It’s easy to ask visitors to surrender their email addresses to you… only to ignore them and to forget that they probably have money to spend on your products or services.
It’s not good enough to send newsletters and blog posts, they’re not going to lure people out to make purchases. That’s one thing I know my clients are sure of, is that emails bring more sales than newsletters can.
So what many of my clients do is focus on nurturing their subscribers.
They use cleverly crafted content and send them in automated emails to their subscribers. They use Autoresponder systems like AWeber, MailChimp and Infusionsoft to do this for them.
Just so we’re clear, autoresponders are not your ‘out-of-office’ automated messages that you set up for when you’re away from your email.
I’m talking about emails prepared well ahead of time and scheduled to be sent upon trigger to help you build a relationship with each of your subscribers.
Brands like yours use them because they see their subscribers as potential customers, not as newsletter or blog post readers. They are aware that if they ‘talk’ the right ‘talk’ to these subscribers, they will become valuable leads.
Why send autoresponders?
In order for subscribers to buy from you, you need to win their trust, because not everyone is an impulse buyer.
Although your website may be designed to get people to buy right away, the majority of your visitors would need time to think or need convincing in order to make a purchase.
Maybe they sign up to get to know you through your newsletter or blog posts.
Or they want to sit on your list and wait for a discounted rate.
In some industries, people buy right away. Let’s take milk and bread as examples. We don’t spend a week thinking about which bread to buy.
But for other things like clothing, homewares and computers, our decision-making process is a lot longer. So it’s better to follow up to make the sale.
Won’t I annoy my subscribers?
Whether they opted in for free content or got onto your list after making a purchase, your subscribers surrendered their email addresses to you for you to send relevant information and offers that they can use.
They willingly asked for content.
So without spamming them, use an autoresponder series to start a conversation and make things more personal when sending that content.
How does an autoresponder series work?
But, you would set the sequence of emails on trigger – this means the emails are only sent when something happens. Maybe you set it to send an email 3 days later if the subscriber downloads the free resource you sent him in the first email.
With email autoresponders, you are following up in a way that’s non-intrusive. You’re being friendly, thoughtful and adding value so you won’t be annoying your prospects.
We like to say it’s the internet marketing to your email list for you while you sleep.
You need to personalise it. So if your opt-in box isn’t personalised to include names, modify your box today!
What do I write about?
When people sign up to your mailing list, they want you to send them tips, offers and news, anything that can help them solve their problems.
It’s important then, to grab their attention while you still have it.
Here are some things to consider:
- Listen more than you talk. So ask for feedback, questions and input.
- Send a survey or perhaps a book to review.
- Spoon-feed information to them.
- Say something interesting about each topic you’ve written about on your blog.
- Ask them about the main problem they’re facing. What is it? Have they found a solution yet? How can you help?
- Add one call to action per email. If your email is long, repeat the call to action.
- Use strong headlines to encourage people to open the email.
If you wrote a book and offered it to your subscribers, assume that they’ve never read it. Because people don’t always have time to read your free resources, therefore you can transfer the content into your series. Take the key points from your free resources and talk about them in your emails.
You don’t have to think of an offer each time your email goes out. The best way to control your content is to provide 80% useful emails, and then only 20% of your sequence can contain offers.
Do I have to ‘talk’ to each subscriber?
You don’t have to make your content talk to every single subscriber but you do have to send to all of them, because you can’t guess who’s going to buy from you.
Write your content in a way that your ideal customer will be enticed.
Also write it so that you can easily disqualify those who may never buy from you.
If you segmented your list – for example if you sell clothing for men and women and you asked subscribers to tick their gender when subscribing – then send the right email to the right person. A man won’t want to open an email that screams “50% off your favourite skirts”.
What if people leave my list?
That’s a good thing. You don’t want to maintain a list of people who will never buy from you. Those who leave – just like those who stop following your Facebook page – are not your ideal customers.
Let them go.
What does a typical autoresponder series look like?
Autoresponders vary in sizes. However, autoresponders designed for marketing all try to do the same thing – make a sale.
Here’s a brief look at what a short series would look like:
- First email sends out a free resource
- Second email sends out a quick intro
- Third email talks about services or products you’re offering
- Fourth email presents a testimonial, interview or case study
- Fifth email provides a short story, a survey or perhaps links to external articles
- Final email includes an offer, for example a discount code or a free consultation.
Are you using an autoresponder series to help drive sales? Let us know below so we can sign up to see how yours work. If you would like to discuss your autoresponder, find me on Google+.
Rhonda Chapman is a freelance copywriter and owner of Marketing Storytelling. Rhonda works with business owners and entrepreneurs to write their brand stories through persuasive and influential content, to attract and engage their audiences and drive sales.