approach when it comes to message frequency is to set up each one of your emails to go out every three days at most. In my own experience, I have seen the best results come from having emails with this frequency.

I currently have my Newsletter go out every seven days. I like the seven-day approach because it makes people really start to look forward to the email you send out each week.

If you take the time to craft really good emails, it will only magnify the effect you have on people.

What’s a Good Length for your Autoresponder Emails?

It’s not so much about the length of the email itself but rather the quality of the content you send out.

If you create extremely long emails that are boring and not easy to read, then it will also have a negative effect on your business.

On the other hand, if you also create really short emails that have no value whatsoever, they will have the same effect, too. I recommend you either use a currently published blog post on your site or create brand new content that’s worth its weight in gold.

Indeed, you really need to create truly valuable and evergreen content for your email subscribers.

You must understand that these emails will be sent out to everyone in the exact same order you set them up. When you have your one-thousandth subscriber, for example, they will get the same emails in a sequential order sent to them just as the very first subscriber did. That is why taking the time to craft really well-written emails is crucial to your autoresponder’s success.

If you don’t have pre-written content or blog posts you can use within your autoresponder series and your only choice is to create brand new content, your best bet is to write emails in length of 200-300 words.

Everyone gets loads of emails everyday and most people don’t have the time to sit there and read every email they see in their inbox.

Shorter emails seem to be more powerful across the board; long emails, however, are just fine too if they have epic value themselves. One of the most important aspects to creating emails is to make the email itself very easy to read and digest.

What you don’t want to do is create your autoresponder series to consist of big blocks of text. You want to use white space within your content, especially if you are sending your readers a full blog post that is lengthy.

The best way to make your emails easy to read is to use:

  • Headers
  • Bullet-point lists
  • Bold styles
  • Short paragraphs (with plenty of double-spacing between them)

This makes it easy for anyone to read your emails, period.

You need to take into account as well that your emails might be read on a huge monitor or on a tiny iPhone. No matter what device someone reads your emails on, you would want to make it as easy as possible for them to consume.

Most people who sign up to your newsletter understand that they will be receiving your emails and it’s your job to make those emails shine.

Once again, I urge you to take the time and create the most value-giving autoresponder you can think of. If you do that, then you will have people flocking to your opt-in form to gain the knowledge in which you have created.

Follow the strategies I have laid out for you in this article because it’s stuff that most internet marketers don’t do very often. I have learned over the years that giving true value to your readers will result in you never having to sell again, because everyone will already be sold on what you have to offer.

Things you need to keep in mind when crafting your autoresponder:

1. Focus on the reader first.
Obviously when you focus on the reader first before your sales, you will get more out of your newsletter and you will build a much stronger relationship with those who are on your list. Whenever you start to create your messages for your autoresponder, try and solve your readers’ problems first before you sell them on something. You’ll be guaranteed to win their hearts!

In my business, I try not to sell them at all in an email. I will create content that directs them to a blog post and then within that blog post, I talk about a product or service that they can connect with.

Content > Blogpost > Product

This is the “Autoresponder Series #5” method that I just went over.

2. Make it personal and provide value.
Don’t just throw your autoresponder emails together just to say you have one. Put the time aside to craft the emails to provide value and make it personal to the people who subscribe.

No one likes to get on a newsletter and then receive terrible emails. Don’t be like those people who have dead lists now. If it takes you a month to put together your autoresponder series, then take that time. Remember, you only need to do that once; your autoresponder will work for you until the end of time.

3. Craft an attention-grabbing subject line.
Having a well-crafted subject line is equally important as your email messages. Even if you have the most incredible messages, if they’re sent out with generic and average subject lines, you have just wasted your time creating your emails.

You must take the time to craft really good email subject lines to make sure that your emails stand out from the dozens of other emails that are in your subscriber’s inbox.

Having terrible or “okay” subject lines will only get so many people to open the emails you create. At the end of this post you can check out my article “11 Email Subject Line Hacks to Increase Your Open Rates” to better understand what works and what doesn’t work so well with email subject lines.

4. Always proofread and check your emails for errors.
I can’t stress this enough with not only your autoresponder emails, but for everything in your business as well. If you suck at grammar like I do, hire someone to go through your content to make sure it’s as polished as possible.

I have found some incredible copyeditors on places like oDesk. If you do your research and look for those few editors that have great rates and loads of reviews, you can land an incredible copyeditor to add to your team. Trust me, this is an expense that you shouldn’t overlook because having horrible grammar, punctuation, and spelling is a no no in this industry.

After all, how can you expect people to look at you as an authority figure if you have terrible spelling and grammar throughout your copy? Having an editor won’t break the bank, either.

You can hire an amazing editor anywhere from $10-20 per hour.

Depending on how fast they go through your text, you can expect to pay around $10-15 for every 1,000 words you want fixed.

5. Make your emails as easy to read as possible.
If you’re in an industry that’s very technical, try to make your emails as easy to read as possible because not everyone who opts into your list will be an expert like yourself.

You also want to make your emails have one main objective. Don’t talk about three different subjects in one email. Break it up into three emails and send them over time to your subscriber’s inbox.

Again, in your emails, use headers, bullet-point lists, bold styles, and short paragraphs with plenty of double-spacing between them. Use fonts that are easy to read; none of those cursive fonts, please!

6. Ask them to WHITELIST your email address.
In order to help ensure proper delivery of your emails to your subscribers’ inboxes, you can ask them to whitelist your email address. Whitelist, also called the Approved or Safe Sender list, is to ensure that your emails don’t automatically go to the spam folder.

I have emails like this in my autoresponder:

WHITELIST MY EMAIL

I don't want you to miss these important newsletters because they end up in your spam or junk folder! So please, "whitelist" or "safe-list" my email address - scott@scotthurtado.com - so you don't mistakenly delete them. You can whitelist my email address by saving it into your email contacts.

Thank you again for joining my free newsletter, and I wish you nothing less than success.

Cheers!
Scott Hurtado

It’s simple and direct to the point and it lets your subscribers know why they should whitelist your email address. I highly recommend you ask your subscribers to whitelist and save your email address too, so that your emails don’t get marked as spam.

7. Implement the best frequency (how often).
Like I went over earlier, you want to make sure you’re not bombarding your list with too many emails because quantity isn’t always better with an autoresponder.

I say quality over quantity works best here!

8. Don’t create a novel in every email (length).
You want to make every email count, right? It doesn’t mean though that you should send out emails that are ten thousand words long. No one in their right mind would want to read ten thousand-word emails every day! It would be draining. Your subscribers would find it easier to click delete rather than read it. Pretty soon, no one will open your emails anymore.

If you do have a lot of info that you want to share, I recommend cutting them up into multiple emails and deliver them over a course of time. Never just lump them into one gigantic message.

You can do something like this:

[1 of 4] The #1 Lesson for Building a Profitable Business Online
[2 of 4] Write this. Get More Customers.
[3 of 4] Use this Step-By-Step System to Build a Profitable Business
[4 of 4] You In? It Closes Tonight (No Exceptions)

Having emails in a series like the example above gets people excited for the next emails. When they receive the first one, they will also instantly know it’s “[1 of 4]” and will be on the lookout for [2 of 4], [3 of 4], and [4 of 4].

Having one large text cut up into smaller segments is a much better way to go than to lump one giant message into one email. It will be more effective.

9. Stay consistent (style and color).
If you’re building a brand, you need to make your style and look stay consistent. People love to feel connected to a certain type of personality and if you switch between multiple styles it might not work out well.

Try to craft everything you do with the same consistency. For example, don’t have a follow up series that goes out each week then all of a sudden change it to twice daily. It will turn the people off that are on your list because it’s not what it used to be.

At the end of the day, I can say I have gained a lot of my success from one word: consistency.

10. Add a reminder to let them know why they subscribed.
When someone unsubscribes, it’s because of one of two things. One: they don’t care about your business and message anymore, or two: they get too many emails and are just unsubscribing to clean up their inbox.

Having someone unsubscribe from your list because they longer care to be on it is something you shouldn’t worry about. On the other hand, those who unsubscribed to clean up their inbox is someone that you want to stay on because they matter. You can do this by reminding them why they subscribed.

At the bottom of all my emails, I have this message:

This newsletter is being sent to you because you subscribed to Scott Hurtado’s Newsletter at scotthurtado.com.

Here is your subscription information:

Name: {!firstname}
Email: {!email}
Subscribed on: {!date long+0}

If for any reason you do not want to receive any more valuable tips, resources and insider information about making money online and how to achieve your dreams and goals you can unsubscribe by clicking the link at the end of this email.

This little message reminds people why they subscribed in the first place. Since placing this message in my emails, I have had fewer unsubscribes than before.

11. Don’t spam to make a living.
People who spam suck. It’s as simple as that. If you build your income around spamming people, you will never build yourself up to be an authority in your market. Don’t spam, because everyone already gets enough spam in their emails each day.

12. Invite people to respond.
I haven’t ever liked those emails I get that are just epic in content and value, and all to get to the bottom and see something like this:

Please do not respond to this email. It will go unanswered.

I oftentimes encourage people to respond to me within my autoresponder. Why? For starters, it shows people that I care about them, that I am human, and not some robot that sends out emails every week.

I have emails like this in my autoresponder:

(Their name here) you know, buying courses and reading books are fine.

I myself have done a lot of that, and it helps.

But there are times when you need HELP and need it now.

There're times when you need an answer to YOUR situation and can’t wait days or weeks to get an answer.

When times like this come, what you really need is personal contact with someone who has been there and done that.

I have been there more than once when I first started. I have also had a negative bank account in the hundreds, not having a single dollar to my name.

Building four successful membership sites, writing lots of ebooks, and creating lots of products tends to take a lot of money.

But this is not about me, it's about YOU!

It's about you getting the knowledge I have gained in over 10 years work online to make it work to YOUR advantage.

If you need help, please write me and I really would love to help you.

Don’t ever be afraid to ask me for help! I built my entire business around helping people to earn money online.

There is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t ask for help when you need it, and I love to help people. It truly gives me joy in my life to share my knowledge with people.

So, I will say it again: if you need help, please write me and I really would love to help you.

I want nothing short than true success for you!
Scott Hurtado

Having emails like this shows people that I am here for them. Don’t be one of those guys who create epic emails and use an email address that says “noreply@yoursite.com” because you’re missing opportunities.

Let’s look at some pros and cons of the “noreply@yoursite.com,” which means that it is just a one way message (“do not reply”).

Pros

1. Webmail email providers such as Yahoo and Gmail automatically whitelist email addresses that users reply to.

2. Having people reply to your emails can provide you with customer feedback because you start to engage with them. At some point you can ask them questions that will provide you with feedback. Heck, they might even email you some feedback before you have the chance to ask.

Cons

1. Your emails are more likely to be flagged as spam if you use “noreply@yoursite.com” for your email address.

2. Most modern webmail and mobile email clients show your email address. Would you open email that was from noreply@domain.com? Most likely not.

3. Using a noreply@ address for your autoresponder has been shown statistically to decrease open rates and increase unsubscribe rates and complaint rates. These are all things you don’t want.

4. By using a noreply@ address for your autoresponder, your emails will always be one-sided and portray a message that you don’t want to be bugged or that you simply don’t care.

It’s a good idea not to use the “noreply@yoursite.com” for your email and also not to put messages in your emails that say “This is a one way message, do not reply.”

When someone replies to your emails that you send through your autoresponder, you’re likely to be automatically added to their contact or “Safe Sender” list. Once that happens, all future emails you will send them will go straight to their inbox.

Let people know that replies should be encouraged!

Conclusion

Building a well-crafted autoresponder doesn’t happen overnight. The same goes for building a highly active list of subscribers.

One of my main sources of income is due to my autoresponder and my list of subscribers. I am sure you hear people say all the time “the money is in the list.” I believe this is true when you put value into your list that will last for years to come.

You, I am sure, don’t want to have a huge list of subscribers that are burned out and sick of what you have to say. I see this happen all the time and it’s because of a terrible autoresponder series or having no autoresponder at all.

I couldn’t bring in the numbers I bring in without my list and I can’t stress enough that your autoresponder is a tool that can make or break you. If you have no writing skills, hire someone to craft an autoresponder for you that will get you results in your business.

Overview of the things you need to keep in mind when crafting your autoresponder:

1. Focus on the reader first.
2. Make it personal and provide value.
3. Craft an attention-grabbing subject line.
4. Always proofread and check your emails for errors.
5. Make your emails as easy to read as possible.
6. Ask them to WHITELIST your email address.
7. Implement the best frequency (how often).
8. Don’t create a novel in every email (length).
9. Stay consistent (style and color).
10. Add a reminder to let them know why they subscribed.
11. Don’t spam to make a living.
12. Invite people to respond.

Feel free to check out these other articles to help you with your autoresponder and list growth:

Starting a Newsletter and Email List

Email Marketing Checklist

3 tips to Get People to Open, Read, and Take Action with Email

Setting Up your Email Auto-responder

If you want to know what autoresponder software I use, it’s AWeber.
aweber-account-sign-up

Thanks so much for taking the time to read my article. You are AWESOME! ?

If you’re like me then you might pretend there’s someone who is working 24 hours a day to take whatever you have away from you. That way, you keep yourself in check to make you work your butt off.

If you enjoyed this article, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook.

Also please feel free to leave your comments and thoughts below. What’s working for you with your autoresponder? When did you have a breakthrough? Are there things you could improve with your autoresponder? Let me know and I will talk to you soon!

Stay AWESOME my friends,
Scott