Know you need to get into email marketing, but not sure what comes after you create your first freebie? I can help with that. In this post, you’ll learn all about what a welcome sequence is, why you need one, and how to get started. Let’s get to it, shall we?
A welcome sequence is a series of emails that you send new subscribers in an effort to help them get to know you and your brand better. As I mentioned in my previous post How To Grow Your Email List With A Lead Magnet, sending a new subscriber your freebie and then never speaking to them again is like ghosting someone after a first date and expecting them to still like you and welcome you into their home.
Let’s address the harsh reality of the world of freebies: people do not care about who they download freebies from. More often than not, you don’t even know the person you’re downloading the freebie from. You’ve probably never heard of them in your life. I’m willing to bet that at least 80% of the people who have downloaded my lead magnets have either found me on Pinterest, with no prior knowledge of my existence, or Googled something like “how to write a homepage” and opted for downloading my quick checklist instead of reading through my lengthy blog posts.
Because while, yes, I love everyone on my email list, and I get a great deal of joy from sending them a weekly newsletter every Tuesday morning, I’d be lying if I said my ultimate goal wasn’t to make more people aware of my services, get them to buy my SEO guide, encourage them to book a strategy call, or to create an engaged audience to launch my eventual course to. I’m not out here sending weekly newsletters for my health.
(Although, if I do say so myself, the Tuesday Table of Contents is pretty fun, and I would definitely miss it I didn’t write it every week.)
That being said, though, I don’t expect anyone on my email list to invest in my products or services without a comprehensive knowledge of who I am, why they can count on me, and how I can help their brand or business grow.
Your welcome sequence helps you build trust with your audience, allows you to establish your credibility, and gives you an opportunity to nurture your relationships—so that you can create (and maintain) an engaged, ready-to-invest email list.
Great question! I’m going to give an unpopular answer, similar to my unpopular opinion on About pages: there’s no foolproof formula.
The whole point of your welcome sequence is to introduce yourself to your audience. Your true, authentic self. Of course, there’s a strategic way to approach the sequence, but in terms of what you say, well, that comes down to your brand voice, and your overall goals for your email list.
Alright, now that my “be yourself” disclaimer is out of the way—here’s how I’d recommend structuring your email welcome sequence.
Lead magnet delivery. This will be the first email they get from you. And I hate to break it to you, but they probably won’t read it. My lead magnet delivery email basically says some version of “here you go, chat later!” since I know there’s no way I’d ever read through a long ass delivery email. I want that freebie now!
Introduction to you and/or your brand. I typically suggest breaking these topics up into two emails, and it’s totally up to you which one you choose to send first. The benefit of introducing yourself and your brand separately (even though, more often than not, they are very much not separate, especially as a freelancer or creative entrepreneur) is the element of human connection. When you introduce yourself as a human, as opposed to *just* yourself as a brand, you’re opening up the door for a deeper, more personal relationship with your readers.
(Hint: somewhere in these first few emails, make sure to tell readers that you won’t always be all up in their inbox. Be transparent about the fact that you’re emailing them a bit more frequently than normal because you want to help them get to know you.)
Throw them a bone. Show them what you’re made of—aka expert content, quality services, and great authority in your industry—by providing them some added value. This can be another freebie, a collection of blog posts on a subject you think they’d be interested in, a quick mini-lesson on a topic you specialize in… you name it.
Give some context. Even though you’ve already introduced the reader to your brand, chances are you weren’t able to fit everything into that email. Use the first email to help them get to know your brand on a general level, then use this email to dive deeper into your offerings and your specialties. Bonus points for throwing in some testimonials and a link to your portfolio or recent work.
Throw them another bone. More value, please! Remember, your goal is to build authority and community. When you use your welcome sequence as your storytelling stage, readers get all the goods: a clear understanding of what you’re all about, a taste of what your brand voice sounds like in practice, and a front row seat to all that you’re capable of.
Say your goodbyes & revisit expectations. When your sequence is over, don’t leave your readers hanging—tell them! Thank them for sticking around for your frequent emails, and tell them how much they can expect from you moving forward.
Now, I won’t lie to you: when I’m writing an email sequence for a client, I get a bit more specific about the strategy and the game plan, and we typically draft a sequence that is anywhere from 8-12 emails. The above outline is a simple, quick overview of only the most necessary emails.
To workshop your email strategy with me, book yourself a spot at my Office Hours: my 60-minute consulting calls for business owners who want copywriter’s advice without the copywriter’s price.
(Or, if you’re cool with copywriter’s price, send me a message here to inquire about my email marketing services!)
Nope! I beg you, please don’t make extra work for yourself. This is where segmenting your list will be a dream come true. Your ESP (email service provider) will give you the option of creating different segments (aka different portions of your list) for each of your freebies.
I use Flodesk, because I’ve found it’s the most user-friendly, accessible, aesthetically-pleasing, and helpful ESP on the market. At only $19/month (when you use a discount code, like this one), it does everything I need from an ESP and I freaking love it.
My list is divided by lots of segments, most of which are opt-ins from my five free resources. I recommend using your lead magnet delivery email as a template, and adjusting the structure of that one email based on whichever freebie you’re delivering. Then, create a segment called something like “welcome sequence” and make the next step in your workflow “add a trigger” and click “add to segment” then choose “welcome sequence.”
Did you find this post helpful? Download any of my freebies and hit “reply” to my lead magnet delivery email to let me know you came from this post and get 10% off my email copywriting services!
Creative launch copywriter slash sales-focused storyteller, obsessed with writing copy that converts and helping business owners connect with their ideal clients. Click here to get to know me!