You know what kind of sucks about running a business these days? Most of the time you have to do your own email marketing. What’s bizarre about this is that most people don’t have qualifications in marketing – like you, probably. You’re most likely a personal trainer, life coach, business coach, designer or copywriter. You’ve probably been to a handful of conferences where the phrase ‘email nurture sequence’ has been bandied about. You probably sat there, nodded your head and wrote ‘Google email nurture sequence’ in your free conference notebook and then totally forgot about it when you got home.
Most email marketing gurus are very vague when it comes to explaining how to put together an email nurture sequence. They’ll say ‘Oh yeah, an email nurture sequence is like a group of emails you send out to make people buy your stuff.’ and you’re left sitting there thinking ‘How many emails? When do I send them? And to who?’
Fear not, Marketing Padawan. Here is a guide to creating your first nature sequence. Step by step, email by email.
Email marketing: The Anatomy of an Email Nurture Sequence
1. Email sequences generally have a minimum of 6 emails before a pitch is made
To some people that may seem like a lot but think about it as warming up the oven before you chuck the roast in. Cold customers (customers who don’t know who you are but buy your stuff right away without needing convincing) are infrequent and not worth spending time or money on. With a stable, six-part email sequence, you’ll attract the kind of customers you actually want, and your email sequence will weed out the time wasters.
2. Email 1 – Sent immediately
Your first email is the one that delivers the content you promised the potential customer. This might be an ebook full of lifestyle tips, a meal plan, a life manifesto workbook, a business guide, an introduction to essential oils, the results of the quiz they just took on your site – whatever high-value content that’s going to entice your customer to engage in your email sequence. Hot tip: Always deliver the promised content in the first email. It’s not a good trust building exercise to take someone’s email address and then make them work for the freebie you promised them.
3. Email 2 – Sent the next day
This email is basically a check in to make sure they got the first email and to encourage them to engage with that content. Ask questions like ‘Did you try the low-carb pizza recipe on page four?’ or ‘Have you completed the business booster worksheet yet?’. Questions are good as it keeps them engaged and reminds them to participate in the thing they signed up for. It will also remind them they actually signed up to be a part of this and might stop them from hitting the spam button, which isn’t great news for you.
4. Email 3 (sent three days later) and 4 (sent four days later)
This is an additional email that will build on the information you gave in email one. This is an excellent opportunity to share some of your other content like a blog post or podcast that supplements the material you’ve already sent them. A popular option at this point is to send a short video. It could be an informational video or an instructional tutorial, but it’s a good idea to mix up the delivery of your content to cater for all the different kinds of learners you have in this group of potential customers. Plus it gives you more excuses to keep in touch with them before you go in with your pitch. Like when you had a crush on the guy who worked at your local supermarket when you were a teenager, and you kept going in to buy stuff you didn’t need just so you could talk to him. It’s like that but with emails and less blushing.
5. Email 5 (sent six days later)
This email is chance to clear up any questions people have. Hot tip: If no one asks questions just invent some! That way you can hint at a solution (your course or product that you’re trying to get people to buy). Sneaky.
6. Email 6 (sent seven days later)
Now is the time to introduce your course or offering. You can go pretty hard here – they’ve received five emails from you, so they’re probably sitting there like ‘Just PITCH to me already!!!’. They’ll be expecting it. Give them all the info they need with a prominent call to action. These customers are ripe for the picking so go for it.
This sequence works with any product or service, you just have to tweak the delivery a little. In most email management tools, you can split test tweaks like delivery timing and email headers to see what type of things are resulting in the most customers.
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