By Rohi Shetty

An email sequence is a series of email marketing messages that you send to your subscribers in a pre-determined order and frequency. An autoresponder could be a single message like a welcome message or a series of messages like a five-part email course on a specific topic.

Your sequence of email messages is sent out automatically one by one depending on when people sign up. Every subscriber receives the same email messages in the same sequence. On the other hand, blog updates or broadcast emails, like this newsletter, are sent at a specific time to the whole list.

Email sequences are also called autoresponder series or follow-up emails. You can use email providers like MailChimp, GetResponse, AWeber, Drip, and ConvertKit to send email sequences. Some examples of email autoresponders are:

Why every writer should have an email sequence

Once you create an autoresponder series, you can set it up to send out at pre-set intervals to anyone who asks for them, worldwide. They can be used to reach out to your audience with valuable content and relevant offers. They work for you 24×7, even when you are asleep or playing with your cat.

Six brilliant benefits of email sequences

  1. Promote your email sequence as a free email course and use it to entice people to sign up for your email list
  2. Engage with your subscribers by asking them questions and starting a conversation as soon as they sign up
  3. Establish a relationship with your subscribers
  4. Grow your authority by sharing your most valuable content in your email series
  5. Share personal stories so your readers can get to know, like and trust you
  6. Get more sales by promoting your products during and at the end of your email sequence

How to create your first email sequence

Step 1: Define the purpose
What problem can you solve for your subscribers or how can you best delight them? Make a list of common problems and their solutions. Make sure your advice is actionable—easy to understand and easy to implement. Henneke’s advice is to make your readers feel better immediately by providing a quick win—a cookie in each email.

Step 2: Create an outline
Create an outline for your email sequence. Decide on the number of emails you will include in your email sequence. What will be the topic of the email sequence? It could be an email course or a collection of your most popular blog posts. In any case, a subject title for the entire sequence and separate email titles for each message.

Step 3: Create a template
Each email has the same components such as email subject, salutation, introduction, body of the email, call to action, email signature, P.S., and so on. Create an email template, which can save you significant time and effort. It also helps to overcome writer’s block, as you only have to fill in the blanks.

Step 3: Schedule your emails
Decide whether to send your emails daily (recommended for the first few days) or less frequently such as every alternate day.

Step 4: Decide on the format
Some of your readers may prefer to read long emails while others may prefer reading the text on your site. If your email is short, include the full text in your email. However, if your text is longer than 500 words, you may choose to put in a link so that readers can read it on your site.

Step 4: Write and deliver
Schedule the time to write the whole series of emails using the pre-filled template you have already created. Then queue them up in your email service provider. Make sure you test the series to make sure everything works properly, especially all the links. Most importantly, make sure you make it easy for them to unsubscribe from your list.

Once you’ve finished those steps, you can drive visitors to your website towards your opt-in form and start getting sign-ups. Your email sequence will be an added incentive for them to sign up.

A word of caution
All of us are swamped with too many emails. Nobody wants to receive more email. So cherish the people who have subscribed to your email list. Make sure you provide value to them in each email so that they get to know, like, and trust you.

Join the conversation
Have you created your email sequence yet?
What is it?
Paste the link in the comments below so that we can check it out.

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(30 August 2017)

Rohi Shetty is a doctor, health writer, and editor for hire. Check out his Kindle books at Amazon and connect with him on LinkedIn and his new Facebook Page. His latest passion is building Facebook Messenger chatbots.

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