How to jump off the broadcast email “hamster wheel”

Email autoresponders are a great “hack.”

You write the messages once, queue them up… And now anyone who joins your list hears from you regularly.

No more “Dang I haven’t emailed my list in two weeks” hamster wheel guilt.

This is autopilot marketing at its best.

Sometimes making the transition can get a little messy though. Like if you already have an email list that you’ve been sending mail to.

That’s what subscriber Felix was wondering about:


If you already have an email list, but you’re only sending broadcast emails to and now have an autoresponder series, how do you onboard your existing list to an autoresponder series? Do you:

  1. Just start sending it to them
  2. Send a broadcast email to existing subs and ask them to enroll in your new series
  3. Only send the series to brand new subscribers


All three of these are valid in specific situations.

Here’s when I might use each of these approaches:

  1. Just start sending it to them.

If your new autoresponder is on the same topic and you just want to automate things, I’d go this route.

Just create an autoresponder sequence and import all your subscribers, then start adding emails to it. They’ll go out on a normal schedule, and no one will even notice.

One note on this: If you plan on changing how often you email, it doesn’t hurt to give your subscribers a heads up. I did that with this list a few months back when I started emailing daily.

  1. Send a broadcast email to existing subs and ask them to enroll in your new series

This is a good option if the new autoresponder sequence is a tangent, or if you’d like to have a focused conversation around a specific subtopic.

A few years ago, Perry Marshall went on a missionary trip to poverty-stricken Africa. He decided to write emails about his experience, but since the emails weren’t specifically business and marketing related, he sent a message that allowed his subscribers to opt in. About 10% did, and then he was able to freely send “off-topic” messages without worrying about spam complaints.

Some email providers even allow you to “pause” other autoresponder sequences when someone opts into a new sequence like this.

  1. Only send the series to brand new subscribers.

This is what I plan to do with these emails.

Right now, I send each of these emails as broadcasts. I’m doing this because I like the feedback and conversation that happens when you reply to me.

Eventually I plan to take the best emails—the ones that get the most opens and replies—and add them to an onboarding sequence. That way everyone who joins will get some of my best stuff up front.

When a new subscriber hits the end of the autorespondered messages, they’ll start getting my broadcast emails.

Now I’ve experimented with all of the major email software out there—Aweber, MailChimp, Active Campaign, Infusionsoft, Ontraport…

And I have to say, most of them are a total PAIN to use.

Aweber and MailChimp are extremely limiting. They’re OK for sending out a weekly broadcast newsletter, but even that can be a hassle. (Seriously, MailChimp—I’m not a chimp. I don’t need a 9-step wizard to send a simple email.)

And the big boys like Ontraport and Infusionsoft are COMPLICATED and EXPENSIVE.

That’s why I was so excited when I discovered my current email provider, Drip.

With Drip, you get 95% of the power of these systems without needing a PhD.

You can create multiple autoresponder sequences in minutes… Move subscribers in and out of sequences to “pause” the campaigns… Even take subscribers out of a sequence when they become a customer.

Plus the Drip team is super responsive to feature requests—they’ve even built several new features that I requested.

Check out Drip here: