Before you plan a new sequence or write any emails, there’s one thing you need first.

If you get this step right, it will be 10x easier to write your emails than if you skip it.

What’s the crucial first step to creating an email sequence that gets results?

Choose an end goal for your autoresponder.

What action do you want people to take when they go through this sequence? Do you want them to buy a course? Set up a discovery call? Contact you about your services?

Pick one goal you want to focus on and build your sequence around that. When you know where your emails are leading, it’s so much easier to plan a path for your subscribers.

But setting an end goal trips up a lot of people. I want to share the big mistake most people make when planning their email sequences.

They pick “building a relationship” as the end goal for the sequence.

Your sequence isn’t going to work if your main goal is to build a relationship. It’s a bad goal for two reasons:

  1. It’s too vague. You can’t measure it. How will you know if you’ve reached that goal?
  2. It’s counterproductive to making sales. It keeps you from pitching, which sets up a dynamic with your subscribers that’s hard to overcome later on.

Here’s what happens to a lot of people who go this route:

Too many people get caught up in the relationship aspect and forget the sales part of email marketing. For most people, selling feels scary. You might even feel gross asking for the sale.

But building a relationship sounds fun and easy. You think of your email list as new friends. You spend months sending your new friends content they love, like links to helpful articles, tips + how to’s, and funny GIFs of your favorite TV shows.

But you never ask for the sale.

You never ask them to take action.

They might not even know what your business offers.

But they like your freebies, so they keep opening your emails.

Then you send a marketing email about your new program.

But your email list “friends” get annoyed with you. They unsubscribe. They mark your emails as spam. They reply back and tell you they don’t appreciate being sold to.

So you abandon your launch content and go back to sending them free stuff. That’s what they like. That’s what you’ve trained them to expect.

But how does that help you and your business? It doesn’t.

So how do you build a list that doesn’t get annoyed by sales emails?

You start with a clear goal. Building a relationship with your email list is important, but it’s not your goal.

Your goal is to make the sale, book the call, or sell the service. The relationship is how you facilitate the sale. Building a relationship is a side effect of a email sequence, not the focus.

Think of it this way:

Your email list is full of friends who need your help.

They signed up to hear from you because you’re an expert on something they struggle with. They want to achieve their own goals and you know how to get them there.

If your product or service could get them where they want to go, why wouldn’t you tell them about it every chance you get?

You’re doing your list a disservice if you know how to help them but you never share it.

This doesn’t mean you have to promote in every email. It just means that when you plan your autoresponder, start with the end goal in mind. Mix promotional emails in with the content you normally send.

You’re still giving value, but you’re also giving your subscribers a way to get where they want to go faster. That’s way more valuable than just sending entertaining content. You’re actually helping them get something they want.

If you’re worried about coming across as salesy or money hungry, don’t get caught up in that mindset. Remember that every time you offer a solution to their problem, you’re helping your subscribers. Keep empathy in mind when you’re marketing and you’ll be fine.

When your emails are done well, you can build a relationship and sell to your list. But if your email sequences aren’t structured to lead to sales, they’re never going to give you the results you want.


What’s the goal of your autoresponder? Tell me in the comments!

If your autoresponder isn’t setup to make sales for you, contact me here to talk about writing your email sequence. Let’s create an autoresponder that serves and sells!

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