If you have ever looked up any information on, or heard anyone talk about, growing an email list, you know that the most popular strategy to get email sign-ups is to offer something for free in exchange for those email addresses.
This piece of free content is sometimes called an “opt-in” or a “freebie,” but the concept is the same: you create something useful and enticing that your ideal customer really wants, and then you give it to them for free in exchange for them agreeing to receive other emails from you.
You have probably created at least one of this type of resource, and maybe you even have multiple such freebies that you offer to collect sign-ups to your email list.
And here’s the question:
What happens after they receive the freebie?
How do you let them know about the paid offers you have for sale, and how they can work with you further?
The Welcome Series is a set of emails that every new subscriber receives, as a sequence, that introduces them to you, your business, how you can help them, and exactly how they can work with you.
In this post, let’s dive into 5 tips for writing a super effective Welcome Series that sets the stage and makes it easy for you to pitch your offers and make sales down the line.
1. Don’t miss the opportunities in your introductory email
The very first email you send to your new subscriber is, arguably, the most important.
Because this is where you are setting the stage and planting the seeds of exactly how you and your business works, and what the new subscriber can expect while they are on your list.
This is also the email that you will use to share about your paid offers, and how your brand-new subscriber can work with you when they are ready.
It’s important to note that you should not expect to make a lot of sales off of this one introductory email. People who are brand new to you will most likely not buy the offers you talk about in your very first email. However, they are now aware of exactly what you do have for sale should they want it. This little shift is what makes selling later on much easier than if you had never planted this seed to begin with.
Here are some ideas on what you can include in your introductory email:
- An introduction to you – who you are, why you are uniquely qualified to help them, and what your business does. Make this short, and to the point, and focus almost exclusively on them and why they are exactly in the right place to get help from you.
- Introduce ways that you like to connect with your community – whether it’s social media, your podcast, or your Facebook group – let them know how they can get to know you better on an ongoing basis.
- Let them know what to expect from you as far as emails – frequency, what you will talk about, what they stand to gain by reading your newsletters.
- Your best resources (blog posts, popular podcast episodes) to get them started delving deeper. Choose things that are closely related to the topic of the freebie they just downloaded for best results.
- Give them a run-down of the paid offers and other ways they can work with you, and how these offers will give them even better results than your free stuff.
It’s ok if you spend the most time writing this one introductory email for your welcome series. This first email is very important in setting the tone of your whole relationship with your email community.
Get your FREE Welcome Series Email Template Pack!
Write the 6 essential emails you need to convert every subscriber to a super-fan with:
- Easy to follow, fill in the blank instructions
- Subject line ideas for every email
- Video training for even more tips and ideas
2. Give them tips
Yes, email marketing is about making sales – but you don’t want each and every email you send out to be focused solely on selling something.
There’s a balance between sales emails and free value emails. Value emails are those short tips, tricks, and resources that help your subscriber think about their situation just a little differently. Maybe they hadn’t considered an easy way to do X, or they don’t even know that Y exists.
Don’t know what tips to give them in your welcome email series? Try this simple tip:
Take 2-3 main points out of the freebie they just downloaded, and make each of those a quick and easy email.
There’s several benefits to this strategy:
First, you already know they are interested in getting these tips because they downloaded the freebie.
Second, they might not have had time to dive in and really digest your freebie. These quick tips will get them that quick win and satisfaction from downloading the freebie, even if they never actually open it.
And third, it cuts down on the amount of new content you need to create, since you’re not stuck re-inventing the wheel for each freebie and welcome sequence you’ll write.
3. Rant on your favorite pet peeve
You might think that going off on a rant on someone brand new to you might not be the best introduction… except that it totally is when it comes to marketing.
Being “neutral” and non-committal on issues surrounding your industry is a quick way to boring-town. Not taking a stand for or against anything does not help you stand out from your competition.
Whenever you get a new email subscriber, you want that person to do one of two things:
Either they love you and the content they create so much that they become a raving fan and buy everything you’ve ever made and ever will make in the future, or…
They are so put off, annoyed, or even offended by you that they unsubscribe as fast as they can find that link in your emails.
Let it be known: EITHER of those scenarios is an absolute WIN for you and your business.
Think about it:
Would you want someone who doesn’t like you, and will never purchase from you, to stay on your email list?
Would you even want to work with someone who doesn’t agree with your way of doing things?
There are all kinds of people out there on the Internet who will come across your stuff. What you want to do is very quickly determine who is a good fit for your business and who isn’t, so you can focus as much of your energy as possible on those who DO care what you have to say, and who WILL become customers.
So don’t be afraid of being “too controversial,” “too loud,” or “too YOU.” The right people will love it, and the rest will unsubscribe. Doing it early on in your welcome series will only benefit both you and your subscriber.
4. Listen to their preferences
Email marketing is a relationship. And all relationships require that listening and communication goes both ways.
One of the best ways that you can make an effort to listen to your subscribers is by collecting information about their preferences, what they are most interested in, or where in their journey they are currently at.
This is known commonly in email marketing as segmentation.
The truth is, that people love to get personalized stuff, and email is no different.
We have wonderful technology and tools at our disposal to make personalization incredibly simple and easy to do. No matter what email service provider you have, I guarantee that it’s got tools to help you send the right content to the right people.
Let’s say that you run a recipe blog, where you post recipes of soups and desserts. You probably will have people come to the blog looking for one or the other, and maybe only exclusively one over the other. You can make sure that you are providing a personalized experience by sending different content to dessert-loving sweet tooths vs. cozy-seeking soup enjoyers.
(And before we go any further, if you are not sure how to do this inside of your email service provider, make sure that you download my FREE Email Welcome Series training, where I specifically go over how to ask for subscribers’ preferences in an easy way that works no matter what email service provider you use. Grab that template + training right here.)
Personalization also works wonders for when it comes time to sell in earnest. Trust me, nothing is more of an effort wasted than sending an offer for a soup cook-book to someone who is only interested in baking. Personalization goes a long way to help BOTH you AND your subscriber: they get information that is truly helpful and useful, and they feel like you really care about what they, specifically, need, and you get to make more sales by giving your peeps what they already want.
When you’re writing your email welcome series, make sure that you allot an email to ask your new subscriber their preferences and what they are most excited to be hearing about.
5. Encourage conversation
Just as listening in any relationship needs to go back and forth, so does actual communication.
Use your welcome series to set the expectation that anyone who receives your emails is more than welcome to respond and send you an email back.
You can write about your own experiences, or those of your other customers, and then ask for a reply back with their own stories. Ask them to reply back if they have questions about how to implement a tip that you just gave. Or simply ask them to check in and let you know how they are doing with that mini-course they just purchased.
In your welcome email series, you can make it super simple and just ask them what their experience has been so far with XYZ topic. It’s a great way to set the tone that you want to hear from them.
I hope that this has been a helpful overview of what sorts of emails you can write for an effective email welcome series. If you need more help, or just want to chat about how you can implement a welcome series for your own email marketing, feel free to send me a note at anna[at]genicollective.com.
And, if you’d like some help to write your email welcome series, you can get it in one of two ways:
- Download my FREE email welcome series template pack and training, where I take you through 6 essential emails for your series, along with fill-in-the-blanks sample emails AND subject lines. You can get all that goodness by signing up here.
- If you know you’d like more help, and would like someone to sit with you and knock out those emails in an afternoon, let’s hop on a Zoom and get it done. Grab an hour to get started on my calendar here, and we’ll make sure that you get it written.
Who’s writing this thing, anyway?
Anna Crosby is your email marketing go-to gal behind Geni Collective.
Want some 1:1 time with Anna? Book a 20 min call to chat and see how you can get her eyes and brain on your business.