Have you ever had an email subscriber hop on your list … just to grab the freebie and peace out once you send a weekly newsletter?
Yup, it happens to us all.
Which stinks, because you’re just burning the midnight oil to build your list for your upcoming pitch or offer, and it just stays static at a plateau.
What if I told you there was a little hack to getting those folks to stick around AND fall more in love with you and what you have to teach in the process?
Meet the “welcome sequence” (or onboarding drip, autoresponder sequence, indoctrination sequence (kinda not my favorite name for it!), etc. … kinda all different sides to the same coin). You’ve probably met one — or even have one — but there’s a way to copy write your way to a more conversion-focused sequence with a few tips!
I’ve LOVED writing welcome sequences for a few of my former launch copy clients, and wanted to spill the beans over here at TCC on what you need to think through before writing your own!
Why do I love welcome drip campaigns?
Well, because the journey to being an email subscriber doesn’t actually end when your reader hits “subscribe” on your freebie.
Far from it.
In fact, you’ve got some work to do, sister. But thanks to the magic of autoresponder sequences (more on that in a minute), you can, in essence, spend an afternoon on the copy, then let it do it’s thing for the rest of your sales funnel.
“[Most marketers are] overlooking [that] a funnel that has a huge impact on 1) retaining your converted visitors and 2) actually increasing conversion rates.” - Talia Wolfe, fellow copywriter
You’ve probably heard the adage that it’s 5x MORE pricy to gain a new customer than it is to retain your old ones, so today, I want to show you how you can cultivate the soil of your email list to ready these thirsty new readers for sales, sales, and a few more sales.
As you ramp up to write your first welcome sequence, here are 3 things to think through!
1. Space out your welcome sequence like a boss.
One of my favorite copywriters references the Fibonacci sequence when she plots a welcome sequence, but in case you were more the type to snooze in Algebra II, I got your back. Here’s a little artistic rendering so you can see how it works. This is a 13 day, 7-part drip welcome campaign.
But I’m not the only that’s got your back: so does ConvertKit! There are a LOT of great email marketing platforms out there, from Aweber to Infusionsoft, MailChimp to Emma, but you can get the basics of a well-spaced sequence in ConvertKit by clicking Sequences > Create Sequence. Here’s what you’ll see when you start:
To get a bit more technical, here’s how I tee up my welcome sequence to send: My freebies send upon sign-up thanks to ConvertKit’s Forms feature. Then, I also have an automation set up in ConvertKit: when someone signs up for one of my signature freebies, they’re put into my Welcome Sequence, meaning on Day 1, they get (1) the freebie and (2) welcome email #1.
So, one email they get on Day 1 is delivered via a form, and the other email they get on Day 1 is delivered via the sequence.
I know that’s geeky if you’re not a ConvertKit girl, but it’s definitely one of the features that convinced me of the value of the platform. Emylee and Abagail are fanatical about ConvertKit, too, so you’ve probably heard how great it is from them as well!
Takeaway? Plot your sequence — each email should have one job, so set them up to send out and point to your best stuff over a week or so.
2. Write your welcome sequence like it’s not about you.
Rule of Copywriting #1: Write to one person, always and forever. Rule #2: It’s not about you.
Here’s the thing. I don’t actually believe that welcome sequences are a way to show someone around ALL the facets of your business quite as much as I believe that they’re a way to show your reader that you’re working hard to get to know HER, and what she needs.
“But Ashlyn! All the welcome sequences I’ve ever been on are basically a tour de blog for that person!?”
True … but the ones that are written with conversion copy aren’t as much about that website as they’re about y-o-u, the reader/subscriber.
Instead of mapping out a sequence email that showcases a different facet of your business, use the copy in your onboarding sequence to speak to the 5 stages of awareness that fabled copywriter Eugene Schwartz found:
Stage 1: Unaware
Stage 2: Pain Aware
Stage 3: Solution Aware
Stage 4: Product Aware
Stage 5: Most Aware
For example, let’s apply those 5 stages in terms of TCC’s Trello for Business (which I mention in like, every other Facebook live and podcast interview I’ve ever had, it’s fine and it’s also THAT awesome). Here’s what you’d have:
Stage 1: “I like my business filing system okay, I guess!”
Stage 2: “Um, I’m starting to get super scattered with my biz files.”
Stage 3: “I keep hearing about Trello, but I don’t know how to use it.”
Stage 4: “Wait. Emylee and Abagail have a Trello FOR BUSINESS product? Hm. Interesting!”
Stage 5: “They totally do, and I need it — actually, I need it yesterday — take me to the checkout line!”
Women in all 5 of those awareness categories are hopping on your email list, and by using your welcome sequence, you can theoretically walk them all closer to product aware/most aware by the end of the sequence.
Winner winner chicken dinner!
3. Start using segmentation early (& often) in your welcome sequence.
The last part to think through goes back to the whole “it’s not about you” thing: use your welcome sequence as a way to study your reader (and tailor future emails to her interests) by using tagging well.
Here are a few ideas of segmentation you could figure out through a welcome sequence:
- Add a self-segmentation email as #2 in the series, and ask your reader to tell you what she needs. You’ve seen this if you’ve ever signed up for Pat Flynn’s email list — he asks this in Day 1’s email.
- Include different levels of links — the reader who clicks “What You Need to Know Before You Quit Your Job” deserves a different tag to the reader who clicks “17 Ways We Build Culture as a Remote Team of 6”.
- If one of your offerings in an email is a webinar, tag her for it … Seems like she’s into webinar trainings, and you can use that later!
- Give a different freebie link when you hop on a podcast interview or JV webinar … then, tag that subscriber with where she came in from.
The point of tags and segments is to eventually map towards products and services you’d like to sell down the road, so you might as well start tailoring their experience right outta the gate.
Again, don’t make your welcome sequence a tour de YOU, as much as an investigative journey in figuring out who your new reader is and convincing her that if she’s up for sticking around, you’re going to be serving her all day, ery day.
So there you have it: 3 things to think through before you sit down to write out your welcome sequence!
Now, what are my best tips for actually WRITING the sequence? As a copywriter, I lean on a few tools to get the job done: I throw some essential oils in the diffuser, carve out some time, grab a frosty bev (hello, iced coffee or La Croix — and wine if it’s a late night!), and set a timer on the FocusKeeper app: I go for 25 minutes on, 5 minutes off — race me to see if you can write whatever task you’re working on before me in 6 or less Pomodoro sprints).
(p.s. I’m also a big fan of the Brain.fm app for focus music — it’s a bit better/less distracting than Spotify!)
Go get ‘em tiger: be your own copywriter and map out a conversion-copy focused welcome sequence to greet your new readers, and watch your list grow to be more faithful to ya and all your educational goodness!