“Email Automation” is when you create a series of emails that automatically go out, based on something that triggers them to send. In this episode of the Writing Momentum podcast, Chris and Gena discuss three different email automation series you MUST have to take your author business to the next level!
- Mailerlite: https://writing.fyi/mailerlite
- ConvertKit: https://writing.fyi/convertkit
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- Write with us! Join Chris, Gena, and Rene each Wednesday at noon Central and let’s get our writing DONE! https://www.writingmoments.com
Episode 58 Transcription:
[00:00:17].310] - Gena Hi, welcome to the Writing Momentum podcast. My name is Gena Maselli, and this is my husband, Christopher Maselli. She almost forgot my name. No, I didn't miss you. I was starting to pause because I was going to let you say your name. Oh, I see. And then I changed my mind. [00:00:32].900] - Chris I always think whenever we do this, I think of the old New Heart episodes. My name is Darrell... [00:00:37].250] - Gena What is it? My name is Darrell and this is my other brother, brother Daryl. [00:00:42].300] - Chris That's what I always think of. [00:00:43].870] - Gena Something like that. Okay. What are we talking about today? We are talking... We are continuing our series on email series for writers. And this is, I want to point out that this is writers, this is authors. This is... If you are someone who is writing as a part of your life where maybe you're a blogger or you have a book, fiction or non-fiction, you are starting to communicate and reach out to your readers, then you need to develop an email series. [00:01:16].140] - Chris Or two or three because you're building your audience. [00:01:20].080] - Gena Yes, you're building your audience. And so we've been talking about that over the last month. And we've got some goodies coming up, so please stay tuned. But we wanted to talk today about different email series that you can automate. [00:01:35].470] - Chris Yes. So normally when you send out an email, you are sending out a newsletter that you're writing it every week, or maybe you've got a one off broadcast that you want to send out and let everyone know what you're doing. So that's just an individual broadcast is what we'll call that. But then you've also got some emails that you want to go out automatically whenever someone signs up for your email list or takes a specific action or maybe doesn't take a specific action, you want to have a series of emails go out to them to try and get them excited, get them involved again. Remember, marketing is about relationships. It's about building that relationship. So to get them to build that relationship with you, you need to have some email series set up. And there are three email series in particular that we highly recommend that you use as a successful author and writer. And you'll find that if you sign up for email lists of successful writers, they usually have these. [00:02:40].830] - Gena Yes. Here's the thing. This is not just about what you can get out of your readers or building a fan base, even though that is what happens. This is about making your life easier. Much easier. Much easier. Because Chris and I have said many times that if you are a writer, whether you are a magazine writer, you are a blogger, you are an author, whatever, you are also a business and you need to operate as a business. And one of the ways that you can operate as a business is to simplify your life with email automation. So today we want to talk about three types of series, and Chris touched on them, but three types of series that you want to go ahead and write. You want an email provider that will allow you to automate so that you can input these emails so that they automatically go out to your people at key times. And then you know what? You can sit back, you set it up, you review it once every six months, once every year, something like that. But it's just working for you. So that's a no brainer. You just want to do it just to make your life easier because you don't want to waste your time with all this busy work. [00:03:53].700] - Gena You want to build that momentum by being able to automate as much as possible. Yeah. [00:04:00].980] - Chris The first series that you want to make sure that you have set up is called a Welcome Series. A Welcome series is a series of two to three emails that is triggered the moment someone signs up for your list. They usually go out in 24 hours from each other. The first one goes out the moment they sign up, 24 hours later they get number two, 24 hours later number three. Now that may seem, Oh, we're going to overwhelm them. No, not at all. When someone signs up for your list, they are never more excited about hearing from you than at that moment. So they want to receive emails from you right then. And this is a pretty easy series to write, in my opinion, because there is so much that you can give them right away. It's easy to know what to put in each email. So should we just go through each email, Gena? Sure. All right. So the first email is, first of all, just an acknowledgement that they are signed up for your list. Hey, so great to hear from you. I'm so glad you joined my email list. And then it's a saying what they should expect from you. [00:05:08].750] - Chris I'm going to be emailing you just about once a week. I promise I don't spam. Here's the kinds of things I'm going to send you. I'm going to send you emails about great tips on writing, if that's what you're doing, and then also let them know that you might be sending them offers, paid free and paid offers. It's important to say that. If you ever want to monetize your list, you want to let people know that, Hey, I might once in a while send you something that says that you might hear something you might want to buy. And then finally, it's a good idea to encourage them if they receive this email in their promotions folder in Gmail to move it to their inbox. That helps your email get directly to them in the future because Gmail has a trigger that says if someone moves something from their promotions inbox to their regular inbox, their personal inbox, it will, from that point forward, go in their personal inbox. So you want to say that, spell it out so that people do it, because then you know they're going to hear from you right away. [00:06:09].160] - Gena And I think that's really important. We have found that in email marketing. We do have to be very specific about what you want from people. You have to say, hit reply to this email, do this, click here. And sometimes you're writing it thinking, Okay, that seems redundant. Everybody knows what to do. But the truth is, people don't. You have to tell them. And so you're going to have to tell your readers exactly what to do. [00:06:36].400] - Chris That's right. Then the second email in that series that comes up 24 hours later is just a value email. And this is an email where you might point them to the things you have for them. Maybe point them to some blogs you've written. We point people to our podcast, let them know that's out there. We might let them know about a free download that we have if they haven't received that. Oh, by the way, in that first email, you do want to mention the free download in the link to it if they signed up for one. But the second one is just about value. Usually what I like to do in that email is let them know that, Hey, tomorrow I'm going to be sending you one more email before I start sending you my newsletter. That one has something really special that I want to show you. You're setting them up because in the third email in the series is a teaser to one of your main value items. What we put in there is Writing Moments because we love that people join us every Wednesday to write with us for Writing Moments. You can find out about that at writingmoments.com. [00:07:33].220] - Chris But if you don't have something like that, you might have, maybe it's your book you want to let them know about. Hey, if you don't know about my book, I've got my book available right here on Amazon. Here's what it means to me. Here's what I think it'll mean to you. That's what's in the third email. So it's a teaser to one of your main values that you have for them. And then that's it. That's it. That's what's in your welcome series. Those three things an acknowledgement, set expectations, then resources, and then finally a teaser to the main value. Once you've offered those three things, you're done with the welcome series. They won't ever receive it again, but they now feel like they've gotten to know you. And that's what the point of that series is all about. [00:08:13].650] - Gena It's really it's getting on a free way. Your regular communication is the traffic that's on the freeway. And the welcome series is like the on ramp. That's right. You're on ramping them. Is that another word? I'm just making up words today. On ramping them to your main communication so that they can be a part of your list and know what to expect and know what your tone is. And that's something else we can talk about on another podcast, but really developing your voice in your email so that people know what to expect from you when they receive emails from you. Okay, Chris, tell us about the engagement series. What is the engagement series? Because that's the second automated series that we recommend. [00:08:59].120] - Chris Yeah. So the engagement series is a series that you want to send out whenever you have something that you essentially want to sell, right? Or you want them to get involved with. So it doesn't have to be a sale. It could be, I want to get you to come and join my Facebook group, right? Or something like that. But it's a way that you're driving engagement. And so usually what we do is we'll do a series of three emails. The first one is a heads up that this thing is now available, and you tell them how awesome it is. So maybe we've got a new training course, or we've got a new book that's come out, or we've got a new Facebook group, like I said. So you have that heads up, here's what it is. You want to become a part of this now. The second email, which you might send maybe a couple of days later. This one we don't usually do in 24 hours successions because it's too much, but it may not be too much. It depends on what the item is and it depends on your audience. A lot of these things you have to take a little bit with a grain of salt because it depends on what your audience likes, right? [00:09:55].530] - Chris How they like to receive email. So the first one is the heads up it's available. The second one, we like to just offer value in this one, but tie it to that thing we're offering. So if we're offering a new training on marketing, we might have an email about how important marketing is for writers and then say, Oh, and by the way, don't forget, we have this new course. Then the third email is, Hey, this is almost gone, or this is shutting down, or This is the last day for the special price. Whatever it is that you're offering, you want to put a little bit of a time lock on it, something that makes people want to take action, and then that's the last one. Now, this engagement series does not have to be just three emails. If you have something that's really big, this may be five or 10 emails. I've seen engagement series that are that aggressive. It just depends on what it is you're offering, how important it is to what you're doing, how much you might make from it, how many people you need to have involved in what you're doing, and how much at risk you want to put people unsubscribing. [00:10:58].800] - Chris You have to find that balance. But essentially look for those three things over the course of it. The heads up, the value drive, and then the almost gone is what I like to say. [00:11:08].370] - Gena It's great. Now we're moving on to the third series, and this is the reactivation series. Reactivation is just what it talks about. If you have not heard from someone in a while, and you can determine what that is, it can be six months, it may be a year, whatever it is. But if you have not heard from someone, it may even be three months. Some people for it might be three months that they've not bought anything, that they haven't responded, that they... I don't know, other ways that they have signaled. They are not opening your emails and your email provider will be able to tell if they've opened it or not. Yes. You send out a series that asks them, Hey, do you still want to be friends? Yes. Chris has even written, Are we breaking up? Are we breaking up? Do you want to hear from me anymore? So tell us a little bit more about. [00:11:58].960] - Chris That, Chris. Yeah. So the reactivation series is triggered by a certain amount of inaction usually. So the welcome series is triggered by that action of signing up. The engagement series is triggered by you wanting to let them know about something and the reactivation series is usually triggered by some amount of inaction. We say if you're on our list, if you have not opened. [00:12:24].280] - Chris Or. [00:12:25].100] - Chris Clicked on a link in the past 10 emails we've sent you, that's usually about three months because we send about one email a week. If you haven't opened, clicked on a link in those, then we think maybe you're not that interested in being on the list. So we send a series of emails to try and reengage you, reactivate you in our list. The first one says, Are we breaking up? We're real straightforward with this. We say, Hey, we don't want to fill your inbox with a bunch of emails that you don't want. So we just want to know, are you interested in hearing from us? If so, click this link. That's all you have to do, click the link. And then our email program knows if they click a link, they're taken out of the series, they're put back into the main bunch of emails, the main bucket of people who are a part of our email list, and they're no longer part of the series. But if they don't, if they still don't take action after the Are We Breaking Up, then we send them another email a couple of days later that says, Hey, just checking in. [00:13:27].530] - Chris We're about ready to unsubcribe you from the list, but we want to make sure, do you really want us to unsubcribe you? If not, click this link. Same thing. It'll put them back in the bucket if they do click. If not, they're about ready to go. And then the third email is the bye, bye, bye email. We're so glad that you joined us at one point. We know that something disturbed your connection with us, but it doesn't look like you're interested in hearing anymore. If we're wrong about that, click this link. But if not, we promise we won't send you anymore. And then we at that point, if we don't hear from them, we roll them off the list. We literally delete them out of our list because what we don't want is to send people emails they don't want and then them to trigger it as spam. We also want to make sure that the people we're writing to are genuinely interested in hearing from us. And it increases your open rates, your engagement rates, it increases your click through rates if you get rid of the people who don't want to hear from you at that point in time. [00:14:27].220] - Chris That doesn't mean it's not a rejection. It just means right now at this point in time, that relationship isn't something that they need. And that's okay. We're happy to take people off our list because it means that our click throughs and our engagements and our open rates will go up. So you have to be okay with that. That takes a bit of... [00:14:46].540] - Gena You have to readjust your mind to that. You do. You have to readjust your mind to rolling people off your list, to purging your list with if you've got a lot of dead names or cold names, cold leads, whatever. You have to be okay with rolling them off, getting rid of them. But I like to think about it as though if you've ever cooked something down to make syrup, you put it on the stove, you have all this fruit or whatever. And as it cooks, it could be fruit, it could be pasta sauce, it could be whatever. And as it cooks down, it gets richer, it gets more fulfilling, and it just will stick to your bones a little bit more. And so that's the way it is with email list. It's okay for it to boil down a little bit to you finding those people who really enjoy hearing from you. Because here's the other tip. It's a whole lot of fun. It is a whole lot of fun to know that when you send out an email, you're going to get responses. You're going to get click through rates. You're going to get people, you're asking questions and people are answering you and saying, Oh, yeah, me too. [00:15:51].840] - Gena And then eventually, hopefully, you're also getting sales. You're selling that book, you're selling that course, you're selling whatever. So it's a lot of fun. It makes it a lot more fun when you know you're emailing people that really want to hear from you because I can tell you from experience, it's really discouraging to send out an email and see that you have about a 12 % response, a 12 % open rate. That with all the work that you're doing to write that email, to put it in that service, to get it out to people, it takes effort. Not everybody's doing it. Not everybody's not everybody's consistent with it. And so it takes that effort. Do yourself a favor, make it fun, make it easy, make it so that when you send it out to people, you're seeing that you're getting that 30, 40, 50, 60 % open rate. Then you know you're really speaking to people who want to hear from you and that are really connecting with you. [00:16:50].130] - Chris Yeah. And so the way to do that, one of the tricks is to set up these three email series that we're talking about. And I encourage you to do this week between now and the next episode that we do, actually sit down and say, Okay, I'm going to write my email series. I'm going to write my welcome series of two to three emails. I'm going to write my engagement series for one of my main items that I can choose when I want to send that out. Then I'm going to write a reactivation series to try and pull people back who seem to have rolled off my list. So go ahead and do that. Challenge yourself with that. We'd love to hear about your successes. Now is a better time than ever to go ahead and subscribe because we're going to be talking about email even more over the coming weeks. And we have some really exciting things to share with you that we're putting together for you that are absolutely free. We've got some other cool things, some of our tricks of the trade that we use that we're going to share that we think is going to help you build your audience so that when you come out with that next book, you've already got an audience that you can sell that book to, and then you can get your message out there to the world. [00:17:53].560] - Chris So we hope you've enjoyed this. Please rate, review, subscribe, and share if you have. And just remember that together, what Gena?. [00:17:59].720] - Gena We have Writing Momentum. [00:18:03].240] - Chris All right. Bye bye.