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When people sign up for your Author email list, your welcome email sets the stage for what’s to come. It gives new subscribers their first impression of your newsletter’s tone, content, and, ultimately, its value.

Your welcome email is also your best and most appropriate opportunity for telling your audience what they should expect.

Don’t underestimate the power of your first email to make or break your relationship with your email subscribers.

An effective welcome email series gives your audience a good reason to keep reading.

Be strategic. Don’t just send a bland welcome email and think that’s enough to keep readers engaged.

If the first email doesn’t catch their attention, they may never read a second email.

On the other hand, if you can entice subscribers the first time they open your newsletter, it will be much easier to keep them coming back for more.

This post will tell you everything you need to know about welcome email series. We’ll cover what they are, why you should have them, how to maximize their benefits, and how to time them. Plus, we’ll provide some examples of effective email series.

What Is a Welcome Email Series?

A welcome email series is a series of emails that new subscribers get as soon as they fill out the sign-up form for your Author newsletter.

These emails can be simple or complex.

Some Authors don’t have a series at all. They send a single automatic email to everyone who subscribes.

One automatic welcome email that goes to everyone should be your bare minimum. You always want to welcome new subscribers. Acknowledge their interest and don’t leave them hanging until your next regular email goes out.

Other Authors devise an entire welcome email strategy that changes depending on where and when the reader signed up.

If you have sign-up forms on different landing pages or social media sites, then your welcome emails might not all be the same. You can use segmentation to reach different audiences.

For example, if you wrote a book that appeals to healthcare professionals in a variety of fields, you might want to tailor one welcome email to dentists and another to physical therapists.

Your welcome emails might also differ if you’re offering different opt-in gifts in different places. Think about how people are coming to your site and what they should get in return for signing up.

For example, you might offer a free sample chapter to subscribers who found your work through an article you wrote for Forbes. For subscribers who found you directly through your consulting firm, you might offer a free copy of the whole book you wrote.

No matter how complex or simple your welcome email series is, don’t forget to express your personality.

Don’t let your welcome email look like a template you just added your name to. Be unique. Stand out. Show people why they should care about what you have to say.

Many newsletters are mind-numbingly boring. There’s no faster way to turn people off. And when it comes to marketing campaigns, “unsubscribe” is the kiss of death. If you lose a reader, chances are, they won’t come back.

Don’t set your emails on autopilot and lose valuable readers who are already invested in your work. Once a reader opts in, your goal is to keep them reading.

Subscribing to your Author newsletter is just the first step in creating a loyal following. A successful marketing strategy is all about creating repeat customers.

If your subscribers are invested in your email content, they’re much more likely to give you testimonials, make their first purchase, use your services, or refer a friend to your book.

Most nonfiction Authors publish books as a tool for promoting their brand and reaching their business goals. Your newsletter can work the same way.

Think of your emails as a way to speak directly to your target audience. Help them solve their problems, and you’ll become their go-to expert.

The 3 Best Welcome Email Series You Can Use to Engage Your Audience

1. The One-Step Welcome

The “one-step welcome” might sound like a dance fad, but it’s actually the easiest way to engage your new subscribers.

As the name suggests, this method consists of a single welcome email. Yes, I know this means it’s not really a “series.” But I’m including it because you don’t always need a series of emails to accomplish your goals.

You do, however, always need to welcome people to your newsletter.

If you’re opting for a single welcome email, that email should do 4 things:

  1. Give readers their opt-in reward. Your welcome email is a great lead magnet, so you don’t want subscribers to go away empty-handed. Provide something of value with every subscription, like access to an exclusive video tutorial, a supplementary workbook, a free copy of your book, or a coupon code. Use your imagination.
  2. Outline what readers can expect from your newsletter. Make sure you mention how often they’ll hear from you and what long-term value your emails will provide. Do you offer helpful tips every month? Do you provide weekly subscriber discounts for your e-commerce site? Do you create riveting daily email content they can’t find anywhere else?
  3. Tell them how to contact you. Your newsletter should open up a regular line of communication with your readers. Can they reply to the email if they have questions? Should they use a contact form on your website? Should they reach out through social media? Whatever you choose, make sure your potential new customers and fans can reach you.
  4. Invite them to take the next step of connecting. This next step can vary widely, depending on your email marketing aims. Come up with a call to action that helps you reach your goals. Maybe you want readers to click through to another article you wrote. Or, maybe you want them to follow you on Instagram. The important thing is that you’re offering your audience a step toward a deeper connection.

2. The Upsell Welcome

The upsell welcome is a great way to take your connection with subscribers one step further.

This welcome email method gives subscribers their free opt-in gift and then immediately offers them something else. ​

What that next thing is depends entirely on what you’re trying to accomplish. Usually, that something else is available for purchase, but not necessarily. You can also offer them another free gift.

Think of it this way. A book is typically how Authors connect with potential clients in a meaningful way and build a relationship with them before they buy anything. In other words, their book becomes part of their sales funnel.

Your email list can also become an integral part of your sales funnel. The upsell welcome is a great way to generate leads and ultimately raise your conversion rate.

For example, if your opt-in was a free quiz, your second email could say, “Here are your free quiz results. Now, buy the book that will show you how to maximize your unique potential!”

Or, your second email could say, “Here’s your free gift—and since you signed up for my newsletter, here’s a deeply discounted coupon code for my new mini-course.” This could be part of a longer-term strategy to get them a step closer to buying your premium course.

Your upsell doesn’t always have to be the primary service or good you want them to buy. It can just deepen the relationship one step more. At the end of the day, that’s the purpose of an upsell welcome email. It leads the reader one step forward into your sales funnel.

3. The Upsell Drip Welcome

The upsell drip welcome takes the same concept to the next level. Instead of two automated emails, subscribers get a whole series of emails that flow out in a preprogrammed cadence.

For example:

  1. The first welcome email tells them, “Here’s your free book!”
  2. They receive a follow-up email 3 days later that says, “Enjoying your book? Here’s a free coupon code so you can give one to a friend!”
  3. A third email shows up a week or two later, saying “Hope you’re enjoying my book! Here’s a free mini-course that shows you how to take what you’ve just learned and apply it to 3 specific situations to maximize your results!”

Drip by drip, you’re deepening your relationship and moving them deeper into your sales funnel.

Of course, this is just one example. Your welcome email series can be anything that works with your specific goals and the funnel you’ve designed.

You could create one welcome chain for everyone, or you could create different welcome chains, depending on how or where someone signed up for your newsletter.

Let’s say you offer a special holiday promotion. Instead of sending your regular welcome email, you could create a holiday-themed welcome email series for people who sign up through a holiday-themed pop-up on your landing page.

Welcome email series are as varied and unique as the Authors who create them.

But all the good ones invite the reader into a deeper connection and encourage them to take the next step in the journey toward your ultimate goal.