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  1. Miguel Guzman

    Hi there Tommy. Awesome article and it comes at a very appropiate time for me.

    I’ve got 2 questions for you, if you don’t mind:

    1) I managed to write a neat free ebook of around 80 pages. Feedback of neutral readers (people who don’t know me personally). I’ve created an autoresponder that delivers the content of the ebook one email a day, during 21 days. The stats show that open rates drop from around 55% for the 1st email to around 27% for the last, and then again to 36% for the email after the last who gives the link to the ebook file and a sales offer for one product.

    The question is, if you have a lot of content and you want to give it away for free in your autoresponder, is it better to condense it into fewer emails, as per the workflow you show? Should I actually decrease the frequency of autoresponders? (if I send, say, every two-three days, the whole thing would last around two months).

    2) If you sell several products in your website (I have two live workshops), when sending my list one of the sales email and directing them to the landing page of the products, is it better to put there an action call to register into a sub-list for that product? I’ve tried making the action call a purchase, but it resulted in zero sales (mailing list of 540 subscribers, for the sales email open rate 33%, CTR rate 12%, sales 0%)

    Thanks in advance. Best regards!

    Reply
    1. Peep Laja Peep Laja

      Hey Miguel

      1) As sad as it might be, there is no universal formula. The only way to find the right answer is through testing. Tommy wrote about this in his last post: http://conversionxl.com/6-ways-to-re-optimize-your-email-auto-responder-campaign-to-improve-opens-clicks-and-sales/

      2) It’s hard to know why that was. 12% CTR would indicate ~21 people came to the page? Too little sample size to make conclusions. What’s the sales page url? Maybe the page sucks :)

      Of course, it might be a good idea to have a separate sales funnel for the event – you start off by getting them signed up to a free webinar (sub-list) and then have a separate drip campaign for it.

      The more expensive and/or the product, the more explaining you need to do. What’s the price of your live workshop?

      In the end, there’s no substitute for testing.

      Reply
      1. Miguel Guzman

        Thanks Peep, you’re always spot on.

        The landing page is in spanish. Google translate kind of garbles it but you can get the gist of it:

        http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=www.exito-personal.com%2Ftu-luz-interior

        The logo sucks (right now), I’m working with a graphics designer to get a professional version done. For the rest of the page, feedback from people that don’t know me personally is generally positive (they say the page is interesting and would consider the product). I’ve tried to design it in the PAIN-CLAIM-GAIN flow from neuromarketing. The 12% is over the total size of the email list, wich amounts to 64 clicks, which I agree is still a really small sample.

        The product itself is a self-esteem workshop (I’m an NLP trainer). Might sound a bit esoteric for tech people but my audience is into personal development so it fits. Price is 47 € for two seats in this weekend live workshop (comparatively cheap since I’m new in the live workshop arena).

        I will begin testing thoroughly and also will consider the separate sales funnel part (harder because this is part-time but hey, there are no excuses!).

        Thanks again for your invaluable help!

        Reply
    2. Tommy Walker

      1.) Agree with Peep. The only real answer is to test.

      I would start with testing your subject lines on that first email too to see if you can get more people interested in the content from the jump.

      2.) One of the biggest eye openers for me was creating several, topical email lists is much more effective than working off of one big master list.

      More difficult to manage? You bet. Worth the hassle for the payoff in the end?

      I know who I’m talking to, and how they found me, so I can create content that starts and ends with that intent. Doesn’t get better than that really.

      Reply
  2. Miguel Guzman

    Thanks for your thorough insights Tommy. Taking heed & following you now as well.

    Reply
  3. Mauro D’Andrea

    What a useful post you made Tommy! I didn’t expect anything less from you :)

    The idea of integrating the relationship phases with the email forking is very interesting.
    I’m a bit disappointed that I can’t make it with AWeber, but I read that GetResponse allows you to do it (and I was thinking to try it anyway, so I have another reason to do it).

    By the way, thanks for the mention!

    Reply
    1. Tommy Walker

      Actually Mauro… you should check out http://Awprotools.com it allows you to do exactly that. Just started using it a few weeks back, but it is AWESOME!

      Reply
      1. Mauro D’Andrea

        Thank you, Tommy! It seems like a really interesting tool, I think that I’m going to love it – I just requested their invite :)

        Reply
      1. Mauro D’Andrea

        Hi Peep, thanks for the advice. I’m considering either to empower my AWeber or to switch to GetResponse.

        Reply
      2. wilson

        Hi Peep, great article i learn a lot of it, thanks.

        Just a question, do you know if with getresponse i can make tags and a list segmentation (to send to anothers follow ups) if people take some actions (clicks) all just aweber+awprotools?.

        I am reading that with the new getresponse 2.0 it is possible to send a message if a guy take some action but is not possible to send that guy to another follow up campaign…

        Between getresponse and aweber+awprotools to make an very effective low cost email marketing wich you recommends?.
        Thanks in advance, i am a new fan of conversionxl :)

        Reply
  4. Great article Tommy. I can’t remember reading one with so much detail and helpful tips that I can go and implement right away.
    Perfect timing too, I have been struggling with the autoreponder issue for the past few weeks, now I am off to get it fine tuned.

    Reply
    1. Tommy Walker

      That’s so awesome to hear Eden, I’m glad you enjoyed it. If you have any questions come up, feel free to return to the comments and I’ll answer as best as possible :-)

      Reply
  5. Michael Burrows

    It’s interesting how some people send emails (at least initially) every couple of days with great success, I just cant bring myself to do it. I even noticed under the signup for your subscription you mention emails are sent once a week. Did you experiment sending emails more regularly and found weekly to be the sweet spot?

    Reply
  6. Is this possible in mailchimp?

    btw, great article Tommy!
    tnx

    Reply
  7. the part about “integrating the relationship phases”.

    You suggest awprotools. just wanted to know how mailchimp handles this.

    Reply
    1. Tommy Walker

      Ah ok!

      The phases are more about how you structure the content story in the autoresponder. (i.e first four emails are closer together, super high value, next four go deeper etc.)

      If you want to start segmenting based on click actions, which is what happens after the story’s been structured, you’ll want to use Merge Tags and create segments based on click actions. https://blog.mailchimp.com/how-to-guide-merge-tags/

      Reply
  8. Kirsten Nelson

    Wow, this article is a gold mine! Thanks so much for taking the time to put all these steps/details together. Love how you point out the importance of focusing on relationships and the value of those relationships increasing as time goes on. Excellent stuff. Will be revisiting this post when I put my next email campaign together. Thanks!

    Reply
  9. Ian Brodie

    Like the article a lot Tommy – but I’m not convinced by the “phases of relationship” model. There doesn’t seem to be much data behind it other than Mauro’s experience where he wasn’t testing it vs anything.

    There are plenty of marketers, for example, who report great results from consistent, frequent emailing.

    In fact, if I was a relationship counsellor and someone came to me saying that there’d been a natural cooling off in the heat of his or her relationship with their partner and they wanted to make sure the relationship was at its best then I’d advise them to communicate more not less. Counteract the natural cooling off by doing great things for your partner. Keep talking and listening to them, taking them out, sending them gifts. Do that and you can keep the passion hot – you don’t have to give up and assume relationships always cool off.

    Ian

    Reply
    1. Tommy Walker

      Fair enough Ian, however the phases of relationship model is a master framework with built in off shoots to “rekindle” the relationship.

      When you get to the 4th email in each phase, you’re making a new offer, and if they take you up on that offer, than you’re starting the cycle (kind of) all over again.

      Ideally, as you continue throughout the master campaign, you make new offers (like you would a spouse) and once they click, you’re using that as an indication of interest, and you’re re-upping the frequency.

      The relationship essentially _only_ peters out IF your subscriber doesn’t bite on any of your offers from the main list.

      By this logic, you’re allowing people who are interested to stay interested, while allowing others who want to cool off, to cool off.

      Essentially, it’s like asking your spouse to try new things with you, and when you find one that hits, you keep doing that thing for a while, until it’s time to try something new.

      Instead of trying to get your spouse to communicate when they don’t want to, or they’re not ready…

      I think we’re essentially saying the same thing, but you’re missing the “list switch” part. Admittedly, I didn’t talk about it that much in here, because I covered it over here:
      http://conversionxl.com/6-ways-to-re-optimize-your-email-auto-responder-campaign-to-improve-opens-clicks-and-sales/

      Hope that makes more sense :-)

      Reply
  10. Ian Brodie

    Appreciate the point about rekindling with offshoot autoresponders Tommy (as an Office Autopilot user it’s something I do myself) – but that doesn’t change my comment that the model of decreasing interest is unproven. There’s no reason why you couldn’t have offshoots and still keep the same frequency of the main autoresponder.

    Here’s what’s bugging me. For decades in consulting/change management we followed various strategies for managing change based on Kübler-Ross’s 5 stages of grief model. You’ve probably heard of it: the sequence people go through when faced with a big loss: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

    It’s generally accepted by the public. The entire change management industry based interventions on it (as, of course, did grief counsellors).

    The problem is, the majority of research studies have failed to find any validity for it.

    It feels to me like you’re building a whole philosophy and strategy for emailing based on a model of relationships that’s completely untested. Before devising offshoots and other clever things that build off the model, I think we should actually test the model first. Wouldn’t be too hard. Randomly allocate new subscribers to either a “keep emailing frequently” model or a “slow down the emails over time” model and see which one results in more clicks or sales or whatever.

    Ian

    Reply
  11. Kostas McDade

    Hi Tommy,

    Awesome article. A great high level overview of everything someone needs to know about the autoresponder game.

    Quick question here: currently we are using mailchimp for our CRM efforts… yes I know, limited.

    For all of this segmentation, would you recommend any ESP/CRM platform that work well with this type of autoresponder framework?

    Thanks in advance,

    Kostas

    Reply
    1. Tommy Walker

      To do it automatically, you’d want to use a service like infusionsoft or use AWprotools with Aweber (what I use).

      You can do something very similar with Mailchimp IF you’re diligent about keeping track of your click based segments, but this does require constant monitoring, to make sure you’re sending in line with when people click.

      Reply
  12. Claudia

    Excellent post. I was hoping you could comment con a topic i cantón seem to find info On.

    I have two groups, each group has subscribed to a course. Some subscribers overlap. How do i send the courses un timely fashion without bombarding.

    Any ideas?

    Reply

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