In last week’s blog post, we talked about how to setup your autoresponder series in relation to your permafree book, the one that’s driving traffic to your email list.
But what the heck do you do once that autoresponder has finished? Great question, and one that both Steve and I were a little stumped with when we first got started. While we are all writers, that doesn’t mean we know how to write autoresponders… because those things are just plain scary, right?
The way to approach any autoresponder series is to think of it as a mini-book or story, something that you would be happy to receive yourself.
Humph, that’s all well and good guys, but HOW do we come up with ideas to write these autoresponder thingees?!
By picking up what we’re laying down for your right here!
It starts with your books and where you want to take your author business. What are your long-term plans? Are you going to write more books, create audio versions or turn them into courses (non-fiction only)? Answer those questions for yourself and then jump to the section that makes the most sense for you and your business.
Calling all Fiction Authors!
As a fiction author, there are two ways to write your autoresponders… one is to write from your own viewpoint, the other is to write from the viewpoint of one of your characters. If you can master the later, you will find your fans will go raving mad for your emails and in turn, your books.
If you opt to write from your own point of view, here’s a few ways you could write your emails:
Email #1: The Welcome
You made it!
Because you signed up to my mailing list, here is my free gift to you, the first book in my Dixxon: White Witch Series.
Just click the link below to download your book.
[insert link here]
Some of the most common feedback I get from my readers is they’d like to know a bit more of the “behind the scenes” on how I write my books…
…and, of course, a bit on Dixxon.
So who am I to deny them?
That’s why I’ll be sending out a series of six more emails over the coming couple of weeks. And after that, I’ll keep in touch with a monthly newsletter to update you on the adventures of Dixxon and her motley crew.
In these emails, I’m going to show you all the little secrets I’ve used to write my books and a couple of “sneak peeks” on what I’m working on.
I think you’ll really like it.
In the meantime, enjoy the first book in the series. I can’t wait to hear what you think!
Email #2: Your Character’s Story
Hey again Steve,
I hope you’ve been enjoying your free gift, the first book in the Dixxon: White Witch series.
If you are, then I know you’re going to love what I have to share next…
…remember back in the first email I told you I was going to give you a bit of a “sneak peek” into the life of Dixxon?
Well, you can stop holding your breath now, the time has come!
You see, what I think makes Dixxon so unique is she has one very special “gift” that has enabled her to rise above all the crap she’s been going through.
But the thing is, Dixxon doesn’t even know she has this “gift” in the first book. She hasn’t discovered it (quite) yet.
That comes after The Incident… and a Blue Moon!
Don’t you love a cliffhanger?
One of my favorite authors, J.K. Rowling (of Harry Potter fame), is a master at the plot twist and shocking readers with revelations.
Once I got hooked on Harry Potter, I really learned the art of character development and storytelling.
Plus a little magic every once in a while never hurts, right?
Anyway, back to Dixxon…
Now I bet you’re trying to think of what it is…
…nope it’s not that, or that, or that.
Come on, I can’t make it totally obvious!
I’m pretty sure that once you get to what this special “gift” is in a later book, it will blow your mind.
But, I can’t completely give it away, so you’ll just have to keep reading!
P.S. Ok, ok, I’ll give you a hint. Dixxon figures out the “gift” in Book 3 [insert link].
Now, don’t go and skip ahead…
…you’ll miss the incident with her Dad in Book 2!
If you want to put a twist on it, here are a few more ideas:
Example 1: Sneak Peeks
People are generally curious by nature, so they love it when you share behind-the-scenes information with them about a plot twist or a back story on your main characters. You can make the most use of this by showing them a few sneak peaks into the life of your character, sort of like a side-story that only exists for your raving fans (aka your email subscribers) or you could share what it’s like being an author and living with all those stories inside your head (I’m talking to you directly Steve!).
Another option, if you want to get a lot of engagement from your readers, is to write your emails as if they were coming directly from a couple of your main characters…
Example 1: Spy Novel Series
In this example, why not have the hero of your spy novel run the show?
Use your emails to give his (or her) best tips on evading the enemy, slip them with a secret document that holds a special bonus for those who can crack the code, give them a sneak peek at an upcoming character in the series, etc, etc. You get the idea.
Example 2: Romantic Historic Series
In this example, you can use your autoresponder to highlight the romance relationships going on between characters.
Use your emails to showcase hidden poems the love interests have written to each other, you could ask your readers to create a character for an upcoming book in the series, or show special pages of a diary that have never been seen before. You could also have a side-story about how your main character came to be where they are in love… think outside the square.
The possibilities are endless — you’re the author, so you’ve got plenty of stuff to work with, right? The key is to plan out your series… once that first initial autoresponder is done, you can use this new one to be your ongoing autoresponder that goes out to your raving fans on a bi-monthly basis.
Non-Fiction Author? Look Here!
As a non-fiction author, you’ve got a ton to work with too. The key point is that your autoresponder series should always relate to your book topic or at least be complementary, otherwise you’ll get a lot of people unsubscribing from your list.
To avoid that, make your autoresponder series meaningful and helpful to your readers.
Here’s a couple of examples that you’d use in your first initial autoresponder series—the one that goes out once a person joins your list:
Email #1: The Welcome
You made it!
Because you signed up on my mailing list, here is my free gift to you, “NGN Action Guide: How to get a fit bod in 30 minutes or less”
Just click the link below to download your guide.
[insert link here]
Some of the most common feedback I get from my readers is that they want more health tips, routines and 30-day challenges…
…so who am I to deny them?
That’s why I’ll be sending out a series of six more emails over the coming two weeks. After that, we’ll keep in touch with a weekly tips series, in it I’ll feature more on working out at home plus updates on more of my upcoming No Gym Needed books.
In these emails, I’m going to show you all the little secrets I’ve used to help improve my fitness, maintain my ideal weight and fit it all into my busy schedule.
I think you’ll really like it.
In the meantime, enjoy the guide. I can’t wait to hear what you think!
Email #2: Tips, Hacks & Tactics
Hey again Steve,
I bet you’ve been waiting anxiously to hear what my big health “secret discovery” was since our last email.
I don’t blame you, I was pretty excited to figure this one out myself.
After reading about a million books and blog posts on all the tips and tactics I could find, I came up with my own little 5 Point Checklist for Mastering At-Home Weight Loss.
If you think it sounds simple, that’s because it is.
When I first started trying to master weight loss, I constantly shot myself in the foot by trying to take on too much, too soon.
You know how it goes, right?
You want to fix it all so so badly, you’ll do whatever it takes. And it works, at least for a few days.
…it’s so overwhelming that it actually starts causing more havoc in your life and you quickly fall off the bandwagon…
Then you’re right back to where you started.
I did that more times than I want to even admit.
Finally, I started with the tiniest of baby steps.
That helped me build up the confidence to move forward, and became the start of my 5 Point Checklist.
Now, I share this plan with all of my 30-day challenge clients. In fact it’s the very first thing we cover after they read my book, that’s how much it helps.
As a special bonus gift for you, I’m attaching it here.
[link to 5 Point Checklist]
Hopefully, you will be able to use this “secret weapon” to get started on your own path to being better with at-home weight loss.
So get reading!
P.S. Here’s the link again to my 5 Point Checklist [link]
Here’s some other ideas to consider as well:
Example 1: Healthy Living Expert
In this example, let’s say you’ve got a series of books and a product on wanting to help your audience get healthier and fit.
Use your emails to share things like your favorite recipes, you could even do a mini cookbook as a free gift. Also, you can share some of your favorite exercises, or a daily tip to get fit in under 10 minutes a day. This could then lead into a course (paid) where you offer a discount for all new subscribers.
Example 2: Needlepoint Expert
In this example, you want to help get your readers excited about your needlepoint books and patterns.
Use your emails to showcase what they can do once they get started with needlepoint, that means you want to get as many photos of finished projects from students as possible; you can then link to your needlepoint YouTube channel for videos, and give away free patterns. The sky’s the limit.
Let your imagination run wild and come up with some of your own ideas. And just because you’re a non-fiction author doesn’t mean you can’t weave some stories in there too.
We hope you’re finding our blog posts useful! If you are, don’t forget to share them with other authors so they can get in on the love too!