One of the most effective ways to build trust and create a loyal following is to leverage an email welcome sequence.
These sequences typically consist of a series of automated emails that are triggered upon a user signing up for a newsletter or opting in to receive emails from a business. The reason businesses create them is simple: they work! An effective welcome sequence can build trust, establish a connection with subscribers, and move them towards a purchase decision.
By using a targeted series of emails, businesses can turn new subscribers who are only vaguely familiar with the brand into loyal customers or clients. A well-crafted welcome sequence is a powerful tool in any marketer’s arsenal, and can help to drive conversions, build relationships, and increase revenue.
(Additional podcast resources and timestamps can be found at the end of this post.)
What is an Email Welcome Sequence?
An email welcome sequence is a series of automated emails that you send to new subscribers after they sign up for your email list. It helps them get to know your brand and what you’re all about.
You know what they say: first impressions are everything. And if you’re not using an email welcome sequence as part of your email marketing strategy, you’re missing out on a prime opportunity to make a killer first impression.
Think of an email welcome sequence like a virtual welcome mat rolled out for your new email buds. You might start with a warm hello and a quick rundown of what they can expect from you in their inbox. From there, you can gradually introduce them to more of your products or services, provide them with helpful tips or resources, and maybe even sprinkle in a little humor to keep things light and fun.
The beauty of an email welcome sequence is that it takes the pressure off of you to constantly churn out new content, while also making your subscribers feel valued and cared for. Win-win, if you ask me.
Each email should feel personal, warm, and informative, helping to build a rapport between your brand and the subscriber. By delivering targeted, relevant, and valuable content at each stage of the email journey, you’ll be on your way to establishing a long-lasting relationship with your subscribers.
Why should I create an email welcome sequence?
An effective email sequence will achieve a few things:
Capture attention and keep it
Make sure every email is valuable, helpful, and relevant. Anyone can catch someone’s attention once. The key is to hold someone’s attention, which means every email needs to be relevant and have a purpose.
This is where you can flex your expertise and show your subscribers why they hit that “subscribe” button in the first place. Think of it like a first date. You want to come with your A-game, and the same goes for your email welcome sequence.
Train your subscribers to take action
Every email should highlight a specific action you want a subscriber to take. For instance, that might be clicking to read a blog post, follow on social media, or check out a promotion.
If you don’t consistently train subscribers to click the links in your emails, then don’t be surprised if you click rate is low when you send out an offer. One of the keys here is to make sure that each email has ONE clear call-to-action. Don’t try to do too much with every email.
Educate your subscribers and seed the sale
Use your best content to overcome misperceptions or common objections people have about what you do. For instance, a film wedding photographer might take the opportunity to talk about what film photography offers that digital doesn’t.
Even if you’re not trying to sell someone in that exact moment, you can begin to “seed the sale” by overcoming objections and educating your clients on how they should think about something.
An Example Email Welcome Sequence Template
There are countless ways to create an effective email welcome sequence. If you’ve never written one before, don’t feel like you have to do too much with it. Here’s an example of a five email welcome sequence that you can implement today:
Email #1: Deliver the promised content and remind people why they should consume it.
You probably got someone to subscribe to your email using a lead magnet. The truth, however, is that many people who subscribe for a lead magnet never actually download or open the lead magnet.
It’s important to remind people why they ought to open the email and view the content. Be sure to focus on the BENEFITS of the content.
Two other things you might consider doing in this email:
- Extend the content: Provide a link to another resource that builds on or extends the content that someone is receiving. Frame it as a bonus for having subscribed to your list.
- Make an offer: The first email in the sequence generally has the highest open and click rates. This means that if you’re going to make a special offer, the first email is a good place to do so because the most people will see it.
Email #2: The “Here’s why you should listen to me” email…
In this email you’ll introduce yourself and remind subscribers why they’re receiving an email from you. The reminder is twofold:
- You want to remind someone that they subscribed to your list (e.g. “You’re getting this email because you downloaded…”
- You also want to remind someone about the benefits of being on the list (e.g. “I’m going to teach you how to replace your current salary with your side hustle.”)
Yes, you want to introduce yourself in this email, but you don’t want to make it all about you. You should take the same approach you do in writing your About page. We talk more about this on the podcast (you can listen above).
Work in some social proof that establishes yourself as an authority in your niche—but again, don’t make it all about you.
Most importantly, you want to get people to take an action. Getting someone to follow you somewhere else is a good trust-building action. For instance, the primary call-to-action of this email might be to follow you on Instagram or YouTube or wherever you also show up.
If you made a special offer in your first email, you might remind people of that offer at the beginning of the email or in the P.S.
Email #3: The “Best Content” email
One of the best ways to train subscribers to open your emails is to remind them that your emails often contain incredible content.
We like to use at least one of the emails in our welcome sequence to share some of our very best content or share bonus content that we think delivers a quick win.
What we don’t like to do is send an email with a bunch of links that seem randomly thrown together. Sure, it might be some of your best content, but too many options often lead to inaction.
Instead, we typically make the whole purpose of the email about a single piece of content (or activity) and try to get people to explore it further.
Ideally the content you’re sharing should start “seeding the sale.” It should start opening up someone’s mind to the possibility that your product or service is exactly what they need.
Email #4: The “stealth social proof” email
The “stealth social proof” email is a content-focused email that tells the story of someone you served, that experienced the transformation you promise, when someone works with you.
The idea is that it’s a testimonial email that’s cloaked with content. Hopefully it educates your subscriber while at the same time demonstrating the value of your product or service.
By the end of the email, a subscriber is ideally thinking, “Why couldn’t that work for me, too?”
Email #5: The “you really should check out this offer” OR “here’s what to expect” email
The final email should reiterate much of what you shared in the first four emails. This might be a reminder of the possibility of transformation if someone sticks around.
If you’ve made a special welcome offer, you want to highlight that it’s going away soon!
Otherwise, you want to give people an idea of what they can expect going forward.
- How often will you send emails?
- What kinds of content will you be sharing?
- Where can people get solutions or learn more right now?
Remember, the ‘Welcome Sequence’ is just the beginning. You need to consistently send emails even after people complete the sequence.
Common Welcome Sequence Mistakes to Avoid
There are some common email welcome sequence mistakes to avoid. The common thread between most of these mistakes? Making things more complicated than they need to be. Some of the best email welcome sequences are the simplest.
Making it too complex…
The key to email marketing, as with most things, is consistency. START SIMPLE and add more to it as needed. A simple, high-converting welcome sequence can generate six or seven figures worth of income. Complexity does not necessarily equal an increase revenue.
Not keeping it focused…
Brands that offer lots of products or solutions often struggle here. You don’t have to sell EVERYTHING in your ‘welcome sequence.’ You just need to begin overcoming the objections someone might have to your value proposition statement.
Being too salesy or not salesy enough…
There’s a middle ground here. If all you’re doing is ASKING for something, then you’re probably being too salesy. GIVE before you ask.
With that said, people often are scared to make the ask. Don’t be! People subscribed to your email list because they want to hear from you… and people know you’re running a business.
There’s something disorienting about not being sold to after you’ve expressed interest. If you’ve ever shopped at CarMax, you know what I mean.
Worrying about giving too much away…
When we’re on discovery calls (both at Till Agency and Davey & Krista), we tell people exactly how we’re going to help them. We don’t hold anything back. If they want to implement what we review on their own, great… but 9 times out of 10 it just makes someone want us to do it for them.
Because we’ve established ourselves as the expert and demonstrated that we know exactly what to do.
NOT SENDING CONSISTENT EMAILS AFTER THE SEQUENCE ENDS.
This is the BIGGEST mistake we see people make. You must send emails consistently to your subscribers to keep them engaged. If you don’t, your email deliverability will tank AND you’ll lose people’s interest.
This doesn’t have to be complicated. We send our weekly blog post out to our email subscribers.
Interested in getting started with email marketing?
Check out all of our email marketing resources AND sign-up for our email marketing challenge over on our Email Marketing Resources page.