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If there is one thing I wish I had started sooner as a beginner blogger it would be setting up a mailing list. Creating a welcome email sequence is not that hard.
I missed out on potential subscribers by not offering them the opportunity to join my list.
I’ve talked previously about the importance of having a mailing list, but in summary:
- You get a direct line to the inbox of your subscriber
- There are fewer distractions
- If you were to lose your blog or social media, you still have your subscribers
- It is a potential income stream
- You can deepen the loyalty of your readership
Part of your email strategy should be to have a welcoming email sequence that is automatically sent out when someone subscribes to you for the first time.
I didn’t have one of those set up when I first started working on my mailing list, but once I did I found that it started to drive more traffic to my blog.
How and why?
Well, keep reading and I’ll teach you.
How to Set Up An Awesome Welcome Email Sequence:
What is an Email Sequence?
An email sequence is exactly what it sounds like.
It is a group of emails that are sent out in a particular order to your subscribers.
There are many variations of email sequences, but for the purpose of today’s post I want to focus specifically on a welcome email sequence.
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Why Do You Need One?
When a subscriber joins your mailing list via an opt in form, it is a great opportunity to introduce yourself, share great value, and essentially earn the their trust.
An email sequence is basically a way of letting your subscriber get to know you and what you can offer them.
I’ve also found that it is a great opportunity to start a conversation with them.
What is also ideal, is that it can direct more traffic to your blog and I’ll show you how below.
How Can You Set One Up?
ConvertKit is without doubt superior to Mailerlite, but if you’re a beginner blogger and/or you don’t have much of a budget, then Mailerlite will definitely be a good option.
I’m going to walk you through the process of setting up a welcome sequence with each service.
Setting an Email Sequence Up with Mailerlite
Mailerlite has a fairly user-friendly interface in that is isn’t too difficult to figure out how to set things up.
If you haven’t got an account with them, then you can set one up here.
Their entry plan is free for up to 1k subscribers but it does have certain limitations.
The next level up is $10 USD p/m and you have full use of all the features.
Let’s go through the steps of setting things up.
1 – Create a group
This can be done from the subscribers tab. Once you’ve clicked on the subscribers tab, head over to where it says groups and click on that.
You’ll see a button that says “Create New Group“.
Click on that, enter your group name and click done.
If you’ve created a freebie that you’re planning on using as an email opt in, then you could name the group with something relevant to that.
So, perhaps you’ve created a printable checklist. That’s what you could name your group.
2 – Create a form
This is the fun part. You can use Mailerlite’s form builder to create a sign up form that matches your branding.
Head over to the forms tab at the top of your dashboard.
Mailerlite does give you the option of creating landing pages, but for today we’re just going to focus on creating forms.
What you want to do next is click on “Create Embedded Form“.
Give your form a name. I like to give it the same name as I gave the group.
You’ll then be prompted to choose the group that the form will be linked to. You can choose one, several, or all of the groups if you wish.
Pick the ones that are relevant and continue.
You’ll then be taken to the form builder where you can customise the form to the way you want it to appear on your site.
Choose catchy titles to use on the form and make sure the colors you pick are easy to read.
You can preview your form and once you are happy with it, click on the next button.
You’ll then be taken to a page where Mailerlite gives you several options for embedding the form onto your site.
You’ll also be given a url that you can share for subscribers to have direct access to the form.
Now that you have your form set up, it is time to create your welcome email sequence.
3 – Create your welcome email sequence
Go to the Automations tab at the top of your dashboard. Once you’ve clicked on that, click on “Create New Workflow“.
You’ll be taken to a page where you’ll be prompted to name your workflow (use the same name as your group & form) and choose what action will trigger the workflow to begin.
You want to choose the option of when a subscriber joins a group. Choose your group and then click save.
Next, click on the plus icon and it’ll give you several options.
You want to create an email, so click on that.
Enter your subject line and make sure to click on the box that says to track with Google Analytics.
It is great to know how many of your subscribers are getting to your site from your emails.
This is the first email in your welcome sequence and if your subscriber has joined your mailing list in order to get a promised freebie, this is where you want to include the information for that.
Now is also the time to let them know what to expect from you as far as emails go.
Make sure to tell them that they’re going to receive a few emails over the next few days and then what to expect after that.
Here is an example of how I have done that.
Once you have created that email, go ahead and click where it says “done editing“.
You’ll be taken back to the workflow page.
Click on the plus icon again, but this time you’re going to choose a time delay.
Typically speaking, I like to have a least a day between the emails that I send out in my sequence.
Choose your time delay and then it is time to create your next email.
In this email I like to include a link to a post on my blog that is related to the freebie that the subscriber joined up for.
Think of it as an extension of what you’ve already offered them.
You want to show your subscribers that you have value to offer them and that you’re generous with it.
After you’ve set up that email, create another time delay and you guessed it…another email.
This is the email in which you will take the time to introduce yourself.
Although you are talking about yourself, make sure that it isn’t all about you. As your reader to offer some information about themselves as well.
The point is to get to know your audience and this is a great way in which to do it.
You could even ask them what it is that they need answers to, or give them three options to choose from.
Make it easy for them to respond.
Once you’ve finished, go and create another time delay and then set up an email.
This email is optional depending on how established your blog is.
I use this one to send new subscribers access to my vault of freebies. It is a password-protected page on my site that has links to all the free resources that I offer to subscribers.
Now, you have one more time delay to set up and then one final email in the sequence.
This final email could be a related product that you think they might be interested in, or you could do as I have done in this sequence and share a couple of other helpful blog posts.
Either way, it is a potential way of either increasing your traffic or earning some revenue.
I take the time to say thank you for joining up and then let them know that that is the last welcome email. After that time they will be sent weekly newsletters, etc.
Make sure to turn the automation on in the upper right corner.
And that’s it! You’ve set up your welcome email sequence.
The Issue with Mailerlite:
Depending on how specific your blog niche is you can either have different email sequences for every form, or have the same one for all.
The one thing that falls short for Mailerlite is that there is no way (that I have yet to find!) that stops a subscriber from getting the same emails over again.
So, for instance, say Betty subscribes to get a printable checklist for packing her hospital bag for childbirth.
Later on, she subscribes to another form that offers her some baby sleep tips.
While the email sequences may differ slightly, there will definitely be duplicate content.
This is where ConvertKit wins.
They have a brilliant system for setting up email sequences, so let’s move onto that now.
Setting an Email Sequence Up with ConvertKit
When I started this blog I signed up for an account with ConvertKit and I am so glad that I did.
Their whole system is very cleverly designed and I feel as though they’ve thought of everything.
Once you have set up your welcome email sequence it is on autopilot and you will reap the rewards.
Best of all, your subscribers won’t get duplicate emails!
Their plans start at $29.99 p/m for up to 1k subscribers.
You will get full access to all of the features that they offer as well has helpful training and advice as you set up your account.
You can sign up for a free trial first and they do not require credit card details for that.
Get your free 2-week trial here: Sign Up for ConvertKit
1 – Create a form
To create an email sequence with ConvertKit, go to the forms tab at the top of your dashboard.
Then click on the New Form button in the middle right of the page.
As with Mailerlite, you have the option of choosing whether you want to create a form or landing page.
Choose form and then you’ll be given three options to choose.
Click on “inline” and then choose which design you’d like.
There are four templates to choose from. I personally tend to use the Mills and Pine forms the most.
Now, there are a few things in the form builder to make sure that you do.
Go ahead and make it look the way you want it to. Click on different areas of the form and use the toolbar on the right to customise it.
You can remove the “powered by ConvertKit” typography by clicking on it and unchecking the box that will pop up in the toolbar on your right.
Click on the gear icon on the right and you can either choose for subscribers to be given a success message after subscribing, or you can have them redirected to a thank you page that you’ve created on your blog.
2 – Edit your incentive email
This next bit is important.
Click on the mail icon on the toolbar. Check the box that says “auto subscribe”.
Then, change the option from url to download and upload the freebie that you’re offering your subscriber.
Next, edit the content of your incentive email.
This is the email that will be automatically sent to them after they have subscribed via the form.
Edit the email subject to reflect the freebie that they’ve signed up for.
Say a little hello and then prompt them to click on the button to download their freebie.
Change the button title to say “download” and then sign off the email with your name.
You can see an example of mine here:
You can continue to edit the form to your liking. Once you are done, click save and then click on the embed tab.
That’s where you’ll find the options to embed or share your form.
3 – Set up your email sequence
Now let’s walk through setting up email sequences with ConvertKit.
I personally love the way in which ConvertKit allows you to create custom email sequences.
After setting up your form, you’ll then want to create your first email sequence so go ahead and click on sequences at the top of your dashboard.
Next, click on the button to create a new sequence and give it a name.
You’ll then be taken to where you can create your email.
I like how ConvertKit keeps things clean and simple in regard to design, but you can change the template in the settings area.
Create the same emails that I suggested creating in Mailerlite except for the one containing your freebie because that was already sent with your incentive email.
Create a 1 day time delay and then your subsequent emails.
- Relevant blog post or resource
- Freebie vault access
- More resources or a relevant product
If you don’t have enough content on your blog yet, you can create a single email to begin with.
Your subscribers will receive the incentive email with the download link to their freebie and then a second email from you introducing yourself and offering more valuable content.
As you finish each email, be sure to switch its status to published and choose the time delay.
4 – Create a visual automation
The next step is to create a visual automation.
This is another thing that I love about ConvertKit that Mailerlite just doesn’t offer.
Mailerlite has email sequences, but they don’t have visual automations. ConvertKit allows you to create visual automations in which you can add email sequences.
You could have one or several sequences and you can add the same sequence to a different automation.
It really is brilliant and such a time saver!
Once you’ve set up an email sequence you can use it time and time again.
To create an automation head to the automation tab at the top of your dashboard. You can change the name of it in the upper left corner.
Decide what will trigger the automation to start.
In this case it’ll be when a subscriber joins a form.
Choose your form and then click on create an event. What is also cool is that you can have several different forms part of the same automation. You just add them by clicking the plus icon on the side.
To add your email sequence, click the plus icon under the form then pick your sequence.
5 – Add a filter
Next is another important step and the one that will stop your subscribers from receiving duplicate emails if they sign up for another freebie.
Once you’ve added the email sequence, click on the plus icon again, but this time choose to add or remove a tag.
You can either choose a pre-made tag or create one right there. You could call it ‘welcome’ or ‘welcome sequence’.
Turn your automation on in the upper right corner.
And that’s it as far as creating your automation.
However, there is still one final step to make sure repeat emails aren’t sent out.
Head back to the email sequence you created. It is here that you’re going to want to create a filter for the emails in this sequence.
Click on the filter icon and choose tag from the dropdown menu.
Choose the tag that you created for your automation.
Save your updates and that’s it.
Now, once a new subscriber has completed the email sequence they’ll be tagged with ‘welcome’ or whatever you chose. So, the next time they sign up to a form, because they have that tag, ConvertKit will filter them and not send out a repeat email sequence.
They’ll just get the email with the freebie or service that you offered.
Creating an Amazing Welcome Email: In Summary
Creating a welcome email sequence can be a super useful tool for gaining the trust of your subscribers and driving more traffic to your blog.
The 5 main emails you need to focus on creating are:
- Email containing opt-in freebie
- Relevant post or resource
- Freebie vault access
- More resources or a relevant product
If you are a real newbie blogger with little content then you can still sent through two emails:
- Email containing
opt in freebie
Remember that if you’re with ConvertKit and use the incentive email as I showed you, then you only need to create the introduction email as part of your welcome sequence.
And that’s it! Have fun creating those emails and feel free to reach out if you have any further questions.
Speaking of which, take a minute to sign up to my mailing list and I’ll send through the latest and greatest tips and advice that I have to offer!
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Hey there! I’m Christine and I’ve been blogging since February 2017. My parenting blog, Christine Keys is both my passion, income and creative outlet.
I’ve been able to create a lifestyle where I can make money while also staying at home and raising my three young children.
My new passion is to teach other moms how they can do the same!
I love to create beautiful things and to constantly be learning. When I’m not blogging or wrangling my three crazy kiddos, you’ll find me binging out on Netflix.