How to write email sequences

An email sequence is a series of emails, usually automated, to go out a few days or weeks apart. The content of the emails must make sense to whoever signs up for it, and be engaging in order to entice them to open following emails from you.

The benefits of having an email sequence is that it:

  • Makes it easy to nurture your subscribers with your content
  • They help you to pitch to your subscribers and sell your products or services at the end of the sequence
  • Helps you create a relationship with your subscribers and build that all important trust
  • Aids in highlighting your best content on your own terms and in the order you want to send it

Before you start, you need to know what your goals are in setting up your email sequence – what do you want the end result to be at the end of the sequence?

What’s your goal?

It might be that you want to get a sale at the end of the sequence; it could be that you’re looking to turn them into a regular client; you might want them to join your course or join your social media group; you might want them to sign up to your masterclass

Whatever you want that goal to be, make sure you are very clear about it. If you set up a sequence without an end goal, you could be wasting your time…your subscribers won’t know what to take from each email and where and what you’re trying to get them to.

If there’s no direction with your sequence, it shows in the copy or content that you create, and can feel disjointed.

You want your emails to establish your authority on a particular subject, maybe want them to join your community and you definitely want to establish yourself as an expert and build trust with your subscribers.

How many emails do you need?

Think about your goals and how many emails you need

This is really quite a personal thing…I’ve seen blogs and articles that say you must have seven emails – others that you must have five or three. It depends what your end goal is and how long it will take you to direct your subscribers in that direction, so there’s not standard answer to this question…in my opinion!

All I would say is that each email in the sequence needs to inch your subscriber closer to the end goal you have in mind. And it’s up to you to provide them with all the relevant information and resources they need to make that informed decision by the time they get the last one.

Before you start writing

There’s always preparation work to do, so this is what I would suggest you write down before you start…let’s use an example to help. Your goal is to have subscribers sign up to your course – How to market your business on Instagram.  

  • What are the pain points of your subscribers? What do they struggle with in relation to marketing on Instagram?
  • What words do they use to describe those pain points? You can get this by researching what questions people ask online…or from your own experience with feedback etc. You might see comments on business groups stating they don’t understand the algorithm, or the insights or maybe how hashtags work. This gives you answers to what you need to include in your emails, when describing what your course will achieve.
  • Write down any experiences you have regarding marketing on Instagram. What turning points did you discover when marketing your business? What failures did you have and how did you overcome them? Do you have any success stories from people using your course?
  • Mistakes that people make when marketing on Instagram – or mistakes that you made
  • And why are you the best person to teach them all about this subject and what will your course give them that they didn’t have before?

Now you have the goals of your email sequence and what you need to include in your emails, you can begin writing.

Email 1

This is always a welcome email. If your subscribers have signed up for your email in return for a freebie, include the link to the freebie in this email.

The first email should always include WHY you are the best person to help them with this subject.

You can also write a very short introduction to yourself – NOT long and involved and telling them your whole life story! Just a couple of sentences.

Email 2 and all others you send

I always use email 2 to write a bit more about me and my experience in relation to the subject I want to sell them at the end.

I include five facts about me – not related to business, to show my human side.

Then start weaving in various stories, experiences etc., linked to your subscribers pain points.

Each email you send should include a main point, or teach your subscribers something, or give them one strategy.

Don’t go straight in for the kill and talk about your end game (the Instagram course), but rather lead up to it, teasing and intriguing them and hinting about what you’re inching them towards.

Close each email with a question or an intriguing lead into what the next email will cover. For example, using our Instagram course, the question could be.

‘Do you know the #1 mistake people make when marketing their business on Instagram?’ Look out for the answer in my next email.

This keeps their interest and they’re more likely to open the next email if they want to know the answer.  

Frequency of email sequence

OK, so you have your goals, your plan and your emails written. Now it’s time to decide how far apart you’ll send each email. Again, this will depend on how many you’re sending.

Subscribers will always get the first email when they sign up for your freebie – the welcome email. It’s a good idea to send the second one within a couple of days, and then the rest depending on how much content is in each email and how many they are. You don’t want a sequence of 10 emails being sent 1 day apart. It will clog up someone’s inbox and they’ll soon get fed up with seeing yet another email every day. So, try and space them apart. For example, you might be giving exercises or workbooks/worksheets for your subscribers to complete, so you’d need to leave a good few days, or even a week, for them to have time to complete them.

The technical side

Now, you’re ready to actually set up your email sequence. There are loads of providers out there. I’ve used MailChimp, Convertkit and Mailerlite and they all have their merits.

These sites give you the option to set up an opt-in for your course (or whatever you’re doing). An Opt-in is a box where your subscribers input their name and email address, stating they want to receive your freebie in return for joining your email list. Using a site like those mentioned above, once you set up the opt-in box, they’ll ask if you want a double opt-in, which is where an email is automatically sent to your subscriber, asking them to confirm their subscription prior to receiving your freebie and first automated email. This is a great idea as it’s compliant with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

When you set up your sequence, you’ll be asked to load your freebie and then you set up the emails. Each platform (whether MailChimp, Convertkit or Mailerlite), all have excellent training modules to help talk you through each stage of the set up or they point you to videos, where someone will show you.

Then you’ll set up the automation, so the platform knows when to send each email in the sequence.

This might sound complicated, and whilst it takes a bit of learning, it’s completely doable!

When sending an email sequence, it is also part of the GDPR rules that you offer each subscriber a way to unsubscribe if they so wish. This is automatically done for you at the bottom of each email if you use one of the platforms I’ve mentioned (and I’m sure, any other platforms that do the same).    

Now you’re all set to share the link to the opt-in on your social media pages, blog, newsletter, social media group, or any other email list you might already have. And you’re now set to marketing your opt-in to get people into your email sequence and hopefully, at the end of the sequence, your subscribers will buy your product or service, sign up to your social media group or course, or do whatever it is you’re trying to get them to do.

If you need help with setting up an email sequence or opt-in, drop me an email.

Customer Engagement – Newsletters

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It has been said that marketing your business with the use of newsletters are a bit ‘old hat’ and are losing their value, but I don’t agree. With other forms of marketing, such as adverts, people will see your advert and look at it if they’re interested in the subject, but it will bypass lots of people. But a newsletter is a powerful tool and goes right to the heart of your business, reaching all your customers. You know they are interested in what you do as they’ve bought your products or services. As well as keeping your customers informed about what’s going on in your business, you can include special offers and highlight some of your products.

calendar-1990453_640Whether you choose to send your newsletter out in print format, or as an online version on e-mail, it’s important to decide the frequency. Most of my clients send out newsletters by email on a monthly basis, so they can be a bit longer than if you are sending out something each week. The most important thing is that the content is timely and relevant, adding some sort of value to your customer. For example, I send out a monthly newsletter for a garden centre – as well as including any news about new stock and special offers, we also include monthly hints and tips on jobs that need doing in the garden that month. We’ve also run a series of articles over a few months on planning the garden for 2014 – this encourages customers to take a good look at their garden, decide what worked well last year and what didn’t, and gives advice on plants and shrubs without doing the ‘hard sell’.

Goals of your newsletter

So you’ve decided you want to send out a newsletter for your business – now you need to think about what you want to achieve. Is the purpose of your newsletter to send traffic to person-1245959_640your website; increase engagement to your brand; create a buzz for a new product or service? The type of goals you have will help you create a more effective newsletter. For example, if you want to send more traffic to your website, you could include an excerpt from an article that will generate interest in your products and then direct them to the full article on your website, or you could just send an introductory paragraph from the newsletter, but keep the full newsletter on your website, so customers have to go to your website to read the full article. Similarly, you could give them a taster of a special offer, but point customers to your website for full details.

Content

The content of your newsletter needs to be engaging – if you don’t keep the attention of your customers and make the content relevant to them and add value, they will either hit the ‘delete’ button or will unsubscribe. A good headline will pull your customers in, so try and make it interesting – not just ‘January’s newsletter’. It’s crucial that you use good grammar and that there are no spelling mistakes and that it is easy to read so ensure that, if you do the newsletter yourself, that it is thoroughly proofread.

question-mark-1751308_640Of course, a newsletter is only one of the marketing tools you can use and it’s always best to use a variety of tools to engage your customers. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the role of newsletters. Do you use them for your business?