A crucial part of an effective inbound strategy is a targeted and timely email welcome sequence.
A “welcome” email series differs from other emails in that its aim is to educate new subscribers after they’ve opted in or downloaded a lead magnet, so they feel confident and informed before making a purchase decision.
In other words, the goal is to send them a series of emails welcoming them to your business, building trust, and educating them about what you sell.
As an email marketing agency, we’ve created dozens of these welcome email sequences for our clients. In this article we’ll share with you the reasons why every business needs one.
What Is a welcome email sequence?
A welcome sequence is different from the emails you send out in real time (like a monthly newsletter) because it’s designed to be sent to people automatically when they first become members of your email list.
When what you do is a good fit for what they need, your emails don’t need to be pushy or sales-focused. Instead, they offer good advice that’s genuinely helpful in guiding them towards making a good decision..
A welcome email series can be particularly effective for businesses who sell a product or service that has a longer buyer journey because it offers the perfect way to build trust in your expertise and brand. But even if you have a shorter buying cycle, like an ecommerce store, welcome emails are helpful for reminding people that you’re there, and prompting them to make a purchase while interest is high.
And the best part is, that once it’s set up with the right content in the right system, your emails can be automated in the background, building relationships with potential clients on autopilot, freeing you up to focus your time, energy and talents where they can benefit your business the most.
What Results Can You Expect From a Welcome Sequence?
By adding a welcome sequence to your email marketing strategy, you can accelerate the time it takes for someone to go from “just looking” to “interested”.
For example, with one client we work with, a home builder, we created a welcome series of 10 emails that are delivered over 30 days when someone downloads a content offer from their website.
We then set the “goal” of the sequence in HubSpot to be “has a salesperson assigned”. This means the person has responded in some way either by replying to an email, phoning the business, or going to the website and making an enquiry. The goal conversion rate of this email sequence was 16% across almost 6000 people. This means that around 1 in 7 people who went through this welcome sequence, progressed to a sales conversation while being in the sequence.
If you compare this with what MOST businesses do – leave subscribers sitting for weeks or even months before sending an email, you can see the power a welcome series can have.
And in this example it’s selling a $300,000 product. When done well, the conversion rate should be even higher for a less expensive purchase.
So why are these email welcome sequences so necessary and effective? Read on to discover 5 reasons why they’re crucial for any business...
1) Connect while interest is high
When it comes to marketing, much of the focus is around capturing leads and building your database—but without clear next steps and continued engagement, your leads may lose interest and take their business elsewhere. If they’re interested enough in your product or service to download your lead magnet, pricing, or sign up for a newsletter, then you need to strike while the iron is hot, or risk losing them.
Having an automated email welcome series that’s ready to go allows you to respond immediately. The first email in your welcome sequence should acknowledge their interest and introduce yourself and the business, before going more in-depth about what you do in future emails. By sending them emails while interest is high, you keep the conversation going and build rapport, positioning yourself on their shortlist of options from the get-go.
2) Build trust and confidence over time
When you sell a high-end or complex product or service, it’s difficult to explain the ins and outs of what you do and why it is valuable succinctly in just a few words. And even if you are able to do so, it’s probably going to be too much information for most people to read and digest when visiting your website for the first time.
This is where a welcome email sequence shines, as you can break the information into manageable chunks that you can strategically share over a period of weeks or even months. This allows you to share all your best and most valuable tips and insights, without the information overload or pushy sales script. This is especially effective for those long buyer journeys and expensive products, where customers need to feel 100 per cent confident before they’ll commit to purchase.
3) Engage buyers at all stages of the Funnel
With a well-planned email welcome series, you can stay in touch with contacts and put yourself in front of those who are at all stages of the buyer journey. This includes those who are in the early awareness stage, through to those who are actively considering their options as well as those who are ready to buy.
Sales go up when you offer your prospects real value before the sale—that is, relevant information that they need to know to make their decision. That way, when the time is right, they’ll be more likely to choose you. And if they do need more time and are not quite ready to buy once the welcome email sequence is complete, you can send them your weekly or monthly news updates to continue to add value and stay front of mind.
4) Showcase your solution
An email welcome series gives you the ideal opportunity to explain your solution in detail, answering pain points and providing proof on how you helped others solve the same problem. You can talk about specific services you offer and share relevant blog posts to educate. You can also include testimonials and links to case studies for social proof.
For example, for people looking to build a new home, choosing the right builder is a big decision, which is why a welcome email series can be really valuable. A client of ours has a longer welcome sequence of around 20 emails, with each linking to a topic of interest. From blog articles on buying land and showcasing recent projects, to action points like taking a virtual tour, booking a consultation or submitting a project enquiry, the sequence covers many of the questions and pain points that those considering building a home may have, giving them confidence in taking the next step.
5) Get to know your potential customers
Another great benefit of an automated email welcome sequence is the valuable data it provides. Using HubSpot automation software (or similar tools) you can track the success of the emails sent with regards to open and engagement rates, to see what your customers are interested in. This allows you to fine-tune your marketing strategy for continued improvement and success.
Plus, with the power of automation you can customise the content, timing, and segmentation of your welcome email series to really match the needs of your contacts. This is great if you have several different buyer personas, as you can create branches and send them different content at different times. You can also set a goal (such as when they submit an enquiry or become a customer), so the contact is automatically removed from the sequence once the criteria is met and they don’t receive the emails once they are no longer relevant.
Stay front of mind until the time is right
Not everyone is ready to buy now, but with an effective email welcome sequence, you’ll stay front of mind. When you share relevant information that addresses their pain points, and demonstrate how your solutions have helped others, it makes the purchase decision an easy one when the time comes.
We know from having sent hundreds of thousands of welcome emails on behalf of our clients and our own digital email marketing agency that this stuff works – and when done well, it results in more revenue for your business.
Even a hastily put together welcome series is better than none at all. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and create that sequence!
Want us to create a welcome sequence for you? Click here and tell us a bit about your business. We’ll let you know if we can help.
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