Yesterday I was explaining the new class to Jay, and we got to chatting about how the indie wrestling company he works with could use automagical email series to entice fans to come to their shows. As we were talking he said (as he often does), “You have to write about this!”
So, here it is, 7 specific ways you can use an automagical email series. Even though I'm sharing ideas I've recommended to other clients and students, very few tiny creative businesses are doing this. The ones who do (and thus, provide regular, relevant, interesting content to new subscribers) stand out. They start building deeper relationships because they're the only people connecting on such a regular basis. So try it!
- If you hold an event with a roster of people (like a wrestling show or an art retreat), create an autoresponder that introduces your readers to the performers or teachers. In each email, include an interview with one and a bit about their background. At the end of each email, invite the reader to your event or that teacher's specific class.
- When I consulted with a retailer-focused tech start-up, I helped them write a Pilot Program autoresponder for their first users. The emails started by walking users through the steps of getting set up (first do this, now do this) and ended with a questionnaire to collect the kind of feedback my client needed to improve the product.
- During a one-on-one session with author Heather, we brainstormed a series for her book launch. In each email, she introduced readers to a different designer featured in the book, with an interview and pictures of their design. After the launch, she can turn this into an autoresponder, so that every new subscriber (who signs up because they're interested in the book) can have the same get-to-know-us experience.
- While consulting with a small dress company, I suggested they use the blog content they've already created – interviews with their customers about their fashion – and turn it into an autoresponder for new newsletters subscribers. The emails will introduce a new customer/fashion icon each week, along with a link to her favorite dress.
- If you sell a physical product, collect the questions you've received from customers. Answer the questions in an autoresponder. Bonus! Once you write this and put it in your autoresponder, you'll never have to rewrite it! People won't ask as often (because you're already answering it!) and when you do get asked the question, you can link to the specific message that holds the answer.
- At a craft show, ask enthusiastic customers if you can snap their picture and include it in your newsletter. (Don't be shy! Most people are delighted to be “featured”). Ask them why they bought it or how they plan to do it and write their answers, in their exact words. Start your autoresponder with 1 or 2 from the first show, and add to it after each additional show.
- If you wholesale, send your best retailers a few (2 or 3) questions about their shop. Which one of your products sells best? How do they display it? (Ask for pictures of it displayed.) Do their customers prefer one color? What else do they buy it with? Collect their answers, in their own words, and put it in an autoresponder for your wholesale-only email list. Now you're not only reminding your retailers to buy from you, you're giving them ideas about how to best sell your work!
Examples and ideas are well and good, but how will you apply it to your business?
To help you identify who want to write for and what you want to communicate, I created the class includes an Exploration Guide, full of suggestions and questions, so that you can write your first series, in 5 days. Get it here.
Want to know how I use autoresponders? Tomorrow I'm going to share my best sales tool. Subscribe here to make sure you get it.