Email marketing is something that internet marketers say is critical and in most cases it is. If you don’t have a list or don’t have a plan, then you’ll be paying a lot of money for access to a SaaS account that is doing you no good. Join me for a quick beginner guide to email marketing sequences so you can formulate a plan right out of the gate.

Here’s how this post is organized:

  1. I’ll review my first email sequence.
  2. Then, we’ll go over a few email copywriting tips.
  3. Finally, we’ll wrap up with a few case studies on email marketing sequences and general email copywriting.

My First Email Sequence

The goal of these emails was to introduce new users to Microsoft Excel, offer free training material and show what's possible, and pitch a paid video course at the end.

Lead Magnet

Free cheat sheet PDF download with all beginner course curriculum notes.

Email Sequence

  1. Brief email follow-up to list confirmation making sure subscriber received cheat sheet download.
  2. Overview of how to position yourself with data from a spreadsheet. Includes free Excel (.XLXS) file download.
  3. Another teaching email about using a spreadsheet with a pay quartile calculator. Includes free Excel (.XLXS) file download. Includes soft pitch for upcoming product.
  4. Offer for help beyond free materials. Pitch for beginner’s video course.
  5. More access to free material.
  6. Follow up and request for survey.

General Email Copywriting Tips

  • Tagging messages and planning sequences will help you write better emails. Targeted emails are usually better than wider range emails.
  • Ask questions.
  • Give prospect information to decide to whether your product or service is right for them.
  • Don’t rely on fake urgency to push sales through.
  • If you do have a closing date (which is fine), you may find that most of your sales come in the last closing day.
  • If people don’t buy, that’s fine. Feel free to ask why when your launch is closed.
  • Just because people don’t buy doesn’t mean your product or service sucks. Your timing may not align with your potential buyers, your product may not be the best fit for them, or they aren’t serious about getting the solution you offer. 

Case Studies on Email Marketing Sequences

Generic Email Sequence

Here's an example for an email sequence that sells parental control software.

  1. Introduce social experiment video that shows how easy children are susceptible to trouble online.
  2. Talk about death group news stories (games or pressure to commit suicide).
  3. Provide another trend in the news.
  4. Introduce product and walkthrough setup and installation. Talk about the number of users and why parents all over the world like this software.
  5. Push trial package offer. Go over benefits and a few more use cases.

Ramit Sethi’s Sample Email Funnel

This is from a Zero to Launch sales webinar. Emails used advanced onboarding with links to tags.

  • Content
  • Content
  • Content
  • Introduction to sales
  • Sales offer

Pat Flynn Course Launch

I’ve seen this in his 2 most recent course launches.

  1. Segmentation and confirmation phase
  2. Pre-launch
  3. Launch
  4. Sales
  5. Close

Wistia Email Campaign

I believe this was done by Joanna Wiebe from Copyhackers. If I’m mistaken, still check out their free email copywriting tutorials. Good stuff.

  • 8-part email campaign
  • Campaign trigger/tag: trial users who had uploaded a video
  • Goal: move trial users to paid users within the trial period. Otherwise, the user is lost.

Bonus Tips from Joanna

Optimize 2 critical elements in your email copy:

  1. Subject lines – You’ll know you’ve nailed it with open rates. These matter in early emails. If people don’t open your emails, how are they going to read your email copy and have a chance to click and convert? The technique is the open loop: The word “This,” with no noun. Get them intrigued to open the email but then close the loop in the email.
  2. Hooks – open with a hook. Grab subscriber with _____ in line 1. Your story, the story of someone like her, the story of her, “I never thought it was possible but.”

Subject line example: “BOOM! This is how you get traffic…. And convert it.”

Hook example: “I never thought it was possible but…” There are many methods of hooks here.

Beginner Email Copywriting Tips

To wrap this section up, let's look at the info from Freelance To Win. Even though the content of this website is specifically written to help freelancers break into the copywriting space on Upwork, you can still glean a few nuggets from the setup of successful list emails. In section 3. Email Copywriting of this article, Danny describes a few different types of emails that can be sent to a list:

  • Single email to entire list for a promotion
  • Single email to entire list that contains useful information
  • Regularly scheduled email to entire list such as a newsletter
  • Series of emails (sequence) that combos useful information and an offer

Great, that all sounds familiar. In another article linked in this section, we get to follow Danny through an actual email copywriting job from start to finish. For this pest control business example see how he structured the emails:

  • Introduce a specific pest “threat”
  • Educate the reader on why that threat is potentially harmful to the family
  • Give tips on how to avoid and prevent the threat
  • Offer a free inspection to ensure the family is 100% pest free

That isn't even the best part. Here's the more in-depth email structure by section:

  • Beginning
    • Introduction that expands the subject line
    • Set the stage
    • Build trust on why the reader should continue
  • Middle
    • Deliver on the promise laid out in the beginning
    • Give tips so that the reader can do them or they can…
    • Transition to the offer
  • End
    • Add scarcity to the offer otherwise they will try to do it later but forget
    • Mention the benefit so they are more likely to follow through
    • Tell the reader exactly what to do next
    • Include a PS to add that TLDR;

Great stuff. I highly recommend you read his nearly 4,000 word article. It's worth the time to read to get the exact thought process through this setup.

Conclusion

I learned quite a bit about email sequences from my first full setup, including email sequences and tagging. It also helped to read best practices from other established content creators.

What did you learn when you first started with email marketing sequences? If you haven’t started? What is holding you back?

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