An illustration of one person saying something nice to another one.
An illustration of one person saying something nice to another one.

How we made Nice Words.

We created an interactive email experience using AWeber and you can too!

Chris Vasquez
Jan 22 · 6 min read

Nice Words is a Kindness as a Service product that sends you a compliment or encouragement every day and challenges you to find someone to share it with before the day is out. But it’s not just an email sequence, it also keeps track of the nice words you’ve given and reminds you about ones you’ve missed.

The best part is that it was all pretty darn simple to set up using basic landing pages, AWeber and Typeform, which are both accessible and easy to use for any small business, creator, or hobbyist. So if you want to build something similar, you definitely can.

How does it work?

1. The Homepage

The homepage is a very simple landing page with one purpose:

Get people interested enough in Nice Words that they sign up.

It sets the rules and expectations for the product and includes an AWeber form for folks to sign and be added to my list. I chose to only ask for an email address to make it as light an ask as possible to sign up.

2. The Confirmation Page

Nice Words is a confirmed opt-in list, which means that after someone signs up they are sent an email to verify that they actually owned the address they signed up with.

Although this might seem like unnecessary friction it is the best way to ensure that the folks who are on your list really want to be there. This tends to result in readers who are much more likely to actually open and read your emails, and less likely to report your emails as spam, which ultimately leads to a higher likelihood that your email will get delivered.

3. The Confirmation Email

The confirmation email is simple and straightforward. It thanks the reader for signing up and restates what they can expect next.

3. The Confirmation Thank You Page

Once a reader clicks through to confirm their subscription, they land on my confirmation landing page. This is a great place to get additional information from your subscriber, or prompt them to take some sort of initial action.

I’m using my confirmation page in a couple of ways:

  • Letting the reader know that they should see the first Nice Words email in their inbox.
  • Suggest they check their promotions, updates, or spam folders if they don’t immediately see the first Nice Words email.
  • Asking them if they have any compliments to suggest we include in Nice Words using an embedded Typeform survey. As part of this survey, we also ask how they would like to be attributed if we end up using their nice words.

4. The Welcome Email

This is where the actual automation actually kicks off. Once a reader confirms their address they are entered into an automated email campaign that sends them a compliment or encouragement to share every weekday.

This first welcome email is a little different than the emails that follow in that in addition to the nice words for the day, it includes some welcoming text and a little extra instructional text pointing to click the button once they’ve share the nice words to keep track of their interactions.

We use the button clicks to customize future emails in a way we’ll describe in step 6.

5. The Submission Thank You Page

When a reader clicks to confirm they shared their nice words for the day, they land on another simple landing page. The headline that randomly pulls from a set of celebratory phrases, but that’s just a little bit of spice that really isn’t necessary (just neat).

This page also has an embedded Typeform survey we use to gather stories of how the project is affecting people.

6. The Loop

From then on, the reader enters the core Nice Words loop where every weekday they’re sent another email with a compliment or encouragement.

These messages are more personalized than the welcome message in a few, fun ways:

  • We realize that your inbox can get a little wild and crazy and it’s easy to miss a message or two, even from your best friends (us). If you happen to let a nice word go by without confirming you shared it, you’ll be reminded to share in the next email you get.
  • The number of nice words you’ve shared are tracked through a goofy running emoji tally.

Each of those elements only show up when they’re relevant to you personally. So you’ll only see the reminder in an email after you haven’t confirmed sharing a compliment, and you’ll only start seeing the emoji once you have clicked to confirm you have shared at least one.

How does the automation work?

The Nice Words emails are all delivered through an automated AWeber campaign. This is how it works:

Trigger: “On Subscribe” for all new subscribers. 👈🏽 Everybody who signs up goes into this campaign.

Send Message: Nice Words — Day 1. 👈🏽 That’s the welcome email.

  • If someone clicks the link to confirm today’s message, Tag that user with a tag for that day (eg. “shared-0001”) and with the general “shared-ever” tag.

Wait: 6 hours and then send on the next weekday at 8:34am. 👈🏽 That makes sure the email only goes out on weekdays.

Send Message: Nice Words — Day N

  • If someone clicks the link to confirm today’s message, Tag that reader with a tag for that day (eg. “shared-0002”) and with the general “shared-ever” tag.
  • If the reader does not have the tag from the previous day (if today is day two and they don’t have the “shared-0001” tag), show them a reminder to share yesterday’s nice words. If they click to confirm they shared it, Tag them with yesterday’s tag.
  • If the reader has any tags from previous days, show an emoji tally for each comment tag.

From then on it just carries on, sending messages, waiting for clicks, and becoming more and more personalized to an individual reader over time.

What’s next?

Our main focus right now is getting more and better nice words in the series. If you’d like to suggest any compliments or encouragements, please feel free to share them.

We also have some more fun ideas for making these emails feel more personal and alive by asking readers what types of people they’re looking to encourage (family, partners, strangers, etc.). We’ll be prioritizing updates based on feedback from our readers, so please feel free to share your ideas by replying to any nice words email!

Thank you so much for reading this. If you have any questions of feedback, don’t hesitate to comment or reach out on Twitter.

Oh… and please take a minute to say a nice word to someone today.

You’re more fun than a pack of baby otters.

An illustration of me saying “Thank you for reading”
An illustration of me saying “Thank you for reading”

Want to read about why we made Nice Words? Read more…

Chris Vasquez

Written by

Director of Product @AWeber | Hangs out with 2 cool dogs, 1 awesome lady, 1 radical daughter, and 1 goofy niece.

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