Once you've decided why you have a list (to create loyal fans who buy stuff from you), you have to decide how to communicate with those fans – either via broadcast emails, follow-up emails, or a mix of both. Both emails have a valuable place in your business.
Broadcast emails are sent in the moment. You write these then go into your mailing list host and send send them off to your entire list (or some list programs let you send to a segment).
This kind of email is ideal for sending one-time news, sending a periodic newsletter, and/or sending out promotional emails.
These emails are loaded into your mailing list program and go out automatically when a user signs up to your list. You put the emails in and select the amount of time that passes between each email.
Follow-up emails are what give an “autoresponder” its name – your email service sends these out to automatically respond when you get a new subscriber on your list.
They can also be called an autoresponder sequence, email sequence, follow-up campaign, etc.
Creating a Winning Email List
Follow-up emails are the backbone of your email campaign. They let you communicate with your subscriber automatically. You can send great content emails along to your subscriber, helping them get to know you, love you, and trust you! It's nice to get a subscriber, and this is an awesome chance to build relationship with them.
You want to balance giving away great content with other kinds of emails:
- Bonus / Freebie downloads here and there
- Emails containing a couple of paragraphs teaching something awesome in your niche
- Credibility builders (links out to articles you've written, for instance)
- Engagement emails
- Planned story arc launch sequences
Bonus or freebie downloads are self-explanatory. You probably already have a small ebook, white paper, or mp3 download that you give away to encourage someone to sign up on your list. You can give away something like this here and there throughout your campaign. This creates loyalty and a sense of reciprocity (the need to “give back”) in your subscriber.
Emails that teach something are extremely valuable to your subscriber. They're the emails where you share your teaching on something, your point of view. They give the reader high-quality information that he/she can really use.
Credibility builders help your reader see that you're an expert in your field. These can be links out to an article on your site, but mix it up and add links here and there to articles you've had published elsewhere. Guest blog posts, article directory articles, your book in an online bookstore – all of these can be worked into a link in an email and build up your status as an expert on your topic.
Engagement emails are very useful. Ask questions in these emails. You might even label them as “homework” for your reader! These get your reader thinking and actively engaged in what you're teaching. You can also send out emails where you ask your readers if they have a question for you. Remember, you can't spend all your time answering questions, but you can send a response out with a quick answer and questions to provoke more thought. If you keep getting questions from the same person, refer them to the product that will help them.
Your email sequence also gives you the chance to implement small launch sequences, or story arcs leading to a product recommendation. You can and should include these throughout your entire campaign – you want your subscriber to realize you're selling something.
Remember what you discovered in the last post in this series… your subscriber isn't just a consumer of your content. He/She is a loyal fan that can really benefit from the product(s) you offer. Build those offers up over a section of your email campaign, leading your visitor from the “getting to know you” phase to trusting you and realizing how much your products and courses can help him/her.
Combining the Two
You can combine the Broadcast and Follow-Up emails. Don't be afraid to launch a product via Broadcast here and there. Or, send a weekly newsletter to update your list on changes and additions to your website. Maybe you'll announce a holiday special, a new project, a new baby, or something else you feel you should share. These add life to your campaign.
A solid follow-up campaign with a broadcast sprinkled here and there keeps your list engaged, loyal, and ready to see how you can help them.
Photo by ms.akr