Why The First 2 Weeks of An Email Subscriber’s Journey is Critical (And How To Make The Most of It)


How many times have you signed up to an email list, only to find that the business doesn’t even email you?

You stumble across something that looks interesting, excitedly plug in your email, hit submit, and then… nothing!

You’d be surprised at how many businesses let this opportunity slip with their email marketing.

According to Adestra’s Email Marketing Industry Census 2018, only 44% of businesses send out an automated email when somebody subscribes to their list.

Even more surprising, just 18% send an automated email when somebody downloads content (such as a white paper, product info, guide, ebook, or lead magnet).

These numbers should be a lot higher because sending a welcome email and starting a dialogue at the highest point of interest is critical.  

This article will:

  1. Explain why it’s crucial to email new subscribers.
  2. Tell you what to say to your new subscribers to nurture them from lead to customer.
  3. Show you how to structure your Welcome Series to optimise your results.

So, let’s get into it!

When it comes to Email Marketing, why is it so important to email subscribers when they first sign up?

When somebody gives you their email address and signs up to your list, their interest is at its highest point.

They have given you their email because they either, a) want the lead magnet you are offering or b) enjoyed your content and want to hear more from you.

This is why it’s so important to engage with them when they first sign up – they want to hear from you! If you neglect new subscribers, they will quickly lose interest and become another dead email on your list.

If you follow up on their initial positive experience (that made them subscribe in the first place) with another positive experience, you start to build a relationship.

The more value you give to your subscribers in the first two weeks, the stronger the relationship gets, and the more likely they are to listen to a sales conversation.

So, how do you take advantage of a new subscriber’s interest and start building a relationship?

The key to making the most of your email marketing strategy is implementing an epic Welcome Series Sequence. A Welcome Series is a sequence of automated emails that you send out to new subscribers. The aim is to provide more value while getting to know your subscriber on a personal level.


The Perfect ‘Welcome Email’ Subject Line

There are two things you need to include in the subject line of your welcome email:

  1. The subscriber’s name
  2. The words “thank you”.

From HubSpot’s Ultimate List of Marketing Statistics:

Email subject lines that include the words “thank you” have the highest above-average engagement levels. (Adestra, 2015).

Emails that included the first name of the recipient in their subject line have higher click-through rates than emails that do not. (HubSpot, 2014).


How To Structure Your Welcome Series

An effective Welcome Series should contain anywhere from 4-7 emails that are spread out over the course of 1-2 weeks.

For more advanced campaigns, you can also create multiple Welcome Series sequences that are personalised depending on the subscriber’s First Point of Contact and Source of Discovery. [I explain in-depth both First Point of Contact and Source of Discovery in our 34-page Content Marketing Guide. If you’d like a copy, send me an email at brandon@contentjet.com.au]

EMAIL 1: Welcome + Thank-You Message

Use this email to thank the person for subscribing to your email list. Remember to use the subscriber’s name and ‘thank you’ in the subject line to help maximise your open-rate.

You also want to use this email as a teaser for the next 4 emails. Tell them what they can expect over the next week or two, and let them know why they should be opening every email.

It’s important to create a sense of excitement and let your customer know there’s plenty of value on the way so that they will be anticipating your next email.


EMAIL 2: Present the Problem + Introduce the Benefits of Solution [Cliffhanger: Solution]

Use this email to make the subscriber aware of the problem. Highlight the pain points and try to paint a picture that reflects their current experience.

For example, we might say,

“It’s tough to get a constant flow of traffic and leads to your website. Today’s digital world is noisy, and people’s attention span is shorter than ever.

The good news is, there is a solution – Content Marketing!

By offering value in the form of content that educates or entertains, you can capture some of that limited attention and get traffic flowing to your website.

If you’re producing content regularly, then you’re going to see a steady increase in traffic and leads, while also building authority in your industry.

What’s more, there are a few specific strategies you can implement to ensure that you’re not wasting your time creating content.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk more about the method that works and how you can use it to increase your traffic, so keep an eye out for the email.”


EMAIL 3: Solution + Introduce Product/Service [Cliffhanger: Proof]

Now it’s time to introduce your product or service and talk about how your solution can help solve the problem your subscriber is dealing with. Give them a full rundown of how your product or service works, and why they need it.

Finish the email off with a primer for your next email, with something like:

“P.S. Tomorrow, I’ll show you how we helped 4 businesses achieve amazing results with this solution. Make sure you check out the email!”


EMAIL 4: Testimonials/Social Proof [Cliffhanger: Special Offer]

So you’ve made the subscriber aware of the problem, related to their current frustrations, and introduced your solution. Now, we need to prove that it works!

This email should be packed with testimonials and reviews from past clients that help your subscribers gain trust in you and your business. If subscribers can see that your solution works they will be more likely to purchase your product when you send Email 5.

In Email 5, you’ll be giving your subscribers a special one-time offer, so finish off Email 4 with a teaser letting them know that a special offer is on the way!


EMAIL 5: Special Offer + New Workflow Discovery

This email is where you present your unique, one-time-only offer to your new subscribers. It might be discount or free consultation that is only available for 24 hours. Your subscribers who have opened every email and found value in your content are going to be more likely to buy than if you simply emailed them and said: “buy my stuff!”

You can also use this last email for ‘New Workflow Discovery’. The power of email automation and segmentation means we can begin to offer more personalised content for each subscriber.

Therefore, you can end the email with a question that will help you offer relevant content moving forward.

For example, let’s say you’re a Physiotherapist – you might end the last email with a CTA like this:

“Moving forward, I’d love to offer you more relevant content that will bring you value, so please click on the link below that best describes you:

[Male, 15-25 years old] [Male, 26-40 years old] [Male, 40+ years old] [Female, 40+ years old]
[Female, 40+ years old] [Female, 40+ years old]”

Those who click ‘Male, 26-40 years old’ would then be placed in an automated workflow that sends content that is relevant to that demographic, such as advice on how to keep fit while raising a family, or how to workout while working a full-time job.

The question is designed to help you learn more about your subscribers, so the more specific you can be, the better.


BONUS TIP: Another great idea for your email marketing strategy is to work some of your best content into the Welcome Series. For example, include a CTA to your best, most relevant content in each email, to further the relationship by providing added value.

If you’re not already collecting emails and communicating with new subscribers via a welcome series, I highly recommend implementing it. You’ll quickly reap the rewards from beginning a dialogue with prospects and authentically providing value.

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