Imagine you’re staring at a river.

On one side of the river, a group of people wait anxiously, staring across the water. These are your prospects.

On the other side of the river, you’re hosting an awesome party. This is where you want your prospects to go (maybe it’s a purchase, or a call, etc.).

You know that if those people (your prospects) can just make it across the river, they’ll have a great time.

But there are two problems: 1) It’s a bit foggy over the river, and they can’t clearly see through to the awesomeness on the other side, and 2) There’s no bridge to get across.

While some people might dive in and swim across, the vast majority will never try to get to your party on the other side.

Unless you guide them.

So, you have two choices: 1) You can do nothing, and hope the people eventually come across (which they probably won’t), or 2) You can take initiative, build a bridge, and guide them along.

What will you do?

This is an example of a situation that businesses face every day.

Unfortunately, many either go with the first choice, or, if they go with the second choice, they build a terrible bridge that doesn’t even connect to the other side.

The “bridge” is your email autoresponder series.

When done right, each email in your autoresponder series lays out another crucial piece of the bridge and gets your prospects a little more excited to get to the other side.

When done wrong, or not at all, it can mean losing out a TONS of leads and sales.

Let’s lay out five types of emails you need in your autoresponder, so you can do it RIGHT, and guide your prospects to a sale (or whatever your desired action is).

1. The Welcome Email

This is the first email people receive after subscribing to your list. It can leave a great impression…or make them never want to open your emails again.

It’s that crucial.

This is where you cut through the fog and light the way, and start guiding them. You want to lay out every step and make the end goal clearly visible.

Here’s how to structure it:

-Fulfill the original opt-in promise

This might be a link to a PDF, podcast, or another type of content that you promised.

-Provide expectations

What value are you giving them in future emails? What awesome tips are they about to learn? Summarize these in a list of bullet points. This is all about guiding them through the process. Paint the picture of the benefits they’ll receive.

-Tell them who should unsubscribe

This is a disqualifier and it makes your list stronger. Let’s say your a designer/developer and the original opt-in is a free PDF about how to build a great mobile app. You can say, “If you’re not interested in building an awesome mobile app, then this isn’t for you. But if you’re ready to take advantage of the emerging mobile market, then you’re in the right place.”

-Ask for a reply

My favorite way to do this is with a specific question in the “P.S.” section. Using the designer/developer example again, you’d say something like “What’s the biggest thing stopping you from starting your next mobile app?”

2. The Exclusive Value-Add

Every autoresponder should have a few of these emails. The concept here is simple. Create some useful and relevant content that is exclusive for your subscribers (i.e. not posted anywhere else on your blog).

Think of these as “deposits”—these are messages that help your customer solve a relevant problem without asking them to give you anything in return.

Checklists, free reports, and how-to videos are also great examples.

3. The Correlation Email

This type of email is vastly underused—and that’s why it can really set you apart.

The concept is simple. You take two seemingly unrelated subjects/stories, and connect them together in a way that:

-Gives them “aha” moments


-Gives them the realization that they need to take action


-Sells your product…or the click.

Here’s the structure:

-Explain a topic that people are familiar with, or quickly explain in a way that makes them understand it

-Explain how it relates to your market’s problem or solution, and tell them how the two are related.

-Use this correlation to create a reason to check out your product (or click a link)

When used correctly, this can be one of the most powerful emails in your arsenal.

4. The Next Step Email

We mentioned making “deposits” earlier. Well, the “next step” email is more of a withdrawal—you ask your prospect to do something outside of their comfort zone—like give you money, call you, fill out a survey, schedule a consultation, etc. (And it’s made possible because you make the value-add deposits beforehand).

This email is a hard call to action. This is where you really want them to go all the way across the bridge. You lay out the benefits, tell them why they should do it, and finish up with a clearly articulated, well-defined call to action. There should be no question in their mind about what you want them to do, and why they should do it.

5. The FAQ Email

This email is all about clarity…leaving no stone unturned. You give your list the exact details of your product or service—what it costs, if there’s a guarantee, how it’s delivered, etc.

The main purpose is to answer any lingering questions and quell any doubts that might be on your prospect’s mind.

Here are some key points:

-Length doesn’t matter. This can be as short or as long as it needs to be. You never know which question can tip them over the edge and get them to buy

-Address even the most simple things, like whether it’s a digital or physical product.

-Link to your sales page

-Focus more on product/service specific questions


Your email autoresponder has the power to lead your prospects from the opt-in to an eventual sale. But you have to properly bridge the gap, else they’ll never fully make it across.

You can add these email types in your autoresponder to make it more powerful, and really guide your prospects to the desired action.

Do you want help crafting your email autoresponder, or improving your current one? Tweet us or send us an email to let us know!

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