One thing I'm always doing as a blogger is optimizing what I already have going. This is something I've talked to you about several times lately. Instead of focusing all of my time on coming up with new content, I spend a lot of time making sure what's already published and getting traffic is optimized for search, subscribers and conversions.
As I went through my income avenues this past week, one thing I spent a lot of time on was making sure my welcome emails were the best they could be. This is such a great opportunity that maybe you are not taking full advantage of right now. So, I thought I'd share a few tips today.
What's a Welcome Email?
When someone signs up to receive your opt-in freebie and/or receive your weekly newsletter, this is the email they receive after they have confirmed. In many cases, this is where you will deliver the download you offered them. This is also a great time to introduce yourself and reaffirm they have made a great choice in becoming a subscriber.
What to Include in Your Welcome Email
There are a few awesome things you can include in your welcome email in addition to any freebie you have offered. You don't have to do them all at once, but you should include a few and you can always experiment and switch things up until you feel it's near perfect.
In one of my welcome emails for people looking for remote work, I share my own story. This lets them know I have been where they are. I know what they are going through. I can point them to the right resources. These are very powerful statements that can help build trust and let your new subscriber know they are in the right place.
Tell Them What to Expect
If your opt-in form doesn't let people know what they will be receiving when they provide you with their email, this is a good time to do that. Let them know if you will be emailing them daily, weekly, biweekly. Let them know what kind of information they can expect within those emails. Nothing is more disappointing than thinking you are signing up for one thing only to receive something else. Set clear expectations.
Your Greatest Hits
Another good way to reinforce your helper status is to point new subscribers to some of your best evergreen posts. Let them see how else you can help them. This also means more traffic for you.
Social Media Profiles
I don't like sending people away from my newsletter list, but if you are a new blogger your welcome email can be a way to help build your social media following. Pick one or two of your preferred platforms and include the links to follow you.
Ask Them a Question
From time to time, I'll include a P.S. in my welcome email asking new subscribers to share with me their current struggles. You can then use this opportunity to connect with them one-on-one and point them to good resources and/or use any trends as inspiration for upcoming posts.
Your Resources Page
Do you have a page on our blog with frequently asked questions or links to your favorite recommendations? (You should! You can see mine here and here.) This is a great page to link to in your welcome email.
Ask Them to Add You to Their Safe Senders List
You likely know from looking at your own inbox that not every legit email is received. Or received to that priority inbox. In your first email, you can ask new subscribers to add you to their safe list or contacts to ensure better deliverability.
Want to really win them over? Include a special bonus, a great tip or a new subscriber coupon. What a great way to make a stellar first impression!
Taking It One Step Further
Creating a welcome email sequence, or “nurturing sequence,” for new subscribers can not only help you gain their trust but also help you make some money. That's always nice. Right?
Your welcome email is what people receive immediately after subscribing to your email newsletter list. For a sequence or series, we are talking about the email or emails they receive next. Do you have anything set up for that?
What's a Welcome Email Sequence?
You have likely heard bloggers talk about email sequences or series. It's really not that fancy or complicated, it's just a few emails set up to automatically send to new subscribers after that initial welcome. This can really come in handy for bloggers who aren't emailing their list on a frequent basis. Let's say you are only emailing your list twice per month right now. If a new subscriber signs up right after your newsletter goes out, it may be two weeks before they hear from you again. Nothing personal, but they may have forgotten they signed up by then.
Dripping out a few emails in between will keep you at the top of their mind. It will start building trust, getting them opening your emails and, hopefully, getting them looking forward to the next email. It catches their interest when you are sure you have it – when they first become a subscriber.
Designing a sequence can be intimidating to some. That sounds like a lot of new content to create. Not so. Your sequence can be as long or as short as you want it to be. Maybe you just send one extra email a day or two after that welcome. Maybe you send one three days after the welcome and then another three days after that if you are a blogger who only emails every two weeks now.
What Should I Say in My Sequence?
Again, you have some great options. Your main goal, however, should be getting them to take some kind of action.
Option 1: Start a Personal Conversation
Let's say you sent a freebie to your new subscriber. Maybe a couple of days later follow-up with why the freebie was necessary in your life. Tell your story.
For example, one of my freebies is an application checklist. In my follow-up, I could tell new subscribers about my own job search struggle, how much time I wasted on every application because my process wasn't streamlined, how I would forget where I had even applied because I had no system in place.
Then, I could ask them to tell me about their own job search struggle. Where are things going awry for them? It's a simple gesture, but it builds a lot of trust. And replying to you is the action they are taking.
Option 2: Additional Resources
Maybe in your welcome email, you linked out to some great posts and included a few tips. In the next email, perhaps you could share some of your favorite resources. You will want this to be a mix of free and paid stuff. You don't want to turn them away by being too salesy. Keep it helpful, but keep them clicking.
Option 3: FAQs
Maybe you get a lot of questions in response to your welcome email, or you can foresee that happening. Write up a few responses to frequently asked questions. Keep it conversational and in a story-telling tone. Here would be a great place to include a few affiliate links where applicable.
Option 4: Story + Affiliate Freebie
Maybe you aren't comfortable selling in your email yet. That's cool. But, perhaps there are a few things for which you are an affiliate that offer some kind of freebie of their own to get people into the affiliate program's sales funnel. Let's tie that to your personal story and your initial welcome email.
For example, let's say I have a DIY blog and I'm an affiliate for Bluprint (<<this is a link to Bluprint's affiliate program). At the end of my email, I could add a P.S. letting subscribers know that Bluprint has some great free classes where they can learn some new stuff. If my subscriber clicks through the freebie link and then makes a purchase within the cookie term, I'll earn a commission. All without having to push a hard sell. Awesome!
These are just a few examples. And if you used one of the ideas from the welcome email list in your first email, you can definitely use something else from the list in a follow-up. The sky is the limit.
Don't be overwhelmed by this process. And don't put it off. It's so worth the time and effort. And once you put it into place, it is automatic. It's literally one of those things in blogging that is working day and night regardless of whether you are.
Now, different newsletter services call their sequences different things. I personally use ConvertKit and AWeber for my newsletters (two different blogs). In ConvertKit, they are called Sequences. You simply need to create a Rule that says when someone signs up through a specific form, they are added to a specific sequence. (ConvertKit offers free training on setting up automated sales funnelsfree training on setting up automated sales funnels.) In AWeber, they are called Campaigns. Again, you will just create an Automation (<< this page has a good image that shows how a sequence can be set up to wait a few days between emails or when different actions are taken) that says when a person signs up through a form, they start a certain campaign.