Oct 262011

Yesterday I wrote a post titled Introduction to Autoresponders. It recommended them as a tool that bloggers should consider as a means of driving traffic, deepening reader engagement, and increasing profits. I also showed how to set up an autoresponder sequence of emails in just a few easy steps using Aweber’s service.

Today I want to suggest a number of practical strategies for actually using autoresponders alongside your blog.

Some of these I’ve used with success myself, and some are based upon the experience of other blogging friends. It should also be said that you could combine some of the following ideas into a single autoresponder sequence (more on this below).

1. Free mini-course

Set up a sequence of emails that walks readers through the teaching around some aspect of your niche. This is what I did when developing an early version of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog.

Back then 31DBBB wasn’t an ebook—it was a series of 31 emails that readers signed up for. Each day, readers received an email with some teaching and a task to do. This later evolved into the ebook with extra content.

2. Paid course or product

Numerous bloggers have set up autoresponders as central parts of paid products or courses. One of the best examples of this is Chris Guillebeau’s 365-part autoresponder, which forms part of a product. Chris’s product took a mammoth amount of work, but was hugely successful with those who bought it, and as a result, it would have been a very profitable endeavor.

3. Introduce readers to your archives

One of the challenges that many bloggers face is that new readers to your blog don’t ever see your old posts sitting in your archives. So why not showcase the best of your older posts by putting them together into an autoresponder sequence? Perhaps you could send one “classic” post per week. In doing so, you’ll be constantly driving readers to your archives for as long as new people keep signing up.

Another alternative is to do a compilation email on a particular theme. For example, on our photography blog autoresponder, one email that goes out in our sequence lists ten posts from our archives all on the theme of composition. It shoots readers deep into the site, and we often get emails from readers thanking us for it.

4. Affiliate promotions

Is there a product in your niche that you highly recommend your readers buy, and which

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