How To Write An Epic Email Welcome Sequence

12 May, 2021 By Bobby Klinck
When people join your email list, don't ghost them. Wow them. Learn how in this post: How to write an epic email welcome sequence

When new subscribers join your email list, you need an email welcome sequence to help them understand who you are and how you can help them. But the reality is that many online entrepreneurs don’t have a clue what to do when people join their list. At best, they send a few random emails. At worst, they ghost their list until they’re trying to sell something.

But as an online entrepreneur, your email list is too important for that kind of nonsense. Instead of leaving your subscribers hanging, you need to take them on an email journey. This first part of this journey is made up of 3 different sequences that will help you build the know, like, and trust factor with your subscribers. 

Step 1: CATCH email 

Step 2: Nurture sequence

Step 3: Welcome sequence

We’ve already discussed the CATCH email and nurture sequence in other posts, so it’s time to break down the welcome sequence. Let’s dive in.

What Is A Welcome Sequence?

The purpose of a welcome sequence is to orient your subscribers to your world. It comes after your CATCH email and nurture sequence and is followed by your weekly emails.

A lot of people talk about adding new subscribers to your weekly emails, but this is like throwing people into the deep end of your business. Because they don’t know anything about your business or who you are, they’re more likely to feel confused and less likely to stick around.

That’s where your welcome sequence comes in. It functions as a bridge into your world and helps your subscribers get to know you.

Now it might seem like your welcome sequence is about you. Wrong. It’s really about your subscribers.

The stories about yourself that you choose to share should be relatable and you should tie it back to them. Even though you’re telling personal stories, you should be looking for ways to turn the spotlight on your subscribers and their needs.

So what do your subscribers need to know about to know if it’s worth sticking around your list? Great question. There are 3 essential things your subscribers want to know about you.

  1. Who You Are

Your subscribers need to know who you are. But that doesn’t mean you need to bore them with your life story. Instead, tell a story that resonates with them. This will give them a good sense of who you are and how you operate as a business.

  1. What You Stand For

You should have core values in your business, things you believe in and stand for and against. You’ll want to weave these into your welcome sequence so that your audience knows your values too.

When you share your core values, it helps you connect on a deeper level with YOUR people. The people who share your values are likely to become real fans and brand evangelists.

  1. How You Can Help

Your welcome sequence should also make it clear how you can help people. You’ll want to be clear on who you help and how.

Helping Them Decide

Not every person who ends up on your email list will be a good fit for you and your business. That’s part of why having a welcome sequence is helpful. It allows subscribers to get to know you and make a couple of important decisions.

First: do they buy into your approach and beliefs? If a subscriber doesn’t buy into your key beliefs, they’re never going to embrace you. That’s fine. You’re not for them. Your welcome sequence should give subscribers the chance to accept (or reject) your core approach and beliefs right away.

Second: do they want to stay? One of the most powerful things your welcome sequence can do is get people to unsubscribe at the beginning. You don’t want people on your list who don’t like your style or approach, so it’s better if they unsubscribe. This helps you keep your open rates high and your spam complaints low on your weekly emails.

Two Types Of Welcome Sequences

There are two main types of welcome sequences: 1) a greatest hits sequence and 2) a thematic sequence. The primary difference is whether you’re repurposing existing emails or writing them from scratch.

A “Greatest Hit Sequence” is created by repurposing some of your most popular past emails. For example, if you have a weekly email that really resonated with your subscribers, you can repurpose that into your welcome sequence by changing the call to action.

A “Thematic Sequence” is a series of emails you write specifically as your welcome sequence.  If you don’t already have some “greatest hits” emails, this is the type of sequence you’ll use.

No matter which type of sequence you use, everyone on your list will see the same emails. That way everyone gets the same orientation to your world.

Core Welcome Sequence Topics

There aren’t hard and fast rules about what to include in your welcome sequence, but there are six topics that you’ll generally want to consider. These topics will introduce you, your business, and your beliefs to your subscribers.

Topic 1: Your Origin Story

The first email in your welcome sequence should be your origin story. This is the story of how you came to be where you are in your business and how you got to the point of serving your subscribers in the way that you are.

As you write your story, you’ll want to start by focusing on the struggle you were having before you solved your problem (the hell). Then you’ll describe how things changed when you discovered what you are passionate about helping your subscribers with now. You’ll show how that lesson or approach has led you to a place on the other side of that problem (the heaven).

Topic 2: Secondary Freebie

If you have any additional freebies that would interest your new subscribers, you can use this email to offer it to them. Providing them with another freebie shows that you are focused on serving them and helps build the know, like, trust factor.

But you don’t want to overwhelm them, so only choose the freebie(s) that most people want and include that email in your welcome sequence.

Topic 3: Your Core Values

This might not be a popular opinion… but you should stand for things in your business, and you should tell subscribers what they are. If you haven’t established core values for your business yet, now if the time.

Ask yourself what you believe and what you want your business to be known for. You might find that this leads to a set of public facing core values and a set of internal values that guide you as you build your team.

For example, these are the values that I want my business to be known for:

  • Business should be fun
  • Serve first
  • More cowbell
  • Do the unscalable
  • Be a cheerleader
  • Keep it simple stupid
  • Focus on what matters.

Once you’ve identified your core values, there are different ways you can share them in your welcome sequence. You could 1) write one email that simply identifies multiple core values of your business, 2) send people to a webpage where you’ve laid out your core values, or 3) write different emails about each of your core values.

Topic 4: Your Core Content

If you’re creating regular blog, video, or podcast content (which you should be…), tell your subscribers about it in this email. They may not be aware of your free content.

You could make this one email with links to your most popular content or send subscribers multiple emails that send them to individual pieces of content. If your email catches their interest, they’re likely to click over and check it out.

Topic 5: Your Core Social Media Platforms

As an online entrepreneur, you’re likely aware of the value of social media to your business. That’s why it can be a great idea for one of the emails in your welcome sequence to invite them to join your group or follow you on social media. Just be sure to do this strategically by choosing the platform that is most aligned with your goals.

Topic 6: Your Core Products

Your welcome sequence isn’t a promotion sequence, but it can be a great place to plant seeds about your core products. You can share about the most important product you offer that will move your business forward. 

Writing Your Welcome Sequence

Now that we’ve covered the basics of an email welcome sequence, let’s dig into the nitty gritty of actually writing it. This is where you’ll have the opportunity to flex your story email muscles and lean into being yourself.

Back when you wrote your nurture sequence, I suggested keeping your stories short because your new subscribers would have limited patience since they’re just getting to know you. Since these subscribers have stuck around, you can really begin to lean in and build a connection with them.

You want to make sure the emails in your welcome sequence are aligned with your values and your voice so your subscribers know whether your list is right for them and there’s no surprise when they get to your weekly emails.

How Many Email Should You Send?

I get asked this question regularly, and the answer is: it depends. I know… really helpful. 

But the truth is there’s not a right number of emails for your welcome sequence.  You’ll have to consider how many core values you have, how many kinds of products, how many “greatest hits” emails you have, and other factors.

Let me offer this guideline: you need enough emails to cover the relevant six topics we discussed above, so that suggests you would have about six emails in your sequence if you have one for each topic.

You’ll also have to figure out how many emails to send about each topic. Do you send one email that has all the information about a topic or break it into multiple emails? These are decisions you’ll have to make based on your business.

In general, the more emails you include in your welcome sequence, the warmer your subscribers will be going forward. But keep in mind that the longer your welcome sequence, the longer it is until they get on your weekly email and promo list.

How Should You Space Out The Emails?

While a nurture sequence is usually sent every day or every other day, you’ll usually want to slow down a welcome sequence. This will help train your subscribers for when they land on your weekly email list.

I recommend sending welcome sequence emails twice per week, one on the day of your standard weekly email and the other on a different day, not back to back. For example, Tuesday is my weekly email day, so I send my welcome sequence emails on Tuesday and Friday.

Next Steps

If you’ve read this far, well, congratulations. Clearly you’re serious about doing email marketing the right way. If you’d like to see how all these email sequences fit together in your online business and how email marketing fits into your overall business strategy, you should join my FREE program, BADA$$ Online Marketing University. This program is your one stop shop for learning how to grow and market your online business.

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Bobby Klinck

Harvard Lawyer and Online Entrepreneur