Now, you open up MailChimp and begin your first campaign.
And the blinking cursor mocks you.
Email Marketing: The Indoctrination Series
Something about that title just makes me giggle. Just stay there, while I get out my brainwashing manual… be right back.
For the non-brainwashers among us, we’ll call this the Welcome Series or the Onboarding Series. Personally I think Indoctrination is where it’s at.
Here’s where the indoctrination series comes into play:[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.[clickToTweet tweet=”An opt-in incentive alone is not permission to ‘sell’. #emailmarketing #smallbiz #savvybusinessowner” quote=”An opt-in incentive alone is not permission to ‘sell’.”]
The Death of Marketing
All we do – from attracting new visitors to follow up after the sale, has to do one thing: promote a relationship. There are no ‘sales’ any more. 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.[info_box type=”note_box”]’Marketing’ if you can call it that is about providing what your ideal client wants, when they want it. And being so incredibly customer service focused, that it is remarkable (and refer-able). [/info_box]
In summary – a relationship.
Occasionally for the mundane items we might buy for price, 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 box store and line up with the hoards to spend my $5.[clickToTweet tweet=”There are no ‘sales’ anymore. #savvybusinessowner #smbiz #emailmarketing” quote=”There are no ‘sales’ anymore.”]
So the Email Marketing we’ve been talking about lately? That is simply to build a relationship.
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. That opt-in incentive was not a one-hit-wonder!
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.
Indoctrination Series / 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:
- Welcome in your voice – obviously everything should be in your unique voice – be unique – not boring.
- Each week they will hear these sorts of things from you…
- A story that illustrates your empathy… and speaks to your heart and passion for serving them…
- 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.
- PS – summary in 1 sentence or less. Apparently lots of people skip to this bit. Make it count.
Indoctrination / 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.
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] [convertkit form=4988798]
How to create the Indoctrination / Welcome Series
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:
- Create the emails
- Decide on the trigger: ie: immediately after sign-up or 1 day after sign-up, etc
- CTA – pick a goal/ call to action for each email
Trigger your Indoctrination/ 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).[info_box type=”note_box”]Note: The welcome email is sent automatically upon sign-up – this is part of your regular list settings.[/info_box]
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.
Next Up: 50+ Ideas to Send to Your Newsletter Subscribers
After the welcome series, they need to be added to your regular newsletter list. Next week we’ll talk about what to send to your wonderful subscribers each and every week![convertkit form=4988798]