Updated: Jul 2, 2021
Does anyone really need another email in their inbox?
Short answer, absolutely.*
*As long as that email is providing value to whoever is reading it.
And that doesn’t just have to look like free information, tips, and how-to’s.
There are dozens of ways that you can provide value to your audience as a business owner (whether you’re just starting out or have been at it a while).
And in this blog we’re going to go over the essential components to writing your personality-packed welcome sequence that’ll have your readers practically begging for more.
Soo.. what’s a welcome sequence?
A welcome sequence is a series of emails that someone receives, usually over the course of several days. The sequence is initiated once they exchange their email for something of value (aka an “opt-in”) that your business provides them — usually a “freebie”, a video, free training, etc.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: Oh, I have their info already, my job's done! *wipes hands in satisfaction of a job well done*
NEWS FLASH: NO WAY HONEY.
Think of this as your starting point — you’re at the beginning of an incredibly crucial relationship between brand and customer and at an often overlooked vantage point.
Really, take a second and ponder this: if someone on your website is already willing to give you personal information like their email address, do you think they wanna just take your free stuff and then never hear from you again?
Sometimes, yeah that does happen. But most of the time you won’t find that as the case — really, your audience wants you to reach out to them more consistently.
Something about you, your business, or your values is resonating with them enough to want to start a conversation.
And when you’re a small business owner, that type of connection is invaluable.
What’s so important about a welcome sequence?
If your goal is to create a community of like-minded individuals, or to create the most scroll-stopping emails your list will ever read.. then I’d say a welcome sequence is pretty dang important to the growth of your business.
When someone signs up for your freebie, or opts-in to get your newsletter, you’re not just getting their name and email address.
You’re gaining access into one of the most confidential places of their lives: their inbox. And this is where the real magic happens (the magic of creating trust… why, what were you thinking?).
Because it’s in someone’s personal email inbox that you’re able to:
Introduce yourself on a human-to-human level
Share something personal about you that they can relate to
Accurately relate to their pain points because you once lived them
Repurpose your content in an infinite amount of ways
Talk to them in a way that a saturated social media platform wouldn’t let you do
Plus, people are a lot more likely to take the time to read something in their inbox vs something they scroll past online.
Are you convinced that you need a welcome sequence yet? Keep going, and by the end of this article you’ll already be brainstorming your first subject line.
How do I write a welcome sequence?
Alright, you know what a welcome sequence is, and now you’re thinking about writing your own.
Before you start chirping away on the keyboard, it’s important to have a plan for the direction that you want each email to go in.
With a welcome sequence, there’s a larger picture focus at play. Each email plays off of that main focus in a different way.
While there are an infinite number of ways you go about writing an email welcome sequence, let’s take a look at a rough outline you could use, shall we?
So, let’s say you have an opt-in on your website for bringing in more consciousness into your business. (ahem, *that’s my freebie*)
The first email
The very first email your new subscriber receives from you is the one that immediately delivers what you promised them - whether it’s a:
Guide or handout
… be sure to deliver your quirky lil freebie ASAP - so you don't keep them waiting.
AND, if you’re feeling extra cheeky, this could be a great place to use a funny GIF or photo - or even telling a personal story right off the bat.
It’ll help set a tone with your readers that they can expect humorous & personal content AND valuable & applicable content from you (if that’s the message you want to convey, of course).
The second email
The second email in your welcome sequence is where you wanna start building “know, like, and trust'' with those on your list. This will be the foundation of your relationship with them.
Depending on the overall end goal of your welcome sequence, you could do this by answering a common objection they might have, or providing the solution to a problem they’re currently going through.
You could (and I highly recommend that you do) throw in a photo of yourself, or even a quick video to help establish authority and relevance (seeing the face behind the email helps to humanize the experience).
In my agency’s welcome sequence, I started with a brief follow-up asking if they got their free PDF the day before.
Once I gave them another link to their freebie (because you wanna make it as easy for them as possible to read through your entire content… and then act on it) I addressed one of their pain points and offered suggestions to help heal them.
The point of this was to show my readers that I understand exactly what pain points they’re going through, and how I provide them with a possible solution.
The third email
So, in the first email of your welcome sequence, you gave them something incredibly valuable.
The second email you got really transparent and addressed potential problems or roadblocks that your subscribers are thinking about.
All while including some lighthearted humor and sprinkles of your personality. And now...
The third email of your welcome sequence is where you get on a humal-level with your subscriber, and share something that’s in alignment with your values.
The call to action (CTA) wasn’t to sign up for anything, or book a call with me. This email was designed with the specific intent to let my audience get to know me beyond my copywriting business — and to share something that made me laugh and profoundly changed the way I look at country singers.
Human beings have evolved through the power of strong storytelling — so why not share it with those you’re building your mission with?
The fourth email
I learned the concept for this email outline from one of my fav email marketers, Tarzan, and it’s all about debunking a popular myth.
In this case, I decided to debunk a common myth within my niche that talks about the importance of drinking water on a daily basis.
To get even more persona, I added a picture and story about my Nana because it ties into the topic of the myth in a way that contradicts my (and most peoples) beliefs.
The last and final email
The final hoorah in your welcome sequence will entirely depend on your original goals.
Whether you’re looking to meet new clients, sell your products, or get emails added to your list, you should always include:
Link to their freebie
Brief summary of important takeaways from the freebie or previous emails
Your CTA could be to book a call with you, take a peek at your website, or to get on your social media, as a few examples.
Again, the main purpose here wasn’t to try to sell anything right away — we all know how sleazy that can feel.
Rather, when you focus on nurturing the people that are already on your list, and creating a meaningful connection with them, this is an asset that has the potential to drastically increase the revenue in your business.
There’s never a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to email marketing. Each subscriber, list, and information you want to convey will be totally different email to email. But here’s a general rule of thumb you can follow when you’re writing your welcome sequence.
What should (and shouldn’t) be included in my welcome sequence?
Ultimately, you’re going to write what you believe is the best bang for your readers’ [free] buck. To help you stay on the right track and build momentum with your subscribers faster, here are some general guidelines for writing your welcome sequence:
You’re definitely gonna wanna include:
Personal stories that only your best friend knows
What they can expect to get from reading your emails
The occasional GIF or funny photo (doesn’t have to be of you but bonus points if it is)
Content (new or repurposed) that your readers are asking for
Specific calls to action that tell your readers exactly what you want them to do after reading your email (reply, watch a video, follow a link, etc.)
You’re gonna wanna avoid:
Generic information that anyone can find online
Robotic sales-talk that sounds like it’s coming from a machine
Asking them to do something before they know and trust you
Talking about yourself in a way that is unprofessional or demeaning
It’s probably gonna feel really weird at first, trying to have a one-way conversation with a crap ton of vulnerability and openness. But pretty soon, when something happens in your life, you’ll immediately wanna email your list.
Why? Because they can’t miss out on what’s happening in your life!
Some more examples of engaging welcome sequences
If there’s one thing that’s inspired the ways I write my emails, it’s signing up for other people’s emails. The good, the bad, and yes, even the slow-load time ugly.
Here are some of my favorite email marketers, and who I love to look to for inspiration:
Wanna see some other examples I’ve given you in action? Go over to my website, and sign yourself up for my freebie at the bottom of the page. (HINT: It’s the one we briefly broke down in the “How do I write a welcome sequence” section.)
Once your pretty lil’ email is submitted, then all you have to do is sit back and check your inbox over the next five days.