The Welcome Email Series

Email Marketing in point form:[list style=”style1″] [li]Visitor clicks on a pin/gram/tweet and comes to your site.[/li] [li]Reader loves the incentive you have for her – exchanges email for incentive.[/li] [li]What stops that person from unsubscribing immediately? [/li] [/list]

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. An incentive alone is not permission to ‘sell’ to the email subscriber.

We’re a savvy and educated bunch of consumers. A company that interrupts me at dinner with a sales call is never going to get my business. And I’ll tell all my friends to never  buy from them either.

Occasionally we might buy for price(for mundane items), but even then most of us tend to buy for convenience. For example, I’ll pay $0.30 more for my milk to buy it in a small store and not have to wander the parking-lot-size aisles and line up with the hoards to spend my $5.

Email Marketing is definitely not sales. It is relationship-building.

How to Build a Relationship with Email ‘Marketing’

If you’ve done the prep right, your new subscriber should understand what you are about, be interested in your services (qualified) and have shown interest by ‘purchasing’ the incentive with their email address.

NOW. You need to continue the relationship.

The incentive needs to be the tip of the iceberg.

You’ve got depth. You’ve got empathy and you’ve got solutions.

The first email has to assure the reader that they’re in for a treat – this is exactly the kinds of things that they were hoping to find in the incentive – except more – and live – and in relationship.

They belong. They’ve found their tribe.

Welcome Series: First Email

Subscribers who receive a welcome email show a 33% increase in long-term brand engagement. ~ myEmma.com

Note that the very first welcome email is automatic and sent from your regular sign-up form/list settings. Find that setting and customize it so it presents the right first impression and sets up the tone for the rest of the welcome series.

This is what you can put in your first welcome email:

  1. Welcome in your voice – obviously everything should be in your unique voice – be unique – not boring.
  2. Each week they will hear these sorts of things from you…
  3. A story that illustrates your empathy… and speaks to your heart and passion for serving them…
  4. A call to action. Every email should have a call to action so that your new friend gets used to a two-way relationship. You take action – they respond. Very important for the requests for surveys or offers later in the relationship.
  5. PS – summary in 1 sentence or less. Apparently lots of people skip to this bit. Make it count.

Welcome Series: 2 – 4 Emails

This is your chance to show them around the place.

They’ve shown interest – now is the time to say “You have found the right solution.”

Provide ah-maz-ing value.
[info_box type=”note_box”]

Entice as many ‘opens’ as possible. They will ensure that your emails do not hit the spam box.

[/info_box] Ideas for content: [list style=”style6″] [li]your best info series (if you are a Social Media Manager – send a mini-course on Pinterest) [/li] [li]your ‘why’. Why are you in business? Where did you come from? Where are you going? [/li] [li]What – explain in brief (not sales)your services and offerings. What makes you different? Include valuable content that will help solve their problem – for free.[/li] [li]Where & When – list your calendar, your regular content series, and how to get ahold of you[/li] [li]Exclusive specials / discounts just for your subscribers[/li] [li]behind-the-scenes stories PLUS action items / value for the reader[/li] [li]charity initiatives PLUS action items / value for them[/li] [/list]

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Most email service providers (mailchimp, aweber, etc) make a welcome series very easy to create.

For Mailchimp – it is called an “Automation Series”; usually they are called triggered or automated emails.

Some providers create this in the regular campaign/email area – just select a different type. But more often, there is a separate area for creating a bunch of automation emails and linking them together.

To create the emails in your automation series:

  1. Create the emails
  2. Decide on the trigger: ie: immediately after sign-up or 1 day after sign-up, etc
  3. CTA – pick a goal/ call to action for each email

Trigger your Welcome Series

It is really important that the first introduction is sent immediately. Even a delay of 30 minutes can impact open rates.

Triggering the welcome series is the same for each email marketing provider that I checked (mailchimp, constant contact, vertical response).

Be sure to edit the automatic welcome email so it creates the right first impression and sets up the rest of your auto responder.

The automated series is sent on a trigger. This should be set to an event – x days after sign-up.