6 Steps for Building an Autoresponder Email Sequence

Carl Taylor | December 5, 2022

You can maximise opportunities for growth by integrating automation into your business. And one effective way to do this has to do with your emails.

Automating some of your business processes is the best way to maximise your potential to scale. After all, automation frees you from doing repetitive tasks so you can focus on the things that can really move the needle in your business.

One such task involves your emails.

By automating some of the work involved in your emails, you can ensure constant communication with your customers. That way, you can stay on top of their minds while you work on other things.

Of course, you can’t automate all your emails. But you can automate your autoresponder email sequence.

This is a series of pre-written emails that you can send to your email list in a predetermined order. And usually, this email sequence has a trigger. Maybe they downloaded your eBook. Or, they joined your membership program. Perhaps they opted in for a webinar, product, or freebie that you offered. 

You can set up an autoresponder email sequence to welcome or thank them for acting on your offer. Just create the emails once and they’ll get sent out as long as something triggers them.

So, are you interested in creating an autoresponder email sequence for your business?

Keep reading because, in this article, you’ll learn more about the different types of autoresponder email sequences and how to create an effective one.


The 3 Main Types of Autoresponder Sequence

Type #1: The Bait and Hook

Here, you lead with bait so you can hook the reader in the end. So, the flow of the bait and hook sequence is something like this:

  • Once a subscriber opts in, a welcome email gets sent.
  • The 2nd and 3rd email provides valuable content, such as a problem that you know the subscriber can relate to.
  • The 4th email provides more info about the problem. But at the end of the email, you’ll provide a solution – a product or service that you offer. Provide a link to it.
  • The 5th and 6th emails will be about other valuable content that the subscriber can relate to.
  • The 7th email will be about an offer that relates to the content previously sent.

The bait here is the valuable content you send out before you introduce an offer as your hook. So, make sure you choose the right content for the “bait” emails. It has to be something that the recipient can relate to and also something that your offer can solve.

While the bait creates awareness, you have to be careful not to give it a hyped tone. Otherwise, it’ll seem like you’re leading to something so you can promote it. While that’s the intention, the recipient doesn’t have to feel that way – you risk turning them off and making them unsubscribe.

Just write the bait naturally. Make your content centered on the needs of the reader, not your offer.

Type #2: The Pat Flynn

This is an email sequence that Pat Flynn, creator of Smart Passive Income, built. He said that he’s subscribed to a lot of email newsletters, but he doesn’t see anyone doing the sequence he uses a lot. So, he aptly named it after himself.

The Pat Flynn email sequence goes something like this:

  • The subscriber opts in, so a welcome email is sent.
  • The 2nd, 23rd, and 4th emails are all about valuable content – like tips and techniques that the recipient can’t find anywhere else on your website or visible resource.
  • The 5th email is all about engagement. Here, you can ask a question that will encourage the recipient to respond (such as what they want you to talk about in your next webinar).
  • The 6th, 7th, and 8th emails should go back to the valuable tips that the recipient hasn’t heard of before.
  • The 9th email is again about engagement.

You can see that there are only two components here: content and engagement. 

The content should be something that’s not readily available on your website. And it has to be something that will make the reader go “Aha!”.

In terms of engagement, you can get creative since the goal is to encourage the recipient to respond. Doing so makes them feel involved – hopefully enough to feel a connection with you.

Type #3: The Ground and Pound

This is the most aggressive type of autoresponder sequence. That’s because the ground and pound sequence works like this:

  • The subscriber opts in.
  • A welcome email is sent.
  • All the succeeding emails will be about promoting an offer.

This might not appeal to a lot of marketers, but it can work effectively for specific instances. One instance is when the autoresponder sequence gets triggered by the purchase of a product. 

After the welcome email, it’s perfectly acceptable to send promotional emails to encourage upselling. But do it only if it’ll complements the initial purchase. So, the key to making this work is by highlighting the benefit of upselling to the recipient of the email.

This type of sequence also works well if the recipient is already a loyal customer who welcomes your promotional emails. If they are still opting in, then you know they want to get promotional offers.

The ground and pound sequence is also ideal if you’ve been upfront with your subscribers that they’ll be getting a lot of promotional emails from you. Just make sure the content of every email is still centered around what the recipient deems valuable.

If you’re ready to get started on your autoresponder email sequence, Automation Agency can help you set it up. Our Concierge Service can help you figure out which platform and programs can meet your email marketing goals.

The 6 Steps for Building an Autoresponder Sequence

Step #1: Identify Your Goal

What do you want to accomplish with your email sequence?

A common goal is to have a welcome email sequence to build a relationship with new subscribers. Or, it can be to encourage them to get free offers or launch new products. You can also use your email sequence to direct subscribers to your sales funnel.

If you can define what your goal is, it’ll be easier to map out how you want the emails to run and how long.

Step #2: Segment Your Email Lists

It’s important to send your emails to the right group of people. If they keep receiving emails that they’re not interested in or don’t align with where they are in your sales funnel, chances are that they’ll unsubscribe.

So, make sure you spend time looking at your email list. Segment your list by demographics, buying behaviour, position in the sales funnel, etc.

If you know the specific segment of your subscribers, it’ll be easier to know which ones will be more accepting of your email sequence. And you’ll avoid having an influx of unsubscribes.

Step #3: Map the Sequence

Let’s say you already know your end goal and the target segment in your email list. The next step is to map the sequence of your email.

So, what type of email sequence should you use?

If your email list is composed of loyal customers, the ground and pound should be a great option. But if you want to strengthen your relationship with new subscribers, the Pat Flynn approach may be the better option. Of course, you can also opt for the bait and hook.

Once you’ve chosen your approach, plot the content of every email. Also, decide how long the email sequence will be – whether it’ll consist of 10, 12, or 20 emails, it’s up to you. Then, determine the schedule for when the emails will get sent out. 

Make sure you get clear on these details.

Step #4: Write Your Email Content

Once you’ve mapped the sequence, it’s time to start writing. You can write the emails yourself or hire someone to do it.

As you write each email, remember its purpose – is it to deliver valuable content or to promote a product? The purpose of each email will determine the style of writing to use.

Make sure that the content is focused on the reader. It has to be all about what they want to get from you. Highlight the value they’ll get.

Of course, the email should be well-written and free of mistakes. You should also have a catchy subject line so recipients will be intrigued enough to open the email. 

Don’t forget the Call to Action (CTA) at the end. It could be something as simple as “If you want to know more, hit reply and send me an email.”

The content of your entire email has to be easy to read, too. That’s why if writing isn’t your forte, it’s best to have someone else write emails for you.

Step #5: Select an Appropriate Platform and Launch

Many platforms can help you launch your autoresponder email sequence. So, you should choose an email marketing platform that is the right fit for your business needs.

If you’re still looking for a great email marketing platform, Automation Agency has a list of incredible platforms that you can use, like InfusionSoft. In fact, we’ve helped several clients integrate InfusionSoft into their systems.

Step #6: Test and Tweak the Emails Sequence

You’ve created all the emails and you’ve launched the email sequence. But the truth is that you’re not yet done. 

Although the autoresponders are meant to be forgotten after you’ve set it up, it will still require updating every so often.

That’s why when you launch your autoresponder email sequence for the first time, you have to monitor its performance. So, make it go through the A/B testing process. Check if your email list is responding well to it. That way, you can optimise and improve it. 

Maybe your email sequence is doing its job as expected. But you’re still not off the hook. Remember that the needs of your subscribers will change over time. So, keep testing and tweaking your autoresponder email sequences. 

Among the metrics to check are open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribes, and conversions. If any of these metrics start failing, it’s time to tweak your email sequence.

Automate Your Emails To Grow Your Business Faster

A great autoresponder email sequence brings a lot of benefits to your business. What’s more, it only requires a little effort from you but it can be used for a very long time. So, make sure you build it correctly.

Start by choosing the right type of autoresponder email sequence. Then, follow the right steps to create it. This will ensure that your emails are reaching the right subscribers and don’t get lost in people’s inboxes or cause them to unsubscribe from your email list.

Get in touch with our Automation Agency Heroes if you need help in creating the right autoresponder email sequence for your business. That way, you can start sending out emails that can increase your sales and conversions.

About the author 

Carl Taylor

Carl Taylor is the Founder & CEO of Automation Agency. For the past 10 years Carl has been building businesses and marketing them online through the use of Sales Funnels, Email Marketing Automation, Landing Pages, and Wordpress Websites. Carl is also a #1 author and highly sought after speaker and consultant whose work has impacted thousands of businesses across various industries worldwide.

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