Pop quiz! Which of these three people is more likely to engage with your content?
A. Someone who’s been a follower/subscriber for a long time?
B. Someone who has just subscribed to your newsletter?
C. Someone who’s a first-time visitor of your blog?
Most people would instinctively go with the first answer, but the truth is that engagement levels drop after a few weeks/months of someone being a follower of your content. They, in fact, are now only choosing to engage with the content that is most relevant to them, often choosing to ignore the recurring themes you blog about.
If you think about it, the correct answer is B.
Think about it. Someone visits your blog. They go through your articles, reading a few of them, clicking on related articles after they finish reading one of your articles. They are in “exploration mode,” meaning they are looking for more resources, access, and even products and services that you might recommend or sell.
They have decided that your content is valuable enough that they invest their time and attention by becoming e-mail subscribers, giving you the chance to reach out to them in a more direct manner.
That’s what makes a welcome email series so important. It’s what you use to capitalize on the excitement new readers feel when they decide to subscribe to a newsletter.
What is a welcome email series?
A welcome series is a number of emails you send out after a new subscriber joins your email list.
Think of your welcome series as an automated-handshake, and a process of capitalizing on first-time subscribers’ enthusiasm to turn them into avid fans of your work.
Usually, a welcome series is comprised of 3-6 emails sent out over a range of 3 to 10 days.
Even if you aren’t trying to convert subscribers into paying customers (or you’re just not selling anything on your blog just yet), a welcome series makes sense because the open-rates and click-through rates are going to be the highest you get out of any campaign.
If there’s something important you want to share with your readers, a welcome series is your best bet to make sure most of them read it.
This is a comparison of how our welcome series performs versus our list average.
Case in point, with 3 times more opens and almost 6 times more click-throughs, it’s an impossible task not to recommend a welcome series.
Whatever you want people to do, whatever piece of content you want them to read, it will be easier to get them to at least acknowledge it during your welcome series.
What types of emails should you send out as part of a welcome series?
While the types of emails you can send depend on a lot of factors, such as your goal, your niche, and the amount you content you have available to share with first-time subscribers, there are some universal elements you can deploy in order to create a brilliant email welcome series.
Email # 1: The Story
This first email should go out as soon as someone subscribes. You can either automate an email, or if you use double-opt in for your newsletter forms, you can use the confirmation email to share this email with your new subscribers.
The main purpose of this first email is to introduce yourself and your blog. This is also your chance to share your blog’s story, mission statement, and vision.
What to include:
- Tell them what type of content they can expect from you and how often you’ll be sending out emails
- What special perks you are going to offer them (free downloads, gift cards, exclusive offers and discounts). This will make sure that they stick around and eagerly await your next email.
- Your blog’s mission and vision. What value do you add? What problems do you help solve?
- Share with them the social media profiles where they can find more of your content (and what type of content they’ll find them)
- Showcase your writing style, adding a bit of your personality into this email
- Add social proof (just how many subscribers/readers you have, testimonials, reviews, etc.)
You should also tease the second email, and even let them know what they can expect next time you’ll drop an email in their inbox.
Email # 2: The Gift
While most email newsletters do offer a welcome email, they stop after just one email.
You, on the other hand, are going to use this in order to stand out and make your welcome series a product in and of itself.
That being said, the second email, which you should send out 24-48 hours after the first email, should contain a gift of sorts.
While yes, offering a free download (such as an ebook, template, or even resource archive) is preferable, you can also share a list of your most popular articles (or what you’d call, “essential reads.”).
Like we’ve previously discussed, a new email subscriber is still enthusiastic enough your blog to consider such a gift as valuable in and of itself, and they will most likely interact and engage with the articles you send their way.
Don’t have an email service provider yet?
These are some of the tools you can use:
1. MailerLite. It’s what we use, what we recommend, and it’s both one of the most affordable ESPs and also one of the most feature-rich options out there.
Oh, and they do integrate wonderfully with even free WordPress.com blogs.
Trusted by over 175,000 users, Sendinblue is a complete platform, offering email marketing, SMS, chat, automations, transactional emails, landing pages, and more.
Oh, and their free plan offers you just enough features to figure out if it’s worth upgrading to a paid plan or not.
Another interesting email service provider is ConstantContact.
It offers all the tools you need as an email marketer, including list segmentation, landing pages, signup forms, automations, and more.
It’s not as feature rich as Sendinblue, but it does cover all the necessary basics of setting up a proper newsletter for your blog.
Email # 3: Access
A welcome series, just like an email newsletter, is a series of automations and campaigns you send out to thousands, possibly tens of thousands of people at the same time.
This often makes it difficult for subscribers to genuinely get to trust you.
That’s why you use the third email to offer your readers access to you.
The most effective ways to get your new subscribers to trust you:
- Tell them a story about yourself
- Share behind the scenes of your blog
- Invite them to reply to this email (while telling them that it will go straight to your personal inbox, and that you will reply)
- Ask them to join a Facebook Group or Slack channel
- Let them know that they can book a one-on-one Skype/Zoom call with you.
By sharing a bit more about yourself in this email, you become more relatable. This also means that it will be far easier for people to trust you.
And giving people the chance to talk to you directly will make them discard all objections (or fears) that your blog might not be genuine or that their email address is not safe with you.
Email #4: The Feedback
This email should go out at least a couple of days after you’ve sent out the third one.
You are now asking for feedback from your new subscriber. It might be a survey, it might be a couple of question you’d like them to answer in a direct reply to you.
Also, in case you offered them a free download in your second email, you can ask them if they had the chance to go through your download/read it, and what are their thoughts.
In case they didn’t, this acts as a friendly reminder that there’s something valuable (and free) sitting in their email inbox.
Do Not Be Afraid to Experiment
Even though those four email frameworks are essentials, you can customize your welcome series in any way you see fit.
- You can offer them a second gift (an unexpected gift at an unexpected time is a sure-fire way to make your readers fall in love with you).
- You can mention some of your products/services and offer them an exclusive deal/discount.
This, of course, depends on your blog’s niche and the products/services you have to offer.
However, one thing you should keep in mind: decide on a timeline and frequency for your welcome series that doesn’t negatively affect your regular newsletter emails.
Most welcome series emails last between 3-10 days. If, however, you are sending out more than a weekly newsletter to subscribers (like we do), it’s maybe a good idea to keep your welcome series to a reasonable number (3-5 emails) and send them out on a daily basis.
At the same time, don’t worry too much about these details, because that’s not what matters most.
The truly important thing is that you set a welcome series in place and that you capitalize on the first 48 hours after a new readers has subscribed to your newsletter. That’s when they’re most active and engaged.
Sending out emails every time you post a new article is not enough. If you’re not taking advantage of automations and sending out welcome emails (or even free email courses), you’re missing out on a lot of traffic, potential sales, and, most of all, a lot of engagement from those who are most excited about your blog.
Taking the time to craft a welcome email series for your blog will pay off… trust me.
And if you’re new to the game or looking for an affordable option, you can’t go wrong with MailerLite. It’s what we use, and what we are proud to recommend, especially if you’re a beginner.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means we may make a small commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.