If you ever watched one of those “How It’s Made” videos on Youtube or on TV, you notice how simple and automated things are. For example, a potato chip company has a giant machine of assembled parts that does the work of chopping, cleaning, frying and packaging for them. All they need to do is to insert the right type of potatoes and collect the packaged goods in the end for selling purposes. As a result, they would generate revenue.

Most people think that email marketing is spending countless hours on crafting complex and broad appealing emails. And then praying that the next batch sent out won’t be majorly marked as spam or be unread. However, it shouldn’t be like that. Email marketing, when planned accordingly, can be like the potato chip making machine; simple, easy and working efficiently to generate sales. All you would have to do is create the right set of emails, send them out, and watch the sales roll in.

Created by the email marketing team at Digital Marketer, “the machine” is a planned marketing strategy that creates results and generates sales for your business without the need of a big email list or expensive software.

Here’s how it works. Each email that you send out has one of the five purposes of “the machine”.

  • Indoctrinate – Teach them who you are.
  • Engage – Get them to buy.
  • Ascend – Get them to buy more.
  • Segment – Learn what they want to buy next.
  • Reengage/Win Back – Bring them back for more.

Each purpose is dependent upon the last step, creating 5 stages of email marketing. While this post will guide you through the steps of the machine, Digital Marketer will give you a copy of it at no charge.

Email Marketing Machine from Digital Marketing

Likely, your competitors aren’t using all five stages. This is an expensive mistake that your can benefit from.

Once you understand the “machine”, you’ll be able to create and utilize a number of auto-responding series and a new system of generating revenue. Just remember the following quote:

“Your prospect can’t be ENGAGED until they are INDOCTRINATED. And they can’t ASCEND until they are engaged. And so on…” ~Ryan Deiss, Digital Marketer

This is the way to maximizing your profit through email marketing. As long as you and your company send out emails with a purpose, you can move your customers and potential clients from one stage of the machine to the next.

STAGE 1 – Indoctrination Emails

Let’s start off with the scenario that you have a couple of new opt-ins for your business’s email list. Likely you don’t know what to do next. Most people would say that they would email them, which is technically correct. The only thing they get wrong is how they email them.

People tend to make the mistake here and bombard their prospects with adverts talking about their latest sale or upcoming company news. Most of these emails get ignored and tossed into the trash.

The correct step is to teach your prospects about you and your business, in other words, indoctrinating them. Your email should be about the following:

  • Who are you? What is your business?
  • What do you and your business stand for?
  • Why is your company different from the others?
  • What should your customers expect from you?
  • How often should they expect something from you?
  • What should they do next?

Primarily, indoctrination emails will only need to be sent out to prospects once. Even big and well known companies like Apple knows that they need to explain their services and products to new customers. Whenever a customer signs on for the first time, they’ll get an email message like the following.

iCloud welcoming email for indoctrination

Upon reading the email, you (and likely many other site visitors/users) are indoctrinated. Every part of the email is to teach you what the company/business is about. However, there are times when it’s more effective to have indoctrination to be sent out as a series of emails instead of one.

For example, let’s say you run a business that has potential customers opt-in for your services. After the first email, it can be greatly effective you sent them an email afterwards that encourages engagement between the business and potential customer. Look at this example:

“Hello again.

This is Roy Mills, co-founder of Johnson & Mills – makers of fine products like Kelp Dip and Bean Lard Mulch. I just wanted to reach out and say welcome to our group and thanks for signing up!

If you have a second, I’d love to know some things about you:

I. Why did you sign up for your product emailing list?
II. What do you hope for Johnson & Mills to help you achieve?

Thanks for joining us, we’re glad to have you.


P.S. Our doors are always open. If you have any questions or concerns or feedback, email us anytime.

And here’s a bonus question you can answer if you want: What do you hope to contribute to the Johnson & Mills community? Ideas for products? Suggestions for our current products? Engaging with customers like you help us make the right decisions, like adding extra salt to our fish sticks.

Notice how the emails asks customers to engage with their email by replying back. Engagement is an important factor, which will be the main focus of stage 2.

STAGE 2 – Engagement Emails

Engagement emails help convert prospects into actual customers of your business. The reason why is because they make offers.

For example, Hubspot engages with anyone interested in their partner program. Should anyone download any of their free reports and tells Hubspot that they are a digital marketing agency, they will send out an email that would recommend starting a trial at Hubspot. Additionally they mention that they are open to talk to you over the phone so that the prospect can learn more.

Digital Marketer, at one point, showed interest in becoming a partner with Hubspot. Immediately after downloading a free report, they received the following image:

Hubspot engagement email

Another example for businesses to engage with customers are through cart abandonment emails. Online retailers can send out an email to customers who left items in their carts while visiting and shopping on the website. The email at times would remind them of their cart’s contents and at times offer them a discount to process the order.

Businesses can see big gains and more sales by utilizing an engagement series of emails. Digital Marketer has this type of email training in their series of their 7-day engagement.

STAGE 3 – Ascension Emails

Ascension emails is where you can generate a lot of revenue for your business.

For every offer you make, there is some percentage of buyers that would buy more.
~Ryan Deiss, Digital Marketer

Every paying customer that you acquired through your engagement emails, they should receive a series of ascension emails. These emails should offer content that will entice your customers to opt-into and purchase more.

For example, let’s say our example of Johnson & Mills decided to run an ascension series of emails to its customers that it acquired from its previous engagement emails. It would look something like this.


Hello there loyal customers:

I want to keep this message short and to the point. This is a simple reminder that because you are loyal customers to Johnson & Mills, you get a 25% discount of any single item from our online store. No catch, no coupons, no complications.

Or you can go ahead and order a year supply of our quality goods, which comes with a 15% discount.

~Roy, Co-Founder of Johnson & Mills


Ascension offers can be offered as you as you enter into their system. For example, when you take the entry level offer at Marketing Profs, you can get access to their free content. However, as you soon as you do enter, they are quick to offer its users an upgrade to it’s premium content access.

ascension emails from marketing profs pro
Notice in the offer they are using social proof to convince users to take the extra step and become a professional paid member of their services.

Regarding Refusals of Ascension

It’s very likely you will experience customers and prospects saying no to your engagement or ascension emails. There is a solution to all this. Keep changing the message of your emails until they get a positive response.

Stage 4 – Segmentation Emails

The goal of segmentation emails is to gain your prospects’ attention and have them show interest in something you offer or sell. When you have gotten their attention, you put them in the right engagement series of emails.

Let’s say you want to know if your current prospects and customers are interested in a paid seminar you are hosting in certain locations around the country. You would then send out an email with a link to a video detailing the keypoints of what is to be covered at the seminar.
Hello there.

Successful digital marketers like you are committed to the content and services your provide to their clients. They are committing 100% of their effort to make sure their clients are fulfilled, happy and ranking well for their site.

However, wouldn’t you like to know how to not only give 100% but perhaps, 110%? Check out our video!

[Link to the page with the seminar sales video]

I will be covering a number of content marketing topics in the seminars I am hosting in Chicago, Denver, Toronto and Phoenix. If you are interested in how to give 110% to your clients when it comes to content marketing, check us out today!

As soon as a prospect clicks on the link to the video, they will be segmented and receive follow up emails like the following.

Hello again.

Thanks so much for checking our seminar keypoints video. While that was just a sample of the topics I am handling in my seminars, wouldn’t you like the whole platter? Click on the link in this email and you’ll be able to sign up for a seat at one of my seminars.

[Link to Page to Register for the Paid Seminar]

People who are segmented are then fed back to the machine’s engagement and ascension emails. By sending out one segmentation email, you can set off a chain reaction of sales and revenue.

Stage 5 – Reengagement/Win Back Emails

There is a big problem when customers and prospects stop opening and clicking your emails. If you are doing nothing to solve that problem, you are leaving lots of money on the table.

Setting up a reengagement and win back series, does seem to be the lowest of low hanging fruit, but it makes sense. You need to put an autoresponder series in order to contact those disengaged subscribers. That way, you can bring them back and put them in an Engagement and Ascension series.

It should be noted that leaving disengaged emails on your list can do more harm than good when it comes your email deliverability. By being active and reaching out to those who strayed from the pack, you are less likely to avoid the Spam folder.

Companies like Linkedin and Netflix are professionals when it comes to reengaging with lost members.
Linkedin likes using the direct approach by sending disengaged members an email saying that they are going to unsubscribe certain email subscribers since they found out they haven’t been reading their newsletters. If they want to continue, they would simply have to click on a call to action in the email to continue to be active on their list

reengagement example - Linkedin newsletter

Netflix wins back customers who cancelled their service by offering them free trials and other promotions.

re-engagement example from netflix
There are many different ways to reengage those who are lost. Be creative and you should be able to get them back and have them placed in an Engagement and Ascension series.

Starting on the Road to Email Success

Success in email marketing starts with understanding the five steps covered in this article. After you have a deep understanding, you should determine where in the machine can you get the most for your business.

• Can you get the hundreds of lost and forgotten customers with a cunning reengagement offer?
• Would your business benefit more from the initial offer or through ascension via email?
• Should your business have a series of indoctrination emails or just rely on one really elaborate first indoctrination?

Questions like these are the reason why the email marketing machine works best for all types of businesses looking to make themselves more efficient and generate more revenue. For more information, check out the details given in Digital Marketer’s training videos and process map.

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