Build Engagement With a Powerful, 6-Email Autoresponder Sequence

If you are like most email marketers building their first email marketing strategy, you have likely decided that putting together a good lead magnet is key to building a strong list. And you would be right. Lead magnets are great at adding interested subscribers to your list & are a great starting point for any budding email marketing rockstar.

Unfortunately, it is not quite time to pat yourself on the back. Your next challenge will be keeping your list engaged.

“It’s not the size of the list that matters, it’s how responsive it’s”

— Pat Flynn,

But how could you build engagement with your subscribers? How could you motivate them to open your emails, click on your links, and reply to you asking for more info?

As with anything in the world of digital marketing, those are questions best answered with a variety of tactics, plans, and techniques. Today, we will share a simple—yet powerful—autoresponder series that helps promote engagement from subscribers.

The 6-Email Engagement Sequence

The autoresponder sequence we are about to build is geared towards getting your subscribers to respond. To get started, you will need a minimum of 3 pieces of content that you can give away to your list. This content should be related. For instance, you could create a three-part eBook series, a short three-part course, or share a few great articles with your analysis.

Whatever you want to share, make sure it is relevant to your list and valuable— it needs to be worth reading! We will send the first two pieces of content, pause, send the final giveaway, ask for engagement, and reward subscribers who respond.

Email #1 – The Initial Lead Magnet

Email Goal: To provide value & set expectations.

The first email in your autoresponder sequence should go out after a user subscribes. If you already have a lead magnet (corresponding landing page) the email shouldn’t be unfamiliar to you.

Here, you want to give them their free eBook/checklist/tool & let them know they will be hearing from you soon. It is also a good idea to let them know that they are going to receive more free content within the next 24 hours.

Email #2 – Lead Magnet Follow Up

Email Goal: Reward them for opening your previous email & tease the last giveaway.

Schedule this email one day after subscribers received their initial lead magnet. At the end of this email series, we are going to ask our subscribers to take a small action. But before we do, we want to support enough value that they feel at least a little obligated to do so. We want to reward them for opening & reading the last message. This second email does exactly that, supporting a piece of giveaway content to follow up the initial lead magnet.

But this email is also key because it teases the final giveaway. Here, you want to write a couple of sentences about the third & final piece of content, and why your subscribers will love it. Do not be overly hypey, but definitely try to build some anticipation around your last piece.

Email #3 – Engage

Email Goal: To plant the seed of engagement & continue to build anticipation.

Send your third email a day after subscribers receive Email #2. Make this email a plain-text, low-formatting email that feels like it is arrived from a friend. The idea is to take all the formatting & fancy design work out of your emails so your subscribers know they are talking to a real person— not a marketing machine.

In this email, ask for their thoughts on the last 2 pieces of content. Ask if they have any questions. Let them know that they are welcome to reply to your emails if they have a question. Close by building anticipation, reminding them that they will receive their third & final piece of free content within the next 24 hours.

Email #4 – Deliver

Email Goal: Make good on your promise of good content, prepare for engagement ask.

Schedule the fourth email in the autoresponder sequence to send one day after subscribers receive Email #3. In this email, support a link to your final piece of content and tell them you’ll be in touch as soon as they have had a look.

Email #5 – The Ask

Email Goal: To cash in on the value you provided & get a response from your subscribers

This email should look different from the rest of the series, should congratulate them on completing your free content series.

But the key to this email is to ask them some question using a survey tool like SurveyMonkey. This question can be anything you want, but should be both simple to answer & interesting to your subscribers. They should not feel like they’re investing a lot of time into responding; right now you want to get them in the habit of replying.

SIDENOTE: Avoid using the word, “survey”. Instead, ask your readers to, “answer a quick question.” Surveys sound long & boring. Questions sound like a fun chance to give your opinion on something.

Email #6 – The Reward

Email Goal: Encourage future engagement through a reward.

The final email is where you will see the sequence show its true power. Send email #6 to subscribers who answered your survey question. You’ll want to address them by name in a plain-text email that feels like it is coming from you, a human being.

Thank them for answering your survey & offer something of value in return. You can do this with another content giveaway, an exclusive discount, simply by sharing a relevant & valuable article that might interest them. The key is to reward your subscribers so they are excited to engage with you in the future. This reinforces the habit of engagement & will make it easier for them to justify the time spent engaging with you.

Moving Forward

Keep in mind that this technique is good for setting the groundwork for high engagement. To make it effective, you’ll need to then follow up with your subscribers & continue to provide value, offer help, ask for a small action, and reward them when they comply.

You will also want to put together a plan for dealing with subscribers who do not engage with your call to action. How can you encourage them to re-engage? At what point do you scrub them from your list? These are questions we plan to address in future articles. If you would like to learn more, subscribe to our newsletter for the latest tips, tactics, tricks, and trends, including highly-effective email marketing strategies that we simply cannot share on the public blog.