Close
Close

8 Ways to Use Autoresponders to Drive Traffic and Increase Your Blogging Income

Yesterday I wrote a post titled Introduction to Autoresponders. It recommended them as a tool that bloggers should consider as a means of driving traffic, deepening reader engagement, and increasing profits. I also showed how to set up an autoresponder sequence of emails in just a few easy steps using Aweber’s service (another great service that offers Autoresponders is MailChimp).

Today I want to suggest a number of practical strategies for actually using autoresponders alongside your blog.

Some of these I’ve used with success myself, and some are based upon the experience of other blogging friends. It should also be said that you could combine some of the following ideas into a single autoresponder sequence (more on this below).

1. Free mini-course

Set up a sequence of emails that walks readers through the teaching around some aspect of your niche. This is what I did when developing an early version of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog.

Back then 31DBBB wasn’t an ebook—it was a series of 31 emails that readers signed up for. Each day, readers received an email with some teaching and a task to do. This later evolved into the ebook with extra content.

2. Paid course or product

Numerous bloggers have set up autoresponders as central parts of paid products or courses. One of the best examples of this is Chris Guillebeau’s 365-part autoresponder, which forms part of a product. Chris’s product took a mammoth amount of work, but was hugely successful with those who bought it, and as a result, it would have been a very profitable endeavor.

3. Introduce readers to your archives

One of the challenges that many bloggers face is that new readers to your blog don’t ever see your old posts sitting in your archives. So why not showcase the best of your older posts by putting them together into an autoresponder sequence? Perhaps you could send one “classic” post per week. In doing so, you’ll be constantly driving readers to your archives for as long as new people keep signing up.

Another alternative is to do a compilation email on a particular theme. For example, on our photography blog autoresponder, one email that goes out in our sequence lists ten posts from our archives all on the theme of composition. It shoots readers deep into the site, and we often get emails from readers thanking us for it.

4. Affiliate promotions

Is there a product in your niche that you highly recommend your readers buy, and which has an affiliate program attached to it? You can easily add an affiliate promotion into your auto responder sequence. I recently put such a promotion into my photography blog’s autoresponder, and it has already driven thousands of dollars in sales (and will continue to do so). You can read about this concept more here.

5. Relaunch your own product every day

For those of you who have an ebook or some other kind of product that you’ve previously launched, building a mini-promotion of that product into an autoresponder sequence is a must. In our photography email list, we give new subscribers a discount on our portrait photography ebook 7 days after they join the list. That offer drives sales every single day.

6. Upselling

This is another one for those with your own products to sell. The idea is that when someone buys one of your products, you then follow up the purchase with an offer for a second product.The second product could be another of yours, or it could be an affiliate promotion.

For example, when people buy our travel photography ebook, they get an email a couple of weeks later with a discount offer on another travel photography ebook by the same author. The ebooks make good companions, the author is now familiar to readers, and as a result, these emails convert pretty well.

7. Showcase what you do

If you have an offline business that you’re promoting, use your an autoresponder sequence to showcase what you do. I know of one photographer who has a sequence of emails that goes to all clients (and potential clients that he meets to give quotes to). This sequence simply sends out an email every month with a couple of photos from another client shoot, and the story behind it. In sending these emails, he’s showing off the photography he does and positioning himself as a known photographer for them time when those who receive the emails are next looking to hire someone.

8. Tips

Another offline business that I heard of recently who uses an auto responder sequence is a butcher who collects email addresses from customers with the promise of sending them recipes for the meat that they’re buying. He gets their permission to email them and at the end of every day he sends each person that he sold meat to a recipe for the meat that they bought (he has a range of recipes for the different meats and tailors this first email to customers’ purchases).

Once the first email is sent the customer gets weekly emails (via an auto responder) for other recipes and tips for cooking with meat.

The butcher reported a sharp upswing in repeat business from the strategy—again, he was putting his name out there in front of people through his emails, building his brand, deepening personal relationships, and giving those subscribed a reason to keep coming back to him.

Multiple autoresponders, or one with mixed objectives?

The above array of uses for autoresponders is certainly not an exhaustive list. I’d love to hear how else you use them below.

It is also worth mentioning that some bloggers have multiple autoresponders running at once, while some mix a number of the points I mentioned above into the same autoresponder sequence. Personally, I do a bit of both.

At Digital Photography School I have a number of single-purpose autoresponders running in category #6 (upselling), where if someone buys an ebook they get a followup email/s with further recommendations.

However, my main autoresponder sequence on dPS is a real mix of the above, plus it also mixes in weekly newsletters, which are sent manually each week in addition to the automated emails. The sequence looks like this:

email-auto-responders-sequence-dps.png

I’ve written more on how I combine a mix of weekly newsletters and autoresponders here.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Problogger.net runs on the Genesis Framework

Genesis Framework

The Genesis Framework empowers you to quickly and easily build incredible websites with WordPress. Genesis provides the secure and search-engine-optimized foundation that takes WordPress to places you never thought it could go.

Check out the incredible features and the selection of designs. It's that simple - start using Genesis now!

Comments

  1. Hey Darren,

    I love the concept to introduce readers to your archive. This is great as you simply leverage the existing great content to educate your readers without going through the trouble to create content. This is just one of the great way to build rapport with your subscribers.

    Cheers,
    Ming

  2. afrizal says:

    free coment apologize if this is considered spam, I expect your website more successful and provide something for the benefit of all readers,.

    thank for his tips and thank you for your submission tip2 bloggers who send all the time to email me. Your website is inspiring for me.

    please jg streets to the blog ane who knows there agan2 criticism for all inputs n,.
    n maybe one wants to search business info
    trims

  3. Bob Guzeman says:

    I’m in the middle of 2 autoresponder sequences right now. A 20 part course on Internet marketing and another multi-part course on affiliate marketing. They are both good and make me wish they’d come faster and not make me wait.

    Bob

  4. I think point no 5 – Relaunch your product everyday seems to be greatest benefit of using auto responder tool. Because, when the product is fresh and new, there is a natural buzz and talk in the town, however it’s very important to remind your audience time to time about how awesome the product was (is) and may be offer some discount as well. Auto-responder does this job pretty well :-)

    Thanks Darren for the insightful post

  5. Hey Darren

    I use a similar concept myself, I have used the concept of using previous blog posts as email content for my subscribers for quite a while now and people seem to really enjoy it. I also repurpose some of that blog content and make a video from it to share on YouTube, Facebook etc.

    Keith

  6. I have just lost Adsense was sad but now started affiliate than number 4 tips is for me.

    Thanks anyway for the information.

    IS

  7. Jim Daniels says:

    Thanks for the great ideas. I’ve been using autoresponders for more than 12 years now and they’ve helped me earn enough to not have a job in that same span. Aweber is oneof the best out there as far as deliverability and ease of use. What’s nice is that their technology is flexible enough to let you automatically unsubscribe list members from one list when they join another.

  8. WhatsUrTake says:

    Nice One.
    I am planing to start a campaign where I would provide a Free E Book

  9. Neil says:

    Hi Darren,

    I like No. 6 upselling. If someone buys a product from you then they are very likely to buy a second, third or fourth.

  10. Azhar Kamar says:

    Good stuff! Thanks for sharing. Never knew the importance of autoresponders.

  11. IMO Introducing readers to archives is the best way to drive traffic via the auto responders ….Thanks for the share !!

  12. I have been using autoresponders for a number of years however the information you have given in this post puts that in a completely new light.

    Thank you for the quality.

    Mark

  13. premkiran says:

    The information you have given is totally new for me i never got a thought that auto-responders can be used in such a way also.

  14. Will Sheperd says:

    Hi Darren,

    I like 3. Introduce readers to your archives. This is a great concept, I hate thinking that many of my posts have such a short shelf-life.

    Great post and thanks for the info!

  15. Joe Burton says:

    I am totally with this approach. My problem is that I and many people just get a lot of these automatic emails and tend to delete and/or unsubscribe if there is nothing directed to them personally. I found it very helpful to segregate the the different groups into as fine of a granular level as possible and make each group’s email as personal as possible. I send our IT consulting related information and found this to much better results than generic emails.

  16. odede says:

    Forum marketing has proven to be one of the best form of marketing.It really works

  17. Emma says:

    What a great way of looking at things. This post has definately made me think about how I can repurpose my existing content/archives in terms of auto responders. Love the themed email idea esp.

  18. Jharna says:

    all the tips were helpful but the point number 5. Relaunch your own product every day is the one I liked the most..for a blogger this will impact better promotion for non-technical blog.

  19. I have to utilize auto responder to collect a questionnaire then build a personalized financial plan for my visitors. So far everything will be free. I guess I’ll make my money on volume?

  20. Hi Darren,
    I like the idea of using my autoresponder to bring older posts to the attention of new subscribers. I have never done that before. Great idea thank you.

    For a long time I have used my autoresponder to send out a number of Free Resources available to new readers. Each is set up to be a separate part of one bigger list of readers.

    I offer free resources like inspirational emails, motivational cards and more and they are all very popular.

    The service I use makes it possible for people to take multiple free resources and the service does not add duplicate email addresses to the list. Nice.

    All the best to you Darren and everyone else too!

    David

  21. Suhasini says:

    Hi Darren,
    First of all here is a note of appreciation for sharing all these useful tips and techniques. I ‘ve earlier read your blog but couldn’t comment.

    Blog is really a great way to promote and no doubt the more interactive one can make, more popular it will be.
    Thanks for your insight will be waiting for more !!
    Suhasini

  22. Steven Davis says:

    Thank you for this! I’m waiting for a good graphical tool that manages your autoresponder(s)!

    Steve

  23. Very good article, I like most point number 5 (old posts),
    and I suggest 2 more points: polls and testimonies.

    Thanks, wish you the best!

    Miguel

  24. Henry Louis says:

    Hi Darren! I have very impressed with this information. It would be more helpful to me. I hope the above mentioned 8 ways are really helpful in driving good traffic to our blogs.

  25. I give away free ebooks on list building , it works pretty well for me.