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How To Create An Evergreen Newsletter With ActiveCampaign (2020 Tutorial)

Max van Collenburg By Max van Collenburg

This tutorial will help you create an evergreen newsletter with ActiveCampaign.

You’ll learn what an evergreen newsletter is 🌱

How you can write evergreen emails ✍️

And how you can create a smart automation to automatically deliver your newsletters with ActiveCampaign.

Let’s dive in! 😄

Or do you maybe not feel like reading?

Below you’ll find this post in video format 🙃

Template: get the evergreen newsletter template for ActiveCampaign here.

The problem with standard email newsletters

I bet you already know what a regular email newsletter is.

It’s an email that’s being sent out every week (or month) to keep their leads or customers engaged.

Marketers give it all kinds of different names;

  • Weekly Journal
  • Weekly Roundup
  • Tuesday Tips
  • Inside Look
  • Friday Notes

You name it.

But it’s still a newsletter.

They can work really well if your content is great.

But there are a couple of problems with the conventional email newsletter.

Problem #1: showing up

I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to show up every single week.

First, it’s hard to come up every week with new content.

And with newsletters, it’s very important to be consistent.

Problem #2: new vs old subscribers

The second problem is, that new subscribers receive the same emails as subscribers who are already on your list for a long time.

That doesn’t sound so bad, but it is.

It’s important that new subscribers are getting to know you, so you would want to tell your story.

While old subscribers already know who you are, so they’re not interested in the same story over and over again.

.

.

Luckily, an evergreen newsletter tackles both of these problems 🙌

I’ll tell you how in a bit.

What is an evergreen newsletter?

So basically, an evergreen newsletter is an automated version of a standard email newsletter.

Normally, you write an email every week and send them out on a certain day.

But now, you write your emails in advance and they’re automatically delivered one-by-one.

This has a couple of benefits.

Benefit #1: get of the content treadmill

It’s hard to perform consistently every single week.

Maybe you get sick 🤧

Or you’re on holiday.

Or you have a little motivation dip.

But because an evergreen newsletter is automated, you don’t have to worry about those things.

Whatever happens, your newsletters will be sent out every week consistently.

Even if you would be sipping coconuts somewhere on a beach 🌴🥥

Benefit #2: good first impression

So this tackles the second problem we talk about earlier.

The difference between old & new subscribers.

If you would send a conventional newsletter to your whole list every week, new & old subscribers would be getting the same.

While it’s really important to onboard new subscribers.

That’s why automating your newsletter is so great, because you can determine in advance which emails in which order a contact gets.

I usually stick to this format;

  • Email #1: welcome the new contact
  • Email #2: what I want for you + a cool gift
  • Email #3: my biggest learnings
  • Email #4: why I do what I do
  • Email #5: valuable content
  • Email #6: valuable content
  • Email #7: valuable content
  • Email #8: valuable content
  • etc.

So in the first few emails I focus on how I want to help, my biggest takeaways, and why I do what I do.

This way people get a sense of who this weirdo behind all of this is, while they still get value from each email.

After that, I share valuable content that I think is relevant & helpful.

How to write evergreen newsletters

So now that you know what an evergreen newsletter is, and how to create an automation to deliver newsletters.

How do you actually write one?

Luckily, this is not difficult.

You just have to keep a few things in mind.

To make an email evergreen, it basically has to be timeless.

If you write it today, you still want it to be relevant to people receiving it 1 year from now.

So keep these things in mind;

  1. Avoid talking about holidays. It’s weird when you talk about Christmas when people receive your email in March.
  2. Avoid mentioning months, weather, etc.
  3. Avoid current news topics.
  4. Don’t link to old articles if you don’t have to.

I think that’s basically it.

When you write your email, just think; can someone tell I wrote this a long time ago if they read it 1 year from now?

If the answer is no, you’re good 🙂

And we’re not doing this to trick people, but just to make it relevant.

Creating the evergreen newsletter automation

Allrighhhht.

Let’s talk about the fun part.

The implementation 🙌

(I love geeking out on automation)

In the following example, we’re going to set up an automation that sends an email every Tuesday at 10 AM in the timezone of the subscriber.

Template: get the evergreen newsletter template for ActiveCampaign here.

Creating the basic automation

So what we’re basically going to do, is inserting a couple of emails with some delays in between.

First, add a few emails to your automation:

ActiveCampaign Automation: add 4 emails to your newsletter

Then, we want to add a delay between each email.

So click the circle with the plus, and add a new wait action:

Add new wait action to your automation

And then click “wait until specific conditions are met”.

wait until specific conditions are met

And then we have to set the conditions.

In this example, I want to wait until it’s Tuesday 10 AM in the contact’s timezone.

Feel free to change this to a different day & time if you like.

Set conditions of the wait until in activecampaign

Repeat that a few times, and your automation will look like this:

Evergreen newsletter automation with waits

But that’s not it.

If we would leave it like this, the automation would send ALL the emails at once 😨

Why?

Because it will wait until Tuesday 10 AM ⏰

Send an email.

And then go immediately into the next wait, and guess what?

It’s still 10 AM, so it will send the next email, and the next email, and the next email.

So it’s very important to add a few more waits:

Add 2 day wait

This way an email will be sent, the automation will wait for 2 days, and then it will wait until it’s Tuesday.

Cool, right?

That’s basically it.

But I want to go one step further with you.

What do we do with people who missed an email?

I’ll explain that up next.

Resending newsletters to contacts who don’t open

To get the most out of the evergreen newsletter, we’re going to resend the same email with a different subject to people who didn’t open it the first time 🔥

And because our evergreen newsletter is automated, we’re also going to automate this.

So add a new email to your automation.

Create new email

And go to your past campaigns, and select the previous email:

Click past campaign

That way you’ll get the exact same email you wrote earlier.

And then give it a different subject.

Give newsletter different subject

And then place it after the 2 day wait like I did here:

Add resend after 2 day wait

Then, we have to make sure only people who didn’t open the first email will receive the resend.

There are two ways to do that:

1) We could add a if/else after the 2 day wait to check if the contact opened the email. If not we send the email, if yes we go to the wait until Tuesday.
2) Or we could add a goal after the resend. Everyone who opens the email will jump there.

Both methods are fine, but because an automation like this could get rather long, I would suggest using goals as the automation can get a bit clunky otherwise.

So go ahead, and create a new goal after the 2 day wait:

Add a goal to the automation

You’ll then get a screen with some settings.

Give it a simple name, and set the rest like this:

First goal settings

Then, click “click to add a goal” and set the conditions in the goal editor:

Screenshot of the goal editor settings in ActiveCampaign

Whenever someone opens the email or clicks a link in the email, the contact will jump to this goal.

(we track both because in some cases ActiveCampaign can’t track an email open)

And then our automation looks like this:

ActiveCampaign evergreen newsletter with goal

This way only people who didn’t open the first email will receive the resend.

And then we have to repeat the same process for the rest of the automation.

So here’s a full screenshot of the end result:

Full screenshot of the evergreen newsletter automation in ActiveCampaign

(import here)

As you can see, I’ve also added a 100-year wait at the end of our automation.

This way people don’t exit the automation before you added more evergreen newsletter 🙃

And that’s it!

You now know exactly how to create an automated evergreen newsletter that keeps your contacts engaged without you having to sweat every week to pump out new content.

Over to you

That’s it!

Now I would like to hear from you.

Are you going to create an evergreen newsletter?

Or are you using a different strategy to keep your leads engaged?

Whatever it is, let me know in the comments below.

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