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How to Sell to Your List Using a Soap Opera Sequence

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André Chaperon accidentally discovered the Soap Opera Sequence after making $70,000 in a month from an email list of 1,000 subscribers.

Read that again: he made $70 per email subscriber in a month.

Modern marketing wisdom says you can make $1 per email subscriber per month. But the truth is even crazier. André was an affiliate, so he actually generated over $126,000 in sales from a list of 1,000 subscribers within 30 days.

It was back in 2009 that André Chaperon turned his experience into the first edition of an email marketing course: AutoResponder Madness. It was instantly adopted by top marketers like Ryan Deiss, Perry Belcher, Frank Kern, Jeff Walker, Vishen Lakhiani, Brian Cassingena, James Schramko and more.

After checking out the Soap Opera Sequence, I became obsessed with it too.

It’s my go-to email automation. I break down exactly how I’ve used to make thousands of sales in my book, DotCom Secrets. But below, I’m going to introduce you to the 5-day formula I developed based on André Chaperon’s Soap Opera Sequence.

For a deeper dive, get the book for free!

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What is a Soap Opera Sequence?

A Soap Opera Sequence (SOS) is based on what it’s named after: soap operas.

Have you ever found yourself unable to stop watching a TV series? You’re totally engrossed in the story and can’t help watching the next one, and the next one, and the next one?

That’s the power of a soap opera.

André Chaperon says your greatest obstacle to selling online is standing out among the distractions. The Soap Opera Sequence is the answer.

“If we're very lucky, we get small (temporary) opportunities to capture the attention and hearts of the people we seek to serve and matter to. And I have found no better way to achieve this than through a soap opera sequence. When done well, it can be a “magical” experience for the reader.”

The ultimate goal of a Soap Opera Sequence is to sell your products or services. But you can’t just rock up someone’s email inbox saying: “Hey, want to buy X?”.

To sell effectively, you need to build a relationship with your customer. You need to earn trust. In André’s words you need to ‘be considered someone worth paying attention to’.

Nail this part, and the sales will flow.

If you’re currently building your email list through lead magnets, free content offers, newsletters, low-ticket products or similar, the best way I’ve found to sell to the list is by telling stories through the Soap Opera Sequence framework.

EXAMPLE

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What’s the Difference Between a Soap Opera Sequence and a Promotion?

Andrés calls the Soap Opera Sequence the ‘entry point’ for all his email subscribers.

And that’s the way that I use it too.

As soon as a new subscriber lands on my email list, they’re automatically sent the Soap Opera Sequence. André says to make the automation at least 4 emails long. In my book DotCom Secrets I’ve found the sweet spot with this system is to send 5 emails.

At the end of the sequence I make a pitch to sell an offer.

But after the subscriber has gone through the initial Soap Opera Sequence, that’s it. It’s an automated email sequence. You can write promotions and campaigns to your list but the true power of the Soap Opera Sequence is to sell new subscribers while you sleep.

In fact, that’s exactly why André developed this method.

Here’s André again:

“With email marketing, you’ve got to write something and then broadcast this promotion and when the promotion is finished, the money stops. So I wanted to create this whole evergreen thing that was completely automated. I didn’t want to be sitting broadcasting all day long. I wanted to make more money.”

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Why Does a Soap Opera Sequence Work?

The Soap Opera Sequence blew my mind.

Not only was I able to sell my books and info products through automation, but I was also able to build a relationship with my new customers. How does that work?

​I became obsessed experimenting with the Soap Opera Sequence until eventually I discovered this emotional pattern to it. This pattern is based on the reasons why people buy anything:

  • 50% of people buy on emotion
  • ​25% of people buy on logic
  • 25% of people buy on fear

I built my Soap Opera Sequences exactly to this buying psychology. Here’s how it works.

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Phase 1 – Emotion

The first 3 emails in your Soap Opera Sequence should be about creating an emotional connection. Share a story about a problem you faced in your past, which your reader is going through right now. We’ll break this down in the next section. I just want you to understand the reasoning behind the phases.

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Phase 2 – Logic

Email 4 is what I call the ‘hidden benefits’. This is where you layer on logical reasons why your dream customer should buy from you. Half the sale will be made on emotion. But for the 25% people who need a little extra, this is the email you’ll sell them on.

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Phase 3 – Fear

I usually include product links to buy whatever I’m selling in every email. But if a subscriber has reached email 5 and hasn’t bought then it’s time to turn up the fear. This final email is about using scarcity or urgency to encourage readers to take action.

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My Five-Day Soap Opera Sequence Template

In my book DotCom Secrets, I go in depth through my five-day Soap Opera Sequence template.

These are the 5 emails that create a ‘story arc’ and frame the entire sequence. I use it again and again to welcome new subscribers and sell them onto an evergreen product of mine.

Let’s go over the basic outline of this formula below.​

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Day #1 – Sets The Stage

The first day’s email should build anticipation for the sequence ahead. You should introduce yourself, explain why you’re an expert in your field, and tease the story ahead. Get the reader to become invested in whatever story you’re going to tell. Promise a freebie. This email is kind of like the ‘trailer’ to your Soap Opera Sequence so you need maximum impact.

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Day #2 – High Drama

The second email is where you bring readers right into your story. Drop them into a high-drama moment of action, emotion or experience. You want to introduce some kind of ‘wall’ in this email. You want to be trying to achieve something but you’ve hit some kind of dead end…you’re going to tease how you solved the problem, but not reveal the solution yet. Day #2 is all about the emotional connection.

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Day #3 – The Epiphany

The third email is a moment of emotional climax. It’s how you stumbled upon the answer and changed your life for the better. I call this day’s email ‘the one thing’ as you want to get really clear on the mechanism of your transformation. Ideally, this mechanism is linked with your product or service. You want the reader here to begin dreaming of purchasing or owning whatever it is you have on the other side of the checkout page.

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Day #4 – Hidden Benefits

In this email, it’s all about the logic. You want to reveal the logical benefits to your mechanism, product, methodology or services. Aside from the emotional transformation you want to bring about in your reader’s life you want to reassure them that buying is a smart decision too. If you’ve not added any product links throughout the sequence so far, email #4 is definitely the place to do it.

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Day #5 – Urgency C.T.A.

Day #5 is all about fear. It’s where you give your readers a nudge so they take action and buy. If you’ve got a discount or limited-time offer, you need to make the benefits clear in this email. They take action or lose it. It’s the end of the Soap Opera Sequence and it’s your last chance to be earning money through automation – so make it count!

​If you want a deeper dive into my version of the Soap Opera Sequence, you can check it out in my book DotCom Secrets.

Soap Opera Sequence Doodle
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Don’t Forget: Make Use of Cliffhangers!

The power of a soap opera is in your connection to the characters. But without cliffhangers, they wouldn’t be so addictive.

Ending with a dramatic twist is what keeps people pressing the ‘next episode button’.

Here’s André again on the importance of using this in your Soap Opera Sequence:

“The way I write them is the way Hollywood writes soap operas or TV series like Lost and 24. At the end of each episode, there's always this cliffhanger. So, I would write an email and there'll be this open loop or cliffhanger at the end of the email that grabs attention.”

If there’s one awesome thing about automation (besides making money while you sleep) it’s that you can test it out. Write your first Soap Opera Sequence. Make cliffhangers at the end of every email.

Then, if it doesn’t sell as well as you hoped, try again. Change the cliffhangers. Make the high-drama more dramatic. Make the promise more exciting. Pile on the urgency.

Eventually, you’ll land a winner!

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Final Thoughts on Soap Opera Sequences

Soap Opera Sequences are by far the most powerful email automation I’ve ever used.

For the last decade, many email marketers have pushed the idea that you can make ‘$1 per subscriber per month’. It serves as a rough guide to help you know how many subscribers you need to generate your dream monthly income.

But André Chaperon changed everything when he generated a total of $126,000 in a single month from a tiny list of 1,000 subscribers. He only pocketed $70,000 as he was an affiliate. But still, he set the bar high by directly earning at least $70 per subscriber per month.

I now use the Soap Opera Sequence to promote all my products to new subscribers.

I’ve tested it out again and again and again until I came across the 5-day Soap Opera Sequence which I talk about in my book, DotCom Secrets.

Click below to get your own copy for free.

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