The 5-Step System For A Perfect Autoresponder

by Jeremy Reeves

Last updated on February 18th, 2018

Welcome back to another article in this series on email marketing.

So far we’ve covered…

1) Email Marketing: What’s Working Today

2) Which Email Marketing Service Is Right For You?

3) The Cold Hard Truth About Email Frequency

In the last article, we discussed the different between autoresponders and broadcast emails.

In today’s article, we’ll dig deeper into autoresponders.

Specifically, I’ll show you how to craft the “perfect” autoresponder sequence in the next few minutes.

It all begins with…

What Is The Purpose Of An Autoresponder?

Let me start by saying that the purpose is going to be different for every person reading this.

  • Some might be trying to make product sales.
  • Some might be trying to sell a service.
  • Others may simply be trying to build a long-term relationship to sell a product or service down the road.

In any case, we can chop this down into a single, coherent sentence.

The purpose of any autoresponder is to move each prospect deeper into your funnel.

You are not trying to make friends. You are not trying to simply be top of mind. You are not trying to build your brand. Those may be byproducts, but they’re not the #1 focus.

The only purpose of an autoresponder is to move that prospect deeper into your funnel.

YES, it may include those things I just mentioned, like being top of mind and building a brand. But each email in your sequence must have a specific reason for being there. And it must do something to move that prospect deeper into your funnel. Maybe that’s building trust so they buy a product… or establish a bond so they trust you enough to hire you for a service. Whatever it is, that’s your goal.

And that’s where we begin.

Step #1: Determine Your Goal

Set Goals

Before you write a single word, you MUST understand your end goal. If you want to sell products, you need to have that goal clearly cemented in your mind. If you want to sell a service, you’ll be taking a different approach and need to know what that is.

Figuring out your goal is fairly simple.

  • Do you want to sell products?
  • Do you want to establish a long-term relationship?
  • Do you want to create buzz about your business?
  • Do you want to launch a new product?
  • Do you want to become the dominant industry leader?

All 5 of these will require different strategy.

Without knowing your end-goal, it’s impossible to know what strategy will work best for you.

Step #2: Determine Your Strategy

Set Strategy

Your strategy is going to differ based on the goal you’re trying to reach.

Someone like a realtor is going to require less communication, as compared to someone selling an information product.

A provider of cleaning services to business owners is going to require a different tone than someone selling kids’ birthday parties to parents.

In all cases though, there are 5 crucial hot buttons you MUST include for maximum effectiveness.

#1: Proof And Credibility – People don’t want to deal with amateurs. If you want an effective autoresponder, you MUST have proof in nearly every single communication. There are many different ways to show proof, such as using testimonials… stories… media appearances… and dozens more.

Here’s one I love using.

The subject line for this email would be something along the lines of… “Help Me Congratulation Charlie!”

The email would then go like this…

Hey <firstname>,

Just wanted to write you quick and help me congratulate Charlie. He just purchased <your product name>, spent about an hour going through the material and started to implement. Specifically he implemented a technique in module 2 that shows you how to <insert benefit your target audience wants to achieve) without <some type of pain point>.

His results?

Just one week later he <insert benefit your target audience wants to achieve>.

And then after this, you transition into how that prospect can do the same.

#2: Trust – The world is becoming a much less trustworthy place. Stories are a fantastic way to show that you’re trustworthy. In my own emails, I show potential clients I’m trustworthy by being non-pushy… citing examples of other copywriters who mistreat their clients… and many other ways.

Here’s one example I love to use. Feel free to fit it to your own needs.

I just got off the phone with a customer/client. They were complaining to me about the lack of integrity in our industry. I agreed! I won’t name names, but they told me how they caught one of my competitors in a flat-out lie. Apparently my competitor <insert whatever your competitor lied about>.

Look, I don’t want to see that happen to you. I think that kind of behavior is sickening…

And then you transition into why you are trustworthy, citing a specific example.

#3: Consistency – You’ll want to create consistency, because consistency mentally creates trust.

Think about the people you see most often. Do you trust them more or less than those you don’t see as much?

However, consistency doesn’t mean you have to send an email every single day. It can be once per day… once per week… or once per month. (In virtually every case, the more frequent the better). Just be consistent about it.

#4: Leadership – People are silently begging to be led. Being the leader in your industry creates authority, which makes people trust you. As you can tell, this is all about trust. An easy way to become a leader in the minds of your prospects is to show examples of proof (see how this all ties together?)… followed by telling them specifically what to do. They’ll do it.

#5: Personality – Nobody likes a boring, slow-talking, drag of a person. You develop deeper relationships with people who have personality and charisma. The way to do this in emails is to look closely at your own personality and exaggerate the traits which stand out the most. For example if you have a strange fetish for foot rubs… talk about them! It may sound strange, but it works.

Step #3: Map Your Sequence

Map your autoresponder

Once you solidify your strategy, the next step is to map your autoresponder sequence.

One of the questions you’ll want to answer first is…

“How long should my autoresponder sequence be?”

If you’re writing the sequence yourself, it’s easy to make it long. I personally have well over 100 in my sequence.

But if you need to hire a copywriter to do it, you need to estimate the ROI you’ll get. For example it may make sense to do 10-20… but after 20 the ROI begins to drop and you could spend your money better elsewhere.

Only you can know the answer to that.

Let’s pretend you’re going to create 24 over the span of 6 months… or roughly 1 message per week.

What you’ll do next is write down at least one persuasion trigger (i.e. results you’ve gotten, a client testimonial, trust-building, etc.) and mark it next to that week. Do this for each week.

If possible, try to find a story which incorporates that week’s trigger. They work wonders.

Here’s a quick example.

  • Week #1: Integrity
  • Week #2: Results
  • Week #3: Implied credibility
  • … etc. etc.

Step #4: Write Your Emails


This is pretty self-explanatory. By now you have your goal… your strategy… and your sequence all created.

Now it’s time to start churning out those emails!

If this is your first time, you’ll want to be fully focused. Grab a cup of coffee, go find a quite place, and write.


Don’t worry about that. It’s normal. As a writer I can write for roughly 30-40 minutes straight before my mind begins to wander. But that’s after years of practice. Take breaks often, but do not interrupt a good flow state if you fall into one.

I highly recommend downloading a lot of classical music and listening to it while you write. Having ambient music in the background helps keep you focused so you can write faster and more clearly. (Classical music works because it has no words that can distract you from the words you’re writing.)

The easiest way to overcome writers block is to realize that writers block doesn’t exist. It’s an excuse for people who don’t want to work. If you find your mind “blocked,” just write blah blah blah until more ideas start pouring out. That may sound strange, but trust me, it works.

Step #5: Test And Tweak


The final step is loading your emails into your autoresponder sequence and putting people into the funnel.

Let this run for awhile (weeks for some, months for others – depending on the amount of leads you get), and then begin looking at it closely.

Here’s what you should look for.

  1. Low Open Rates – If your average open rate is 25% yet one email has a 10% open rate… test a new subject line.
  2. Low Clickthrough Rates – Same as above. Find an average for all of your emails, then look for emails with CTR’s that are lower than average. Then come up with new ways to increase that CTR, such as shortening the email, making the links more noticeable, adding more links or even putting arrows pointing to the links, and test your idea.
  3. High Unsubscribe Rates – This depends on your style. Some people like to practice “repulsion marketing” (Howard Stern, for example) and attract ONLY very specific people. In this case, if you have a purposely offensive email and it gets a lot of unsubscribes, what you’re doing is repelling the people who won’t buy anyway, and attracting those who will. However if this is something you aren’t comfortable doing (it works like gangbusters but it’s not for everyone), look for emails with high unsubscribe rates and find out why that is.

At this point, you should see your sales increasing. If you have a service business, your business will be more automated than ever. And getting better results.

So test it out. And let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

About the Author: Jeremy Reeves is known as the world’s #1 most trusted sales funnel authority. He builds advanced marketing funnels, adding over over $10 million in revenue to his clients bottom lines in the past few years alone. To learn more about Jeremy, visit or grab his free special report: How To Construct A Million Dollar Sales Funnel.



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Jeremy Reeves

Jeremy Reeves is a sales funnel specialist. He builds advanced marketing funnels for his own side businesses AND his private clients. He has added over over $40 million in revenue for his in the past few years alone.


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  1. James says:
    July 14, 2016 at 4:31 am

    This is so helpful. Thanks a lot Jeremy 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:
    May 2, 2016 at 11:45 am

    It was good until I got to the part about downing your competition with relaying a lie they told to a prospective customer. Bad business idea. all the way around

  3. Robert says:
    December 16, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    Thank you for the tips
    and also i was wondering is constant contact any good
    for an autoresponder?

  4. Gary says:
    June 22, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Thanks a lot for it! I still don’t know which autoresponder is the best… GetResponse or Aweber? Any ideas?

    • Florentina says:
      June 29, 2015 at 8:00 am

      I think that GetResponse is much better than AWeber. Take care!

  5. May 27, 2015 at 8:23 am

    Complete advice that I need. Thanking you.

    • Kathryn Aragon says:
      May 27, 2015 at 9:52 am

      You’re welcome, Richard. Hope it works for you.

  6. Internet Marketing Mozie says:
    December 9, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Hi Jeremy 🙂

    Just went though your post and what a bundle of powerful information it was, I’m a new comer to email marketing and busy setting up my first autoresponder sequence for my list. Your posts gave me great ideas which I would never have even thought of, I never thought of mapping my sequence. This post just have me more confidence to get started! So thanks for that.

    By the way, I’m using aweber as my autoresponder, what can I use to properly track emails? I’m looking for a affordable & reliable solution.

  7. Jim Bean says:
    October 24, 2014 at 4:50 pm

    Great advice, thanks. I am putting together a few auto responder series’ now.

  8. Andy Moser says:
    September 17, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Many thanks for this, Jeremy!
    I am struggling a bit with defining the goal, though.
    I can have several goals for one autoresponder series, can’t I?
    Concretely, my long-term goal for the autoresponder is to establish a long-term relationship. However, at some point of the email series my goal is to sell a product.
    Or is that a bad idea?

    • Jeremy Reeves says:
      September 19, 2014 at 5:10 pm

      Andy, that’s a GREAT idea. Let me clarify.

      You should have one CALL TO ACTION per emails. However, an email sequence itself can have several goals, such as establishing a long-term relationship, building trust, proving authority, and of course making sales.

      In fact it SHOULD have multiple end goals, with each email adding a little slice to get you to the end goal 😉

  9. Paul Barnett says:
    August 5, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Interesting article.
    Offering a 10 part video series can increase the stick rate among subscribers I find.

    • Neil Patel says:
      August 5, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      Paul, glad you liked it 🙂

  10. Peter Williamson says:
    February 24, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    This was a well laid-out series of steps. Thanks, Jeremy,

  11. Tim Topham says:
    January 27, 2014 at 4:07 am

    Thanks Jeremy. I’m about to setup an autoresponder system and you tips have got me thinking!

  12. Ram says:
    January 21, 2014 at 6:45 am

    what is the best time for emailing persons with higher designations.
    Eg: CEO, COO, CTO, CFO etc….. please reply

    • Kathryn Aragon says:
      January 21, 2014 at 11:48 am

      I’m not sure there is a *best* time, but I do know they spend a lot of time in meetings and often schedule an hour each day to review correspondence. My approach has always been to send emails first thing in the morning or at the end of the work day, so it’s ready and waiting.

  13. Steve says:
    December 13, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Great article, Jeremy. How/when do you incorporate offers into this process to make sales? Does each email have the opportunity to click through to an offer/sales pages?

  14. Des Menz says:
    June 27, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Jeremy, you’ve just given me a big prod. Step 5. Thanks.
    And you’ve also validated the “ideal” number of emails in a sequence. There is no ideal!
    You have more than 100! I have 23 and I thought that was a bit too many.
    So, back to writing more!

  15. Sendreach says:
    May 12, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    The mapping sequence of the autoresponder series is the main thing, although I feel the first email needs to be able to lead to your next email in order to get a higher open rate. nice post

  16. Tyronne Ratcliff says:
    April 22, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Like you said consistency breeds trust and the more they begin to know, like and trust you the better open rates you’ll get which will result in more clicks as well, thanks for the informative content!

  17. Steve Young says:
    April 16, 2013 at 4:06 am

    Jeremy, great stuff! Was looking for something like this. Also love the subject lines you’re using.

  18. Myhox says:
    April 14, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Hi Jeremy !
    Thank you for sharing long and complete guideline for email autoresponder. There are many reasons for e-mail marketin however in a short all in one- get success in business. Online public proofs helps to increase the email marketing and its sales volume. In your previous post yo have revealed the Email Marketing backgrounds and its future prospective. In last, we should have an unique strategy. Without clear cut path- where do we go?

  19. David says:
    April 12, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Thanks for the article and the example emails. I am planning an Autoresponder sequence at the moment so this is a great reference point.

    • Jeremy Reeves says:
      April 12, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it David!

  20. Dave says:
    April 11, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    Jeremy, excellent info – thanks for adding more tasks to our already full plate! 🙂

    • Jeremy Reeves says:
      April 12, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      Haha, you’ll very soon understand that the marketing never stops 🙂

  21. Damien says:
    April 11, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Brilliant article, Jeremy! i will definitely be referring back here often when planning auto responder sequences 🙂

    • Jeremy Reeves says:
      April 12, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      Sounds good Damien, glad you enjoyed it!

  22. Todd says:
    April 11, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Great material as usual Jeremy. Thanks for sharing some great content/tips.

    • Jeremy Reeves says:
      April 12, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      You’re very welcome Todd 😉

  23. April 11, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Adding some background music will definitely help. I prefer Jazz. The rhythm will give you an extra couple horse power during your writing session. Plus, Jazz is good for the soul.

    • Jeremy Reeves says:
      April 12, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      Jazz is another good one. Not for me personally, but probably great for many people!

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