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A welcome sequence. The beautiful, sweet beginning to the email dance you do with your subscribers after they’ve downloaded your freebie.
(And btw, a freebie—AKA a lead magnet—is a valuable thing you offer, for free, in exchange for someone’s email so you can grow your email list.)
A welcome sequence is also more formally known as a series of automated emails that you send to new subscribers after they’ve signed up for your email list. While it doesn’t have to be attached to a freebie, it usually is.
And it’s a freaking important thing to have because it helps your freebie downloader/new subscriber get to know you and gets them used to the idea of you slipping into their inbox on a semi-frequent basis.
So if you’re itching to learn more about welcome sequences, why they matter, and a super simple welcome sequence outline that will help your freebie downloaders never forget who you are, keep on reading because that’s exactly what we’ll chat about.
What are the benefits?
Fame, wealth, and immortality. Kidding. Well, actually, it’s kind of true.
Welcome sequences do have a lot of power because they are super duper helpful in building a relationship with your subscribers, keeping them engaged, and making sure they remember who you are.
And all of that will help you book more projects and make more sales because when people like you, they’ll buy from you, and to like you, they have to get to know you, and to get to know you, you have to introduce yourself…
…That’s why having a welcome sequence is so dang important.
Besides, according to MailChimp (a trusted email marketing platform that claims to be easy, but actually made me cry), sending a welcome email series increases sales by 51% percent in comparison to sending a singular welcome email. It’s true, it says so right below in nice big letters.
Okay. So.. How the hell do you write a welcome sequence?
What should go in a welcome email sequence?
First things first, there’s no one right way to write a welcome sequence. Some businesses segment their welcome sequences so that each sequence is tailored to a specific audience.
(Like a welcome sequence that’s made to encourage you to use that 10% coupon you signed up for on that one website when you were browsing for shoes.)
Some smaller businesses keep their welcome sequence the same no matter what freebie someone downloads.
Some people promote one specific product/service in their welcome sequence; some just give an overview of their services.
Point is, there are lots of ways you can write a killer welcome sequence, it really just depends on what makes the most sense based on your brand vibe and your specific audience.
But, since you didn’t come here for vague advice, I’m gonna teach you a super simple welcome sequence outline that you can use and spice up to fit whatever your needs are.
Email #1 of your welcome sequence: say hello and deliver the goods
The very first email you send a subscriber will be the freebie email that’s got all of the goods they signed up for. Not only do you want to send this email the SECOND someone signs up for whatever your lead magnet is, but it’s also an email you want to keep hella short.
Well, think about it. When you come across someone’s website and find an awesome resource that you’re willing to fork over your precious email address in exchange for, are you going to read a long tale about the person who created the freebie…
Or are you gonna skip straight to opening up the awesome resource they sent you?
In your freebie delivery email, you want to give them the goods and give them the goods quickly so they can open it up, download it, watch it, or whatever, and realize what a genius you are and become so eternally grateful for the knowledge you’ve gifted them that they starting wondering…
…who is this person?
And once they’re wondering who you are, it’s time to send the next email.
Email #2 of your welcome sequence: introduce yourself
Now that you’ve already got your subscriber buttered up with a freebie that gave them insane value for free, they’re way more invested in listening and finding out who you are so, introduce yourself.
At this point in your subscriber’s journey, they’re in one of two places:
- They’ve been following you already and know you pretty damn well, or…
- This is the second email they’ve ever gotten from you and haven’t got a clue in the world who you are.
And that’s why you want to use your second email in your welcome sequence to give the inside scoop on you and your biz.
You can include things like:
- Your name
- An actual picture of your gorgeous face
- Your official title/what your business sells
- Who you serve
But most importantly, remember that you’re trying to get them to like you, so give them some personality.
Email doesn’t have to be nearly as formal as other types of marketing (and honestly, screw doing “formal” marketing anywhere), so don’t be afraid to make your introduction fun, casual, and conversational.
You can also end this email with a question, asking your subscriber to share something about themselves too. That way, you’re legitimately starting a two-sided conversation. This also helps your future emails get sent to their primary inbox instead of their promotions inbox.
Email #3 of your welcome sequence: give them more free stuff
By this point in your welcome sequence, things could start going in a whole lot of different directions, but I’d recommend buttering your subscriber up one more time by giving them more free stuff.
HOWEVER. Don’t give them just any free stuff. Consider what would actually be most beneficial to them.
Let’s say you’re an elopement photographer who’s got a freebie that helps people plan their elopements. That means the people who are on your email list are a) engaged, b) want to elope, c) haven’t planned out their elopement yet, and d) are potentially interested in hiring you as their photographer.
Sooo, you wouldn’t want to send them a resource that’s about if you should elope or have a traditional wedding cuz you already know that they’re into the eloping thing.
But, you would want to send them resources that go even deeper into the elopement process like how to pick the perfect elopement location, or whether or not you need a wedding officiant.
And when I say resources, those resources could be blog posts, a special email you put together with tips that go deeper into your topic, relevant websites, videos, PDFs, etc.
A welcome sequence is all about building a relationship with your subscribers. It’s never a bad idea to give them more free, expert advice because that’s what got them on your list in the first place.
Email #4 of your welcome sequence: tell them about your offers
Once you’ve proven you’re not an annoying spammer who used a freebie to slide your way into their inbox, it’s appropriate to send an email that lets your subscriber know what your services are.
Your subscriber KNOWS at some point, you are going to offer them something to buy. This does not make you scummy. This does not make you gross and salesy. This is what businesses do. And if a subscriber is not okay with that, that’s cool, let them unsubscribe.
In general, most subscribers won’t mind one bit because they’re either curious about what you sell or they’re expecting it, so it won’t faze them.
Usually, people tell their subscribers about their offers in one of two ways:
- They list out all of their services so their subscriber knows everything that they sell
- Or, they pick the offer that is most relevant to that freebie audience
Again, the best decision is the one that’s most right for your audience.
(Psst. Including testimonials in this email is a great way to flash some cred to your subscribers and totally fits the flow of the fourth email, so don’t be shy and just do it.)
Email #5 of your welcome sequence: say goodbye, and tell them what to expect moving forward
By this point in your welcome sequence, it’s time to kiss goodbye and talk about when you’ll be seeing your subscriber next.
Tell them how much fun you’ve had hanging out in their inbox and let them know exactly when they can expect to hear from you again.
And I mean exactly. Are you sending a weekly newsletter? If so, include the name, the inside scoop on what the newsletter is about, and what day of the week you’ll be sending it. Are you gonna be sending a portfolio piece once a month? Tell them that.
Whatever the reason, make it clear when and why you might be dropping in next. That way, they’ll be looking forward to you showing up in their inbox in the future, rather than unpleasantly surprised.
And that’s how you write a super simple welcome sequence that helps your subscribers fall in love with you after they’ve downloaded your droolworthy freebie.
Some Fast and Dirty Email Marketing Tips:
- Space your emails at least a few days apart. (2 days in between is a good amount of time for the five emails we talked about above)
- If you’re creating freebies so you can build your email list, you should send out a regular newsletter. That way your subscribers don’t forget about you and you have an active list to launch to whenever the time comes
- Personalize, personalize, personalize. Remember you’re literally sliding into someone’s personal inbox. There’s one person on the other side of the screen, reading everything you’ve written. Be personal. Have fun. Use their name (but not more than once or twice)!
- Spend a f*ck ton of time on your subject lines because if no one ever opens the email then it won’t matter how awesome the content of it is because they’ll never even read it
Don’t know what email marketing platform to use?
I use Flodesk!
You can use Flodesk to create sign-up forms for your freebies, segment your different welcome sequences, create different audience tags so you know who signed up for what, as well as track your analytics for open rates, unsubscribes, the best times to send your emails, and so much more. PLUS, you can design INCREDIBLY gorgeous emails without crying. Use this link to get 50% off your ENTIRE first year of Flodesk. (That’s $19 a month instead of $38!)
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