When email marketing professionals question the effectiveness of autoresponders, what they’re usually thinking about is click open rates and conversion rates. Autoresponders are the creatives of email marketing. They can’t be pegged into a whole. So if you want to know exactly how effective your autoresponder series could be, ask yourself what you’re sending out as part of your campaign.

To ensure you’re effective, the first thing you’re going to want to do is be consistent across the first six days in any initial point of contact with your audience. Once that box is marked off, it’s time to assess what types of autoresponse campaigns you have lined up. Are they effective in relaying the type of info you know your audience is looking for? But beyond this, every autoresponder campaign needs to be vetted with a series of questions that ensures you’ve really thought about every angle of your campaign.

Question #1: Subject Lines

We’ve talked at length about subject lines, but subject lines for autoresponder series are a little different. If we’ve established that your typically start to finish campaign is really defined by the first six days, then you want to make sure your subject lines carries the reader through that process. What are they going to expect from each campaign and how does that campaign tie into the “getting to know you” process? If you haven’t thought about an elegant way to tie this in, then you’re subject lines are disjointed and your brand appears inconsistent. There is no narrative, which ultimately relies on your subject line to carry it.

Question #2: Design

We’ve established we don’t want a bare bones template and that we want to vary the type of information we’re sharing in our autoresponder campaigns. That said, you also want to keep that streamline elegance and brand consistency across from campaign to campaign. So ditch the heavy design and also, please, ditch the oversized banner with your logo on it. It takes up too much space and bandwidth to download especially on mobile phones. Your reader knows who you are. After all, they saw your name in the email when they clicked on the campaign.

Question #3: Intimacy

The autoresponder series here really focused on film genres to help explain how to best approach a subject that tends to be confusing to a lot of even experience marketers. There’s another thing films are usually pretty good at, and that’s convey intimacy. The process of watching a film – at least a good one – is an intimate experience. You’re entering a world and you feel that that story is there just for you; it’s focused on sharing its world with you. A well thought out autoresponder email campaign will do the same thing. It’s going to be intimate, even though autoresponder campaigns are designed to be efficient and directed at a stream of people at any given time – just like a film. So to convey intimacy, use conversational language and directly address the reader.