When new subscribers join your list, it’s good to welcome them properly…before they forget why they signed up for your list and click ‘unsubscribe’… Read on to discover how to create an automated welcome sequence for your email list.
How to create an automated welcome sequence for your email list
It’s a really good start, but there’s so much more you can do, if you want to take email marketing to the next level: setting up opt-ins and content upgrades, popup boxes and landing pages, sharing your landing page URL on social media, and so much more… but one really small thing that can make a BIG difference is creating an automated welcome sequence for your email list.
Picture this scenario…
Let’s say you send a weekly newsletter at 4pm on Friday afternoon. At 4.01 a person arrives on your site, loves what you have to offer and immediately decides to sign up for your newsletter… Sounds great, except they are not going to hear from you for a whole week…by which time they may have totally forgotten who you are and why they signed up for the list and just hit that unsubscribe button…or maybe that first rush of excitement about your stuff will have subsided and they will just move your email into a folder and then forget about it…
There is an old adage to ‘strike while the iron’s hot’ and that really rings true where email marketing is concerned.
Imagine that very same scenario…
…that person who lands on your site at 4.01 on a Friday afternoon and loves your stuff.
Only this time when they go to sign up for your list…they get an email immediately, welcoming then to the list, thanking them for signing up, giving them some useful information and maybe sharing a bit about the blogger behind the blog.
They’ve only just signed up for your list, so the chances of them opening that email is MUCH, MUCH higher. (Especially if it contains some kind of free gift too) and think about how much more positive an experience that person will receive…they will feel welcomed, they will feel smart for signing up, they will feel like they know and trust you a little better and they will hopefully click on some irresistible links in your first email, straight back to your site.
And then imagine if they got another helpful email the next day and the next. By the time they get your first ‘normal’ newsletter, they will certainly remember who you are and be way more predisposed to opening that email…in fact, if you do things well, they might even be excited to read it, they might even have been looking forward to getting it, knowing it’s going to contain great info that will really help them.
Something as simple as creating a simple automated welcome series of 3 or 4 short emails can totally transform your open rates, click through rates, unsubscribe rates… and result in happier, more engaged readers… who are more likely to regularly read your emails, visit your website and maybe even buy from you.
So how do you do it?
What to put in your automated welcome series emails
The first thing is to decide how many welcome emails you want to send out. I suggest 3 to 5 is a good number.
Next decide what to put in each one.
The first one should be a general introduction to your blog and to you, it should thank them for subscribing, and include the free gift/opt-in offer if you have one (more about opt-in offers here).
Then the following emails should go into more detail about your blog. Think of it like showing someone around your house. In fact, a great way to structure a welcome series is to share an overview of each category in each email.
So lets say you are a lifestyle blogger with 4 main categories: food, travel, parenting and fashion. Day 1 you give an overview of your 4 categories and link to the index page for each one. Day 2 you give a bit more detail on your Food category and share some of your most popular recipes. Day 3 you share a bit more about your Travel category and some of your most popular travel posts and so on. That gives you a very simple structure and some great content for your new subscriber.
One thing you should be careful of is managing expectations. If your reader starts getting an email every day, or one about a category they are not interested in, they may get put off. So in your first email, be very clear about what you are going to do. Explain that usually you only send 1 email a week, but that this week they will get a few extra special ones. Tell them what they will get, so they know what to expect, and don’t start to think that you are going to continuously bombard them with emails forever more! That way if they do get an email that is not relevant to them, they know it’s just a one off and more of the stuff they are interested in is coming soon.
Asking for Feedback
Another great idea is to ask your new subscriber for feedback. Either in that first email or perhaps in a final email in the sequence. Ask them how you can help, or what their biggest problem or frustration is with your subject. This does three rather fabulous things:
- It encourages engagement.
- It creates trust and warm fuzzy feelings, especially if your new subscriber gets a lovely personal email back from your answering their question or pointing them to where you’ve written about that very subject on your blog.
- It gives you lots of ideas for what to write about on your blog and what sort of products and/or services might go down well with your readers…or another way that you could make your blog better for your readers.
For example, when I first started doing this on my other blog, easypeasyfoodie.com, I got a lot of American readers come back to me saying they loved my blog but struggled to deal with the British English terms and measures. What did I do? I adapted my blog. I got a new style of recipe card that allowed me to put conversions in, so readers could flip between US and British weights and measures at the press of a button, I made sure all my oven temperatures were also in Fahrenheit and I made sure all the ingredients also had the American English translation (e.g. Eggplant, Zucchini, Rutabaga, Cilantro etc.). The result? More page views from the US, happy subscribers and increased engagement. A win for everyone!
How to create your automated welcome series
(Note: very email service provider does this slightly differently, but the basic principles are the same)
- Step 1: plan out your welcome emails, either in a Word document, Google Doc or good ol’ fashioned pen and paper!
- Step 2: create a new sequence or automation (depending on what your email service calls it).
- Step 3: write and design your welcome series
- Step 4: set the first email so it sends as soon as the new subscriber has confirmed their new subscription
- Step 5: set each subsequent email to go out 1 day after the previous one
And that’s it!
Next, we will look at how to grow your email list with a free opt-in offer.
Other posts in the email marketing mini-series
- Why every blogger NEEDS an email list
- How to get started with email marketing and get your first subscribers
- What to put in your email newsletter – 11 ideas to really connect with your subscribers!
- How to grow your email list with a free opt-in offer
Don’t miss a thing!
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