I don’t know about you, but I don’t often make instant friends.
Sure, I can experience a sparky connection with someone the first time I meet them and have dynamic, flowy conversation, but it takes time before I truly let someone into my inner circle…
And if friendship in real life takes time and effort, imagine what’s it like in the online world…
…it’s busy space and often difficult to know who to trust — it’s why online relationships require extra nurturing. You miss out on the nuances of body language and facial expressions…plus, it’s typically a one-way conversation.
Unlike dogs who do the sniff and judge — “yep, you’re cool, we can hang” or “naw, sorry buds, you’re not my type”, humans need more time to develop relationships that can mature into lasting friendships.
My point is, even if you make an instant connection with someone in real life, it takes time to get to know each other and build a foundation of trust, respect and expectations.
So when someone downloads your intriguing (and valuable) lead magnet, they are essentially saying, “hey…let’s court. I’m letting you into my inbox, let’s see where this goes”.
They trusted you enough to hand over their email address…
… don’t leave them hanging.
You put time and effort into attracting them to your email list, now it’s time to engage and start the relationship with an effective welcome email series.
What is a welcome email series?
A welcome email series is a set of automated emails that go out to each person who downloads your lead magnet — the freebie you give them in exchange for their email.
If you don’t have a lead magnet, I suggest creating one. You’ll be hard-pressed to grow your list without offering something of value in exchange for their precious email address.
And your welcome emails are an opportunity for you to highlight your brand and for your new subscribers to get to know you and eventually buy from you.
I recommend sending out a series five emails — there’s no magic number, but five is a manageable and attractive number to introduce people to your business and move them through to a sale.
You can go up to seven, but if seven or even five feels intimidating, start with three.
But whether you’re a seasoned business owner or a newly minted solopreneur, a welcome email series is essential to start the conversation…
Tips Before You Start Writing
1. Make your emails personal
The person reading your emails should feel like you’re writing directly to them — like how I’m writing this blog directly to you… ya, you reading this blog right now.
Use their first name when addressing them and replace they or them or people with you.
Pretend you’re writing an email to a friend and they’re the only person reading it.
2. Make your emails conversational
Writing conversational emails is just as important as making them personal.
Like I mentioned in tip one…pretend you’re writing to a friend.
Would you say, “I hope you are having a nice day” or “I hope you’re having a nice day”?
If you’re a super formal person and you’d actually say *you are*, then, by all means, write that. But more than likely, you’re casual with friends and even non-friends and would say *you’re*.
So write like that! Write like you talk — within reason, of course. It still needs to make sense to the person reading it and to your audience.
3. Tell Stories
You probably hear this all the time….stories sell. Stories Sell. STORIES SELL!
This might freak you out a bit if your automatic reaction is, but I’m not good at telling stories! My best advice here is: don’t overthink it. You’re not writing a best-selling novel…simply recount a personal experience, or share how your product or service helped someone else.
This approach humanizes your copy and creates connection.
Sharing the features and benefits of your product is important. But the truth is, stories are more memorable and they appeal to your reader’s emotional senses — and humans respond to emotion more than logic.
So now that you’ve conquered personal, conversational story-telling, you’re ready to dive into your email sequence…
What should your emails include?
Your emails should always, without a doubt, create value for your new subscribers. Yes, the end goal is to gain a new paying customer, but your messaging should covertly lead to the (non-salesy) sales pitch.
In a weird psychological twist, people who want or need your solution want it without being explicitly sold to.
Keep in mind, the point of these emails is to understand your readers and know what they need from you.
This is the most crucial and often overlooked email in your series.
The moment someone joins your list, they should immediately receive a welcome email. This is your chance to thank them for downloading your lead mag and confirm what a smart decision they made to opt into your list.
According to this site, as of January 2017, there were 1,310,780,385 active websites1 on the internet. And out of all those choices, someone chose to join your list — kind of a big deal.
But don’t stop there…
Use this email to also:
1.Introduce yourself — let them know who you are. Say hi and give a quick intro.
2. Let them know what they can expect from you — what value will they gain from being on your list. And how often will you email them?
3. Include the link to the offer again — just in case they missed the download, include it again in this email to make sure they get it.
4. Include one major and one minor CTA — in the body of the email direct them to some of your best content. Ask a question and encourage them to reply. Or direct them to your social media or an applicable blog post.
5. Ask them to self-segment if it makes sense for your biz — if you have a big list or offer distinct products or service for different audiences, this is your chance to make sure they only get emails that are relevant to them. For example, if you’re a dog trainer and you train trainers as well, you can ask people to segment themselves as a trainer or a dog owner. This way they only get what they need.
Here’s an awesome example of a welcome email from Digital Marketer that uses the principles above:
In your second email, you can start to get a bit more personal. Share a little of your backstory and how you hit a wall…
Were you tired of working a job that was sucking your soul? Done with never having a decent income? Have a near death experience? Or couldn’t ignore the burning desire to build a cult brand?
Build tension in this email by getting a bit vulnerable, but leave the big reveal of how you transcended your roadblock to get to your big epiphany for the next email.
Open a new loop at the end of the email letting your readers know your next email will cover how you overcame your hurdle and finally experienced success; thanks to your awesome product or service.
But leave them with a beneficial takeaway.
This email contains the ONE thing your product or service will do for your reader — the pain it will solve…the coolness factor of being associated with you…or the skills you will help them build.
Share the epiphany you had, how you overcame it and how your product or service is related to the struggle you experienced.
If you can do it, anyone can.
Share some of the hidden benefits of your product or service in email #4.
What are some things your reader didn’t know about what you offer? And how will what you offer improve their life?
Your reader is ultimately in search of a better version of themselves.
In this email, you can point them to a relevant blog post or give them something of value for free.
You are building trust and in the end, you want them to buy from you or refer you to others.
In your last email, it’s time to create some urgency with a compelling call to action.
Let them somehow now — without using scare tactics or gross manipulation — that time isn’t a commodity and they need your service or product now.
In this email, you can add a few testimonials or case studies to highlight just how effective your product is. It gives your readers a taste or mini-preview of what you offer.
Now that you’ve written a killer welcome email series, it’s time to schedule it.
There are various email marketing platforms you can choose from. Some of the more popular software are:
These platforms are designed to make your life easier…some are paid and some are free. Take the time to read through them and choose the one that works best for you and your business goals.
But automate these emails so you can focus on other important areas of your business!
And don’t try to do it all at once or you’ll lose your mind! Write one or two emails a day until you have your series complete. And set a time limit on how much research you allot to finding the right platform.
You could end up spending WAY more time than necessary on this. And always remember, that your emails don’t need to be perfect. The beauty is that nothing is set in stone and you can update them any time…. especially as your business evolves and you grow.
Does the idea of writing a welcome email series still seem daunting? Comment below or email me with any questions you have about getting started on welcoming subscribers to the fam!