Do you struggle to keep new subscribers engaged?

Subscribers will never be as active as they are when they first subscribe to your list. This means you’ll want to segment them and direct them to the right content and products as soon as possible.

In this post, we’re going to cover a welcome email series you can use to keep new subscribers engaged.

What is a welcome email series?

Most email marketing services have autoresponders, segmentation and automations built into their platforms by default these days.

An autoresponder is a series of emails you can send to your audience automatically on a schedule.

Segments are tools you can use to organize your audience into different groups based on interests they have and the actions they take while on you’re list.

Automations are bits of magic that work behind the scenes in your list, segmenting your subscribers based on predetermined triggers, sending them emails when they complete the aforementioned actions, etc.

You can combine these components to implement one of the first sets of emails new subscribers will receive from you: a welcome email series.

As the name suggests, a welcome email series is an autoresponder you can set up to familiarize new subscribers with yourself, your content and your brand as a whole.

What is the purpose of a welcome email series?

Letting subscribers get to know you and your brand is just one of the goals you can set for your welcome email series. You can also use it as an opportunity to sell products to new subscribers, and while that may prove to be successful for other marketers, it may not be as effective for you.

This is due to the variety that exists in your audience naturally. You should create segments in your list for subscribers who have or haven’t bought a particular product, yet, and for those who have expressed interest in a product by taking advantage of a free lead magnet or clicking a specific URL.

However, you should also create segments for the different groups within your audience, create products for each individual segment, then use separate autoresponders to market those products to their respective segments.

Think in smaller terms, and use your welcome email series to keep new subscribers engaged.

Plus, inserting links and actions for your readers to perform throughout the series will get them used to interacting with your emails.

Email 1: Introduce yourself and your blog

Your first few emails to a new subscriber will be dedicated to having them confirm their subscription and redeeming the free lead magnet you offered on your opt-in form. The first email in your welcome email series, however, should be dedicated to telling your subscriber more about yourself.

Let them know who you are by telling them what experience you have in your niche and why you chose to start your blog. You can also share a few tidbits about your life and hobbies. If you have a team, you should introduce them as well.

More importantly, tell your subscriber what they can expect from you. For example:

  • How often will your emails appear in their inbox?
  • What type of content will you be sharing with them?
  • Do you send a weekly newsletter?

This email shouldn’t be long. In fact, you should keep it brief to prevent your new subscriber from running for the hills in fear of longform emails being the norm for you.

The majority of the emails you send should have one central purpose represented by a single call to action, and this email is no different. Too many calls to action have proven to be overwhelming to consumers. They’re much more likely to make decisions when they’re confronted with fewer options.

While you introduce your new subscriber to the types of content you create, choose a piece of content to promote and present it as a call to action.

It’s best to go with an authoritative post or one of your most popular pieces of content so you can make an even better impression.

Email 2: Discover your subscriber’s biggest pain points

The most successful businesses solve problems. Yes, marketing plays a huge role and is the reason this article even exists, but problem solving is at the heart of it all.

Companies like Airbnb and Uber are among the biggest examples of this. They broke the mould by providing new solutions to highly saturated industries. You can use this same strategy on a much smaller scale by providing solutions to the problems your audience is having through your content and things like books and courses.

There are many ways you can find your audience’s biggest pain points, but a simple way is to survey them as soon as they subscribe to your list. In the second email, share a little insight on a problem you’ve experienced in your niche. Keep it down to a few sentences so it doesn’t overshadow your call to action.

Close the email with a simple question:

“What struggles are you experiencing with [niche] right now?”

Email 3: Making sure your emails are seen

Google made big changes to its email service when it introduced tabs in Gmail back in 2013. Instead of receiving every email on one screen, your emails are organized in such a way that important emails are delivered to the Primary tab, emails from social media platforms in the Social tab and marketing emails in the Promotions tab.

While it won’t place the emails you send to your audience as far into the shadows as the Spam folder would, it’ll still leave you in the dark as your emails become buried in between offers from online stores and services.

Instead, send a simple email requesting subscribers to place you in the Primary tab by dragging one of your emails to it. Use “Are you receiving my emails?” as a subject line.

Email 4: Segment your subscribers

Next, have subscribers segment themselves on your email list. Remember when we talked about segmentation earlier? You should have two or a few segments set up in the email marketing service platform you use.

This allows you to send targeted content and marketing emails to subscribers based on their interests and skill levels.

The form or page a reader uses to subscribe to your list can tell you a lot about where they fall on whatever spectrum you use to segment your audience, but it’s not as accurate as it could be.

Instead, dedicate your fourth email to having subscribers segment themselves by surveying them with a simple question and having each option represent a different segment in your list. Use the automation features your email marketing service offers to add links to each option to move your subscriber to the segment assigned to the option they choose.

If you have a blog about blogging, for example, you may have segments based on the stages of blogging your subscribers are at. One segment would be for subscribers who haven’t started a blog, yet, one for bloggers who have a blog but haven’t made much money, and one for bloggers that rake in revenue consistently.

The email itself should be simple. Tell your subscriber you want to serve them better by sending them content that will actually help them reach their goals.

Then, hit them with a simple question followed by your options:

Which option best describes where you’re at with your blog?

  1. I don’t have a blog, yet.
  2. I have a blog, but I’ve made little to no money with it.
  3. I have a blog and at least one consistent revenue stream.

Some marketers include a short, three to four-email sales funnel in their welcome series. You can do this as well if you have a product that’s relevant to your subscribers regardless of the segments they belong to.

However, if you have products only relevant to specific segments, you’ll want to send a separate sales funnel to each segment instead. Do this by creating a separate series for each one of your segments and dedicating the first set of emails in the series to your funnel.

We’ll talk about adding the beginning of a sales funnel to your welcome series in a bit.

Email 5: Allowing subscribers to opt-out of your weekly newsletter

Long ago in the wee years of the internet email marketing was all about newsletters. You didn’t have segments. You didn’t have sales funnels. Heck, you didn’t even have more than one email form.

You simply sent an update to your subscribers, typically once a week, featuring all of the posts you published since the last newsletter.

Weekly newsletters are still a great way to keep your audience as a whole up to date with what you’re up to. However, these emails may not resonate well with some subscribers, so you’ll want to give them a way to opt out early on.

You can use the same automated link triggers mentioned in the previous section to add an opt-out link to the bottom of every newsletter you send, but it’ll be easy to miss given how long these types of emails tend to be.

Dedicate this fifth email to a call to action that lets your subscriber opt out of these types of updates. Make sure this one is scheduled to send after your subscriber receives at least one newsletter.

Email 6: Gain more followers on social media

It may seem redundant to have email subscribers follow you on social media, but there are a few different reasons why this could be beneficial for you.

The first has to do with the way your subscriber keeps up with the content creators they’re interested. Not all consumers are diligent when it comes to their inboxes. Some may be subscribed to dozens of email lists while others may simply only check their inboxes every once in a while.

In this case, you’ll have much better odds of keeping them informed if they receive updates from multiple sources.

The second has to do with algorithms. You already know this simple rule: the more followers you have, the more influence you have. What you may not be aware of are the algorithms, or automated processes, that power every social media platform.

If you don’t receive a consistent amount of follows, likes and shares, the algorithms won’t insert your posts in people’s timelines, even if they follow you.

Lastly, having your subscribers follow you on social media will make them more likely to share your content with their own followers, allowing you to utilize social proof in your marketing strategy.

You can most certainly create one email for every social media platform you use, but it may be better to promote them all in one fell swoop rather than sending the same type of email to your subscriber over and over again. They can choose to follow you on the platforms they use themselves.

Preface this email with short descriptions of the type of content subscribers can expect to receive from you on each platform. You can even include screenshots.

Final thoughts

Let’s talk about a few additional emails you can add to your welcome series, as promised, starting with the sales funnel mentioned earlier. If you have a product your entire audience would be interested in, add an additional email to your series promoting a free offer related to it.

If your subscriber clicks on the offer, add them to a group or tag that marks them as interested in that product, then create a separate autoresponder series for that tag that initiates a sales funnel for that product.

If you decide to use this email, make sure it’s the last one in the welcome email series to avoid sending too many emails at once.

You can also add emails to promote the different types of content you create, such as a podcast or a YouTube channel, and projects you manage.

When you create autoresponder series in your email marketing service, you can decide how long to wait before the next email is sent. It’s best to wait at least three days to avoid flooding your subscriber’s inbox with emails.

If you add them to additional segments, tags and groups, make sure the additional autoresponder series they’re subscribed to won’t conflict with one another by sending emails on the same days or too many times in a week. You can avoid this by placing emails designed to add subscribers to these segments at the end of your welcome email series.

Well-thought out autoresponder series sent strategically are key to keeping subscribers engaged.

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Lyn Wildwood
Lyn Wildwood

Lyn Wildwood is a freelance blogger for hire and avid WordPress user. She loves sharing new tips on WordPress, blogging, and online business as a whole.