You educate and inspire your students, produce unique content, and plot new ways to change the world. But sometimes, even coaches could use a lending hand.
Automating your marketing helps you multitask, but it’s understandable if your first impression is that it’ll feel impersonal.
Setting up email automation to grow your coaching business is the definition of working smarter and helping people, though. Email automation lets you set up marketing sequences once that run while you work on everything else. They’re also the key to making a personalized subscriber experience at scale.
To help you get started, we’ve put together a few handy automation templates for you to start streamlining your to-do list today.
Email automation is a win-win for coaches and clients
Email automation helps both you and your students.
The big shift for me was understanding my value. I believe in what I do, and the job of marketing isn't to push what you do on people who aren't interested. It's to invite people who really are interested to know more about you and to get engaged with you. – Jessica Abel
Setting up email sequences to run on autopilot lets you:
Deliver personalized offers at scale
One-on-one work is valuable, but it doesn’t scale. Since you can’t work closely with every student, you can use automation to create a personalized experience without all the manual work. Automated email series let you deliver the right content to people right when they need it, making the process feel hand-delivered to students while saving you time.
Build your audience
Getting feedback on your programs and content helps you improve for future students. Automation lets you set up emails that boost engagement and encourage referrals, so you can use your list to expand your reach.
Grow your income
You don’t want to think about pitching all the time—let your automation do it for you. Sending personalized offers increases the likelihood of a sale and means you’re making money even as you work on other creative tasks.
7 email automations coaches can add to their business
We’re going to cover seven email automation strategies (with templates!) but it’s important you resist the urge to have a total email transformation just yet. Start with one, like the welcome email series, and add more automation as you get comfortable.
1 – Welcome new subscribers
If you want to start with one email automation, go for a welcome sequence. When someone signs up for your newsletter, they’ll instantly be added to a series of emails that thanks them for joining, introduces your work, and lets them know what to do next.
You can even create unique welcome sequences for your different free downloads or types of students. For example, Jessica Abel‘s welcome email automation gives new readers a copy of a worksheet. Each email builds on the next and encourages readers to use the content.
Make it your own:
- Choose a starting point. Every automation begins with a “trigger”—an event or condition that lets the automation know who should receive your content. You can add a general opt-in form on your website or create landing pages for your lead magnets.
- Write your welcome message. You’ll need at least one welcome email, but many coaches write more. Use the first email to introduce yourself and tell new readers how to access your content. You could also send a series of welcome emails with one top tip in each.
- Decide where subscribers go next. Once someone completes your welcome automation, you can add a tag that lets you know they’re ready to receive your standard weekly content. Or, you could put them in an evergreen newsletter (like the one we’re about to cover!)
2 – Run an evergreen newsletter
When it comes to newsletters, you have two different options. The first is to create a new email from scratch each week and send it as a broadcast to every subscriber. Or, you can set up an evergreen newsletter that sends the same series of emails regardless of when someone signs up.
Setting up an evergreen newsletter relieves much of the constant pressure to create weekly content.
The most straightforward way to create an evergreen newsletter is to set up emails from beginner to experienced student. When Monica Lent of Blogging for Devs wanted to grow her newsletter in a new niche, she created a free 7-day email course. Rather than learning how to design a PDF or ebook, she simply broke the content across seven email lessons.
You can also keep adding new content onto the end of your newsletter automation, so your backlog grows. For a more advanced option, try creating different newsletter “tracks” depending on what topic subscribers care about.
Make it your own:
- Choose a content strategy. Do you want to send content in a specific order or add messages as you create content? If you already have a backlog of newsletter broadcasts, you can copy them into a new evergreen automation sequence—new subscribers won’t know you already sent them!
- Write your evergreen newsletter. The more emails you add to your evergreen newsletter, the longer you can step away to work on other tasks while still staying top-of-mind with subscribers.
- Learn from your past performance. As more people go through your evergreen newsletter automation, you’ll begin to see the types of content people like by reviewing email engagement metrics.
3 – Host a webinar
Imagine you’ve decided to host a webinar, and now you need to get the word out. Your email list is a great place to promote your event. With automation, you can send information, invites, reminders, and recordings to interested folks. You can even automatically collect payments or implement “pay-what-you-want” pricing for the content.
Let’s say you have a tag that lets you know which subscribers are interested in a topic. You can set up the automation to send promotional emails to just those people. If they register for the event, you can follow up with reminders about when the webinar starts or send resources after the event.
Make it your own:
- Decide who to email. You can promote the event to your entire list or set up conditions using tags. If you use a pre-recorded webinar, you can trigger the automation to send after someone has been on your list for a few weeks.
- Write your pitch email. You need to introduce the topic, summarize what attendees will learn, and explain how to register.
- Create a follow-up strategy. If someone signs up for your webinar, you can send supplemental resources after the event.
4 – Follow up with potential buyers
Sometimes a person checks out your course or coaching program and then doesn’t buy. That doesn’t mean they’ll never buy. They may have made a mental note to consider it, and then life got in the way. In these cases, you can use a follow-up set of emails to check in with people who abandoned their cart before completing their purchase.
What does this look like in practice? When you mention your course or program in an email, you can add a link trigger to mark anyone who clicks as “interested” in the product. Then, have your automation wait a few days. At the end of the two days, the automation will check if the person has purchased the offer. If they haven’t, the automation sends a follow-up email.
Make it your own:
- Choose a product. Start with automation for your big-ticket offers before following up on other courses, programs, or ebooks.
- Write your abandoned cart email. Approach this message as a friendly reminder with some extra info or testimonials to help someone decide.
- Set up the automation trigger. Choose what event will start your automation, like someone looking at a product. Then add a time delay, so you don’t follow up immediately after the person leaves your site.
5 – Promote and upsell your products
Pitching additional opportunities and content to existing customers helps them learn more and boosts your revenue. Since they’ve already invested in and enjoyed your content, they may be more likely to buy than a brand new subscriber.
For example, after someone buys your course, you can pitch one-on-one coaching services. Add a time delay so the subscriber has time to get through your course first, though. You could even use conditional content to ensure you don’t pitch the same item someone purchased in the past.
Make it your own:
- Pick a base offer and upsell. An “upsell” typically costs as much or more than the original purchase. If someone downloads a free resource, you might consider upselling them to a paid course. If they buy your paid course, a personal coaching package could be the next step.
- Write an initial upsell message. Use your upsell message to remind subscribers of what they already bought and how the next resource will help them on that same path.
- Wait a few months and try again. A subscriber may not be ready to buy when you first pitch an upsell. So, you can delay your automation by a few weeks or months before sending another short pitch message.
6 – Pitch your coaching community
A paid community gives you a recurring revenue source and a place for you and your students to connect. Since a monthly fee is often a larger price commitment than a one-time course, you can pitch your community to people who have purchased at least one offer from you.
You could also create a landing page for your community. When you aren’t accepting new students, put a form on the page to sign up for the waitlist, and be sure to tag those subscribers as interested.
Make it your own:
- Design your offer and price. Your paid community should offer a premium experience. Include exclusive content, discounts to courses, Q&A sessions, a private Slack group, or anything else that can benefit your audience.
- Gauge interest. If you’re thinking of setting up your first paid community, create an email and landing page to gauge interest in the idea. Tag anyone who clicks through to the landing page or signs up to hear when it’s live.
- Write a pitch sequence. Your paid community pitch sequence should include a few emails. You can take a few days to explain the community, why you created it, what to expect, and what current members think.
7 – Use referrals to build your list
Which do you trust more—an ad for a company or hearing about it from a friend? We trust our friends’ opinions, so incentivizing your audience to refer you to their network can be a powerful growth tool.
Creators grow their list on average 35% faster when they use a newsletter referral program. Brennan Dunn of Create & Sell uses ConvertKit and SparkLoop to grow his newsletter. Subscribers can earn increasingly valuable rewards as they refer more friends.
Don’t promote your referral program right away. You want to give new subscribers time to experience your content before asking for a referral. Wait 1-4 weeks after someone signs up and then send an email explaining the program and what they can earn. Offer a variety of incentive options, such as sending a free copy of your ebook after someone refers three new subscribers.
Make it your own:
- Decide what to give away. Even though referring people through ConvertKit and SparkLoop is easy for subscribers, it still helps to offer a reward. You can give out exclusive content or access to small paid items, increasing in value as a subscriber refers more people.
- Write an introduction email. Thank subscribers for being on your list, let them know how meaningful referrals are, and introduce the program. Outline what they can earn and what they need to do.
- Set up the reward email. Automated emails make sure a subscriber receives their reward for referring new people to your list. Extra referral program emails that encourage subscribers to keep referring lets you grow your list even more.
Grow your coaching business with ConvertKit
Nobody knows your students quite like you. That means you can create email automations that make subscribers feel like you’re speaking directly to them. Now all you need are the right tools to finish the task.
ConvertKit lets you integrate your landing pages, email marketing, and digital sales into one easy-to-use platform. Plus, our automation templates and Creator Stories are here to inspire and help you along.