How to Write an Autoresponder Email Series That Engages Your Email Subscribers From Day One

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Congratulations! You’ve got your blog up and running, your lead magnet giveaway sorted to entice new subscribers and a landing page all set up. Now you’re ready to start inviting people to join your subscription list...

But hang on a minute!

What happens to your subscribers once they grab their freebie? What are you doing to make sure they stay on your list and engage with you and your brand? If you’re sitting there, hyperventilating because you hadn’t even thought about what to do with your subscribers after they jumped on your list, worry no more.

This blog post is going to tell you EXACTLY what to do to engage your subscribers from the day they join your email list.

Before You Start:

Before you get too excited, let’s make sure you’ve got yourself set up the right way with the following in place:

  1. An enticing lead magnet (why would someone hand over their email address to join your list?)
  2. A landing page that is only focused on “selling” them that lead magnet
  3. An email service provider that is equipped to handle automation or autoresponders

For the purposes of this blog post, we’re going to assume that you have all of these items in place.

If you’re ready, jump to the next section.

How to Create an Engaging Autoresponder Series

For the purposes of this autoresponder series that I’m going to take you through below, let’s say that you’re a lifestyle blogger with a focus on DIY projects.

Your lead magnet might be a list of your most popular DIY projects for the home office and in this PDF ebook, you provide not only this list, but also how to implement each of those projects.

In addition to this freebie, you also have some paid services, a course that offers advice on how to set up a blog from scratch and you also offer some 1on1 coaching.

Now that we’ve set the scene, let’s get started on how to write your autoresponder series that will go out after your new subscriber confirms their details to access the free ebook...

Email 1: Welcome (plus free opt-in lead magnet)

This is your welcome email. It will be sent to everyone who subscribers to your list or opts-in for your lead magnet.

This first email will deliver the freebie and welcome them to your list. It will also provide them with a brief introduction about who you are and how often you’ll be emailing them over the next week or so.

Be clear, tell them you will be sending them a few more emails over the next week or two and after that after this time, they will be moved to your newsletter, which is delivered weekly (or twice per month, whatever your time frames are).

Small things like this will help reduce your unsubscribe rate, which is very important.

Here’s an example to help you get started with your own:

How to create an autoresponder series with Mailchimp (examples)

Email 2: Did you get it?

This is going to be the first follow up email. This email is known as the “check in” email.

You’d be surprised at how many people sign up to your email list and then forget to download your freebie.

So this check in email serves two purposes. First, it reminds people about your free lead magnet and second, it gets people used to opening (and receiving) emails from your email address.

This email should be short and to the point, just give them the link to your download and ask them to let you know if they’ve had any problems.

Here’s a quick example of how that looks in practice:

How to create an autoresponder series with Mailchimp (examples)

While this is a simple email, it’s powerful...

The sooner you can introduce the idea of clicking (either to reply or on a link) to your tribe, the better. You want them to get into that habit, it will come in handy later, particularly when you want them to buy from you...

Email 3: Getting a Little Personal

In this email, you’ll get to tell your new subscribers about your story.

If you’ve written a blog post about this before, include it in this email, with a brief summary of what’s covered, so that those who just want the cliff notes version, don’t have to read the full story.

The point of this email is to make your new subscribers feel more connected to you.

Here’s an example of what this might look like:

How to create an autoresponder series with Mailchimp (examples)

When you take the time to let people see that you’ve struggled, you can build a personal relationship — it's laying the foundation for the future.

Email 4: Tips and Tactics

In this next email, you’ll want to find a balance between selling and offering value.

With new subscribers, it’s always a good idea to offer as much value as you can to build trust in your email list.

How to create an autoresponder email series in Mailchimp

Email 5: Testimonials

Here is where we start to build up a slightly harder push to start selling your products and services. This is easy to do if you’ve already got a product or service in place that has been able to help others. If that’s the case, and you don’t have any testimonials yet, go and ask for some! All you need is one or two testimonials to get the ball rolling.

If your offering is brand new, consider giving it away for free to a couple of friends in exchange for a testimonial: problem solved. The most important part of having a testimonial is it helps you provide proof to potential customers that what you are offering does work.

Let’s take a look at how that looks in the next email in the autoresponder series:

How to create an autoresponder email series in Mailchimp

What testimonials do is connect your readers. The idea here is to identify a testimonial that really speaks to your target audience. They want to see someone who is just like them who has been able to achieve the end result they are looking for.

If you are able to do that, your path to selling something more than just your services has become much easier.

Email 6: Officially Introduce What You Are Selling

Here is where you take the next step in the selling process. If you’re not comfortable with doing this, or you’re not quite ready, you could instead provide them with links to your top five blog posts or projects. You could also tell them about your resources page here too.

But if you do have something to sell, here’s what the next email might look like:

How to create an autoresponder email series in Mailchimp

And now for the finale…

Email 7: The Full Sell

Here’s where you finally push for the sale. Since you’ve been working your way through the list offering your subscribers a lot of value, the pitch won’t seem awkward or out of place here. At least it shouldn’t.

Again, if you don’t have anything to sell just yet, why not consider doing a quick tutorial video instead? Anything that builds on your last email is ideal.

Here’s an example of a gentle sell email for a product or service:

How to create an autoresponder email series in Mailchimp

And there you have it; seven emails to send out to your new subscribers that will not only engage them, but will keep them on your list, particularly if you continue to provide them with value in your newsletter. You might even get some sales out of it if you’ve identified your target audience right from the start.

To create your own, do the exercise below.

Create your own autoresponder series

Consider the goals of your autoresponder:

  • What is your final outcome?
  • Plan out your email series and what each email will say, they need to link on from each other
  • Don’t forget to ask for the sale!

Here's how the autoresponder series emails look like in Mailchimp:

Click to enlarge.

This has been a guest post by Lise Cartwright, the master of everything freelance. So what do you think? Are you ready to get those fingers working at write your own autoresponder email series for your subscribers? If you have any questions, feel free to write them in the comments below and they will be answered!

Lise Cartwright, Guest Blogger

Lise Cartwright is a Freelance Writer, Full-Time Author, and Coach who’s on a mission to help others be successful in their side hustle or freelancing career utilizing sites like Upwork, Fiverr, Etsy and Amazon. You can connect with her on Pinterest and Twitter, where she shares even more tips and tricks.