Ok, I’m going to start with an admission.
Until a year into running the courses business, I didn’t have a welcome email when people signed up to my mailing list. Now, I’ve worked in marketing – I know the value of a welcome email sequence – but I’d just not got round to it.
But I had been signing up to other people’s mailing lists and suddenly thought: wow, that’s cool. I love how she’s drawn me into what she’s doing by sharing really good content. And so I decided to add a welcome email, that you receive when you sign up to my list.
Welcome email sequence
This ‘welcome email’ is automatically sent to new subscribers from Mailchimp, which is the platform I use for my emails. Others prefer different websites but I pay about £35 a month and I find it really easy to set up emails – automated, and weekly newsletters. What I make back is a lot greater than what I pay. As I’ll show you later.
Below is the welcome email I first set up.
Firstly, the subject line. Think about what would make you open an email. You’ve just signed up to a mailing list, so you’re interested. But if you get an email land in your inbox saying: Ready to buy my online course? You will be put off. Go in gently. Ask a question, or pique their interest.
My welcome email opens with a reminder of what I’ll be emailing them about. And then I offer them a free downloadable work schedule. I know people find it hard to schedule in the time to create an online course, so I created three downloadable worksheets that break down the process.
It ends with an idea about what they can expect over the next few days. This means that when they receive another email the day after, they won’t feel bombarded; they knew it was coming.
My welcome email
Subject line: Hello. Shall we talk business?
And then the body copy…
I’m happy you’re here. Because that means you want to talk business. And it’s my favourite thing to discuss. I love sharing stories, tips, recommendations.
But that will all come in time. For now, I’d like to give you access to a (free) downloadable worksheet that will help you to create your own online course (if that’s something you’re interested in).
I designed it because I know lots of people dream of setting up an online course to bring in some extra cash, and to ‘warm up’ customers who may then go on to sign up for one-to-one services. But the challenge is often finding the time.
So I worked out exactly what you need to do each day in order to plan, create and launch a course. And I devised three work schedules around this, to suit people’s varying availability (full-time, part-time, very little available time).
Whether you have 35 hours a week available, 15 hours or just 30 minutes a day, you can start your own online course. Just choose one of the plans below, and it will show you how…
Let me know how you get on.
And if you’re not creating an online course, that’s fine too. There will be plenty of useful business tips coming up in the next few days…
Here are the stats, a few weeks in…
If you look at the ‘industry average’ open rate, you’ll see it’s 14.5%. So to have an open rate of 58.6% is really high. Why is it this high?
1. Because they have just signed up; they’ve asked for my emails.
2. The subject line works. A low open rate means your subject line is not enticing enough.
The click rate is really high too; industry average is 4.2% and mine in 27.8%. So people are clicking through on the links. And then 15 people have unsubscribed. Not great, but you’re always going to have people change their mind.
So make your initial welcome email: warm, welcoming and useful. And if you decide to include a free downloadable worksheet, or something else of value, this is a way to get them signing up. More on that in the next topic.
Now, for the next emails in your welcome sequence, you want to keep giving stuff away.
(This, by the way, is called the ‘onboarding series‘ in Mailchimp. In the ‘automate’ section. You can set up a single welcome email, or a series. I’ve done the latter).
Because I was late to the ‘welcome emails’ game, I had an advantage. I already had a mailing list of nearly 2000 subscribers, and I’d been sending out weekly (or so) emails. I could look at my stats to see which emails had been opened. And I could see which ones people had responded well to (sent me a reply).
So I used these emails to make up the rest of my ‘welcome series’…
Day 2: How to make more sales
An email about how to make more sales. Subject line: How to make more sales. I share some tips, a little story about my telesales background. And I don’t link to any of my courses.
Day 3: Money
An email about money. I ask how they feel about money – do they want more, or would that make them less productive. I am engaging them in a conversation about something that I know they’re thinking about because they signed up to the mailing list for my business courses.
Day 4: Recommendations
I send weekly recommendations to my general list, and they tend to go down pretty well. So I chose one that seemed to really resonate with people, and included it in the welcome series. Subject line: How to feel less STRESSED. And I recommend podcasts, books, food, people to follow. No selling.
Day 5: Copywriting
This email is about how to write good copy, including George Orwell’s rules for writing.
Day 6: Selling my courses
Here’s the email my new subscribers receive on day six. I’ve warmed them up, given away tips, told stories. I’m hoping that by now, they are keen to know what I’m selling. So I tell them – and offer a discount off any one course…
Day 6 email copy
Subject line: This is a big deal. Literally
Now you know a bit about me – and my thoughts on selling, money, copywriting, stress (!).
If you fancy joining one of my online courses, I’d love to have you. And I’d like to offer you 25% off any one of my courses.
Simply choose which course you fancy, and add coupon code: [insert code] at checkout.
You might like…
This online course will show you how to make your own online course, utilising the skills and knowledge that you already have…
Got a product or service to sell? Press coverage will help with this.
This is a clever guide to selling spaces on your online course. It’s our perfected strategy and covers all the steps we take to market and sell our courses…
Any questions, I’m here to answer them.
If you’re setting up an automated email sequence, remember to delay it if you are also running a video funnel. You don’t want people signing up for your video funnel and getting one email a day about that specific online course, PLUS your onboarding emails. It’s too much. So set up the funnel emails, and then have a break for a few days before they get the general ‘welcome’ series of emails.
And that’s it. My welcome emails. Then they start getting my general weekly newsletter, recommendations and the occasional ‘selling’ email.
The email sequence I shared above was the one I set up on annieridout.com, before moving all the courses over to The Robora. Since transferring the website and the mailing list, I’ve actually decided to take a different approach.
Now, my ‘welcome’ email is a single email and there are no downloadables or discounts. Instead, I explain my intuitive approach to business. By this, I mean rather than email weekly or monthly, I do it when I have a really good idea to share. This works with my values and my lifestyle.
I’m sharing this with you, because I regularly revisit every step of my ‘customer journey’. And I make changes. This one reflects where I’m at right now, but in a few months time I may change it again. I’d encourage you to take a similar approach: get something going, and then reassess in a few months.