Auto-responder emails are something small business owners know about, have heard about and know they should have some in place, but often they struggle with actually implementing them. They worry they’ll annoy their mailing list by bombarding them with unnecessary salesy emails or lose subscribers from their lists if they bug them too much.
So how can you set up and maintain a successful auto-responder email sequence? Here are some tips to get you started.
Tip #1: It’s not about selling
The first thing to remember is this – if you’re worried about bombarding your list or selling too hard to them… then don’t! You see, auto-responder emails don’t have to be hard sells and they don’t have to be sent out every other day. If you feel that isn’t what your list members are after, then don’t go down that route.
Auto-responder emails are designed to build on the relationship you have started with those on your list. They signed up because they were interested in hearing more about you and what you have to offer them – so build on that. Let them know a little about who you are and show that that you relate to them, know what bugs them and can help get them past their problems.
Tip #3: Share knowledge
Use these emails to share the knowledge you have – to show your expertise. Give them information and advice that is important to them. Share what you know and help move them forward in some way – and encourage them to share that knowledge with others too.
Tip #4: Keep selling to a minimum
You CAN sell in these auto-responder emails, but keep the more salesy emails to only one in every four or five emails. It’s up to you to find out whether your email list respond better to the harder selling emails (those sent to specifically highlight a product/service) or those with a more ‘soft-sell’ approach (giving general helpful information and linking it to one of your services/products).
A call to action is something you want your readers to do, once they’ve you’re your email. This can be encouraging website visits, clicking on a link, purchasing a product, connecting on social media or sending you a reply. The only rule to call to actions is to only have one per email.
Tip #6: Mention the link URL in three places
Whenever you want your readers to click on a URL, make sure you mention the link three times – twice in the content and once in the PS section. This makes it crystal clear what action you want them to take – and the PS is often the second-most read part of your email!
Tip #7: Be a regular
Finally, lots of small business owners worry about when to schedule their auto-responder emails, as there’s so much contradictory advice out there. Some say to stick to a regular day of the week, others mention varying the days and times – but the only REAL rule is to make sure whatever you’re doing – keep doing it. You want your readers to look forward to receiving your emails and, with so many cheap and/or free auto-responder programs out there, you can schedule as many in advance as you like.
How do you use email to build a relationship with your mailing list? Do you prefer to stick to a set day each week or do you vary the days you send emails? Why not share your experiences and advice in the comments box below!
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