Automated Email Marketing

by Timothy on August 31, 2011

Gameplan to follow to setup a great automated email marketing campaign…

(excerpted from a real email I sent to a client I’m helping)

The client owns Crossfit Lazarus, a gym located in Edmonton, Canada.


Tim :)

P.S. Thanks to Perry Marshall for helping me understand (and build) this strategy….

– – – – – – –

Email Marketing Blueprint

Alright, Richard, you asked for it, LOL!

Here’s my review of your strategy for follow-up sequences and such….

– “From” should be a real human being… perhaps “Richard @ Crossfit”

– Know that a significant number of users are using Gmail or Google Apps accounts that might block images… I know mine does… so make sure that your email templates still make sense even without images… for example, if your alt text is “img_039.jpg”, some people might see that… instead do something like “click here to see this video”… or “Great Abs Workout At CrossFit”


Understand that people will be at different interest levels when they come to your site…

  • 0/3: some people will come to your site and be 0/3 about buying… they won’t do anything
  • 3/3: others will be 3/3… they are looking for a phone number to call and buy right away
  • 2/3: others will be 2/3… they are the ones that will want to come try a free workout
  • 1/3: others will be 1/3… they won’t come in for a free workout today, but perhaps in 6 months from now

….seeing an issue here?  if you only offer a free workout as your giveaway, then you are missing out on all of the 1/3 people… and, in fact, that is probably one of the biggest opportunities for you to do a nurture sequence with…. people that are willing to see you online (yet not in person yet).

I Suggest…


Your primary giveaway is something that “1/3” people would be intersted in, something like “5 Tips To Get Fit Fast” (and notice the consonance of F-T-T-G-F-F, sounds really catchy)… this then gives you a sequence of 6 immediate emails (1 confirmation, 5 spread out over 10 days or so) and then an infinite number of long-term nurture emails.  Here’s how I would map it out…
  • FU #1 – 0 Days after opt-in
    • Confirmation, thanks for registering, this is what you can expect for content, timelines, length of emails
  • FU#2 – 0 Days after opt-in
    • Get Git Fast Tip #1 (make this your BEST, most punchy tip of all!)
  • FU#3 – 1 Day after opt-in
    • Get Fit Fast Tip #2 (make this your second BEST tip)
  • FU#4 – 3 Days after opt-in (which would make it 2 day after the last tip)
    • Get Fit Fast Tip#3
    • If you’re curious to come check out our gym FOR FREE for an entire week, click here to get an unlimited one week pass (automation link that tags them with “Crossfit – Interested in Free Pass”)
  • FU#5 – 6 Days after opt-in (which would make it 3 days after the last tip)
    • Get Fit Fast Tip#4
  • FU#6 – 11 Days after opt-in (which would make it 5 days after the last tip)
    • Get Fit Fast Tip#5 – end of 5-day course
    • If you’re curious to come check out our gym FOR FREE for an entire week, click here to get an unlimited one week pass (automation link that tags them with “Crossfit – Interested in Free Pass”)
  • FU#7 – 19 Days after opt-in (which would make it 8 days after the last tip)
  • FU#8 –  32 Days after opt-in (which would make it 13 days after the last email)
  • FU#9 – 55 Days after opt-in (which would make it 21 days after the last email)
  • FU#10 – 89 Days after opt-in (which would make it 34 days after the last email)
  • FU#11 – 144 Days after opt-in (which would make it 55 days after the last email)
  • FU#12 – 199 Days after opt-in (which would make it 55 days after the last email)
  • FU#13 – 254 Days after opt-in (which would make it 55 days after the last email)
  • FU#14 – 309 Days after opt-in (which would make it 55 days after the last email)
  • FU#15 – 364 Days after opt-in (which would make it 55 days after the last email)

….ALL of these are “emotional bank account deposit” emails…. on the topic of “getting fit fast” (because that’s what they signed up for)… no promoting, no selling, don’t even offer a free pass at the gym (except for Tip #3 and Tip #5)… simply have the vibe of how you would send your friend a link or story or resource “because this made me think of you”… at the most, put a link to your website in your email signature, and have the link go to your calendar or your free pass page or something.

…the question then becomes – do you put the heart of the message within the email message, or do you give them a teaser, with a link to click through to your website?  That can be a tough call.  You probably want to pick one or the other and stick with it for the most part.  There’s no “right answer” here.  you likely will get something like 40% open rate, and then 2%-10% clickthrough (if you make people clickthrough)… at least those are the numbers I’m seeing on the other accounts I’m working on

…then, when you want to do a sales email of some kind, make that a broadcast.  Do these quarterly or something like that.  Send to your list of people who haven’t signed up yet.

  • In that email you would give people incentive to come in.
    • If they haven’t tried a free one-week pass yet, then send them an email that offers it to them.
    • If they are tagged as having already tried out the gym on a free one week pass, then offer them a sweet deal (less-than-retail price, or else free stuff) on a one-month, 30-day risk free guarantee…. remember the guarantee that you and I identified…
      • “Our promise to you: come workout with us 3x per week for one month, and we guarantee that you will receive at least one compliment on your improved appearance… or your money back.”


then in your sidebar also have BIG OL’ BUTTON that says something like “Click Here to For a Free One-Week Pass”

  • …that will take people to a page on your site where there is a 4-field form specifically for this… in that form you will be able to ask for FirstName, LastName, Email, and Phone Number… they’ll probs give all of that to you (just don’t make phone or LastName a required field so you don’t lose people that don’t input those fields)
    • On this page you can also embed your Google Calendar again, so that people can easily see what classes are available without scrolling or clicking away (which increases the possibility that they get distracted and click away).
    • On this page, I would keep it as uncomplicated as possible… just get the opt-in, and put any other details inside your follow email.
      • So maybe the form on this site is simply: “Enter your info here to get a free one-week pass.  New registrations only.  P.S. Instructions on how to use this pass will be emailed to you immediately.”
      • In your confirmation email You can include all of the same instructions you have in the email you sent me… step 1 = register, step 2 = pick class time, step 3 – call us to register.
  • All of this is heavily influenced by your ability to write compelling copy.  Your copywriting skills will affect the potency of your:
    • email headline (CRUCIAL!)
      • …recently I switched a headline on an email, as well as the body’s headline and sub-headline too, and my Open Rate went up from 21% to 25% (that’s a 19% improvement), and my click-through rate went from 2% – 10%… that’s a massive 400% increase!  Everything else stayed the same, except for some copywriting differences
      • email body
      • website copy to get people to register for either the free pass, or the 5-day course
      • how exciting and engaging your 5-day course content is
      • how exciting and compelling your messages are in your videos, tweets, facebook messages… these should likely still keep a conversational vibe, however the better you get at copy, the better you get at identifying compelling messages, and organizing your messages in such a way that people are hooked immediately at the beginning…. as you know, you have all of 5 – 10 seconds in a video to win people for the rest of it, and only 140 chars on Twitter.

…as you can see, copywriting is HUGE.

Super Basic Copywriting Tips…

  • Write to one person, not “hey you guys”
  • Think of compelling headlines… the change I made that improved response by 400% was switching the headline from “Stand Up For Yourself” to “I needed a court order to seize rent money”
  • Tell stories with your emails; notice in my two headlines that the first one seems pretty thin (I admit it!), and the other makes a person stop and say “What?” and sets the reader up for a compelling story
  • Imagine it’s a conversation with your reader… as if you were talking passionately to each other about the topic, after you’ve both had 2 drinks.  Where they would interject with a question is where you put a section header in your copy… that essentially addresses the question they are naturally asking in their minds.
  • Remember that truth is stranger than fiction… therefore you never need to make up B.S…. you can just tell the truth!
  • For example, remember how when you ran in the Death Race your legs seized up and you could barely walk for two hours?  That could be the story of the email, and the topic of the email could be stretching or hydration.
  • And what would make it compelling (and truthful) would be the fact that while this was happening you were on a part of the course that was heavily treed, and was deep in bear country of the Rocky Mountains.  And you were all alone.  That’s intriguing as hell!
  • So maybe something like “Alone in Grizzly country – with two seized up legs”, or something like that.  Then weave it into a story about stretching, hydration, or whatever is relevant.
  • To me, that is, like, 6000% more intersting than “Tip #1, you should stretch.  Thanks.”  Wouldn’t you say?

Next Steps…?

I know this is a TON of info.  What I would do if I were you…

  • Draft copy for 5-day Get Fit Fast email course, using the tips I’ve shared, in an auto-saving document (I don’t think Infusion autosaves – although I could be wrong – I just don’t want you to spend an hour writing an email and then the power cuts out or something!)
  • Setup Infusion Templates for these 5 days, using the intervals I’ve suggested above; consider possibly using a text-only format for some of your emails…. maybe the later emails… HTML all the time isn’t natural
  • Setup Infusion Sequence for the 5-day course
  • Setup Infusion Webform for 5-day course
  • Ask Pete to embed this form for you, as well as handle any graphics improvements in your header image
  • Write any copy you might need for the Free Week-Long Pass offer (email & webpage copy)
  • Setup Email Templates for Free Week-Long Pass offer – make sure you’ve got enough to cover a few weeks (whatever that means)
  • Setup Sequence for Free Week-Long Pass offer
  • Setup Webform for Free Week-Long Pass offer
  • Have Pete create and embed the big button for Free Week-Long PAss offer
  • Have Pete create the page for the free week-long pass offer
  • have Pete embed your webpage copy and embed your form for the Free Week-Long Pass offer
  • go back to long-term nurture sequence for 5-day course… start writing copy for emails that come *after* the 5-day course is complete
  • create email templates for those emails
  • add to 5-day course sequence
  • if necessary, go back to Free week-long pass offer, and add any necessary copy, email templates, sequence steps

….and now you’re in business for some automated lead generation and sales follow-up!  In two ways!!!  And you’re officially swinging with the BIGS.

Now that I’ve just prescribed a zillion items for your to-do list, aren’t you glad that you asked for my critique?

LOL :)


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