Let’s just jump right in. Mailerlite automation is the shit.
In a nutshell, automation is like having a 24/7 office assistant to take care of all your email needs. As with any assistant, you have to put in some work up front to train and get them up to speed, but once they’re there, you can kick your feet up and watch reruns of your favorite show while your email runs itself. Sounds amazing, right?!
That’s because it is.
The main reason that I am a fan of Mailerlite automation is because I am all about instant gratification. If I am interested enough in something that I’m willing to give my name, phone number, email, etc., I want to be followed up with as quickly as possible. Have you ever signed up for something and then *crickets*? A few things come to my mind when this happens to me:
- This person/company has poor follow-through
- Maybe the link I clicked on was broken
- OR sometimes I forget that I signed up and then days/weeks later when I do get a response, I’m no longer interested
The common denominator with all of those ^ things: no good.
First impressions matter, and not only when you’re introducing your new significant other to the fam for the first time. The way customers are introduced to your brand can make or break their overall opinion about your business. So while your introduction is important, it shouldn’t be complicated or time-consuming. One of the easiest, most effective and most efficient ways to introduce your business/brand to new customers is through a welcome email (here’s where Mailerlite automation comes into play, if you were wondering when I would mention that again).
When I first started my blog, I used MailChimp as my email provider. At that time, MailChimp didn’t offer any automation capabilities and I was busting my ass trying to manually send out welcome emails. Every time I got a notification saying someone had subscribed to my email list, I was running over to my computer like some technology-obsessed troll trying to send them a welcome email as quickly as possible. This worked for a while, but the more people I had subscribing to my list, the less practical this method became. And, to make things more complicated, there are these things called time zones, and not everyone lives in the same one. So some people were subscribing while I was asleep, meaning they weren’t getting welcome emails until the next day when I got back to my computer. Again, not good.
I heard about Mailerlite and started researching, *cue the dramatic violin music* and that’s when my business life changed forever.
I use Mailerlite automation for a few different things, the main ones being:
- To automatically send welcome emails to new subscribers
- To send content upgrades that I feature in my blog posts – read more about that here!
- To send out weekly emails
- To organize my subscribers into various lists
To automatically send welcome emails to new subscribers: As I mentioned before, this is the first real introduction of your business from you to your [potential] new customers. If somebody signs up for your email list, they are interested in your business! Don’t wait until your next email cycle to let them hear from you, because they could potentially lose interest or forget about you by then. Use Mailerlite automation to send them a welcome email as soon as they sign up!
Don’t have an email account yet? No worries, friend! Use this simple, no BS tutorial to sign up for an email account with Mailerlite!
How to set up your welcome email with Mailerlite automation:
This is what you see when you open up your Mailerlite dashboard. You can use the different tabs to view things such as past campaigns/drafts, subscribers, webforms and in this case, automation.
Once you click on automation, it will bring you to a page with all of the automation flows you have set up. This is a small snapshot of mine to give you an idea of how the page looks. It tells you the flow name, the “trigger” or what causes the flow to kick in, how many times the flow has been activated, what percentage of people opened/clicked your email and the option to view a detailed report or edit the flow.
At the top of this page, there is a giant orange button that says “create a new workflow” – we want to click that.
First things first when creating a new workflow: name and trigger.
The name of your workflow is whatever you want to call it – typically, I name it after the freebie that I am giving away because that is the easiest way to keep everything organized. But my welcome flow is simply labeled “Welcome Series.”
The trigger is the action that makes the flow kick in. In this case, you want the trigger to be when a subscriber joins your email list. So to set this up, you select “When subscriber joins a group” from the drop-down menu, and then you select a group. If you don’t already have groups created, no worries! You can do that here. I would suggest labeling your main subscriber group something simple like “Main Email List” or “[Business Name] List” – whatever is easiest for you to remember. Try not to name it something vague like “List 1” because when you end up with multiple lists in the future, that could get confusing.
So as you can see, I set up my trigger as “when a subscriber joins the As Said by Ed List.”
**It’s VERY IMPORTANT that you DO NOT click the box that says “Reactivate the full workflow for subscribers who rejoin the same group in the future” because if one subscriber happens to sign up for a bunch of your content upgrades (we talk about that in my post Grow Your Email List Like Crazy Using Mailerlite Forms) they’re going to get re-added to your main email list and sent your welcome series over and over again. We don’t want that. That will annoy everyone.**
Once you have done this, click the “Save” button at the bottom and you will be taken to this screen:
Your trigger is automatically inputted at the top, so all you have to do is complete the rest of the setup. You can add as many steps as you want to your workflows. I know people who send up to five emails to their subscribers as part of their welcome series. There’s really no right or wrong – it’s all about finding the right combo for your audience. Currently, my subscribers receive two emails from me: my initial welcome email, and then a second email entitled “Wanting to Quit Your Job Doesn’t Make You an Asshole.” The first email is more about housekeeping and general info, and the second email is one of my readers’ favorite emails from the past and a pillar in the ASBE universe, so I like to include it.
To add steps to your workflow, simply click the + icon and you will be given a set of options that look like this:
You can REALLY customize your flow using these options, and I encourage you to explore and take advantage of them! But for simplicity sake, the only ones I’m going to discuss in this post are Email and Delay.
Adding an email as the next step in your sequence means that as soon as someone joins your email list, they will receive an email from you. Simple as that. If you want there to be a delay in them receiving your email, that can be accomplished using the Delay step. You can delay a step by minutes, hours or days depending on your preferences.
For the first email in my welcome series, there is no delay. I want my subscribers to instantly hear from me and so I send out the first email as soon as they subscribe. If you want to do the same for your list, add the email step to your workflow first like so:
On the right hand side, you can set the subject, the “Who is it from” field (I recommend always using your business name) and the email content. When you click on “Design email” you’ll be taken to this page:
Here is where you choose whether you want to build your email using drag & drop, a Mailerlite template or one of your recent emails. If you have never created an email before, you’ll need to choose one of the first two options. Drag & drop starts you off with a completely blank slate and gives you elements to “drop” into place such as photos, text, buttons, etc.
The template gallery is full of pre-made email templates created by Mailerlite. Because the layout is already done, all you have to do is add in your personal elements! Even if you don’t want to use one of their templates, it is a good place to get inspiration for creating your own.
After designing your email, you can either save the workflow and let it be complete as-is or you can add more steps to it. Like I mentioned earlier, my welcome series has two emails in it, so I send the first email automatically, wait for one day (using the delay feature) and then send my second email. This is what my workflow looks like:
This is a snapshot of what my initial welcome email looks like. It is simple and to the point, gives a brief intro to what ASBE is all about and provides a call-to-action directing subscribers to my Free Resource Library and Facebook group.
There are mannnyyy many directions you can take with your welcome email, but there are a few key elements to include to truly get the most out of it (and to make sure your subscribers are getting the most out of it, too!) I have compiled a cheatsheet that breaks down the six main elements and explains why they are important. Use this FREE tool to take your welcome email to the next level!
When you’re running a business (especially when you’re a one-person show) it can be extremely difficult to keep up with every little thing. Mailerlite automation is truly a “set it and forget it” tool to help you stay current with your welcome emails to new customers. First impressions matter! Craft a quality welcome email and let Mailerlite do the rest.
Who else uses Mailerlite automation for their emails?! What else do you automate to free up more of your time as a business owner?
Email Marketing: How to Build an Email List + Why Businesses Need One
Grow Your Email List Like Crazy Using Free Mailerlite Forms