July 27, 2021

4 Easy Steps to Automate Your Email Marketing

4 Easy Steps to Automate Your Email Marketing

This week I’m giving you the simple process you need to get your email marketing running like clockwork and finally start nurturing that list you’ve worked so hard to build. Plus, it’s super easy to implement this system and then pass it off to your team to keep the quality content coming week after week.

What would it do for your business to finally nurture that email list you've worked so tirelessly to build instead of continuing to put it on the backburner of your to-do list? 

Now, imagine how it would feel to be able to do this email marketing nurturing on autopilot week after week?

We both know that building an email list is only half the battle. Because what good is spending all that time building your list if you can’t keep people on it? 


  • A simple, 4-step process for automating your business systems and process, and email marketing

  • How to nurture your list and maintain the relationships you’ve worked so hard to build (without wasting any more time wondering what to say!)

  • The exact framework to implement that’s also super easy to pass off to your team, so they can continue creating amazing content week after week

If this episode on email marketing automation and business systems and processes inspires you, leave a review and share your biggest takeaway with me. And while you've got your phone out, make sure to follow me on Instagram @thecourtneyelmer for more quick tips on how to streamline your business systems and spend more time in your zone of genius.





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Courtney Elmer  0:11  

What's up, welcome back. This is Courtney Elmer, your host of the Systems Made Simple™ podcast. This is Episode 80 which is all about Business Systems and Processes, and Email Marketing. And this episode is part of a quick tip series that we've dubbed our summer series of systems, which is all about helping you streamline your business on the backend for maximum efficiency. So you can spend more time shining out there in your zone of genius on the front end of your business. So today, I have two questions for you.


Courtney Elmer  0:36  

How would you like to nurture your email list on autopilot? How would you like to automate your email marketing? How would you like to learn my systems and processes? 

You already know that having a healthy email list is critical in business, and chances are you have worked tirelessly to build the list that you have whether it's 500 people on that list, or 5000 people or 50,000 people. But inevitably, email marketing nurturing can sometimes fall to the back burner in favor of your other priorities, doesn't it? Those business systems and processes and automation should be present in your business. It's alright, we can be honest here. I have been guilty of this too. I mean, we all have unless you have business systems and processes for it. 

So today's episode is dedicated to helping you learn the easy four-step process that we use for automating your email marketing. This is so that you can nurture your list and maintain those relationships, the ones you've worked so hard to build, without wasting time wondering what the heck am I gonna say to them this week, or risk losing them when it's time to make an offer to sell your program or your product, because I'd ever happened to you, where maybe you go through your list for a little while or you kind of keep in contact with them, you nurture them here and there. But you just don't really have a clear business system and process strategy or plan, you're not really clearly leading them down a path. So that when you actually go to make an offer to them via email, you get a whole bunch of unsubscribes. Yeah, been there, to build an email list is only half the battle. Getting the right automation is also part of this battle. 

And don't let any kind of marketing automation expert out there tell you otherwise, listen closely to my voice right now. Because what good is spending all your time building an email list, if you don't know how to keep people on it. What's worse, is that when you don't know how to nurture them, so that they're primed and ready, when you make an offer, you are going to be missing out on plenty of business and 1000s of dollars and leaving money on the table. This is an essential skill, knowing how to nurture your email marketing list and maintain and build and foster those relationships with people who have already raised their hand and said, “Yeah, I want to learn more from you. I want to learn your business systems and processes.” So the beauty of the automation I'm going to teach you here today is that this is something you can implement once and let it run autopilot with the right business systems and processes. 

You can pass the writing and automation off to someone on your team to create and then monitor, you can enlist the help of a copywriter to help you create the actual content that goes in the emails. I'm going to give you the bones, the email marketing framework, and you get to have the creative license to fill in those blanks based on whatever your business goals are for the next three months, the next six months, the next year. I want you to be thinking out strategically working from the end in mind, as my dear old dad always has told me. I mean, gosh, if I had $1 for every time, he has told me that from the time I was a little girl up until now I wouldn't have to have a business I would already be a millionaire. So work from the end in mind, think about where I ultimately want this person this lead on my list to wind up. And then we're going to reverse engineer that automation process. 

So to set the email marketing system up, you're going to need a few essential things including automation. So let's walk through what those are first for your business systems and processes. Number one thing you're gonna need is an email software provider that offers business systems and processes, and automations. We really love Active Campaign for this. And I will explain why in a moment. We're not affiliated with them. I don't make any money saying that. But we really like them because of some of the elements that they have that other email providers that we've used for their automation systems don't provide. But whatever provider you have, make sure that you're on a payment tier that includes the option to set up automated email marketing sequences. I'm not saying you can't do this on another provider, you certainly can, you just have to figure out the nuances of that platform. 

But if you're on an email provider right now that doesn't offer automated email marketing sequences, and you want to save time and you want to be able to nurture your list on autopilot, you may want to strongly consider making the move to a platform that can help you do that. The second thing that you need are three key pieces of your best performing content. Maybe this is an ID post that you put out there or real that went viral or viral for you. Maybe this is Facebook Live. Maybe you did it six months ago.


Courtney Elmer  5:00  

It did really well, people really responded to it, and you got a lot of comments on it or a lot of engagement with it. Maybe if you have a podcast, it was one of those episodes that got a lot more downloads than the rest. Or maybe it was a piece of content that you created for your students inside one of your programs, something that they really raved about, something that was so helpful for them. Whatever content that you choose, you're going to select three things that speak to why someone needs what you do. So for example, in one of our lead magnet email marketing sequences, we talk about how we teach podcasting differently than the average podcast course out there. 

Because there are a million courses out there for learning how to create a podcast, I have yet to see one that teaches you how to launch it, and how to scale it and maintain your momentum long term. That's our differentiator. That's what we do differently. And that is why someone needs what we do if they are considering a podcast to get their message out into the world in a bigger way and generate more traffic and sales for their business. So that's the key. 

In the email marketing that you were putting in this nurture sequence, the first four of those emails are simply meant to nurture, to educate, to entertain, you're not selling anything. We want to be able to repurpose some of your best performing email marketing content, because that is an indicator that people really resonated with it, and why recreate the wheel. So pick three pieces of your best-performing content, whatever those may be. And then finally, I want you to choose one offer that you want to make to the people on your list, maybe this is a low ticket offer, or this is a low price product that you have. 

Maybe this is an application to fill out from one of your programs, maybe it's you want them to sign up for a webinar, whether that's a live webinar or a paid workshop. Whatever you do, though, don't use a free lead magnet here because they're already on your list. So what we want to do is lead them down a path, which is what this nurture email marketing sequence is designed to do. And then soft pitch them with something that some marketing people might call a tripwire, which is simply a low-priced offer that helps someone see how amazing you are so that they want to continue working with you. 

It's a low barrier of entry, it helps to build know, like, and trust. So I would recommend anything under $100 bucks would be a good rule of thumb for something here, if you don't have something, consider making something. Okay. So once you have these ingredients, we're going to mix them up and we're going to bake them into a weekly newsletter replacement automation. Gone are the days of sending weekly newsletters to your list, because--yuck--who wants a newsletter you are forbidden from calling it that from now on, nobody is going to subscribe to your newsletter, okay, so stop calling it that be weekly newsletters don't actually nurture your list. And the reason is some people's inboxes are already clogged, they are going to gloss over that no one wants your updates. They do not care what is going on in your business, or that you got featured on XYZ podcast last week, or that your story was picked up by Entrepreneur or Forbes, or that you just enrolled 40 new students in your program, nobody cares.


Courtney Elmer  8:33  

What they care about is how you can help them. So this is about putting your ego aside because setting up this nurture sequence is all about them baby, not you. It’s about automation for them. And if you miss that critical piece, this whole system is gonna flop and you're gonna be right back where you started, which is losing subscribers. You need to have efficient business systems and processes. 


Courtney Elmer  8:52  

And not knowing how to keep them on your email marketing list. And not knowing what the heck to say to them to make them stay.


Courtney Elmer  9:00  

So I'm going to give you an overview of what this framework looks like. And then we're going to walk through the strategic aspect of it. So this is a total of six emails that you are going to build into this business automation. And if for whatever reason you're unfamiliar with what an automation is, it's simply a sequence of email marketing newsletters strung together, that drips out automatically, based on the actions that a subscriber takes. You can make these as simple or as complicated as you want. We have a ton of email marketing automations that we use in our business. Some of them are really complex. Some of them like these, the nurture sequences are really really simple and straightforward. So here are the six emails that you are going to include in this first installment of this email marketing sequence. First email is a welcome email. The next three emails are your three best pieces of content. The final two emails are a soft pitch for whatever low-ticket priced product


Courtney Elmer  10:00  

You are pitching to your list. The beauty about this is that you can create multiple sets of nurture email marketing sequences and string them end to end. So I'll get to that more in a moment. But for this first email marketing sequence, the point of clarification I want to make is that you will only put a welcome email in this first sequence. If you do go on to create more sequences like this and string them into end, you'll omit that welcome email, and you'll simply replace that with another piece of good performing content. Okay, so those are the six emails, welcome email, three content pieces that nurture and engage and educate and entertain, and then to emails that invite them to take action to purchase something it is an offer.


Courtney Elmer  10:48  

So the strategy here is, you're going to write a total of six emails. That’s my business systems and processes. But here's the coolest part, you're repurposing content that you've already created for the majority of these emails. So this should not take much time at all. You can knock this out in an afternoon if you sit down, and you block out all distractions, and you really focus or pass this off to your copywriter.


Courtney Elmer  11:09  

So first things first, the welcome email, what you want to do in this email is educate your new lead, who has just joined your list on how you can help them be specific, why they should care, and include a bit about who you are. But please don't go into a whole about page worth of content about you. Because again, remember, this is not about you. But it is okay to put some credibility in there and help them understand why they should trust you as their guide on this journey. So whatever it is that you do, help them understand why you were the perfect person to teach them that keep these emails short. These are two paragraph emails at the most. And then at the very end of each of these emails, you're going to do something that is a little psychology trickier, you are going to tease out what's coming in the next email. Some people call this opening up a loop. 


Courtney Elmer  12:07  

Because in our brain, we don't like questions to go unanswered. So at the end of that welcome email, you're going to tease out what they should be looking for and why they should keep an eye on your inbox for the next email. And so to go back to our podcast, email sequence, as an example, the first email that gets delivered, I'm talking about podcasting. And you know, what a great medium it is for getting your message out there and connecting with people and all of those things. And then at the very end of the email, I don't have it in front of me, but I say something to the effect of. And in tomorrow's email, I'm going to show you why most new podcasts wind up in the apple graveyard. So be on the lookout for that email for me tomorrow. So you can find out how to avoid this mistake. 


Courtney Elmer  12:53  

Well, all of a sudden, their brain is going well, I want to know what that is. Because if I'm going to launch a podcast, I don't want it to wind up in the Apple graveyard. So they are going to have an unconscious awareness of their inbox looking for your email. It's psychology, this is why I study psychology. I love psychology. It's so much fun. And it's so much fun to apply psychology to business. So you're going to open a loop. Alright, so the second email, this is going to be a piece of your best-performing content. 

Maybe it's that Facebook Live did really well, maybe it's a podcast episode you want them to listen to. If I was building out the sequence for myself, I might include Episode 72, which is on the four business systems and processes you need in your biz, because that is a foundational episode. That is something I want everyone to listen to, if they're meeting me for the first time because in that episode, I unpack the four systems every visionary leader needs, and how to tell how your business stacks up against those four systems. 

So that might be a piece of content that I include an email to, and then I open a loop at the end to say, hey, and next time you hear from me, which might be you know, in tomorrow's email, or in a few days. I will email you just kind of give them a heads up as to when they can expect it. I'm going to tell you why. Blah, blah, blah, and you open up that loop, you create that question in their mind. So then in your third email, it's your second piece of content. And your fourth email, it's your third piece of content. So there you have four emails already the welcome email, plus three content emails that are continually leading someone down a path now, marketing one on one, beginning with the end in mind, you know, you want them to make a purchase of whatever this low ticket thing is, that you are offering them that solves a specific problem.

Courtney Elmer  14:39  

Those four emails should lead people to want whatever it is you're about to pitch them. Those four emails should create demand for whatever it is you're going to offer them. It should create desire for whatever it is you're going to offer them. It should create a sense of urgency for why they need that problem solved right now. And it should educate them about why you do what you do, how you can help them and why you are different. I know, it's a tall order. But if you've been in business for any length of time, a lot of this stuff you should already know. And if you're new to it, and you need help, we can help you. That's what we do here at The EffortLESS Life®. 

So the final two in the email marketing sequence are going to be your pitch emails, these are going to be your emails where you include a link, a call to action to take action, you want them to take action. So you are going to make your best offer in those emails, again, keeping it short. And by now in those first four emails, you should have highlighted a problem that they have that then these last two emails are going to solve. And so essentially, those last two emails close the loop in their brain that has been opened through the first four emails, because those last two emails solve a problem for them. 


Courtney Elmer  16:00  

That, my friends, is how you move people through to an end goal.


Courtney Elmer  16:08  

And you can repeat this process as you can set up as many nurture sequences as you want and string them into. You can get really fancy and clever and creative with this. And if they take action on the first one, well, then they're going to likely go into a student sequence, a welcome or onboarding email marketing sequence. So they don't go through any more nurture sequences. But if they don't take action, if they don't buy the thing, you can drip them through another sequence for more emails, educating them, and then to soft pitch emails to solve that problem for them.


Courtney Elmer  16:41  

This is yours to get as creative with as you want. But at the same time, if this is new to you, don't be overwhelmed. Don't start thinking to yourself, wow, how amazing would it be to have a year's worth of content automated, yes, it would. But don't drop everything that you're doing to create a year's worth of content and set this up, you can build this as you go. Start with the one sequence first focus there. 


Courtney Elmer  17:05  

Now, based on how you're using the email marketing sequence, your provider will prompt you to set something called an automation trigger. This is what makes the sequence start. This is what moves a contact into that sequence. So a couple of options, you had a lot of options. One of them, you can set it when someone joins your list. If they haven't joined your list, because they've subscribed to receive another lead magnet, you'll want to deliver that lead magnet and then drip them into this sequence. You can trigger it when someone completes another sequence. So we have nurture email marketing sequences that trigger after someone has dripped through an entire email funnel for our podcast program. And then test it, test, and test! Don't skip this step, put yourself in the sequence, let it drip out in real-time, some email providers will let you move through the sequence a little more quickly. There's a way to do that. 


Courtney Elmer  18:03  

We like to drip it out in real-time, because we want to make sure everything is going out at the time that we've scheduled it for the amount of time between emails, so we test it, we click every link in the email, we make sure the subject lines are what they're supposed to be and we make sure that when you personalize the email and you put you know, first name, or whatever the little code is so that it pops their first name in there, we make sure that that is correct. And all the emails so that there's no email that goes out where it accidentally misses that we've had that happen before. And it says, “Hey (first name), would you like to know that.” And it's like, oh my gosh, it's so embarrassing when that happens. 


Courtney Elmer  18:38  

But hey, we're human and it happens to everybody, so test it, test it, test it, and test it. This is gonna help you eliminate all those little details and errors that might be present. Following all of those business systems and processes will help you iron out those kinks. 

Once you've done that, then let it run, let it run, and start putting people through it. And then all you have to do at that point is continually monitor your open and click-through rates. What I recommend is waiting until 100 people go through the email marketing sequence. If the open and click-through rate isn't where you want it after 100 people have gone through, you might have to modify your content a little bit. But you're not going to have an accurate read on those open and click-through rates until 100 people have gone through so no sweat, but 100 people through it, then you can worry about tweaking if you need to. 


And as I mentioned the best part about it is that you can loop these together, you can string them together, units of six, four, nurture emails, two calls to action, four nurture emails, two calls to action, have people drip through it, depending on where you're ultimately leading them. Now to circle back to the reason we like Active Campaign for this is because within their automation feature. They have something called “Goals”. 

And if someone makes a purchase, you can set the sequence so that they automatically leave the nurture funnel and enter the student welcome sequence where you continue to build the relationship. It is a really small thing, but when you're in business and you're setting up multiple funnels like this, and you have multiple sequences going. This is a fail proof way to make sure that someone doesn't get locked into or trapped in multiple email marketing sequences. Because that could get confusing. I mean, imagine if someone made a purchase. And all of a sudden now they're in a student welcome email marketing sequence. And they're also still getting pitched for the thing they just bought. That didn't look good. So the goals feature makes it really easy to make sure that doesn't happen.


Courtney Elmer  20:27  

Another thing to note, and I hope you're getting excited about this, I geek out on this stuff, business systems and processes are so much fun. Another thing to note is that in your future email marketing sequences if you're stringing them together, you can change the call to action, maybe you have two low ticket offers that you want to offer. And so you set up the problem and you solve it with that offer in the first sequence. And then you set up another small problem and solve it with that second small offer in the second email marketing sequence. 

Again, you can get as creative as you want. But don't let it get out of hand. If it's already feeling a little overwhelming, or you're not sure where to start, just start with the one sequence. Go listen back through this episode, where I walk you through my business systems and processes, what the emails are, and what to put in those emails and just follow that process and test it and turn it on and put 100 people through it. And do that and you'll get confident with it as you build it. Now, if you don't want to set up any of this on your own or you don’t have the business processes and systems, we walk you through it step by step inside of our mastermind program, the Visionary Leader Incubator applications, two that are opening back up this fall. So stay tuned for when those open if that is something you want to learn more about. 

And if you're loving what you've been hearing on the summer series, I want to hear from you what topics you want to have me cover on this series. You can send me a voicemail on our podcast website SystemsMadeSimple.co and let me know. I'll feature your voicemail on the air so you will hear your voice on the airwaves and I won't answer your question live in an upcoming episode. 


Next week, I am giving away my framework on how to build your email list on autopilot and teach you my business systems and processes. Because once you know how to nurture them, and keep them on your list, building that list gets really really fun. That's coming up next week. I'll see you back here next time on the Systems Made Simple™  podcast. Until then, go live your EffortLESS Life®.