Updated: Aug 26
Here’s how to make a great welcome email series.
Why bother with a welcome email series? Here's a question. Which of these three people is likely to get you the most sales?
Someone who’s been on your email list for a long time
Someone who has just signed up for your free email list
Someone who has just visited your website for the first time
The traditional answer to this question is “A”—after all, that person has had plenty of time to check out what you do and get “nurtured” from lead into customer.
But the real answer is B.
Think about it—someone who’s been lounging on your email list has already decided not to buy from you. Or else they would have done it already.
That doesn’t mean you should never sell to them, or that they’re not an important part of your business—but for most businesses, most new sales come from new leads.
That’s what makes a welcome email series so important. It’s what you use to capitalize on “sign-up momentum.” It’s what you use to say hello.
It’s what you use to sell.
By the end of this post, you’ll have the blueprints for a straightforward, 6-email welcome series (that you can steal and use right away). I’ll show you…
Exactly what you need to put in each email (and the timing of each email)
How “stages of awareness” help you turn questioning readers into satisfied customers
Examples of people who get incredible results with their sequences. I’m talking 70% more revenue, 89% more revenue, 332% more sales—even a 5,000,000 dollar week
Here’s how to make a great welcome email series.
Why bother with a welcome email series?
A welcome email series is a sequence of emails that you automatically send people after they sign up for your email list.
The moment after an opt-in is when your new subscriber is most excited. That makes a welcome email series your best chance to introduce yourself, show people how you can help — and even make a sale.
“There’s one email that gets a higher open rate than all others: the welcome-to-my-list email. It’s no surprise. The recipient is at their peak interest. They just converted into a subscriber, so they are want your content and trust your brand. Setting this auto-response it a no-brainer. Opens and click through rates are often 2x any other email you send. Think of it as just being polite. When someone starts listening, you should say hello, right? When someone asks for more, give them your best. I think of the welcome series as both smart marketing and common courtesy.” – Andy Crestodina, Chief Marketing Officer, Orbit Media
When someone signs up for your list, they are introducing themselves. When you send a welcome email, you’re offering them a handshake.
It’s just polite. And yet…
According to the First Impressions Email Marketing Study conducted by Ciceron, only 39% of brands send a welcome email.
41% of brands don’t send a welcome email within the first 48 hours.
27% sent zero emails in the first three weeks.
When you do it well, a welcome email series is your best opportunity to say hello and turn leads into customers. If you’re only sending blog posts to people who join your email list…you’re missing a huge opportunity with your email strategy.
Need an example? Look no further than Grace Ingram, a small business owner who teaches people how to record and produce their own songs.
When she moved her sales pitch earlier in his welcome series, it increased revenue by 89%!
Even if you don’t sell something at the first opportunity, the open rates and click-through rates of your welcome email are going to be the highest you get on any email campaign.
Here’s an example from one of my welcome emails.
"(Insert Name), Do you: Want more clarity about who YOU are, who you’re REALLY here to work with, and what the true power of you dominating your niche actually looks and feels like ... plus how to access it on tap? Feel about gee-darn ready to stand out head and heels above the masses, the way you KNOW it actually should be? (Be honest!) KNOW there is a clearer and more impactful way to express what is inside of you? Fully believe you get to be making more consistent money now, with ever-greater flow, and are willing to do the work for that? The work of being all of YOU? Have ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY you are one of a kind, and that the world needs what’s inside of you - yesterday?!
Deep down expect that all of the above gets to come to life in a way which ONLY lights you up and expands you, and reflects you saying yes to all of you? Because if so … YOU’RE RIGHT.
And? I fully get it. Hi, I’m Jenn Colmenares, and I help driven women entrepreneurs who KNOW they are called for more (and who are willing to finally say fully yes to that call!) to GO GET IT. I’ve been in business for over 22 years, and throughout that time have helped tens of thousands of incredible entrepreneurs to bring their true work to life in a way that is wildly profitable, COMPLETELY personalized, built around their greatest desires, and in a way which allows them to also build and live the life they love! And I would love to help YOU. It doesn’t feel like so long ago that I was dreaming of one day making consistent 10k months, that making more than that seemed like a one-day fantasy, and that I KNEW there was just something missing about me really showing the world the power of my work! I was desperate to figure it out and willing to do the work, but geez. It seemed endless at times. Particularly as every day was a continual juggle of real. life. STUFF, with bills, frequently not being met, and the constant lurking fear in the back of my head that maybe I WASN’T really born for it, or as passionate as I thought..
Fast forward to now, and I have helped thousands of clients around the world to build and grow an incredible business, the way they always knew it should be.
OBVIOUSLY this did not happen overnight. It was an all-in sort of a thing that I dedicated my LIFE to. I was willing to because, simply, I knew that is what I came here to do. And so I couldn’t not.
But in those earlier days … wow. The idea that one day I’d be here, well. I did deep down know. But it was so outside the scope of me being able to connect to that it may as well have been a million years away.
And what I really needed? Was just to get clear on a couple of key things:
1) Who was I really, not just the surface me but the ALL of me, and how did that translate into my business?
2) How could I effectively get my message across in a way that was magnetic to my ideal client and allowed me to dominate my audience?
3) How did I make more sales - the soul-led and truly me being ME way (including ALL my randomness and self-proclaimed 'crazy / chaos / mayhem' ... now?!
I did it. And now, I want to take you on a journey, for 6 weeks that is going to change not only your business but your LIFE, In my Elite Business "Boot camp" E-School. You can get your hot little hands on an application right now, and join an AMAZING Girl Gang of Entrepreneurial minded women! As if that weren't cool enough, I'm including a free gift - with your free gift!
Let's be honest:
a) I love sharing epic value with epic people who GET it, and
b) I know that when you receive a ton of value from my free stuff you might just wanna keep going. “Mindset Shifting Meditation” is an audio meditation I recently created, and the perfect accompaniment to my Elite "Business Boot Camp" E-School!
You get instant access to the audio in your welcome email!
E-School is designed to get you dominating your market, magnetizing more of your ideal clients, and increasing sales now … all while saying yes to the business and life you know you’re really here for!
FREE Facebook group chat and live support with me included! Learn from someone who has walked the path, dedicated herself to building a business designed around her true purpose work, and helped thousands of driven women like you to do the same and to hit their money AND life goals! Start today!
Whoa! Imagine if every email could get a 90% click-to-open rate
Whatever you want people to do—whatever action you want them to take—it will be easiest to get from them during your welcome email series.
Does your goal have to be just selling?
What if you want to do something else?
What if people aren’t trying to buy right away?
Example goals of a welcome email series
Possible goals of your welcome series include getting…
First-time buyers of your product or service
Cross-sells and upsells
Phone calls and conversations with new contacts
More onboarded clients or customers
More members for a community
Feedback to help improve your business
The world has a lot of people, and most of them aren’t your customers—that’s why most welcome email sequences tend to focus on new leads and subscribers.
But there’s no reason you can’t use great welcome emails to delight your existing customers too.
Sarah, the founder of Miss Efficiency Bookkeeping, uses a welcome automation to onboard new clients, collect information, and ask for feedback.
Here’s what she puts into each email:
Email 1: Welcome. Sarah welcomes the new client to the business. She also sends a handwritten thank you card that coincides with this email.
Email 2: How we work. Sarah builds trust by introducing her team and sharing a little bit about her team’s background.
Email 3: What to expect from us. Bookkeeping is a topic that comes with a lot of anxiety, so this email lays out exactly what Sarah’s clients can expect.
Email 4: What we need from you. There are various documents and forms. This email has a checklist that makes it easier for clients to dig up everything they need.
At the same time as this series, Sarah mails her clients a thank you note and a physical copy of her book. Then, once the book is sent (about one month in), the welcome series continues.
Email 5: Review Miss Efficiency. Online reviews help Sarah get more business, so she asks clients to provide them after they’ve been onboarded.
Email 6: Ask for feedback. Now that clients are fully onboarded, their feedback can help Sarah improve her business – and retain clients at risk of dropping out.
No matter the context, a welcome series is your opportunity to say hello. It’s a way to welcome each and every person—and make them an offer—automatically.
Imagine if Sarah had to manually go through that process for every. single. Client.
Or if Grace didn’t move her pitch earlier—and made 11 THOUSAND fewer dollars a month because of it?
If your question is “should I bother writing a welcome email series,” the answer is a clear, resounding…YES! Shout it from the rooftops.
Expert insight: Sarah Anderson on defining welcome email goals
“A welcome series is the perfect way to introduce a new subscriber to your brand. They’re new here. Take a minute to bring them up to speed on all the awesome things you do.
You can use your welcome series to showcase the best you have to offer. Share your top pieces of content, give a ton of value, and show that you’re here to help.
To plan the individual emails, start by defining the main goal of each one before you sit down to write. What do you want a subscriber to do after reading it? Hit reply? Read your blog? Book a call?
Choose the one most important action you want the reader to take. Make it the clear next step after reading the email. If there are multiple actions you want a subscriber to take, write multiple emails in your series to guide the reader through that journey.”
– Sarah Anderson is a conversion copywriter and email strategist. She writes at Pro Email Copy.
How many emails should you include in your welcome email series?
We recommend sending 4–6 emails as part of your welcome series. You need to have enough emails to build trust and help your contacts out before you push for the sale—five emails gives you space to devote each email to a specific topic.
Ryan Johnson, the head copywriter at GrowthLab, is the master of designing email funnels and launches. Here’s how he lays out a 5-day funnel for GrowthLab’s course Mental Mastery.
Each email has a specific purpose—it helps move people to the next step of the sales funnel. (Source, GrowthLab)
First, GrowthLab attracts attention with an interesting question.
Then they capture interest, and start getting people to want the product.
In emails 3 and 4 they keep building desire (and open the course for sale. And in email 5 they make a hard sell.
Here’s what to put in each email of your welcome series
How can you create the kind of welcome series that makes people jump to click on your emails?
And, more importantly, that gets them to d