Writing an effective email sequence

Recently I have been working on the start of three autoresponder sequences in readiness for my product launch. One for the clients who buy my main product, one for those who buy the downsell and another for those who get the free ebook. I will also need another for those who buy the upsell, but that will be tied into the content of the upsell and should be easier to put together.

Before you start writing any emails it’s important to be clear about the specific purpose of the sequence. Usually it is to move prospects further into your sales funnel while establishing yourself as a helpful expert.

You can do this by providing case studies, testimonials, reliable advice, trust building anecdotes, etc. Decide on a period of time and allocate one of these topics plus others for each week. For example in week one you may introduce a benefit you offer, the next week mention results some of your customers are getting, the following week provide some useful information, and so on. If you don’t yet have customers or testimonials you’ll have to use the other options at the start of the sequence until you do have this type of material. You can also use some emails to send your readers to previous posts on your blog.

If there are evergreen products in your niche that you want to promote you can build them into the sequence. The ratio of promotions to useful content that you post is likely to be related to what your niche will tolerate, but some marketers insist that it’s a matter of managing your list’s expectations. However it is usually advised that you deliver more content than sales pitches.

Once you have identified the purpose of your autoresponder sequence combine this with your knowledge of your type of customer and start thinking about the ‘voice’ you are going to use in your emails. For example how you write emails aimed at a business man is going to be different from one’s aimed at retired people or parents.

Emails at the start of the sequence should be sent more frequently than those later on. For example you might send an email every couple of days and then spread them to one a week. There are essentially two reasons for this. When they have first signed up they are more likely to be interested in any promotions you send out. If you don’t communicate with them for a week or so at the start they may have forgotten who you are and why they joined your list and will be less likely to interact with you and more likely to unsubscribe.

Usually the start of a sequence is sent immediately and is a quick greeting, checking they have accessed the ethical bribe that you offered them at opt-in and telling them briefly what to expect next. You could mention how they can white list your emails so they don’t miss the content you’re about to send them and also help them by pointing out that a certain word or phrase will always be in your future email subject lines.

Once you have set up your sequence with this first email you can start planning the follow up messages.

One way you can plan these is to think about the journey they are going to share with you over the coming months. The way you enticed them to join your list should be an indication of their level of expertise. Think about how you can help them build on this. What should they be taught next? What should you show them in the next step, and so on? With this as a framework you should be able to start writing your email sequence.

Whatever the content, you need your emails to be read. Here are 3 tips for making this more likely.

1. Use attention-grabbing subject lines.

It’s likely your readers will be receiving a lot of emails each day. To help yours stand out try to come up with subject lines that engage your reader’s curiosity. Including a constant phrase in the subject line can help.

2. Use short paragraphs.

If your email appears to be dense with words your readers may decide it will take too long to read and move on to other emails.

Keep paragraphs short.

They can even be a single sentence!

3. Use numbers or bullets.

This is another way of condensing the content. Numbers and bullets can highlight where the main content of your message starts so it helps your reader if they are hoping to deal with their emails quickly.

Writing an effective email sequence is not always as easy as you might think. Hopefully the above has been of some help.

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