Autoresponder campaigns are fairy godmothers of the marketing world. They’re able to turn any worn out marketing department in to a radiating point of conversation. That said, you’re still going to have to do some work. Autoresponder campaigns are a great tool, but they’re not self-generating magicians. That’s where our job comes in as marketing magicians. It’s our job to figure out how to use these tools and – more importantly – what to use them for.

The mistake companies often make is to not have a strategy when it comes to autoresponder campaigns. They might set up a campaign for new subscribers and (worse) fill it with self-serving content. This means that you’re sending out your duty-bound auto campaigns but you’re missing the boat when it comes to really communicating something of value.

New subscribers are the bulls-eye target of any autoresponder campaigns, but it’s also the highest risk rate. These people aren’t locked into your brand or product you, so you need to convince them. If your first set of emails to them are all self-indulgent, you’re going to lose this valuable demographic. This is why it’s key to really stop and think about the goal of any (and especially an initial) autoresponder campaign.

My advice would be to focus on your culture. It doesn’t matter how big or small of a brand you are, culture is key. For smaller companies, it creates brand awareness that helps cultivate new customers. For larger companies, culture tells your story. These days, no matter who you are, your companies’ ability to tell a story is not only key to selling – it’s key to staying into the game.

So the question is how: how do you use autoresponder campaigns to communicate that culture? You do this by focusing on three key areas in any early-on campaign: tone, content and style.

When it comes to tone, you’re going to ask yourself three questions:

  • What does your communication consistency say about your culture?
  • How are you roping people in through subject lines?
  • How are you fostering a bond with your new subscriber?

Consistency and finding the balance between too little or too much, too subtle or too pushy is hard for a lot of marketers – even the more seasoned ones. The trick here is to treat the autoresponder campaign as a sort of artificial intelligence. If the autoresponder campaign was AI, then how would you program it to go out and greet your new customer – with the goal of creating a friendship versus creating a customer. It’s subtle dance but it’s done by finding that balance between telling just enough about yourself and doing it in a way that offers meaning versus self-promotion.

The second point is subject lines. How do you greet your audience in your subject line? Are you a formal company or a relaxed one? Are you cheery or serious? What’s your story and how would that resonate with people? What sort of language do you use and tone do you convey in your day to day speech? Your subject line should reflect that culture and vernacular.

Third, depth of intimacy means are you telling your story and selling your culture in a meaningful way. Are you showing your audience sneak peeks into your world or do you have a prepackaged way of presenting that info. How you approach your culture is going to be reflected in the content and the various talking points you share in your autoresponder campaign. The same goes for design and how you style that information – in other words, how are you presenting that information?

It can be challenging for companies to think of their own culture, but the first step is to identify it. Look around and see what makes you unique. What story does your company have and what values do you hold that help set you apart from others. Think of your culture in layered terms. First, of course you’ve got the mission of any organization or business, its founding and its owners. Beyond that, you’ll also find your company culture in your employees and clients, by looking at how they shape your business or organization.