If you subscribe to many email newsletters from your favorite bloggers, you may have noticed a trend the past few years. While we were encouraged to move away from simple RSS broadcasts, which was a good thing, our newsletters got longer, and longer… and looonnngggeerrr.
At first, things were going pretty awesome for me with this mega-newsletter trend. I was getting good feedback as I shared more about myself in these emails. I was able to include a lot more links to my blog posts. Because I had so much “meat and potatoes” in there, I also felt comfortable sharing more product and affiliate links as well.
Things started out great. But over time, things went south.
I started noticing my open rates going down and down. I started noticing that people were responding to emails I sent weeks or months ago. (That’s no good for someone who sends a lot of time-sensitive stuff.) I also noticed those links weren’t getting as many clicks as they used to.
At first, I thought it must be my newsletter service provider to blame. But the more I thought about it, the more one thing kept bugging me. The trend of people not reading my emails until weeks or months later couldn’t be ignored.
Email paralysis is real.
I know I do it with several newsletters I am subscribed to. I know the person on the other end is a little long-winded. They are going to have a ton of stuff linked to in there – or just have a ton to say before they get around to the links – so, I just put it aside for now. Sometimes, I put it aside indefinitely until I finally just delete it because it’s so old.
I had to get my emails back in check. Not only were those falling open rates discouraging, but I was also spending the majority of my time each week writing these newsletters and rounding up these resources. So. Much. Time.
As I was searching around for ideas to turn things around, I came across the term “forever funnel.” This was something I had heard about a couple of years back at a blogging conference, but I didn’t take it seriously. There’s no way that would work for me. Or, would it?
What’s a Forever Funnel?
If you aren’t familiar with the term forever funnel, it’s pretty simple. It’s really no different than an autoresponder series you would send a new subscriber, it just never ends. Every newsletter you write is added to this series or sequence and over time every subscriber receives every newsletter.
That could save me some time, but could it help improve the overall stats of my newsletters?
In my search, I came across Email on Autopilot by Matt Molen.
Email on Autopilot Review
Matt’s approach to newsletters was pretty scary to me. It’s all about putting your best content on autopilot and focusing on one call-to-action. As someone who had become accustomed to cramming every little thing into my newsletters, this had me worried.
And Matt’s course isn’t cheap. I needed to commit to the process if I was going to make the investment.
Another thing that had me mulling the course over for several days was that I am at a point beyond needing his first few lessons. I have good “hooks” in place. That wasn't going to be a problem.
The problem I couldn’t get past, however, was the logistics. I know my way around ConvertKit, but I can also get totally lost. I also wanted to make sure that I had everything covered.
- If I’m funneling all of my old content, how will I notify subscribers of new posts?
- How will I send broadcasts when time-sensitive stuff comes up?
- What if someone wants more? What if this other guy wants less?
This is where I really needed help.
After a few days of consideration and researching Matt, I purchased Email on Autopilot. I spent the next few days implementing his process and trying hard to break my old habits.
As I watched those first few funnel emails go out, I was nervous. The first one was on par with the open rates of what I was sending up to that point. But, I knew there was going to be somewhat of a retraining period with my subscribers as well. They were still expecting an overloaded email from me.
One thing I did notice off the bat, however, was my click-through rate. I was getting so much more traffic to my blog than in previous newsletters. That kept me going as I waited to see if my open rates would rebound.
With each funnel email I sent, those numbers went up. And my “superfan” emails that Matt recommended, were through the roof from the get-go.
A Better Blogging Life
As I mentioned previously, I was spending so much of my week writing newsletters. Seriously. I can’t tell you how many times my husband or sister would call and ask what I was doing. The answer was almost always the same, “Writing the emails.”
Not so anymore.
While a new blogger or someone writing succinct newsletters now may not notice, this new method is saving me so much time and energy. I am also able to better promote those affiliate products and blog posts I know convert well.
Some of those affiliate funnels that are oh so important for me to get people into I can feel confident people are shown whether they subscribed six months ago or today. And I can make sure I’m spacing those pushes out so people don’t feel I’m selling them something in every email.
And, as I mentioned previously, even though I’m including far fewer links in my emails, those links are getting far more clicks.
And the broadcasts I do send out now are performing better too. Why? Because they aren’t so rushed. Because I feel far less pressure to send something – anything – just to get an email into their inbox this week.
If I don’t have anything earth-shattering to say this week, that’s cool. If I’m going on vacation, I don’t have to worry about getting something before I leave or while I’m traveling. It’s already done. And, it’s something they need or want! Not the other way around.
And let's not forget the hours each week this is method is saving me. This is time I can now spend making necessary updates around here, creating better content and making sure the posts and emails I am writing are meeting the needs of my audience. And that's really important. Quality over quantity.
Not everyone will see these same results. I have a lot of subscribers and a lot of content to pull from after almost 10 years of blogging. But these are results and processes that are working for me.
I purchase a lot of courses and guides. Very few of them make a good enough of an impression to get a full review. Email on Autopilot did.
Now, as I mentioned, there were a few lessons in the Email on Autopilot course that I didn’t really need. But, maybe you do. These lessons focus on creating a great “hook” to get people subscribed to your emails in the first place. Matt also goes into creating forms and getting things set up in ConvertKit (ConvertKit isn’t a necessity. You can use this same system with another newsletter service provider if you prefer.)
The logistics are what I needed help with:
- What should go in your funnel vs. a one-time broadcast?
- How do I prevent people from getting too many emails should I need to send a broadcast?
- How do I give people the option to receive new blog posts?
- How can I deliver those new posts automatically?
- How can I offer people the option to stop receiving those updates without unsubscribing?
- How in the world do I keep this all straight?
Those are the things that made this course truly worth it for me. And the reassurance that this was a better system for both me and my subscribers.
Will that change at some point? Probably. Everything does around here. But for now, I’m loving it.