Stop me if you’ve heard this. The most profitable time to ask a person to buy another product is when they are already checking out. Just asking them if they want to add another item to their checkout is an easy way to massively increase your profits.
What a lot of people don’t get is that the psychology behind that trick is also why welcome email series are so crucial. The welcome email sequence is the one period in time when your subscribers are the most engaged with your brand and most likely to open your emails, engage with you, follow your instructions and even buy from you.
Why a welcome email series is a must
In the process of coaching hundreds of people on increasing profit through email marketing, I discovered a shocking fact. Most small businesses never even send a welcome email, let alone a welcome email series.
And it’s not just small businesses, many email marketers and startups are also putting off building their welcome series. The reasoning typically goes as such “well, we haven’t gotten around to it yet”, “we just thought it’s better to at least get those email addresses into the system, and we’ll build the welcome series when we get around to it”.
That is a massive huge mistake, but I can’t blame them for this. The reason this happens is that most of the marketing information out there is overwhelming and quite over-complicated. It’s rarely presented in a progressive way where you can start with something simple, and add complexity over time.
That’s why I’m here to help you. In fact our entire email marketing tips blog is based on giving you super-practical information you can put into use immediately, so you do not have to procrastinate.
Here’s why you need to implement this right now
One of the scariest things in email marketing is how many people end up destroying their own email reputation. If you’re not familiar with the term, it refers to how the ISPs look at your emails. If you have a low reputation, they simply put your emails in the spam folder, even though you’re not a spammer.
One of the main reasons for a bad email reputation is that a lot of email marketers just collect a lot of email addresses, but never or rarely send the subscriber anything. The issue with this is that when you finally send an email to the subscriber, 6 months later, they have no clue who you are. And yes, they mark you as a spammer, just because they don’t remember.
A welcome series introduces you to the subscriber and makes you more memorable, among other things. So I want to recommend that you implement a welcome series right away. You don’t have to wait until you’re an expert on welcome emails. You do not need to have the best ideas or the best content. Anything is better than not having a welcome series.
Just hold this in mind as you read the rest of this guide. Make sure that you don’t get caught up in thinking that you need to get everything in this guide correctly in order to create a sequence. Any sequence with any content will do if you create it now, rather than later. You can improve and optimize it over time.
What is a welcome email series
In general, a “welcome email series” is a set of emails where you introduce yourself, your brand or your newsletter. The specifics will depend on your business model.
You will generally share some stories as well as set some expectations about what value people can get out of being your subscriber. The idea is to make a great first impression and start that crucial first phase of forming a relationship with the subscriber.
In addition, outside of this general utility, a welcome series can accomplish a host of other goals that people often forget about. You can use the welcome email series to create some early conversions and purchases, get people to use your product (if you’re a SaaS), and most importantly to gather some crucial data, but more on that in the next point.
The welcome email series as a data sucking machine
Here’s a fun fact. The more data you have about your subscribers, the better you can become at getting more profit out of them. That includes things such as knowing which topics interest them more or less, how many times they visited your pricing page etc. Or if you’re a SaaS it might be something like tracking which of your features they utilize the most and least.
Basically, the more information you have to build a customer persona, the better you can personalize your marketing, which in turns creates more engagement and a ton more sales.
Now, don’t let the word “data” scare you, let me make it less-scary for a second here. You’ve probably used tags in different kinds of software. Applying a tag “interested in x” to a subscriber is a form of data. Or perhaps you are in B2B and might have a custom subscriber field such as “Number of Employees” and you store a number that represents how big their company is.
How the welcome email series fits into all of this
At the risk of repeating myself, this welcoming period is the one point in time when subscribers are the most engaged they will ever be. They will open the most emails, click the most links, and read as much of your email content as they ever will.
And when it comes to gathering data, it all comes from engagement. The way you gather data is essentially based on the different engagements. Let me give you some random examples.
– If a person opens a certain email, tag them this way
– When a subscriber clicks a specific link, put them in this segment
– If they visited a certain page on your website, or performed this custom event, assign this value or tag on them
And when it comes to the welcoming period, you are able to get a lot more engagements in this period, than much of the rest of the subscriber lifecycle. So it just makes sense to utilize this to gather more data about the subscriber. Let’s get into the actual implementation steps now.
Step 1 – Define Your Conversion goals
Aside from the general “welcoming” goals that we discussed above, it’s good to have conversion-related goals as well. That is, conversion-related targets that you want to achieve during the welcoming period.
This will largely depend on the type of business that you have. However, whatever your business model is, I want to reiterate that your conversion rates will be highest during the welcoming period.
Now, in your business that might be getting people to book phone calls with your sales team. It might be getting them to buy a low-ticket item. Or if they got on your list by buying something, then you would set a goal to get some upsells and cross-sells during the welcoming period.
If you run a freemium SaaS, it might even be something like getting people to actually use the product. Yes, converting a person from a mere owner of a username, to an actual user who uses the product, is also a type of conversion. Especially if you are in a highly competitive space where everyone is offering great free plans.
Step 2 – Plan out the experience you want your new subscribers to have
In order to come up with the right welcome series, you want to think of it as a journey. You want to think of the experience the subscriber has from the moment they subscribe, to the end of the welcoming series.
It’s also helpful to think in terms of what you want to accomplish at each stage of the journey. For example at the start you might just want to get them introduced to your brand and form a friendly impression.
Then next, you might have a stage where you impress them with the value they get out of being on your newsletter. In this stage you want to get them accustomed to why opening your emails is such a great thing.
If you’re an SaaS, you might for example have a stage where you want to get them excited about starting to use your product and have fun using it.
Step 3 – Define the actual specifics
Once you have a general idea about what the journey is, you will want to get specific. And when I say specific, I mean defining the actual number of emails, which emails will cover which topic or attempt which kind of conversion.
Additionally, you will also want to get specific on which of these emails will contribute to what kind of data collection. I know that sentence sounded complicated, so let me simplify.
When you are deciding the content of a certain email, aside from the other considerations, you also want to think about what it tells you about the subscriber. If you send an email discussing topic x, does opening this email represent a strong signal? Provided that this is true, you will want to tag people who open that email as “interested in x”.
Perhaps you are a SaaS and link to a page describing how to use the import feature in your product, does that represent a strong signal of interest in using your product? If so, you will define a custom event where their “customer stage” value changes to a higher level.
Step 4 – Fire up the automation builder
When you are just starting out, you want to build a simple sequence without any advanced conditionals or multiple versions of your emails. That is, you just want to have email 1, email 2, email 3 that are the same for everyone. And you just want to define how many days pass between each email.
Now, you might be familiar that this can also be done with a traditional autoresponder. And Emercury still offers a classic autoresponder feature. However, I would recommend that you build out the welcome email series using our advanced automation builder, and that is for a couple of reasons.
First of all, you will want to make your welcome series more advanced in the future. If it is built in the advanced builder, you can gradually upgrade it over time. Your first initial version will contain no conditionals such as “if this, then send email A, and if this, send email B”. However, you can simply add in those conditional extra paths later on.
But more importantly, you can start utilizing the data gathering features from day one. Unlike with the conditional features, I am not going to say that you need to wait on this one. You can put in a few “add a tag” or “update custom field” modules to your automation from the get go. And please don’t overthink it. Any information (data) gathering is better than no data.
Get someone on your side
You know, there is a saying about how experienced people learn from their own mistakes, but the really smart people learn from other people’s mistakes. The same is true when it comes to the smart marketers I know. They don’t want to waste time “learning from their own experience”. It’s a lot faster when you learn from other people’s experiences.
And here’s a funny thing, when you have access to a great mentor, this is exactly what you get. Access to someone else’s experience, so you know how to do things right and skip every mistake before it even comes up.
But do you know what’s even better than a mentor who has a lot of personal experience?
One that has a ton of experience helping others. So they have both their own personal experience to go off of, but also all of that experience from being involved in the learning journeys of hundreds of marketers just like you.
And wouldn’t you believe it, you just happen to be so lucky that you ran into just such an opportunity. You see, over here at Emercury we have been personally involved in the growth and success of thousands of marketers for over a decade. We have advised, helped and guided all of these marketers to more success and profits. This is just something that we see as integral to the Emercury experience.
And if you want to get a sense for that “Emercury Experience”, consider booking a free demo with our team. Isn’t it about time that you felt what it’s like to have someone on your side? Someone that is excited for, and cheering for your marketing success.
Because that is what we believe in. We don’t see Emercury users as “customers”, we see them as partners. The more profit they make from marketing, the more they will utilize our marketing platform. So it’s a general and overall win-win. And if you’re shy about booking a call, consider at least grabbing a forever-free plan while we still give those out.