Why is the Welcome Email Series Critical? (And How to Do It Right)December 12, 2018
Learn what are the benefits of sending your blog subscribers a welcome email series and how to do it right.
Are people subscribing to your blog mailing list? That's great news.
Your subscribers are your blog's gold treasure.
So, what next? What should you do with the emails you collect? How do you come in contact with your subscribers?
Well, like you welcome somebody entering your house and serve them a warm beverage in the middle of winter to make them comfortable, that's what you wanna do with your subscribers as well. Give them a warm greeting and prove your mailing list is the right place for them to be. This is best achieved by creating a welcome email series.
In this post, I'm gonna give you the reasons why you should put aside some time to work on your welcome series and how to write a welcome email series your subscribers will love having in their inboxes.
Keeping subscribers on your list is harder than getting their email.
The most popular method of collecting emails is by offering some kind of freebie to blog readers in return for their addresses. And it's a highly effective strategy.
In this case, your first email to someone that subscribes to your blog list will be an email containing the PDF, course, templates – whatever you promised to give your subscribers in return for their email. After that, the welcome email series comes to take the stand.
The trouble is, most of the subscribers will step out from your list once they got what they wanted.
That's why it's important to keep on giving them information and resources that will continuously benefit them to keep them on your list. With a big emphasize on BENEFIT THEM. They must want to receive your emails. And actually open them.
This gets us to what your first email shouldn't be – an advertising asset. Trying to sell your subscribers something in your first email is a big no. You first set up connections, gain people's trust, and only then you can turn them into paying customers.
An email welcome series will do the job of building a connection with your subscribers more efficiently than a single welcome email.
When your readers first subscribe to your mailing list, that's the most important moment to set up a deeper connection with them.
Think about it. They come across your blog today, read a couple of blog posts, enjoy them, and end up in subscribing to your newsletter. Three weeks pass by and they don't hear anything for you. Do you think they will hold their breath waiting for you to send them amazing content? They won't. They will most likely forget about your blog altogether and wonder who the heck are you when they see your email in their inbox one month later.
So we established. You need to greet your readers as soon as they opt for your newsletter and make a great impression on them. You can do this by sending them a single welcome email, or by crafting great welcome email series.
The truth is, your welcome email must be amazing for people to actually open it. Most of the first emails remain unopened if they don't have something stellar to give away.
In fact, the average open rate of newsletters is 22.83% compared to triggered emails which have a 45.70% open rate.
When someone subscribes to your newsletter, you might be tempted to spill everything out from the first encounter. After all, you want to keep people close, so you will want to tell them who you are, why they should keep connected to your blog, what kind of value you can bring in their lives. There's also the part where you want them to engage, to read your blog posts, to like your social media profiles, to buy your products or services. That's a lot of stuff to take in.
If you encompass all of the above under a single email, the only result you'll get is scaring away everyone that might've been brave enough to click on open. There's just too much information all at once. And nobody likes that. It's overwhelming and confusing.
That's where a welcome series comes in handy. You can give people all the info you want without overwhelming them. You can tell a short story about yourself in the first email. Another email can talk about your professional journey. In the next one, you can encourage the reader to follow you on social media. And so on.
Doing things step by step will not only keep your subscribers on the list, but it's also a great way to get them used to open up your blog newsletter on a regular basis.
The first thing you want to do before starting to create the welcome email series is to lay down the key points you want your subscribers to get from your blog emails.
Not only it will give you a clear picture on what you're going to write in your emails, but it will also give you the number of emails your series should contain.
Examples of goals you can set up for your welcome email series:
- Establishing your expertise in the niche
- Getting more traffic to your blog
- Getting more social media followers
- Encouraging people to buy your products
- Making people register to your courses
So, if someone just subscribed to your newsletter, what must they know about your blog?
Depending on your blog's core and goal, the aspects you should highlight in your email series will differ.
For example, if you use blogging as a way of selling your services, some key aspects you want to highlight are:
- What services do you offer and what's the process?
- What makes you different from fellows in the same niche?
- What are your clients saying about your services?
- In the end, you can give them a special offer
For non-profit organizations, an example would be:
- The organization's history and mission
- Telling a story on how your actions impacted the world
- What exclusive perks will be there for donors?
- What are the events taking place this year?
Once you lay down the key points, you can come up with the number of emails your series will have. It's usually around 4-6.
How often will you be sending those emails? It can be over the course of several weeks, or it can be in a matter of days.
How should you time your welcome email series
Well, there's no exact approach that you should follow, only a couple of best practices to keep in mind:
- Send the first email of the welcome email series as soon as someone subscribed to your list. That's the moment when your blog is freshly imprinted in your subscribers' mind.
- Consider how insightful your welcome emails are. For example, if you're teaching your subscribers some skills and the info you give takes some time to take in, give it a couple of days between the emails so your subscribers don't feel overwhelmed with the information.
- Give your subscribers the option to opt out of your welcome email series. Some of your subscribers might be more experienced in the topic and won't want to read about the basics you present in the welcome email sequence. Instead of making them unsubscribe altogether, let them only unsubscribe from the welcome email series list.
Ideas on how can you can time your welcome email series
- Send one email per week on the same day. This approach assures structure and makes your blog subscribers get used to receiving emails from you on a specific day.
- Send a daily tip. Your email welcome series can take the form of a mini e-course. You can even use this strategy to collect emails. Just make sure not to get caught into sending daily emails. For a couple of days in the beginning, it's fine when done right. But sending emails on a daily basis is overwhelming for the responders and ends up in unsubscriptions.
If you already have an email newsletter sequence in place, this is a step you don't want to overpass.
Your next regular blog newsletter that's getting sent might contain promotions or offers that your fresh subscribers shouldn't receive because they will break the welcome email series. If, for example, your next general email contains some kind of promotions, it might scare your new subscribers off because they are not prepared to be sold to yet (that's what the welcome email series does).
So segment your email list and keep your new subscribers from receiving any other email apart from the emails in the welcome series until the sequence is completed. This can take one week, two weeks, or a month, depending on how often you decided to send out the welcome emails.
Now that all the planning is in place, it's time to get to the actual work – creating the welcome email series.
If you've followed the first steps I presented above, you must already know the topic of your welcome email series, how many emails it takes to complete the sequence, and what are the goals of your welcome email series.
An important welcome email series best practice is to not think about a group of people when creating your emails. Instead, focus on the individual. It's like when you write your blog posts, you're imagining one specific person getting your help and not an entire crowd.
The first email will let your subscribers know that s/he opted to be on your blog mailing list. You can even require a confirmation upon registration so you avoid spam subscribers. The best welcome emails contain the following.
In your first email, you should let people know who you are, what to expect from your newsletter and your blog in the future. Your blog is like a city where the subscribers in the welcome email series are traveling to for the first time. Be their guide and show them around. Also, give them reasons to stick around. How will you and your blog help them with the problems they're facing?
Also, always thank your subscribers because they trusted you with their email. Do you want to set up a friendly connection with your list? Then you must show them you're human and appreciate your subscribers being there. Oftentimes, blogs that offer products or courses will give their new subscribers a discount coupon code to thank them for registering.
In the end, don't forget to give your subscribers a hint on what your next email is about and when to expect it. Craft an exciting tease that will get a reaction like I can barely wait for the next email to pop up so I can find out more about this.
A great way to connect with your subscribers from the beginning is by asking them a question. For example, if you teach people how to blog, then you can ask your subscribers why they want to start a blog in the first place. Or what are the biggest problems they are struggling with. This not only makes your readers feel heard and understood. Asking your subscribers questions will also give you lots of insight on your audience.
It's a best practice to start the subject line of your first email in the series with something like Welcome or Thank you for subscribing. It will make it easier for your subscribers to skim through their inbox.
Over the course of the welcome email series, you'll teach your subscribers more about your blog and about their topic of interest.
Keep in mind that even if one of your goals is to make people buy something from you or register for a course, you shouldn't brutally force your offers in people's inbox.
Want them to buy a product? Instead of writing an entire email going over the benefits of the said product you should tell a story about someone that benefited by using it. Telling a story is more effective because it triggers emotions. If your subscribers can relate to the story you tell, they'll wanna join the action.
With your first emails from the series, I suggest you set up the goal of transforming your subscribers into social media followers. You can't send daily emails because you'll annoy your subscribers. But you want them to be in touch with what's new with your blog. By having them follow you on a social media platform you use, you'll make sure they're connected to your content on a regular basis.
The success of great welcome email series lays not only in the emails' copy but also in how great the emails subject lines are.
When your subscribers receive your blog welcome emails, the first thing they see in their inbox is the subject line. They read it and decide if clicking to open the email is worth their time. Needless to say that if the subject line is bad, your email will end up in the trash folder or marked as read.
- It's simple – People are scanning through emails, they don't have time to get complex formulas.
- It's controversial – Controversy always triggers curiosity.
- Sparks urgency – People are more eager to open up an email if they think they'll miss an opportunity.
- Contains numbers – subject lines containing numbers get more attention.
- It's personalized – What's best than an inbox full of specific emails curated just for you, rather than a mix of generalized emails that you might or not enjoy.
- Doesn't trigger the spam filter – So your emails don't end up in the spam folder, avoid using all caps, exclamation points, and trigger words.
Take these welcome emails subject lines examples and begin crafting your own.
Always write multiple subject lines and A/B test them. You can split your list in two and send different subject lines to each of them.
Another way to A/B test is by resending an email with a different subject line if someone hasn't opened it the first time (this approach is harder to do in a welcome email series because it might disrupt the sequence).
A welcome email series is essential for a great email marketing strategy. So you must pay close attention to how your subscribers react to the emails you send and make changes accordingly.
- What's the open rate of your emails? If it's too low, you might wanna work on your welcome email subject lines.
- Do the open rate drops with the 3rd or 4th email? You should tweak the emails where the open rate starts to drop.
- Do your subscribers click through the links you add in your emails? What makes them click more on some than others? Is it the topics or is it the email copy?
- Do they take the actions you're expecting them to? Do your subscribers respond to your CTAs? Which ones perform best?
Analyze how your work is doing and change your approach if you catch a drop in your open rates.
You only get one shot at making a great first impression.
This also holds true for your welcome email series.
If your subscribers are enjoying your first emails, they'll be delighted to receive more from you in the future. And this is the key to building an audience that trusts your expertise, purchase your products or enroll for your premium courses.
Take into account the welcome email series best practices I listed above and begin creating your first welcome email series for your blog.