Part 6 – This is Part 6 of our free 30-day Email Marketing Training Series.

In one of the last articles, you learned what an autoresponder was, but in case you need a refresher, let’s briefly touch base on that term again. An autoresponder, or an autoresponder sequence, is pre-written email, or a series of pre-written emails, that are scheduled in advance and ready to be sent to a user upon a successful email list sign-up. These email messages are set and just waiting and ready to be sent to new customers, automatically.

The key benefit of using an autoresponder sequence is that it helps you automate your email messages and manage your communication more effectively with your recipients. This allows your email service provider to work for you, versus you doing all the work for it.

Other benefits of using an autoresponder sequence include:

  • Boosting SEO by consistently driving traffic back to your website.
  • Higher website traffic rates, which could equal higher sales & revenue.
  • Building relationships with your customers.
  • More opportunity to upsell or cross-sell your products or services, automatically.
  • Which means, you have an automated sales system in place, which could lead to more sales.

Types of Autoresponders

In addition to automated emails, autoresponders break down even further into two types of automated messages: time-based autoresponders and event-based autoresponders.

Time-Based Autoresponders are sent to your email contacts at specific time intervals calculated from the day a contact opts in to your list.

For example, when someone signs up on your list, you’ve set up an immediate welcome email to be sent to them. Then, you may have set up another email to be sent 3 days later, which means the automated email will be sent exactly 3 days from when the user signed up.

You can set your autoresponder sequence to whatever time intervals are appropriate for your business. You can set them to send every 7 days, every single day, every 3 days or even longer. The choice is yours.

Event-based autoresponders are triggered (or sent) when an email contact takes a specific action either on your website or in your email campaign.

Actions can include: when they click a link, open an email, update their account on your website, purchase a product on your website, etc. These type of autoresponders are great because you can customize the recipient’s experience with your company even further.

Autoresponder Sequence


An Introduction to Drip Marketing

One of the perks of using an automated email campaign is to consistently provide valuable content to your subscribers. There is a fine line between the mix of selling and providing value (discussed below), as you don’t want to oversell them in your emails. But, a great strategy for your email contacts is what’s called drip feed or drip marketing.

Drip marketing is the process of using autoresponders to consistently “drip” content out to your subscribers on a schedule. You don’t want them to receive all the content at once, so you schedule the content to be sent to them every 3 days or every 7 days.

A great way to use drip marketing is to combine it with your content marketing strategy—aka your blog—and “drip” your blog content out so you have a consistent flow of traffic coming to your blog posts that are already published.

How to Use Drip Marketing & Autoresponders

For example…

Maybe you have a blog series that includes 3-5 blog posts in the series, and you want a reader to flow through each article in this content series. The best way to do this is to encourage them to subscribe to your email list, where you’ve set up the drip feed of blog posts through an autoresponder sequence that is set for them to receive each blog post every 3-7 days.

The goal is to add content from each one of these blog posts to a new email in the sequence with a link to your blog posts, driving traffic back to your website. Do not include the entire blog post in the email. Write a personal message that includes content from the blog post, but in order for them to read more, they must click through.

Automated Email Series


How to Set Up a Welcome Series

A welcome email series is a short set of autoresponder emails that basically “Welcomes” the subscriber to your email list. This gives them a warm introduction to your business, and subconsciously, it gets them used to receiving emails from you or your company.

The basic flow of a welcome series is as follows:

  1. Email subscriber signs up >> Welcome email 1 sends immediately thanking them for signing up with link for their freebie or download >> They are redirected to a thank you/download page.
  2. Welcome email 2 sends in 3 days – asking if they downloaded the product and what they thought (or something similar). Make sure to provide a link to another page, whether an about page or blog >> Links to a new page on website.
  3. Welcome email 3 sends in 7 days (from beginning) – this should be a personal email about the product they downloaded and maybe a soft sell of its benefits. >> Links to a different page on website.

Automated Emails

Welcome email #1 should be sent immediately (Day 0) upon successful email opt-in. Welcome email #2 should be sent either the next day, in 3 days or within 7 days of the first email. And, welcome email #3 should be sent within a similar timeframe to welcome email #2—again, 3-7 days later.

You can also schedule them to send 1x every week (or every 7 days) so that the subscriber is receiving an email from you at least once a week, for as long as your autoresponder runs.

Automated Email Series

Campaign Monitor

The Mix Between Selling and Giving Value

When a user signs up on your email list, you want to massage that relationship. You don’t want to hit them all at once with promotional emails, where all you do is try to sell them something. Nowadays, people don’t like to be “sold”. So, there is a fine line between the mix of selling in your emails and providing value to your email subscribers. In order to be successful, you have to do a little bit of both.

Here is an email flow that mixes a little bit of content with a little bit of selling in your email sequence, and hopefully will help build a relationship with your customer at the same time.

Email #1 – Sent Immediately – Welcome Email

This email is the first thing they receive from you. It should be friendly, funny or show some of your personality. Be sure to thank them for signing up and welcome them to your list. Maybe you could give them a short story about you or provide a funny anecdote.

The goal of this email is a warm introduction, and to get them to click a link. Provide a link in the email of where you want the visitor to go.

Welcome Email

Email #2 – Sent within 1-3 Days after the Welcome Email

This is the 2nd email they receive, and you can use this email to introduce a promotion. Tell them what you’re all about, then state the problem, offer your solution and highlight the benefits. The goal of this email is still to get them to click a link, so make sure you include a link for them to learn more about your promotion or sign up for your promotion. Offer a single, clear call-to-action for the reader.

Email 2

Email #3 – Sent within 1-3 Days after the 2nd Email

This email should provide valuable content for your reader. Maybe you “sold” them in Email #1 or #2, so you do not want to “sell” them again in this email. Add more personality and include valuable content that they could use. Again, make sure you include a link for them to click-through.

Email 3



And that concludes our tutorial on automated emails, autoresponders and drip marketing. Do you have any questions? Post your Q in the comments below, and I’ll provide an A as quickly as I can. Or, let’s chat about how you use autoresponders in your business. I’d love to hear your ideas!

Until next time!