^^ As we’ve explored, you can “map out” your readers’ journey to the sale. Once you’ve got it nailed, it’s time to automate and scale.
In the previous EMU lessons, we’ve looked at a framework you can use to plan out your emails, set the “objective” and “tone”, and a step-by-step breakdown of how each email should be structured – as well as a process for coming up with ideas of “what to write” and stories that can be woven through your campaigns.
The upshot being – of course – that you’re talking readers on a journey from where they are at the start (eg – “just getting to know you”) to where you want them to be (eg – “eager to get more and willing to pay”).
“By this point, you have everything you need to start sending out *great* email broadcasts - and putting together effective longer campaigns for your launches or promotions - with your readers' desires and interests at the centre of your mind.”
Meaning – you’re building attention, interest, desire and action into everything you do – and using “stories” and “hooks” to drive your core objectives.
Of course, finding your tone and nailing down your style will take time. We looked at open rates and click rates too – and how to use them to drive the right improvements to your efforts.
Which means, pretty quickly, you will have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t work – both in terms of “what you’re comfortable with” and “how your readers respond”.
The “intricacies” of how you implement the framework come down to your personal style – but so long as this EMU structure is in place, you can guide your readers towards action.
Now, we’re going to look at the next phase.
Once you’ve nailed your emails down, paid attention to the stats, and figured out “what works”, it’s time to scale up and automate.
Remember our heroes / heroines from earlier?
Where “Blast ’em Bobbie” just shoots out random email blasts whenever it’s time for a promotion, “Strategic Sam” develops long-term systems to grow reader engagement, loyalty, and excitement – all set up to run automatically in the background.
Bobby gets frustrated that the recent “buy my book” email that went out got a low response. Sam, on the other hand, has a continuous flow of readers going through multiple “funnels” and can pay attention to the metrics and adjust on the fly if needed.
Bobby relies on one-off “blasts” to make money. Sam makes predictable, consistent recurring income every month.
So, how can we be “more like Sam”?
Just like a “launch” or promotion, you have to get your readers from point A (not ready to buy, just getting to know you) to point B (ready to buy, loves you).
Not everybody will get to point B the first time round. Some will never get to point B. And that’s ok. But we can maximise the number of people who do by following the same Nurture, Excite, Sell strategy we use for launches and sales.
We can also use AIDA to inform what we’re doing – considering the “emotional response” we want at each stage of NES.
(And remember, in a lot of cases, you can take *existing emails* you’ve already sent out and tweak them to fit your automated sequences).
The best “funnels” combine these phases and move readers through each stage, culminating in a “promotional sequence”. Then, readers will move into a new funnel that will finish up promoting something else.
Repeat as needed.
This is often called a “stacked funnel” – we call ours a “super-funnel”. Mainly because we like superheroes. But whatever you call it, the principle is the same:
More your readers through NES and AIDA by guiding them through a series of email sequences covering each stage, ending up promoting a specific product. Then repeat for a different product.
Remember – all of this is an “end-point”. You won’t start off by building a “super-funnel” out of the gate. Instead, you’ll build smaller sequences one at a time. Test them. Then link them together.
Here’s how this might look:
Note: this is a behind-the-scenes video of my funnels, and how yours might look when you get started. You do NOT need fancy automation software – any email-marketing software should have the ability to do this – and remember, you’ll start off SIMPLE and build + layer from there.
In the video, I showed you how to build a simple sequence. Then add layers to form a longer “string of sequences” that moves your readers through NES.
In essence, to get started, you’ll need a minimum of three “components”:
(And remember – by this point you should already have most – if not all – of these emails written out and tested)
Each “component” – or each “sequence” – moves your readers through NES. Each sequence has a defined objective and uses AIDA to achieve it. Each email within the sequence uses HTOC and a core “big idea” to provide a compelling read.
If the existing emails you’re using don’t quite match up with that, it’s ok. You can tweak them, create “templates” or just copy them over into your funnels and make any changes you need (as I show you in the video above).
Let’s break each one down:
As we covered above, each “component” of your funnel has a slightly different objective, and uses AIDA to meet that objective. Each individual email has a core “big idea” or “story” and uses the HTOC structure to provide a compelling read. Here’s how that works with your “welcome” sequence:
Objective: Nurture. Or, specifically, over-deliver on value and “delight”. Provoke a two-way stream of communication. Build trust. Get readers to “like” you. Invite readers “into your world”. Hint at “what’s to come”.
AIDA: Attention and Interest. Here, you’re all about the “giving”. To establish that baseline of “trust equity”. Letting people know what to expect from you, and what you’ve got for them.
Call to Action: Your CTA needs to meet the above objective. Perhaps you’re offering free content or books. Perhaps you’re focusing on “getting people to actually read” the book you’ve already sent them. You could use surveys, questions, quizzes… anything that fits (a) what your audience enjoys, and (b) gets them to interact.
After you’ve “rolled out the red carpet” for your readers, it’s time to build on that. Before we get to “selling” anything, we need to establish that trust – which means consistently delivering what your readers want, and hinting at how they can get more.
Objective: Nurture and Excite. Continue to deliver value, but introduce a “value exchange”. In other words, “If you do this small thing for me, I’ll give you this…”. You might include blog content, upcoming preview content, “behind the scenes” extras, quizzes, artwork, or anything else that adds to readers’ enjoyment of your work. But ask them to work a little. You can require people to “opt in” to get something by filling out a form or clicking a link. Or submit a survey. Or you can simply ask that they share the email with people they know who’d love it (doesn’t have to be complicated – you’re simply setting a subtle tone of “quid pro quo”).
AIDA: Interest and Desire. You’re moving people along at this point. You’ve already got their attention and readers are beginning to trust in a consistent and valuable experience. Now is the time to hint at “something more”.
Objective: Make sales. Or get reviews. Or drive some specific action that helps your business grow.
AIDA: Desire and Action. Here, you’ll take the “launch” or “promotion” emails we mapped out in lesson 4 and move people through them. You can either (a) move everyone through, or (b) only move people through who engaged during the “authority” sequence (eg – clicked a link, filled in a form, etc).
What you’ll end up with is something that looks a little like this:
Or, if you only want to promote to people who engaged, like this:
(Note: you do NOT need fancy-schmancy software to do all this. Pretty much every email marketing software will get this done, although it might look different on the inside, your readers will get the same experience).
At each stage of the funnel, you can track open rates, click rates, and any other appropriate data. You can then make changes “on the fly” if required.
Then, once you’re happy, you can start building a second funnel. And a third. However many you need.
You can move everybody through ALL the funnels, or move people through different funnels depending on their actions.
Readers who don’t engage during an “authority” sequence – instead of sending them to a promotional sequence, you can send them to a re-engagement sequence to try and get a response. If they oblige, send them back into a promotional sequence.
Readers who buy (eg – perhaps you’ve been able to track sending them a “bonus” if they purchased on Amazon or the other ebook stores) can be sent into a sequence just for buyers – where you might offer them some enhanced value (hardcovers, ebook boxed sets, subscriptions, Patreon exclusives, etc).
Old subscribers – you might have a large group of subscribers on your list who never got your new welcome sequence. In which case, you can send these people through a tweaked “welcome” sequence that’s tailored to them (eg – “you’ve been with me a while, and now I’m changing things up – here’s what I’ve got lined up for you”). Then move them through in the same way as new subscribers.
Unengaged subscribers – for those who haven’t opened an email in a while, you can put them through a re-engagement sequence too. Those who respond can move into an “authority” sequence. Those who don’t can be deleted after a set time.
Finding “Red Hot” subscribers – you can track those subscribers who engage the most (and you can usually set parameters for this, or run a report) and run them through a “superfans” sequence – perhaps to build your ARC or launch team, or to invite to special “beta” launches. Meaning, you’re making sure only your BEST people are part of your “superfans” team.
And anything else you can think of… building this automated email marketing “system” gives you the power and control to grow your business at scale by reaching the right people at the right time.
Where “Blast ’em Bobbie” just sends out random emails whenever it’s sales time, “Strategic Sam” uses a system like this to better understand readers and give them what they want, at the right time.
Bobbie has inconsistent sales and gets frustrated when the “blasts” don’t work. Sam can predict a consistent monthly income and glance at the “stats” and see what’s working and what needs tweaking – then make the changes on the fly.
Transitioning from “Bobbie” to “Sam” takes time. But now you have a framework and system to follow.
Of course, just having the framework and the knowledge in your head isn’t going to make this work for you.
We’ve nearly covered the “LEARN” aspect of EMU. Next, I want to talk about the other 2 phases. Without all 3, your “system” won’t work. It can’t.
I’ll explain more on the next page – I want to show you those 2 other (essential) phases and give you some “growth levers” to take what you’ve learned already and scale up the results exponentially.
In other words, I’ll show you what you need to do next and WHERE to focus to exponentially grow your results using this system.
Good – leave a comment below, and also tell me – how can you see automated sequences helping you in your business? Let me know, I’ll reply personally.