One of the biggest stumbling blocks online entrepreneurs face when they are growing their email list is what to send after the welcome series.
Today we’re going to break it down so you never worry about what to send your list after your welcome series again.
After your welcome series has run its course, you’re left looking at a blank screen with a million ideas in your head of what you could say to your new subscribers. Do you send a link to a blog post? Do you pitch your program or a product? Do you talk about your hobbies? What do you send?
The reason it’s easy to get stumped on what to send is because there are SO many possibilities that it ends up being overwhelming. On the other end of the spectrum, a lot of people have no idea what to send at all. That’s why I created the Two Years’ Worth of Email Ideas.
Why You Need A Welcome Series
Welcome series are amazing when it comes to introducing yourself and your philosophy to your new subscribers. It eliminates the phenomenon where people psych themselves out when it comes to deciding what to send every week.
If you’re a sporadic sender or if you get in your head too much, you might actually want to have a longer welcome series to give yourself a little more buffer room. That way, there’s not as much pressure to figure out what to send after your welcome series has finished. You’re giving yourself a bit more space.
The reason that welcome series work so well is that it takes the pressure off.
When you have your welcome series in place, you’re not having to think up new ideas, write out the emails and then hit the send button in realtime. You’re not as worried about people unsubscribing from your list. It’s okay if the kids are throwing a tantrum that day or if your neighbor has decided to build a deck and wants to use every power tool known to man to build it.
When your welcome series is going out on auto-pilot, you don’t have all of those elements going on. It’s a ‘set it and forget it’ system that works in the background. That’s the beauty of it. But that also is why people struggle with what to write after the welcome series.
When you’re faced with a blank screen and you have no idea what to send, it’s normal to have some stumbling blocks, especially when you’re new to email marketing and you don’t have a routine set in place.
Why Most People Stop Emailing After Their Welcome Series
Sending out emails in real time puts you in an entirely different frame of mind than a welcome series. Suddenly it does matter if the kids are having a bad day or if there are too many noises to concentrate.
When you’re writing your weekly emails, it’s easy to get distracted by what’s going on with your life. I’ve been guilty of it myself and sometimes have skipped a week. It’s not a hard and fast rule that you have to send emails every single week. You just want to make sure that you are showing up in their inbox on a regular basis.
One of the biggest reasons people drop the ball after the welcome series is their mindset.
For some reason, sending out weekly emails brings up irrational fears. One of the biggest fears that comes up when sending emails is the fear of people unsubscribing from your list.
A lot of people feel like when people unsubscribe that it’s like a slap in the face. If you’re going to email your list consistently, people will unsubscribe. That’s just a part of it. You always want to promote your freebie regularly so you’re consistently adding new people to your list.
Another thing that comes up is sometimes feeling like an impostor. Like who are you to be calling yourself an expert? That’s one of the things that happens all the time and that’s why I created Ditch the Ish. It’s normal for these fears to pop up and Ditch the Ish is a pay-what-you-can audio course that helps you overcome the mindset hurdles that will inevitably pop up.
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Sending Emails After the Welcome Series Doesn’t Have to Be Hard
You may have put a lot of pressure on yourself to send amazing emails after your welcome series, and that’s completely normal. The thing is, sending your weekly emails doesn’t have to be hard.
If you approach it with the right mindset, it can actually be easy and (gasp!) fun. Yes, really.
You don’t have to actually write your emails in real time.
It’s perfectly okay to write out three or four emails in advance, just like you did with your welcome series, and have them scheduled out. This helps a lot of people because you’re eliminating some of those stumbling blocks like being too worried about people unsubscribing or life getting in the way.
Also, your emails don’t always have to be long. You can literally send the “one-sentence email’ where you ask how things are going.
- How are things going with your dog training?
- How are things going with your weight loss?
- How are things going with your decluttering?
That’s an email right there! Then for 10 minutes every morning for the next week or so, schedule in some time to respond to your replies.
Consistency is Key When Emailing Your List
The key with weekly emails (or newsletters if you prefer that term) is to show up consistently.
Your subscribers need to know that you’re there for them.
You don’t want to just pop into their inbox only when you have something to sell. I’m ALLL about sending sales emails but that can’t be the only time you show up in someone’s inbox.
By showing up consistently after your welcome series, you’re proving to your people that you care. That you get them. That you’re there for them. You’re showing that you’re someone they can depend on.
Don’t worry about annoying your people by showing up in their inbox. They want to hear from you. That’s what they signed up for, right?
Ask yourself what your people need to hear today.
If you are having a hard time answering that question, that usually comes from you not knowing your person well enough. I know that sounds kind of harsh, but it’s true.
If that’s the case, spend some time in a couple of Facebook groups and see what your people are asking questions about. Then write an email that answers one of the questions. Again, this doesn’t have to be hard.
Getting Started is the Hardest Part
When it comes to writing emails after your welcome series, the secret is just to write them. Just get started.
The way I teach my students in Love Your List is to break it down for the month ahead of time. Decide what day you plan on sending your emails and then go ahead and plan out the month.
Not only does this help you build some momentum, it also helps you focus on what to send. You’ve eliminated the million possibilities of what you could send and now have four emails that you’re going to send.
When you break it down and say, “Okay, I’m going to write four emails for this month” it gives you a framework and some boundaries to work within.
If you’re on a roll when you’re writing your first email for the month, go ahead and crank another email or two out. That way, you’ve got next week taken care of. That gives you some leeway because you don’t know if you’re going to have your blog post ready in time for next week’s email or if you will have a new Facebook live that you want people to watch.
It really can be that simple. We don’t have to make this hard. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself when it comes to sending your emails. It’s okay to let things be easier.
Working With Content Buckets
When you start to think of everything you can possibly say to your email list in content “buckets” or categories, things are going to go a lot smoother.
A content bucket is a list of everything that kind of goes together.
Make a list of everything you could possibly talk about when it comes to:
- Quick tips
- Struggles they face
- Busting a myth or assumption
- Excuses they have for not succeeding
- A day in the life/behind the scenes
- The ‘moments’ you’ve had on your journey
- Products or offers you can sell
- Your favorite tools, apps or hacks
- Blog posts or podcast episodes
- Upcoming events
Your content buckets may be a little bit different but the main thing is to have them sorted out. That way, when it comes to planning out what to send your list each month, you can choose something from a different bucket each week and rotate them out.
Working with content buckets helps you write out fresh content each week while still staying relevant to your audience. When you’ve already brainstormed what you can talk about, you’ll stay on topic plus it helps you plan out your email strategy each month.
Be a Real Person
When you’re writing your welcome series, it’s a planned out set of emails that introduces you to your subscribers and lets them know what to expect. But when it comes to emailing your list after the welcome series, you’re going to have to show up in realtime and that can feel intimidating.
Keep in mind that your people signed up for your list because they need help with your topic.
You don’t have to be perfect. You’re not a robot. It’s perfectly okay to talk about a struggle you had this week. People are craving realness. When you share your struggle, also share the outcome and how they can avoid the same pitfalls.
If you talk a lot about clean eating and you caved and indulged in some cake at a party, share that story. You don’t have to be Instagram perfect all the time in your emails.
Maybe you would say something like:
This week I went to a birthday party and binged on some cake. I’m going to be honest, it made me feel awful. I felt guilty because here I am trying to be an example for you but I’ve got a mouth full of buttercream frosting and crumbs in my lap.
Then I realized, you know what… I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t expect you guys to be perfect, right? I don’t have to be so hard on myself and beat myself up when I fall off the wagon.
And neither do you.
After all, it’s just one meal. The next day, I was right back on track with healthy meals and plenty of water.
So in the end, I’m actually proud of myself. If I kept making unhealthy meal choices, that would have put me right back to square one.
Instead, I forgave myself and got back to it. And that’s what you need to do when you find yourself slipping. Just get back on track the next day.
Can you see how this makes you relatable and real for your people?
Sharing a struggle needs to relate back to what your topic is. It’s not about whining about things that don’t go your way. You’re showing them how you ‘get it’ when they get off track or lose sight of their goals.
Sometimes, showing your people that you have the same struggles they do let’s them know that they are not alone. It shows them that you understand exactly where they are coming from because you’ve been there too.
You’re not discrediting yourself as a leader, you’re just being real.
You could never write a blog post about how you ate cake the other day because blog posts are meant to be evergreen. These personal stories are stories that people only get if they are actually on your email list. And being on your list is a privilege.
When you’re in someone’s inbox, you get a chance to be more friendly and casual. This doesn’t mean you have to swear or try too hard to be funny to stand out. You’re literally just being you.
Pretend that you’re writing an email to your best friend who is also interested in whatever you’re talking about. That’s why I nicknamed my email list my “inbox besties”. When I think of all of the people I’m about to send an email to, I’m thinking of them like they are my best friends and they love email marketing as much as I do.
When you keep it real and are being yourself, writing your emails after your welcome series is a whole lot easier.
Ok Kate, but what do I actually send after the welcome series?
If you’ve taken the time to think out your content buckets, half of the work is already done! At the beginning of the month, take some time to plan out what to send. For example, if you look at the post about What to Send in July or What to Send in August, I’ve given you a few ideas to jumpstart your email planning.
Send A Personal Story
And if you haven’t already, go ahead and sign up for Two Years Worth of Email Ideas. When you sign up, you’ll see the second email I love to send after the welcome series is a “what’s going on in my life” email.
People are fascinated with the ‘behind the scenes’ types of emails. Just make sure that you circle back around to the topic that your people signed up to hear about.
For example, I could talk about how I’ve been on this health kick lately and then relate that back to email marketing.
Right now, I’m working on living healthier and focusing on the fundamentals of drinking more water. That got me thinking about how often I forget the fundamentals of email marketing, like telling people daily or weekly about my freebies.
Sometimes even I feel like a goober because I forget to promote as much as I should.
So why don’t we make a pact? I’m going to remember the fundamentals of email marketing and that means getting back to the basics and telling people what I have available every day. Are you with me? Hit reply and let me know.
This is literally an email I could send my list tomorrow. These are the kinds of emails that don’t rely on you having a new blog post or new podcast episode or something to promote. And again, people LOVE ‘behind the scenes’ emails.
Send Your Latest Blog Post or Podcast Episode
If you have a new blog post or podcast episode to share with your people, definitely send that out. As much as I love Elna from Twins Mommy, it’s not like I’m stalking her website every week to see if she’s written anything new. If she doesn’t send out an email letting me know that there’s a new blog post, I’m not going to know about it.
You don’t want to just say “hey guys, here’s what’s on the blog this week”. Take some time and figure out how you can make your blog post more exciting.
We have a whole bonus lesson in Love Your List about how to keep it more interesting. Basically, you want to tease it out a little bit.
Here’s a couple of things you can ask yourself to get some ideas flowing:
- What makes your blog post unique?
- What problem is it going to solve?
- What’s the backstory to why you wrote it in the first place?
Give your readers a little something extra that entices them to click the link to read your blog.
Promote Your Product or Service
If you have something to sell after your welcome series, your weekly email is a great place to promote it. Put yourself in the mindset of your reader. Why would they want to buy your product?
If you’re selling tee shirts, you might want to write an email that highlights how your shirts are made with ethically-sourced organic cotton. Or maybe you’re selling your shirts for a cause and a percentage of every purchase goes to help a certain charity.
Writing promotional emails isn’t just about highlighting the benefits they get from buying your product or service. People love to know the reasons behind what you sell or how they came about.
If you’re selling logos or web design, you might share your creative process or how you got interested in design in the first place. This also goes back to just being yourself and being a real person. People like to buy from people, not robots. So relax and just be yourself, even when you’re promoting something.
Your Welcome Series is Just the Beginning
Your welcome series is just the beginning of your relationship with your readers. It’s important that you start sending regular emails right away so you develop rapport and relationships.
To sum it up, when it comes to sending emails after your welcome series, the most important things are to be consistent, be yourself and relax.
It helps a ton when you can lean on your categories or content buckets, especially when you have those “Crap! I have no idea what to write” moments.
If you get on a roll when you’re writing your emails, go ahead and crank out another couple of them. That way it’s taken care of for the next week or two. And if something major happens and you need to shift gears for that week, those emails will already be there.
Remember, your people want to hear from you. That’s why they signed up for your list in the first place. If you feel like you’re annoying your people by sending regular emails, go ahead and get Ditch the Ish to take care of those mindset blocks.
When you don’t send out regular emails, that means your people are going to continue to struggle without your help. You’re only doing them a disservice by not showing up.
Don’t be afraid of unsubscribes. That doesn’t mean they hate you or that what you have to say isn’t interesting or valuable.
There will always be people who unsubscribe with every email you send out. That’s just part of the process. Maybe they’re cleaning out their inbox and they just aren’t interested in your topic anymore. That’s okay.
One of the biggest takeaways when it comes to what to send your list after your welcome series is to put yourself in their shoes.
- What do they need to hear today?
- How can I make them feel like a badass?
- What can I say to show them that they’re not alone?
- How can I let them know that by buying my product they are doing good in the world?
If you’re still feeling stuck, grab the Two Years’ Worth of Email Ideas where I have strategically planned out what you can send after your welcome series and beyond. You literally get a prompt for what to send every single week. Even if you don’t end up sending an email this week, it will help you get the ball rolling in the right direction for next week.
You’re doing a great job! Let’s keep going…