First, what is a welcome email series?
A welcome series is a series of emails you send people automatically when they first subscribe to your email list.
It greets your new subscribers immediately and helps you build a relationship with them.
The advantage a series of emails has over a single welcome email is that you can convey far more in a series. And you can do so more effectively, without overwhelming your reader.
The purpose of an email welcome series
When someone first subscribes to your mailing list, it’s because they’re interested. They want to know more about you. They’re often enthusiastic, and you don’t want to disappoint them.
Your email series will greet each person with an email message right after they subscribe.
A day or two later, it will send them another email. It will keep sending emails every day or so until it reaches the end of the series.
By carefully choosing what to put into your emails, you begin to build a relationship with each new subscriber.
What should a welcome email sequence include?
When I’m building a welcome sequence, I keep in mind several things:
1. What do people need to know, feel, and experience?
Before someone is ready to become a customer, they need to know, feel and experience certain things.
Maybe they are seeking to solve a problem. But they need to understand their problem before they will consider a solution.
Once they understand the problem, they may need to understand what solutions exist and what the tradeoffs are between those various solutions.
2. Misconceptions regarding your products or business
New subscribers may have certain common misconceptions that need to be addressed before they will even consider a solution like yours. Maybe they have a preconceived notion that the type of solution you offer is too expensive or ineffective.
Once they understand what’s involved and how your solution works, they’ll be more receptive. But they need to be educated first.
3. Familiarity with your brand
If your business brand is one people aren’t very familiar with, you may need to gain people’s trust before they will purchase from you.
A carefully planned welcome series will take these things into account and address each of these concerns.
How long should a welcome series be?
Many email series are 6 to 10 emails long, but they can be shorter or longer.
The length is going to depend on your business, your products, and your audience.
For example, a business that has a complex product that’s difficult to understand may need a longer email series. On the other hand, a product that’s easy for people to see the value of may benefit from a shorter email series.
Each email in the series should build anticipation
One great thing about a well-designed email welcome series is that it keeps people’s interest and attention even if it’s long.
To do this, it’s essential to build a sense of anticipation in each email for what’s to come later.
Think of a book that you’ve read that you just can’t put down.
Each time you reach the end of a chapter, it ends on a cliffhanger. He hints at what’s going to happen later. But he tells you only a little so that you want to keep reading.
That’s one of several means you can use to build tension and anticipation so that your reader looks forward to reading each email in the series.
The series augments your marketing investment
When you’re paying for ads to get people to visit your website, it can get expensive. You want to get the most for your marketing investment.
Many customers won’t purchase on the first visit to your website.
It’s not uncommon to see conversion rates of 2% or even lower. A 2% conversion rate means 98% of people leave your website without buying anything.
This is where having a mailing list can be a real benefit.
People visit your website, learn a little about you, then join your mailing list via your opt-in form.
As soon as they do, you begin sending them your carefully constructed welcome email series. As mentioned earlier, it begins to build a relationship between you and your new subscriber.
And once the series ends, people start receiving your email newsletter.
Your opt-in form, welcome series, and email newsletter all work together to build an ongoing relationship with prospective customers and communicate with them until they are ready to become customers.
Together they create a seamless experience for new subscribers and make better use of your advertising budget.
Focus on building long-term relationships
Each person’s life is different. People face different problems and difficulties at different times.
People differ in their financial ability to purchase.
And they differ in how urgently they need to solve the problem that your products and services address.
In addition, people’s life situations change over time, sometimes drastically and quickly.
The result of all these differences and changes is that not everyone is ready to purchase at the same time.
Some customers may want to buy immediately. Others may wait weeks, months, or even years before making a purchase. Some subscribers may never buy from you, but they are still important to your business (more about that shortly).
It’s important to accommodate those differences in your marketing communications. Allow customers to take a step when they are ready to. Don’t force it on them.
Some of your email subscribers may never purchase themselves, but they will avidly tell friends and family members about your business. People like that are just as important to you as people who do become customers.
Don’t focus on short-term gain. Focus on building lifelong friendships and customer relationships.
Keep your email welcome series up to date
Your business will likely change over time. Most do.
Maybe you’ll upgrade your products. Or change your product line. Maybe the way you bundle your services will change. Or the way you deliver those services.
Be sure to maintain your email welcome series. Review it periodically. Monitor how people are interacting with it, and make any necessary adjustments. Check periodically to see if it’s still as relevant as it was when you built it. If not, make the necessary changes.
By keeping your email welcome series up to date, you can make sure it continues to communicate the right messages in the right way.
How do I send my welcome series?
Many email service providers have an autoresponder service that you can use for this purpose.
Taking ActiveCampaign as an example, you can write your emails one by one. Then you build an autoresponder campaign that stitches the emails together in a particular order, with an appropriate delay between them.
You can even add wait conditions between the emails to skip over weekends and holidays. Wait conditions can be simple or elaborate and flexible.
Is it complicated to build a welcome series?
It’s not complicated, but it does take several types of work, both technical and non-technical.
For many business owners, the biggest and most challenging tasks are:
- determining precise goals for the welcome series
- deciding what it should include to meet those goals, and
- writing the content
This is where having an experienced autoresponder email writer can help. He will know the right questions to ask you about your business, your products and services, and your audience. He’ll be able to help you set realistic goals. And he’ll be able to write the content.
Some email writers will also have sufficient technical skills to set up and monitor the welcome series for you.
An email welcome series is an excellent addition to your email marketing.
It will automatically greet new subscribers on your email list. And it can help you build a long-term relationship with them, leading to happier customers and increased sales.