If you’re new to ONTRAPORT (formerly Office Auto Pilot) it can be a little overwhelming to get started. While on the surface, building an autoresponder sounds easy, ONTRAPORT’s numerous options can make it much more difficult than it needs to be.
Here is step-by-step setup for a typical email bait/autoresponder system in ONTRAPORT 3.0.
1 – Map out your process
Mapping a process is pretty straightforward for an introductory autoresponder. It can grow to be much more complicated with multiple opt-in locations and multiple ways to enter the sales funnel.
Most beginner autoresponder processes look like this…
- you advertise free report in exchange for email address
- person signs up for your free report on your website/landing page
- email gets sent to deliver the free report
- prospect is added to your autoresponder list to receive followup marketing
2 – Map out the ONTRAPORT system that makes the process happen
Each step in your process has multiple parts and pieces in the ONTRAPORT platform. Some are necessary to complete the process and some are add-ons to make your life easier when it comes to segmenting people in your system and running reports.
Every ONTRAPORT build should start with a system map; no matter how simple the system appears to be. As you start to add more complexity you will quickly forget how each sequence works and why you set things up the way you did.
Having a map to reference is a must!
This is a quick screen shot of the system I’m going to walk you through in this post. If you’d like to get the full-size, easy-to-read system map, you can access it below. Download it and use it as a step-by-step guide to build your first ONTRAPORT autoresponder.
3 – Start with your emails
The new ONTRAPORT 3.0 makes it easier to build sequences on the fly, I still like to start with my emails and work backwards. The system map makes it easy to see what emails I need and what their name should be.
Create each email in the message center. It is found under Contacts>>Messages.
Use the naming conventions on the map to name your email. For these introductory emails, I like to start all my names with Lead. Later as leads become customers I use prefixes such as Sales and Client. This way I can quickly find my messages as my library starts to grow.
Deliver your email bait in the first message
For delivery of your email bait, use ONTRAPORT’s file manager to upload your PDF. You can link to it from within your email. ONTRAPORT doesn’t allow you to attach files to your emails. And that’s a good thing. Attachments are a red flag for SPAM filters. Your email has a better chance of getting through if it doesn’t have an attachment.
You could also host the file on your own server and link to it from within the email.
4 – Next build your sequences
With my emails done, now I like to build my sequences.
The autoresponder sequence
This sequence is a pretty straight forward step sequence. Most of your sequences in ONTRAPORT will be Step Sequences. Anything in a step sequence will happen in sequential order. First, second, third and right down the list.
This step sequence is mostly a series of emails spaced apart however you’d like. However, you’ll also notice three rules I like to add to this sequence.
The first rule applies a Tag to the contact. I like to Tag each contact with the sequences they’ve been in. So in the future I don’t accidentally send them through the same sequence again. It may seem pretty unnecessary now, but trust me, as your system grows you’ll thank me later.
You can get really carried away with tags. Maybe I’m guilty of that now and then. But I figure better to have too much information than not enough. I use the same basic naming structure for Tags as I do for emails, sequences and everything else in ONTRAPORT.
Unlike the old Office Auto Pilot, the new version will let you create most elements on the fly. So I can create Tags as I go. No need to pre-make them.
ONTRAPORT’s rule system works with a three part logic.
If this happens…
and this is true…
then do this
So in the case of adding tags in this sequence, there is no if this happens. Rules in a sequence fire regardless. By default, the if this happens is them being placed in the sequence.
For this basic setup you won’t need the and this is true portion. In the future you could use this to check to see if someone has opened the previous email before you send them the next one. Or any number of cool tricks.
For now, we’re just going to focus on the then do this. In this case we’re going to Add Contact to Tag. At the end of the sequence we are going to use another rule to subscribe the contact to the next sequence.
As for the final rule to unsubscribe the contact from the sequence, we don’t want people hanging around on sequences they’ve already been through. It gets confusing. So unsubscribing them is a good practice. Here we don’t actually need to use a rule step. In the settings tab for a sequence you’ll find a check-box to unsubscribe contact after last step.
The bait delivery sequence
A couple of things to watch out for on this sequence. First, make sure you don’t have the box checked for run this sequence only on weekdays in the Sequence Settings tab. It would be bad if your contact signed up on a Saturday and didn’t get their promised item until Monday.
Secondly, make sure you have the final two rules in the correct order. If you use the check-box for unsubscribe as I described earlier, this won’t be an issue. If you do get this backwards, the contact will be unsubscribed from the sequence before they are added to the next sequence. They will be stuck in no mans land.
5 – Build your smart form
Next we’ll build the opt-in form for your site. For this simple setup it’s probably best to stick with just First Name and Email Address. The default form will come up with Last Name as well. Click on it and hit the trash can.
Next highlight the First Name field and check the required box in the left hand column. Do the same for the Email Address. You don’t want a list of blank contact records.
I won’t get into modifying the look of this box. You can go all out here if you’d like.
The real power of the smart form editor is in the settings tab. Here you can choose double or single opt-in or ONTRAPORT’s cool optional double opt-in. Also pick your thank you page. Use ONTRAPORT’s default page or create your own.
The final two steps are to tag the contact and subscribe them to a sequence.
The only tag I like to put here is for the opt-in form itself. If I want to change my tag structure someday, I don’t want to wade through dozens of forms to change the tags. That’s why I include them in the sequences.
Pick your delivery sequence. You could add a contact to multiple sequences here. But again, I don’t want too much on each form. Building it into sequences and global rules will make your life easier in the future.
6 – Embed your form on your website
Using ONTRAPORT’s embed code is pretty simple. You’ll find the code under Contacts>>Smart Forms>> Publish Form. There are multiple versions here for most situations.
7 – Test, test, test!
The last step is to test your setup. Subscribe yourself to your list. Do you get your email bait? Are you added to the autoresponder sequence? Better if you find problems than if your leads find them. They probably won’t tell you. And that means opportunities lost!
The key to using ONTRAPORT and any automated system is to be methodical and organized. This is why the system map is so important. It makes it easy to track your progress and find errors in your logic. It’s much harder to track when you’re looking at hundreds of emails, sequences and tags within ONTRAPORT.
If you’d like to see the full sized System Map I created, sign up below and I’ll send it right over. I’ll also send you some great tips on how to automate your business.