31GYL Day 3: Create an Autoresponder Series

On Days 1 & 2 we worked on creating a squeeze page and brainstorming an opt-in incentive to help build your mailing list.

Today's task is to create an autoresponder series.

You’ll find the details for Day Three on pages 9-10 in the 31 Day Guide to Growing Your List

Your autoresponder series helps you start building trust and a relationship with your subscribers. People buy from those they know, like and trust. It should be used to solve your market's most pressing problems...

If you don't already have a mailing list manager, now is the time to set one up.
That way you can set up your list, create your opt-in form, put it on your squeeze page, and start setting up your follow-up series.

I use and recommend Aweber.

Also refer back to How To Set Up Your Mailing List (regardless of which mailing list manager you are using). This will walk you through customizing your confirmation pages and confirmation emails.

While you can use the standard given confirmation pages and messages, I highly recommend you customize them with your color scheme and brand - and with your own voice. This is your "introduction" to your new subscriber, which will hopefully turn into a mutually beneficial "relationship".

The first thing you should include in your autoresponder series is whatever you promised subscribers on your squeeze page. page 10

When setting up your mailing list, you'll go into the Messages > Follow Up section of Aweber (I am not familiar with other services, but I'm sure it's similar). You want to create your first follow-up message at an "interval of 0" so that it goes out immediately after your visitor confirms their subscription.

Write a personable message in your own voice, welcoming them to your community or list. Give them a brief explanation of what to expect (refer back to the benefits in your squeeze page copy). Then give them the download link to your bonus.

A Bonus is good... IF they use it!

People download things on the internet all the time and don’t always open them. You want to make sure they consume your product. This is the first step in building a relationship with that person. So start out in your autoresponder series by following up on the product they downloaded – your bonus.

SO FEW people do this, but the ONE time a merchant followed up with me on a download... it really stuck with me. It was a genius strategy, really. She mentioned an actual page number, questions others had about the content on that page, and a detailed answer - which included an optional paid product to make the task easier.

Bam - Sold!

She had me busted of course. I hadn't even opened the download I got from her 3 days before. But her reference to the page and topic was intriguing and *forced* me to open the download and see what she was talking about.

Figure out a way to work something like this into your autoresponder series. About 3 days after you send your initial follow-up welcome message with the download link, ask them for feedback - or reference something in the product and go into greater detail on it. Works like a charm! 😉

Creating Your Autoresponder Series

In your next email you might offer a poll. You could ask them why they are interested in [learning Spanish], what their plans are, etc. Make sure you give them an incentive to participate: offer to share the results, or to cover the points in an upcoming interview that you’ll also share with them for free.

Continue engaging your subscribers on this level before you start promoting products to them very heavily. Follow up again with a thank you note about the great responses you received, and give them one last chance to participate if they haven’t already.

Next you can find a great evergreen article, blog post or forum thread that would be of interest to your readers and send them the link. It doesn’t have to be on your site – just send them a resource you know they’ll enjoy. This type of follow-up will condition your subscribers to open your emails when they arrive, and keep them engaged (ie clicking) – which is exactly what you want.

💡 Don't be afraid to "sell" in your autoresponder series. Your readers will appreciate your expertise, your recommendations, and your personal experience with products that will be helpful to them!

I like to make personal recommendations, give them a link to a review or case study, or mention products I use as an alternate method to doing it manually - or for learning it more quickly.

Here are more resources to help you create your autoresponder series:

Have questions, or want to share additional ideas or resources? Leave a comment below!


p.s. See you tomorrow for Day 4 of the Grow Your List challenge! 😉

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»


  1. I LOVE the idea of following up with a reference to the original bonus product - that is genius! Not sure how to work it into my auto-response but will mull it over.

    • Definitely worth serious consideration. The best thing you can do is get your readers and/or buyers to *consume* your product. That alone will put you way ahead of the competition. 😉

  2. Tarrum says:

    Well I'm using FeedBurner for now and haven't actually tried Aweber but I keep on hearing about it and I think I should give it a try. But I just can't really convince myself to buy anything online, except for hosting and the domain. I just have the feeling that I will not get what I want..Should I get Aweber?

    • The cool thing is, FeedBurner will integrate with Aweber. 🙂

      The UNcool thing is, with FeedBurner you don't own your list. If you switch or cancel, you lose it. And you can't customize the confirmation pages or messages. (correct me if I'm wrong please)

    • I'd have to agree with Lynn -- definitely worth the price of admission. The biggest plus that you'll find is the deliverability. AWeber and some of the other big names in the autoresponder community have a great reputation with Spam filter companies. This gives your mail a much greater chance of getting delivered.

  3. I love having an autoresponder series. One of my best sites relies primarily on one for sales. Works great.

  4. Troy Duncan says:

    OK, just finished the autoresponder sequence and I'm ready for day 4. I'm almost caught up.

  5. One thing that I recently learned is to ask questions about the subscriber. I recently signed up to a list where I was encouraged to reply with answers to questions about what I was hoping to accomplish with the information -- and I got feedback and encouragement from the list owner when I did! Talk about building trust and relationships.

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