Email Marketing Automations: To Broadcast or Autorespond?

General, List Building


As a consumer it can be the bane of our existence. It fills our inbox and slows down our day. It is also an excellent source of procrastination.

As online business owners, we rely on email marketing automations and newsletters to build lists, communicate with followers and share content. But in order to get people to read what we write, we have to respect that our readers are busy. We need to earn the right to be in their inbox.

Email Marketing Automations

There are two types of emails in the world. Email autoresponder sequences and broadcast emails. Used effectively, they earn you the right to appear in in-boxes around the world, build your email list and make your clients raving fans. And email service providers like ActiveCampaign, Aweber & Mailerlite make the technology piece of seeing up such email sequences a piece of cake.

But what is an email automation? Let me explain…

Email Autoresponder Sequences

An email autoresponder is an email that goes out automatically – sending it is triggered by either an action or some amount of elapsed time. If you’ve opted in for a lead magnet or bought a course and immediately got an email thanking you for your purchase, that was an autoresponder. It responded automatically when you checked out.

Many online marketers follow the initial email autoresponder with another automatically delivered email the next day. This one makes sure you received your lead magnet or paid product and gives you more information about the course. You may get three or four automatically delivered emails over the course of the next week or two encouraging you to use the product, leave comments and ask questions. Those emails are triggered by the fact you opted in for, or bought, something. No one is at their computer sending them to you. They go out automatically every few days to people who subscribed.

Once you have two or more automated emails strung together, they form an email sequence.

Email autoresponders can be used to make sure that people are happy with their online purchase, but where they are fantastic is when used to get a brand new customer to engage with you. While the first email in a sequence might just be a thank you and a welcome to the program, subsequent emails can address questions that you’ve found common among other students during the first few days after they’ve purchased. Maybe you have a beginning module that challenges people’s thinking and you know that it slows people down. You can schedule an email automation to go out three days after someone purchases that product to addresses the issue by saying,

“Hey, I know this is tough work you’re doing, but I wanted to pop in and let you know that it’s difficult because you are being challenged. Don’t give up. Respond to this email and let me know where you are stuck.” That would be an email follow up sequence.

I promise — well written email marketing sequences can truly make people think you are reading their minds.

Email Broadcasts

You’re probably on a few lists where you get weekly or monthly updates. Maybe it’s a newsletter, weekly blog post or video. Subscribers to my list get a bi-weekly email that tells a little story and provides a link to my most recent blog article. Those are emails I write fresh and send out each week to my entire list. They are called broadcast emails because I’m “broadcasting” them to everyone at once.

Now, just because I send those emails fresh each week, it doesn’t mean I write them each week. Even broadcast emails can be scheduled in the future to be sent, but they are sent according to a specific date and time, not according to an action (like making a purchase). In my case, I write 5-10 emails and blog articles at once and schedule them to go out weekly.

You can use broadcast emails to discuss current events related to your customer’s businesses, or new technology developments. They are fresh and current. If you are a web designer that just discovered a great new plug in, you can very effectively use a broadcast email to let your subscribers know about the latest development and how it affects them.

Email Best Practices

So, to summarize:

When it comes to email marketing automations: a broadcast email is sent out to many people at one time. Typically, a broadcast goes out to your entire list, but in some cases it might go out to a smaller group. The point is, it goes out to everyone at once. An autoresponder email or sequence goes out only to people who have performed a certain action.

Both types of emails have specific purposes and, used correctly, can really help you to build your list. It would be considered email best practice to use a combination of the two.

Life is busy and inboxes are full, there’s no space for boring people or boring emails. Use email effectively and your customers will look forward to seeing you in their inbox each week!

If you want to see an email nurture sequence in action, sign up for my of my free resources. There’s:

No matter which one you choose, you’ll get to see an example of an email nurture sequence in action, as each has its own set of follow up emails to help you use the resource.

Copyright: belchonock / 123RF Stock Photo

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