Building Superfan Onboarding

By: Ken Brown
Published: 1/18/2021

Creating Your Newsletter List of Superfans

Last week was very busy for me. Not only did I publish Book 2, Zita's Revenge, but I also finalized my superfan onboarding sequence. It was a stressful week, as I did things I don't normally do. That always increases the tension and stress I feel. I like doing the same things each day. Here are the steps to create your own superfan onboarding sequence.

What is a Superfan Onboarding Sequence?
What is a superfan onboarding sequence? For me, it's an automated email process, where a reader joins my Adgitize Press Readers Group. After they join, then I send them five emails to bring them onboard to my readers group. If they haven't left the group after those five emails, then I add them to my regular list of subscribers.

Today's article is all about the automation sequence. An automation sequence allows readers to join my newsletter, and then they automatically receive a certain number of emails without any input from me. I set it up once, and let it run for weeks, months or even years without making changes.

Parts of an Automation Sequence
When you think of automation sequence, you should consider these email types after your reader signs up to your list.

  • Confirmation
  • Welcome
  • A Link to the Reader Magnet
  • Did You Receive the Reader Magnet
  • Tell Me about You

Confirmation Email
The confirmation email is generated by your email sending company. I use ConvertKit to send my emails. It's important to find a reputable company that has the services you desire. I wanted a company that could handle an automation sequence and ConvertKit allows me to do that.

ConvertKit sends out the confirmation email when the user first signs up to the list. We want the user to "opt-in" to our newsletter list. What's opt-in? It's confirmation from the user that your email is something he wanted. You can't scrape websites for email addresses and then send those people your newsletter. Why? Because some countries have laws that require the user to "opt-in". Specifically, Europe has a law that will prosecute you if you don't allow the user to opt-in. The state of California has a similar law. And the user has to be able to "unsubscribe" whenever they want. If they make that request then you have to remove them from your list immediately.

The next email in the sequence is the welcome email. This is sent immediately after the user "opts-in." In this email you want to tell the subscriber how they got on your list. If they don't look at their emails once a week, they might forget they even signed up. What will they do then? They'll immediately unsubscribe. You don't want that to happen.

So, we tell they how they came to be on your newsletter list. It might look something like this: You're receiving this email because you gave us your email address to receive a free copy of the freebie titled, My Great Book. (Swap out My Great Book with the name of your freebie.) It's important that you don't automatically give them the reader magnet at this point, because there are other housekeeping chores you have to do.

You want to ask the subscriber to whitelist your emails. Whitelisting means to tell their email provider ( think services like gmail or juno or your work ) that you want to receive emails from this person or business. You don't want the emails you send to end up in the spam or junk folder. Nothing good can come of that, so ask the subscriber to whitelist emails from you. Your emails might also go into their promotions folder, which may be just as bad. If it ends up there, the subscriber might never see it.

Then after the housekeeping is completed, tell them you will be sending a follow-up email with the instructions on how to download or receive your reader magnet. Be sure and have a highly visible link that allows the subscriber to unsubscribe. Don't make it difficult to find this link.

A Link to the Reader Magnet
After they have received the confirmation email and welcome email, then you can send them the reader magnet. What's a reader magnet? It's a freebie of some kind that is enough of a benefit to encourage a potential subscriber to give you their email address. The reader magnet can be a free eBook, a sample chapter, an epilogue, short story or something else that readers might see as a prize worth giving up their precious email address for.

I use the service called, Book Funnel, to deliver my reader magnet to my readers. It's a simple process for the subscriber to access Book Funnel and download the freebie to their reading device.

I wrote a prequel to my Mountain King Series. It's titled Haskell, Orphan to King. The eBook is exclusive to the Adgitize Press Readers Group and isn't just a fluff chapter. Part One is over fifty-thousand words and tells the story of Haskell growing up as an orphan and living on the streets. But he desires more to life than living as an orphan thief. The story is emotional and powerful. Well worth a reader relinquishing their precious email address to receive.

In this email you want to repeat the advantages of staying with your newsletter list. Many subscribers will grab the freebie and unsubscribe. Why should they stay on and get your weekly or bi-weekly or monthly newsletter? What's the benefit to them for staying on? If you're an author you might promise the following:

  • First to Know of New Releases
  • Insider Looks at Outlines, Plots, Characters, and Deleted Scenes
  • Ask the Author Questions
  • Sneak Peeks at Chapters of Upcoming Books
  • And MORE

Did You Receive the Reader Magnet
The next automated email is a simple check in to see if they received the freebie. Did they run out and get it right away or did they forget about it? This way if for some reason they missed the first email, here's a second opportunity for them to receive the freebie. Let them know you can help them if they are having problems. Then you can also repeat the benefits of sticking around and receiving the newsletter.

Tell Me about You
The final automated email gives you a chance to tell your reader about yourself. Maybe mention you have a dog or cat. A little something personal, but not too much. What kind of books do you write? How long have you been writing? How many books have you written? All those topics are fair game for this email.

At this point, you also want the subscriber to click a link in the email. We need the email provider to see that this person really did want to receive your emails. It has to do with email reputation. If you have a good email reputation then more of your emails will end up where you want them: in the subscriber's in-box. Ask them a question and ask for them to reply to your email. Very powerful. Or you can do a quick poll about something they might enjoy tellling you about. What's their favorite genres? Something simple to get them to begin a conversation with you.

After that you can put the subscriber on your weekly broadcast list. Then they'll get your weekly news along with your other subscribers.

Cheers. Remember to Write Everyday. Ken.

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