Email automation is about simplifying your life.
This post is going to discuss the specifics of automating your emails. This will drastically reduce the time spent in following up with your email subscribers.
I can hear the question now. “But what if I don’t have any email subscribers”? That topic was thoroughly covered in a previous post. So this one is simply an add-on, if you will. If you’re having trouble getting subscribers then read that post FIRST.
This post will cover:
- What email automation is
- How it can benefit you
- Setting up the automation (the meat and potatoes)
- Summing Up Automation
- Email templates you can use
If you already know what automation is and the benefits of it, you can skip down to the meat and potatoes section of setting up the automation.
Email Automation Defined
As the title suggests, email automation is “a way to create emails that reach the right people with the right message at the right moment—without doing the work every time.”
It’s a method of following up with your subscribers automatically. But you create the emails beforehand, set up the sequence (how and when they will display) and guide your followers to take certain actions. Depending on which actions they choose to take, this will dictate which emails are sent.
Authors, in particular, will benefit immensely from this. How?
By following this method you can direct people to sign for your ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) TEAM automatically. That TEAM is really the bread and butter for all authors. Because they’re going to provide reviews for your book(s).
Benefits of Automation
Some of the benefits of setting up automation may not be obvious. So let’s discuss them, after we list those benefits.
Some of the benefits are:
- It’s automatic and doesn’t require much intervention
- You can nurture leads
- Personalize the customer’s experience
- Saves time
- Can boost your revenue significantly
Most all of the work is done upfront in setting up the automation. Once it’s set up then it’s just a matter of turning it on to send prospects through. You may occasionally modify the sequence or some of the emails within, but that’s your choice.
Automation, even more so than just email marketing by itself, is all about building a relationship with your prospects. Depending on which automation they proceed through, your prospects should feel as if they are apart of your team. This is accomplished through carefully crafted emails.
Personalize Customer Experience
This fits right in with the nurturing and relationship building of automation. By personalizing their experience, your customers will feel a sense of belonging and apart of your brand. For authors this is especially crucial.
Your readers have SO MANY choices to choose from, personalizing their interactions builds trust and likeability. It’s once that trust and likeability is established, when sales will begin to occur more frequently and referrals will happen automatically.
It may not seem like it at first, but over the long haul, automation saves a TREMENDOUS amount of time and effort. After the initial set up, modifications will only be required every now and then.
Boosts Your Revenue
Perhaps the biggest and best benefit of automation, boosting your bottom line will be discovered over time. As a consequence of all the above benefits, your revenue will begin to skyrocket. But, as with most worthwhile things, this will occur over a period of time.
Setting Up The Automation
This section is really going to be tailored to authors specifically. We’re going to discuss exactly how to set up the automation because, with the correct structure in place, your success is all but guaranteed.
This section is also going to be tailored to utilizing the Mailerlite email marketing service. Why? Two reasons; it’s extremely author friendly and, over the long run, it’s much more inexpensive then other email marketing companies. This means for 10,000+ subscribers you’re going to be charged less by Mailerlite then other services.
(*** Yes, the above Mailerlite link is an affiliate link and is used to offset the costs of maintaining this blog/website. But, you also receive $20 when you sign up with the link so you can offset your costs in the future. Initially, there are no costs to offset with Mailerlite because it’s free for the first 1,000 subscribers ***)
Adding A Group
All subscribers that join your list are placed in a “GROUP” (this is a Mailerlite term) called Readers. Now you may be wondering how to get subscribers in the first place. Please refer to this post about joining promotions to boost your subscriber base. It works perfectly and will garner you from 300 – 500+ subscribers per month.
So all new subscribers go into a group, in Mailerlite, called Readers. Here’s how you do that.
- Join Mailerlite
- After joining and logging in, you’ll be presented at the Dashboard. Across the top of the Dashboard there are six (6) options:
- Click on “Subscribers”
- Under Subscribers there are six (6) options:
- All Subscribers
- Clean Up Inactives
- Click on “Groups”
- Click on “Create Group” (on the right side in orange)
- In the popup type “Readers” and click Create
Congrats, you just created a your first Group. Now, following the same sequence above, create a second group called ARC. You should now have two groups: Readers and ARC.
You’re ready to set up the automation. The fun part begins. Do this once and you’re set.
So return to the Mailerlite Dashboard. Click on Automation in the main menu, across the top. Then click on Create Workflow (in orange) on the right side.
In the center of the screen it’s going to say, “set up workflow trigger”. On the right side is where you edit information. Here you’re going to enter a “workflow name” and “workflow trigger”.
Workflow name can be anything but make it unique, such as Potential ARC TEAM. For workflow trigger choose (from the drop down) “when subscriber joins a group”. Next you have to choose which group, when joined, is going to trigger this automation. Choose the group “Readers”. And click Save.
In other words, this entire automation is set in motion when a subscriber joins the group called “Readers”. Therefore, EVERY SUBSCRIBER enters this automation because every new subscriber gets placed in that “Readers” group.
Add A Step To Automation
Now let’s add a step to the workflow. Click on “+” in the middle of the screen. Where it says “Add a next step to your workflow”, click EMAIL.
On the right side of the screen you’re going to design your first automation email. Type in:
- A subject line, such as “Welcome to (whatever you want to say)”
- Who the email is from (a name)
- Who the email is from (an email address)
- Click on Design Content to create the email content
Design An Email For Automation
You’re going to be taken to a screen to design your email and will be offered templates to use, if you haven’t created a generic template for yourself. Choose the best options for your business.
Construct the email, preview and send a test to yourself. Recommendation: in that first email you’re going to want to offer the option of joining your ARC TEAM. If the person joins your ARC then they are sent another email to welcome them to your ARC TEAM (that’s another section of the automation that has to be created).
Once complete with your first email, click on “Done editing” in the upper right corner.
(*** Recommendation: when setting up your first email, save it as a “template”. Include in that template the following items:
- Your logo at the top
- Your signature at the bottom
- You can include the body of the email, in the template. You’ll just have to change it each time you create a new one.
- (Optional) Design your footer information ***)
At this point, you’re back to the overview of your automation sequence. To add another step to the workflow, click on the “+” sign. This time you’re going to want to select a delay. So where it says, “Add a next step to your workflow” click on DELAY.
Select how long of a delay you want between the emails, on the right side of the screen, by entering a number in the box . For example, one day would be good.
Now, do you remember you offered a chance to join your ARC TEAM in the first email? Depending on whether or not the subscriber joined your ARC will determine what email that subscriber is sent next.
To add another step to the workflow click the “+” sign. This time for “add another step to this workflow” click on CONDITION.
On the right side of the screen, it says “create condition” Select “any rule”. Below that it says “condition”. From the drop down menu select “Group membership”. And then select your ARC group.
If the subscriber took you up on your offer to join the ARC TEAM then they will be sent a different email from a subscriber who decided not to join your ARC.
Therefore, you’re sending two (2) emails in the next step. But those emails are different, depending on whether or not the subscriber joined your ARC.
Summing Up Automation
You’re going to want to continue setting up the automation and present each subscriber with about three or four opportunities to join your ARC TEAM. Some subscribers may take you up on the offer, some may not.
Never worry if someone doesn’t join your ARC or even if they unsubscribe. Why? Because you want to grow a list of RAVING FANS who want to hear from you. If someone unsubscribes then they weren’t interested in your books. No big deal. Bring on the next subscriber.
If you follow the step-by-step instructions in this other post about joining MULTIPLE PROMOTIONS every month (which should be read first) then you’ll never run out of a consistent flow of subscribers and potential ARC members.
Now, you may be wondering what to convey in your emails to subscribers and how to convince them to join your Review Team. If you’d like a copy of those emails then contact Dani or a team member. Simply mention “email templates for automation” in the subject.
It’s important to note here, you’re going to want to set up landing pages to work in conjunction with your automation. Landing pages are used to direct people to certain groups.
That’s a topic for our next post, which will be coming soon. So be sure to follow Dani’s blog and be kept up-to-date.
One last thing…
If you enjoyed this article then please leave a comment below and/or share it with other authors. Have them join you in building their massive email list utilizing group promotions.
If you haven’t already, make sure to join our Facebook group called Authors Unite For Promos. A couple author associates and myself run several promotions every month and we’d love to have you get involved. Within the Facebook group you’ll find out what the name of our latest group promo is and how to join.
TOGETHER, let’s grow our email lists to enormous proportions! 🙂