AskPat 546 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 546 of AskPat. Thank you so much for chiming in today, listening and spending time with me.
Alright, here's today's question from Sarah.
Sarah: Hi Pat! Thank's for the opportunity to ask you a question. My question is related to your email book that you sent out to your subscribers recently. My email list is a bit of a mishmash because I've changed my mind several times in the past about my niche, so some of my subscribers are people looking for information about herbs. Some people are practitioners wanting to know about business, and some people are there to find out more about how to help their anxiety. Your book's really helped me to get a better idea about the sorts of emails I should be sending to those people. My question however is about auto responders. Should I be sending those to new people that sign up to my site, or do you think I can begin to send out a series of automated emails to people who are already listed? And also, how long do I go on for? Is there an average or do I just keep adding to them? I'm a bit jumbled really about my newsletter and also my auto responder. I'm not getting those in a mix. If you could help me at all on that question that would be amazing. I am Sarah by the way, and I'm from the Freelance Naturopath. Thank you so much Pat and have a brilliant day.
Pat Flynn: Hey Sarah, thank you so much for the question, I really appreciate it. I think this is a great one because a lot of people have trouble with their auto responder. So first of all, you're not alone. I've had trouble with my auto responder for a long time and I'm just now starting to figure things out. This is where that book you referenced, EmailtheSmartWay.com came from. For everybody out there listening, if you want to checkout this book it's completely free, just go to EmailtheSmartWay.com. A number of different templates and kinds of emails that you can send to your list which, you know, there's a lot of stuff on how to build your list right? But there is not that much stuff on, okay, well what do you do with that list? That's a great starting point.
So what kinds of emails to send? When it comes to your auto responder you definitely want to have that in place. It can be jumbled and mixed up for a lot of people, like it was for me for awhile. Initially I had people sign up and over the course of an entire year with about 30 emails, so they would go out every week or every other week, they would be sent out. Auto responders are great because they allow you to keep in constant contact with your audience, so that when you send a broadcast email the open rates are going to be a lot higher. Plus inside those auto responder emails, you can direct people to different places on your website, give them information that will be helpful, and you can tell them where there are stories or case studies that support what you do and what you teach. And you can also drive calls to action to certain items, products, and other things. So you've got to utilize your auto responder. It's a low-hanging fruit for a lot of businesses I feel.
Couple of questions that you had, Sarah. So first of all, can you send an auto responder to people already on your list, or is it only for new subscribers? I think it should be for everybody but here's the thing, you want to send emails that matter. You had mentioned earlier that your email subscribers are kind of in different places. What I would do is try to figure out who is on your list, and then separate them into different lists or different buckets, if you will. A bucket is a great way to describe it because you are kind of putting these people into a specific area, and then you're going to be serving those people emails that only relate to them. This is what I actually did. Recently when I switched over from AWeber to then Infusionsoft to now ConvertKit.
I use ConvertKit now in a way that allows me to send emails to only those that I know want those kind's of emails. To initiate this I actually sent the email to my entire list, because like yours it had everybody from all different types of levels in that list. I sent the email to everybody saying, “Hey which one of these are you? Are you somebody that is just starting out? And, pick one of the following three: I don't have a business yet, I have a business but I'm struggling to make over $500.00 a month, or I have a business and I'm making over $500.00 a month.” That's how I've divided my audience. I think you also mentioned three different kinds, but you can send an email out that asks that question. Depending on which one they click on, they get put into a specific list, course, or set of emails. For each of those lists they get into, you can have emails that are auto responders that then welcome them to that particular part of the list and tells them what they are going to get. And again, because those are the people and they're all together in one area, you are able to send them information that's relevant to them.
Also, talk to them in a way they'll respond to. One of the biggest challenges that people have with auto responders when they have everyone on the same list is that, the language you would use for one group is not always what would be most effective for another. Because you're separating them out, that's then how you can provide the best information. That's how you can then start a new auto responder for those people. Now it's going to take a little bit of time. This isn't an overnight thing. It took me about two to three weeks working on this daily to actually make it work. But now that it's working, it's working very very well. I know who's where and what they are getting, and it's very very important for them, because it feel's like they know that I know what they need. That's the first thing.
Now new subscribers, you could capture who they are or where they're at in the beginning, and then immediately put them into that specific list that makes sense for them. For example, if you have a blog post that's specifically for practitioners, you could have a download, or even have an opt in form in that particular post that specifically puts people into the practitioner list, the practitioner course, or that specific set of emails. Then you can skip that process of having to ask them later. You could still have a main list, however, and I still have one. If people sign up just on the side bar, for example, or on some other part of the site, they'll eventually get an email that says, “Hey, well, which one of these three things are you?” Then they get put into one of those buckets, and then served those emails that are related to that particular bucket. For new people, you could have them go into the main list in general, and then you can serve them that question. Or you can have them skip that initial “survey” and have them go directly into that course and then serve them emails from there.
So that's how I would go about it Sarah. I hope that's helpful or at least gives you some thoughts on how you can then structure . . . you know the easiest thing to do is start with two. Now it sounds like you have three different buckets, but two is definitely easier. Typically most businesses will go customer or not customer, prospect and customer, and of course somebody who has already purchased something; you don't need to send them emails of the thing they've already purchased. Again you could see just how useful this is to start segmenting your audience in this way.
So Sarah, hopefully this answers your question or at least gets you started on that path to having an auto responder you can manage and then go from there. I wish you all the best and thank you. And again, EmailtheSmartWay.com is that ebook that you all can pick up for free. Sarah, we're going to send you an AskPat T-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. I also want to thank all of you who are asking questions too, because obviously this show wouldn't exist without your questions. If you have a question that you'd like to have potentially featured on the show, head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page.
I also want to share a quote like I always do at the end of every episode, and this is from Jack Ma. He said, “Never give up. Today is hard, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be sunshine.”
Cheers. Take care and I will see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.