Email is the OG of online marketing tools and continues to be a reliable tool for staying connected with your audience. It’s a connection to your audience that you own, unlike Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. You can get some awesome insights from your email analytics, and by setting up email automation campaigns you can have it working for you while you lounge at the beach.
Last week I covered ways to add people to your email list. So today I wanted to talk to you about how to welcome your new subscribers with a series of emails designed to ensure they see your best content and give you the opportunity to prime them for your offer.
Alright, let’s dive in…
You’ve probably heard about a welcome series already, but let’s be sure you’re maximizing its potential.
If you aren’t already familiar with the welcome series, this is the email series that the new subscribers to your email list get. When they raise their hand to jump on your list to stay notified of new podcast episodes, or from downloading a free resource, they should be put down the path of the welcome series.
Note that I didn’t say, new customers. You’ll want to put new customers down a little bit of a different path, but we’ll save that for another episode. My goal is to not overwhelm you with information on too many things at once, but rather smaller actionable things you can put in place today.
The number of emails in a welcome series varies depending on what you’re trying to lead new subscribers towards. If you’re wanting to engage them in an offer, this series tends to be a bit longer.
The general consensus seems to be that six emails is ideal when you’re leading someone towards an offer. And, like nearly all things in marketing, you want to start with the end in mind.
You’ll want to ask yourself:
- What is the end goal?
- This is usually to get them to buy into an offer you have.
- Or this could be to get them to join your Facebook group if you’re at a point where your cart is closed or you’re maybe not taking any more coaching clients right now.
- What problem does that solve for them?
- What do they need to know about the problem you’re trying to solve in order to take that action?
- How do they need to shift their thinking from the solution they think they need to the solution they actually need?
Thinking through those questions will give you insights for your content to more effectively lead your new subscribers down the path you want them to take. This is what makes them think “man, this person really gets me” as they read your emails.
Email #1 is simply to do what you promised.
That might be delivering your free resource and celebrating them joining your list. It’s your opportunity to introduce yourself and point them towards your best content that you don’t want them to miss.
In this email, you should ask them to whitelist your email to ensure they don’t miss a thing. The simplest way to do this is to ask them to add you to their contact list in their email account.
You can also ask them to connect with you on one or two of your preferred social networks. Be sure to let them know what to expect from you there, and what value it is to them.
You can engage new subscribers by asking a single question that they can reply to. This is a great way to gain insights into your audience. Ask questions that will start a conversation about the problem your offer is trying to solve. Like, what have they tried before that just didn’t work? Or what is the biggest hurdle to getting the results they’re looking for? You can use a magic wand question, like “If I were to wave a magic wand and instantly give you the results you’re looking for, what would life look like for you?”
At the point someone joins your list, they are likely aware of the problem they have, but may not be aware of a solution, or the right solution.
Your second email should move them into being solution aware.
This is your opportunity to start to shift their mindset from what they think they need, to what they actually need. This concept always makes me think of the Henry Ford quote, “If I would’ve asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” In reality, people wanted a way to get from one place to another more quickly. They used horses for transportation and didn’t think of the possibilities beyond just a faster horse.
It’s your job to show them there are other ways to solve their problem, but first, you need to build up your know-like-trust factor. And an easy way to do that in this email is to give them a quick win. Give them a fast, easy step (like a tool or strategy) that gets them just a little closer to solving the problem.
Address the problem they have empathetically, so they know you understand them, and let them know there are solutions. And the first step towards solving the problem is your quick win for them.
Your third email is where you get to introduce your solution.
But first, continue to show empathy that you really do understand their struggles and that despite their belief that “everyone else has it figured out” – it’s not their fault that they don’t. They haven’t had the right tools, the right solution, to overcome their problem. And you’re there to help them; making them not just solution aware but aware of your specific solution.
You can use proof that your solution works in the content of this email. Maybe it’s a short success story about someone you have helped.
Now that you’ve created awareness about your specific solution as a way to address their problem, you need to help them understand if it’s the right solution for them.
Email #4 should move your new subscriber from seeing themselves within the problem they have, to see the distant but attainable outcome that solving the problem would bring.
Here’s where you can use a powerful copywriting technique called future pacing.
Think about what benefit they would get not just in a few weeks, but months or even years later. Think about the unexpected value they receive over the long run from solving this problem.
Then ask them to imagine themselves in that reality.
At this stage, you can continue to use success stories within the copy to show that what they imagined can be their reality.
In email #5, you can dig deeper into the features and benefits of your offer and details like how to get started.
You want to create some urgency; whether it’s limited-time special pricing for jumping in right away or an offer that isn’t available if they wait too long.
You also want to create some loss aversion. You can give the alternative to not taking action; what it looks like to continue to be stuck or frustrated by their problem.
Your 6th, and final email, should only be sent if they didn’t take you up on your offer yet.
This email can be short, sweet, and to the point as their final reminder to take action. You can use testimonials as social proof, and leave it up to the subscriber to take the next step.
Once your subscribers have gone through your welcome series, you can add them to your weekly email broadcasts. I do this by automatically tagging them “subscribe” in my email system, and then sending my regular weekly emails to just those with the “subscribe” tag.
If you aren’t familiar with email tags or aren’t yet using them, head on over to episode 16 where we discussed all things email tagging. It’s such a powerful feature, and often so overlooked.
And don’t think just because you made your subscriber an offer in this welcome series, and they didn’t take it, that you can’t make offers to them in the future. It may just be that they aren’t ready yet. They may need more nurturing through your regular email broadcasts to get to that point.
Your welcome series is simply to get them into the mindset that you do sell things and to capture those who are ready to buy right away.
If you aren’t leading them down the path to an offer, but rather an engagement action like joining your private Facebook community, you can introduce that as a step towards a solution in email #3. Instead of using success stories, you can tell them what they can expect to get from the engagement, like exclusive strategies that you only share in your community. Or support from like-minded people who are facing similar challenges.
In this case, you can make email #3 your final email in the series, or give them one more nudge to take action if they haven’t already in a short-and-sweet fourth email.
Now, if you already have a welcome series in place, I don’t want you to feel like you need to scrap it and start over.
Look at the content you have already, and see where you can make improvements. Look at the order your content in that series is in already. Are there emails that are just out of order? Do you need to break some apart in order to add some more depth?
You probably know by now that I’m not about re-creating the wheel, but rather continually looking for ways to improve and refine what you’ve already got. Set aside some time on a quarterly basis to ensure your welcome series, your quick win, and your offer are still relevant to your customer and your business.