What's your 1st thought when you think of the word "autoresponders?"
Sounds kind of cold and technical, doesn't it?
But used correctly, autoresponders can be an awesome way to tell stories and make a deeper connection with your email list(s).
Whether it’s sitting around a campfire or binge-watching a Netflix show, stories are one of the primary ways we communicate with one another.
Andre Chaperon has been using autoresponders to deliver stories for years. This post is a broad explanation of his approach.
Use Stories To Drive Your Autoresponders
Storytelling is a major component of Andre’s flagship product, Autoresponder Madness (ARM).
ARM’s a unique way of writing and setting up your autoresponders by using storytelling elements. The emails wrap your marketing message inside your stories.
And it uses a lot of the same methods popular in Hollywood, from plot lines to characters and open loops (cliffhangers).
This is a different approach from Ben Settle’s daily emails, where stories end in one email. Using the ARM method, the stories are spread out over an autoresponder sequence, where each email is like an episode of your favorite TV show.
Another key distinction is that Ben uses a broadcast approach (as far as I know), where everyone gets the same email. The ARM method creates custom follow-up sequences based on behavioral triggers.
For example, a purchase can trigger a special follow-up sequence, so that reader’s getting a different set of emails than someone who didn’t buy a certain product.
How to Use the ARM Method In Your Autoresponders
Andre says that there’s one key thing you need to remember: Understand who you’re writing to. You need to know their wants, needs, desires, problems and pains.
When you write the story, you wrap it around the emotional hot buttons that are driving and motivating your readers. So don’t tell a story just for the sake of telling story.
Andre’s also a big fan of interviewing people to get a deeper understanding of his audience. Surveying your email list with tools like Polldaddy and Survey Monkey is one simple, effective way to do this.
Once you understand what end result people want to achieve, it gets a lot easier to know what to say to move them along with a story.
The Power of Open Loops
When I read “Web Copy That Sells,” one of the concepts presented was the Zeigarnik effect. It's the idea that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks.
For example, think of a TV show that you’re watching and you’re really into and all of a sudden it cuts. Now you have to wait until next week to find out what happens. That FEELING you have of the story being incomplete is the Zeigarnik effect. You want a resolution to the story - you want to close the loop.
I didn’t think much of it at the time, but the way it works with the ARM method is really clever.
You want to paint your paid product as the solution at the end of your storytelling sequence. This way, the purchase helps your reader close the loop in the story. Smart.
You’re probably wondering which method is better: daily broadcast emails or autoresponders driven by behavioral triggers.
Here’s the thing: there is no “best” method. Both work and both use storytelling effectively.
More importantly, think about context, relevance and value.
So when it comes to email marketing, keep those 3 things in mind because they're much more important.
Source: Andre Chaperon on Why Storytelling Is Like Crack Cocaine to Email Subscribers (John McIntyre Email Marketing Podcast)