Indoctrination Series – How to Fill Your Auto Responder (Part 1)

Indoctrination Series – How to Fill Your Auto Responder (Part 1)

The Getting To Know You / Indoctrination Series

Most business owners know leads need to be nurtured before they’ll buy. We’ve all heard stats like 50% of prospects not being ready to buy today, and 79% of leads never buying at all, thanks to a lack of nurturing. But knowing you have to nurture your leads, and actually doing it are 2 different things, as shown by many of the sequences I’ve seen. Unfortunately, knowing what to say is where things get more difficult.

If you’ve ever sat down to write an auto responder sequence, and stared blankly at your monitor wondering what to say next, this series of posts is for you.

We’re going to discuss what you need to say to your new guests. And how to move them through the buying cycle towards knowing you, liking you, and ultimately trusting you enough to buy your products and / or services.

If you’ve followed my blog, you know I advocate approaching marketing as a seduction or dating. You can see samples here and here.

To summarize, when you’re seducing a mate, you don’t start with a proposal right out the gate. Instead, you entice your future bride by letting them get to know you better. Coffee, dinner and a movie, then a day frolicking in the park, a romantic weekend, etc.

When someone fills in the optin in form on your website, the approach should be the same. Don’t just jump in and ask for a sale, instead, allow your new prospect to warm up to you. This process can happen quickly, but it does need to be done in order and systematically.

Immediately after a new prospect signs up to your list, for example from your lead magnet, begin your first sequence, the “Getting to Know You” or “Indoctrination” system. Depending on your business, and the size of your service, this first sequence can be anywhere from 3 – 10 mails.

Mail 1 – The Confirmation

There’s lots of discussion within the industry about double optin mails. They’ve been standard in the Internet marketing industry – where spam is so prevalent – for a long time, but for service providers, they’re still optional.

This is changing though. With CANSPAM in the US slapping down $16,000 dollar fines, and Canadian regulations threatening a draconian $10 million dollar beating, its more important than ever to just ask for confirmation.

As a general rule, if a client is signing up for some type of human interaction, like a consultation request, I won’t bother with the confirmation. But for a downloadable lead magnet, or newsletter subscription, it’s much safer to us double optins.

Yes, a confirmation adds friction to your process and reduces the number of leads in your funnel. But a lead who isn’t willing to confirm probably isn’t a great lead anyway, and not worth the risk.

Keep your confirmation mail short and simple. Remind the prospect the benefits they signed up for, and why they should confirm, and leave it at that.

Mail 2 – Deliver the Goods

The next mail in your sequence should go out right away, the minute your new prospect confirms their interest. This mail should be a simple welcome into your tribe along with a link or attachment containing whatever you offered in the way of new information.

Note, while an attachment works, by using a link instead, you give yourself valuable intelligence into who is downloading and consuming the information. In addition, by sending the prospect back to your website, you can give them further action steps like joining your Facebook group, etc. or kick off other automations.

It also helps psychologically because you are giving instructions to follow. This is a powerful tool in your arsenal for move prospects down the buying path.

Mail 3 – Set Expectations

Often times, I’ll combine mail 2 and 3 into one, and you might want to consider testing it both ways.

In this mail, you want to accomplish three goals.

First, remind the reader of how they subscribed to your list. And the benefits they’ll receive by reading and implementing whatever information you sent.

Next, set the expectations of the frequency you’ll be sending, the type of information they’ll learn, and the benefits they’ll receive by reading.

Treat this mail almost as a sales letter because you’ll also explain how to make sure they continue receiving your mail, so you want to keep your reader engaged.

Include information on whitelisting your email address, filtering the mail into a new folder (if desired), etc.

Mail 4 – Show Who You Are and What you Stand for

The 4th mail in your series is a great place to introduce yourself. By now, your prospect has already downloaded your information, and is seeing the benefits and the value you’ve given them. If you’ve done a good job your leads will be primed to learn more about you and your work.

Think in terms of dating. In the first 3 mails, you gave value, made sure your prospect was comfortable, and the first date was setup.

In this mail, you are on the first date and letting your prospect know who you are and giving them the opportunity to learn more about you.

It’s not good to be overly pushy here. You just want to let your prospect feel you out and decide if you are someone they want to learn more about.

Mail 5 – x – Give Your Best Value

In mail 4, you showed your prospect who you were, now’s your chance to deepen the relationship. Give them your best content, and the most value. Help them solve their problems and issues. Enhance their lives or businesses because of what you have to offer.

Be generous, you’ll spend much of your time in this part of the series. Many service providers are scared if they give their best value, the client won’t hire them.

But talk to most successful coaches and consultants and you’ll hear the opposite is true. The service providers who give the most up front are the ones your clients will work with in the future.

Final Mail – Show How You can Help

The final mail in your Get to Know You / Indoctrination series is far from the final mail you’ll send. Rather, it’s the stopping point for this particular series before moving into the engagement series we’ll talk about in a future blog post.

By this time, your prospect has learned who you are and what you stand for. They’ve had a chance to experience how generous you are and seen your expertise in action.

They may not be quite ready to buy yet, but it’s time you let them know you are capable of helping solve their most dire issues.

You’re also setting them up to offer products and / or services in the future.

The Get to Know You / Indoctrination  Email Series

The specific emails, and even the number of emails, in the Get to Know You / Indoctrination series will vary depending on your business, the price of the service you offer, and the method the prospect used to get into your list. But this formula gives your prospect the chance to learn who you are in these first mails.

You want to set them up to feel comfortable moving into your world and let them know you are there to help.

Are you using a Getting to Know You series in your auto responder? How is it working for you, and where do you think it could be improved? Leave a comment below, or setup a free consultation to discuss your approach.

Just like in dating and seduction, moving the buyer down the purchase path requires a process / system, and the first step is getting to know, like, and trust you. Your Getting to Know You / Indoctrination series is where the path begins.