In my time at AWeber, I’ve been struck by the number of people who manage newsletters using either our broadcasting feature or Feed Broadcaster, but who make zero use of the ability to send autoresponders and timed follow up messages to subscribers.
I understand, of course, that newsletters contain date and time-specific information, and that broadcasting is the best way to send a newsletter… but why don’t newsletter senders use autoresponders too?
I don’t fault clients for this. I don’t use 90% of my cell phone’s features. I know how to do what I need to do with it, and the other features just get in my way. It’s natural that a newsletter publisher might feel the same way about autoresponders.
The thing is, autoresponders are a great tool for newsletter publishers! It’s just a question of learning to use them to complement a newsletter…
Create a Welcome Message
As far as I’m concerned, there is no newsletter publisher who shouldn’t have at least one autoresponder message set up. Nobody.
When visitors subscribe to your newsletter, send them a welcome message. In it, thank them for subscribing and give them a taste of the great content they’re going to benefit from in the coming weeks/months/years.
This message doesn’t have to be long, just a paragraph or two to get your new subscribers excited about the upcoming issues. Include a link to your site , and if you publish your newsletter issues on your website, make it a link to those archives. That way, if your next issue isn’t going out for a few days, you stay in subscribers’ inboxes (and on their minds), and you drive them back to your site.
I personally like the idea of creating a follow up message to be sent out to newsletter subscribers around three weeks or so after the welcome one.
Why a few weeks after the welcome message instead of a few days? Unless your newsletter issues are spaced far apart, after a few weeks new subscribers have received several issues and have a pretty good idea of what you’re providing them. They’re ready to tell you what they like about it, and how you can improve it.
So ask them what they think! Send out a message asking for their opinion on your newsletter. Not only will this help you improve future issues, but it’ll also keep your subscribers engaged and active on your list, which means they’ll be less likely to unsubscribe.
Do you have any other suggestions on how autoresponders can be used to complement newsletters? Share them below!