Inside the Copywriting Course forum, email marketing questions come up every day.
That’s why we’re creating our second cohort of 2021 around email autoresponder campaigns (it’ll roll out on June 1st, 2021).
In it, we’re going to be teaching how to build a 3-5 email autoresponder that sells something.
Here are a few reasons why autoresponders are so important:
#1) Autoresponders can create passive income.
There’s a ton of advice out there about creating passive income online.
But, there’s really only one strategy that actually works for any business - email autoresponders.
As long as you’re building a healthy site with good content and good products/services, you should be able to sell something to your list with an autoresponder.
All you have to do is build a simple, timed campaign that gives the readers value and then sells them something relevant. That can be as simple as:
- Tuesday → Email #1: Good stuff.
- Thursday → Email #2: Good stuff + soft sell.
- Saturday → Email #3: Sell.
Once you hit “send”, those emails will go out on whatever schedule that you set.
It’s sort of like having a robot version of yourself who shows up in someone’s inbox every few days. Meanwhile, the real you can be somewhere else.
This is one of the most valuable aspects of autoresponders - you just set it up and let the system run your campaign.
A few years ago, Neville was visiting India and got stuck without internet right when a major launch was about to happen.
Normally, this would be a disaster.
But, because he’d prepped everything on an autoresponder, the campaign launched smoothly and sales rolled in automatically.
That only happens with autoresponders.
If you build it the right way and focus on providing value, you’ll make sales and make your readers look forward to future emails.
#2) Autoresponders can build a blog.
Check out these two images showing traffic on NevBlog and CopywritingCourse (formerly KopywritingKourse).
This is what happens when you don’t build an email list.
This chart is similar to what happens with most websites.
People put in a ton of work, try out a bunch of tactics, and maybe even create great stuff…but in the end, their traffic mostly stays the same. There’s little to no growth.
This is what happens when you build an email list and use an autoresponder.
This chart shows significant, steady traffic growth.
The difference here is that Copywriting Course uses an autoresponder that showcases our best content (it’s the same one we used before changing over from “KopywritingKourse”).
It’s a simple addition to make, but it creates a massive difference from the reader’s perspective.
Nevblog user journey:
Random person finds the website.
Random person reads some cool stuff and signs up for the email newsletter.
Random person receives emails, but they are random and hit-or-miss.
→ Result: That person disappears.
KopywritingKourse user journey:
Random person finds the website + immediately signs up for emails.
That person immediately starts receiving great emails with valuable content.
That person goes from “random” to “audience member”, who enjoys our emails and actually looks forward to reading them.
→ Result: That person stays around for a long time and might buy something.
The difference here is the autoresponder. It’s a fantastic way to show off the best content you’ve ever created and quickly turn the random reader into a real fan who trusts you and enjoys your material.
Secret benefit: A “greatest hits” autoresponder is really easy to make - all you have to do is literally load your best articles into your email provider. You’re repurposing content you already know works, without doing extra work!
#3) Autoresponders let you load up a sale (and repeat it).
Here’s a little secret about our sales campaigns - we reuse content from past years.
For example, if you’ve been on this list for multiple years, you may have noticed us repeat elements from Black Friday 2019 to Black Friday 2020, or Black Friday to New Year’s.
That’s because email campaigns can show you exactly what worked well and what didn’t. Every time we run a new campaign, we can cherry pick the best points and drop the ones that flopped.
It’s a quick way to make big improvements in your email content and your sales strategy.
This can help you project sales, build on past wins, and create campaigns relatively quickly.
With most email service providers, you can see each email’s performance data in one place. Plus, you can copy/paste specific images or text from one email directly into a new one.
#4) Autoresponders can help you make your first sale.
Your welcome email is probably going to be the #1 most opened email you ever send out to your list.
When readers sign up for your emails, your brand is fresh in their head and they’re probably looking forward to receiving something from you.
That’s why your welcome campaign can be a great place to try and sell something to new subscribers.
Ecommerce stores do this all the time. They’ll often send out a brief welcome series before transitioning to the regular newsletter.
Here’s an example from a company that sells chewable energy supplements:
The last email in the campaign is a simple offer with a 20% off coupon:
This is a simple way to make your first sale.
You know that new readers are going to be extra-engaged with your emails, so all you have to do is make them an offer while welcoming them to your list.
It’s not just an ecommerce thing, either. Any brand in any niche can give new readers a welcome offer via an autoresponder.
(Just make sure you’re offering plenty of value in your autoresponder before asking for the sale!)
#5) Autoresponders can get new subscribers up to speed.
It can be a little awkward to throw a new subscriber into a busy email newsletter.
For example, if you send daily emails with a bunch of sales….it can feel a little overwhelming.
Welcome autoresponders are great because you can use them to get new people up to speed with what’s going on. Sort of like a “start here” resource that prepares them for the regular newsletter.
You can tell them:
- What sort of content to expect.
- How often they’ll receive emails.
- Who they can email for help and support.
Since you probably have people signing up from different pages with different offers, this is a great way to get everyone on the same page before they dive into your regular email newsletter.
At the same time, a welcome campaign is a great place to introduce yourself, your team, and your brand. This is a great way to tell personal stories and build a deeper relationship with your readers.
Laura Belgray sends out a welcome email that acts as a great personal introduction and feels like a natural conversation with a new friend.
#6) Autoresponders can deliver a personalized service
Autoresponders don’t just have to be welcome emails and big sales campaigns. They’re also a great way to give your readers “personal” attention, automatically.
For example, a growing trend with restaurants and other local businesses is to collect a customer’s birthday info and send them a small offer every year.
It’s usually connected to a relatively small offer, like a free dessert or a free drink. Really, though, it’s just an excuse to show up in your reader’s inbox, give them something nice, and then invite them to come on down to your location.
Here’s how one of my local coffee shops does it:
This is from a local coffee shop that sends out automated birthday offers.
Personalized autoresponders aren’t limited to birthdays. You can also send people automatic emails for:
- Relevant national days, like National Dog Day for customers you know own dogs.
- Relevant religious events or special days, like Easter for Christian readers.
- Relevant political moments, like Obama’s birthday for Democrats.
Basically, if you find something that people care about, you can probably create an autoresponder for it.
The most common email questions we get are:
Question: Which email service provider should I use?
Answer: They’re all pretty similar and good at what they do these days.
The main providers like Mailchimp, Aweber, ConvertKit, Drip, Infusionsoft, and Klaviyo all offer all-in-one packages that let you organize your subscribers, build autoresponders, and track basic behavior.
Mailchimp and ConvertKit offer free plans, Klaviyo is a little more geared towards ecommerce, and Drip lets you run multiple lists from one account. But really, they all accomplish the same things, so just choose one and get started!
Question: How often should I send emails?
Answer: Here are a few rules you can follow:
- Be consistent. Whether you email daily, weekly, or monthly, stick to a schedule.
- Be valuable. Teach, curate, entertain, or something else that’ll get your readers to look forward to your emails.
- Be “long term”. Treat your readers with respect and don’t get annoying.
- Use the 70% content, 30% sales formula. Spend most of your time delivering a ton of value and then ask for a sale. This is the formula that worked for AppSumo, CopywritingCourse, and a ton of other brands over the last 10+ years.
Focus on being valuable. If you’re delivering helpful, useful content in your emails, most people will look forward to reading them.
Things like subject lines, preview text, and whether to send 7 or 10 emails really don’t matter as much as creating a great relationship with your audience.
Want to learn more about autoresponders?
We’re running a cohort that starts on June 1st, 2021.
In it, you’ll learn the ins and outs of automated email campaigns, what’s currently working best for us, and how to design the right kind of offer and content.
The cohort will include several presentations you can watch at your own pace. The majority of the work will be done in-person on multiple calls every week.
There is a ton of personal attention as we build our autoresponders together.
By the end of the month, you will have a 3-5 email autoresponder that sells something specific to your audience.
The only prerequisites are that you:
- Already sell something online, whether it’s products or services.
- Have an email list of at least 500 people.
If you’re interested, you can sign up on the waitlist here: