Having created your series of follow-up emails, the next step is to deliver them to your email contacts according to your desired schedule.
You can easily achieve this in ActiveCampaign using an automation. Alternatively, you can use the autoresponder functionality of your chosen email marketing system (although you won’t have the same options and flexibility that you get with ActiveCampaign).
In this lessson, I’ll show you how to set up an example automation in ActiveCampaign you can adapt and use for yourself to deliver your follow-up email sequence.
There are two basic delivery models you could use to send out your email series, and it’s important to choose the right one for you and your ideal clients.
The first one is what we might call the continuous delivery system.
This is a straightforward and simple system where you deliver your emails, one after another, according to a set schedule.
For example, your contacts may get email #1 on day 1, email #2 on day 3, email #3 on day 7, and email #4 on day 11.
This method is typical of the standard autoresponder delivery system.
It’s perfectly suited for a task such as delivering installments of an email course, or any application where your contacts need to receive an email from you on a specific day.
However, there’s no intelligence or ability to adapt in this kind of system.
If your contact is away from their mailbox for a while, or simply fails to open your emails, they just keep on coming, one after another, piling up in their inbox, unread.
This could lead to a situation where your contact unsubscribes from your email list altogether because they feel overwhelmed by the number of unread messages.
The continuous delivery system is also not suited for a follow-up series for another, less obvious, reason.
Remember, your follow-up series is intended to tell a story over time.
If your emails pile up, unread, in your contact’s inbox then she may end up reading them out of sequence, spoiling the effect you wanted to achieve with the story.
The solution is to use the second delivery method, which I’ll call the contact-responsive delivery model.
As with the previous method, your emails are queued up for delivery according to a defined schedule.
But, this time, you wait for the contact to open any given email before sending them the next one in the sequence.
Therefore, if they receive email #1 but don’t open it, they won’t receive email #2 or any others from the sequence.
You can instruct your automation to wait for the recipient to open the previous email for as long as you choose, after which you might decide to send the next email anyway, send them a reminder, or simply unsubscribe them from your list (since they’re not being responsive anyway).
Start With My Automation Template
To help you build your own contact-responsive automation in ActiveCampaign, I’ve created a template you can download and use.
This is a simple automation with five emails, the last four of which are only delivered if the recipient opens the preceding email.
The template is intended as a guide to show you the basic flow and how the conditions are set up.
You can start with this template, modify the wait conditions to suit your desired schedule, and you can add or delete emails from the automation as needed.
Here’s how to import the automation:
- Click on “Automations” in the ActiveCampaign main menu…
- Click the green “New Automation” button at the top right…
- In the next window (“Create A New Automation”), select the “Import Automation” button…
- Enter the following URL: http://tplshare.com/cp10ZMr
- This will start the automation setup wizard with the following 4 steps:
- Change the from name and address of the emails in the sequence…
- Select the correct email for the “wait until has opened…” steps…
- Select the correct email for the “if/else…” steps (the same email as in item 2)…
- Select the list from which to unsubscribe unresponsive contacts…
- Click on “Add start trigger” at the top of your automation…
- Select “Tag Is Added” from the list of options…
- Enter the tag you created earlier in task 2 and leave the other fields as they are…
- Click “Add Start”…
The automation should look something like this when you import it:
Obviously, you can add or subtract emails from this sequence, change the wait time between emails, and change how long the system will wait for the contact to open the emails you send them.
You can also change what happens if they fail to open the emails. For example, you can use a “Go To” action to direct the automation to send the next email.
Hope this helps, but let me know if you have any questions or need help setting any of this up in ActiveCampaign.