Here are the 6 types of email sequences / series:
Also known as Welcome series.
This is the series of emails new subscribers (a.k.a. strangers) receive when they’ve just joined your list.
Because they barely know anything about you at this stage, the goal of this series is to get them to warm up to you so that they know, like, trust, and eventually buy from you (or buy from your affiliate links or do what you ask them to do).
The first email is the most important -- it’s your chance to stand out from the crowd and leave a positive and lasting impression on your subscribers.
You only get 1 chance to do it, so make sure you make the best of it!
In this first email… apart from delivering the lead magnet you promised, you also want to do a quick intro of how you’re going to help them overcome their problems.
“My name is Sam Speaker. I’m a public speaking coach since 2010.”
→ This is boring and it’s about me me me. Switch it around and frame it in such a way that it provides value to the subscriber:
“Over the next few emails, I’ll give you some tips to overcome your speaking fear. Not only will you not feel embarrassed again, you’ll gain ultra confidence and posture when speaking on stage.
Ohhh and my name is Sam Speaker and I’ve been helping professionals massively improve their public speaking skills since 2010.”
Plus I suggest putting your most expensive offer in the PS. section.
The goal is not to sell this offer (strangers won’t buy your most expensive offer in the first email), the purpose is to “anchor” this price point so they get an idea of what you’re charging. This makes selling your lower priced offers easier later on. This is just to “set the stage”.
The real goal is:
1/ To "anchor" this expensive price in their mind for future selling (when they’ve already experienced interacting with your brand).
2/ To make selling your lower priced offers easier later on.
PS. If you’re serious about speaking so well in public that your audience will gladly hold their pee just so they don’t miss a word you say, I have a $2,000/month personal coaching program where I’ll personally guide you step-by-step to take your public speaking skills to the next level. But that’s currently sold out as I can only handle 10 clients at any given time. You can get on the waiting list here.
* What just happened *
(1) You just raised your authority by telling them that you have an in-demand $2k coaching program that’s already sold out (scarcity) and they need to get on the waiting list
(2) You collect the emails of highly-interested prospects -- they wouldn’t opt in for a 2k coaching program if they’re not interested. When an opening comes up, you already have a targeted audience to sell to.
(3) When selling your $50 ebook in future emails, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to your most expensive offer -- makes it look like a steal.
I like to have at least 7 emails in this series, a day for each email for 7 days. The 1st email is delivered instantly after a new subscriber joins.
Once someone opts-in to your form and becomes your new subscriber, you put them into this series inside your email marketing tool. It’s also recommended you tag them with “welcome” or the likes.
For the rest of the emails in the series, you continue to build relationships by providing valuable and actionable content that helps solve their problems, and then soft-selling at the end.
This series is about closing as many sales as you can in a short timeframe.
To make the series effective, introduce some kind of scarcity / urgency-- i.e. the offer won’t be available forever. Otherwise people will just take their own sweet time (read: forever) to buy = they will never buy.
Time-sensitive offers work tremendously well.
E.g. Offer is only available for the next 3 days.
People are more afraid of losing something (FOMO) than gaining something. If they only have 3 days to take advantage of the promo, they fear of missing out.
How long should the time-sensitive offer be?
I’ve tried 3, 5, and 7 days before and I find the most success with 3.
For me, 5 or 7 days is just too long and the scarcity element is not as strong as 3.
But do your own testing to discover which works best for you.
X + 1
So if you run a 3-day promo, prepare 3 + 1 = 4 emails.
Promo day (Day 1) = one email
Day 2 = one email
Day 3 (final day) = two emails, one in the morning and the other in the evening to chase after last-minute people still on the fence
A/ If subscribers don’t buy your offer after they’ve completed the Impress A Stranger series
Don’t automatically put them into this series just yet.
You don’t want to bombard everyone with sales emails every day. You should only send these sales emails to folks who have raised their hands.
You can achieve this by adding an email to the end of the “Impress a Stranger” series. Set a delay of 7 days for this email to be sent:
In this email, you write something like:
I’m going to run a time-sensitive promo for the “Speak Confidently On Stage” course tomorrow. If you’re interested, click here and I’ll tell you about it when the promo is live.
Please don’t click the link above if you’re not interested. If you click, you’ll get emails about the promo.
Then in the backend of your email marketing tool, you set automations to automatically tag people who clicked with “interested in product X promo” and put them into this flash sale series.
Make sure to exclude folks who have bought the product that’s currently in promo. Otherwise they won’t be happy to know that they’ve paid full price. Even if they’ve bought it at a previous discount, why would you want to promote the same product to them?
Also make sure to exclude new customers who’ve taken up on your promo offer so that they stop receiving emails in this series.
B/ When you run occasional or periodic offers
I recommend running specials once in a while, for example once every 6 months. Don’t run it too often (e.g. every month) as people will devalue your product. The thoughts going in their mind is “If it’s good, why does he keep running specials? The product must be bad.”
It’s a nice way to get a “bonus paycheck” during these occasions. Remember to also exclude people who have already bought.
Also known as Cart Abandoned series.
This series is triggered when someone is on your checkout page and has already filled out part of the required info to complete the purchase, but for some reason didn’t complete the whole checkout process.
The point of “abandonment” could be when they were asked to fill in their credit card details (last step of the checkout process) or even before that -- e.g. having to fill too many data points and they decided they don’t want to fill so many forms.
It would be a pity to put so much money on the table. So you put folks who abandoned their purchase into this series.
Baymard Institute compiled a list of cart abandonment rate stats from 44 different case studies. The average abandonment rate is 69.80%.
Which means for every 100 potential buyers, 70 of them change their mind and decide not to buy 😱
To convert as many abandoned folks as possible to customers.
2 - 3
When someone abandons your cart, your cart/payment system needs to let your email marketing tool know who this person is.
The email tool then puts them into this series (to be automatically followed up) and tags them with “abandoned”.
Also known as Converting Churned series.
This series is for customers who have refunded your product or canceled their paid subscription (e.g. SaaS, monthly subscription to your membership community, etc).
- Make your product better by asking for their constructive feedback
- Possibly ask them to give your recurring product another try by offering an incentive -- e.g. a discount coupon, free for 3 months
2 - 3
After a refund or subscription cancelation is processed, your cart/payment system needs to let your email marketing tool know who this person is and which product it’s for.
The email tool then puts them into this series (to be automatically followed up) and tags them with “converting churned”.
Also known as Re-engagement or Win Back series.
The goal of this series is to keep your email list clean by making sure you’re only sending emails to subscribers who STILL want to hear from you.
Just because they’ve signed up to your list in the past doesn’t mean they’ll want to hear from you forever.
There are many different possible reasons for this:
- People’s interests change
- Your subscriber’s kids become adults and no longer need your parenting advice
- Shit happens
- Your subscriber is no longer in business or they’re dealing with personal problems
- Too many emails
- Make sure you give folks the right expectations on how often you’re going to email them
- They change email address
- Clickbait subject lines
Whatever the reason is, deleting inactive subscribers from your list is a good way to keep your email list clean and healthy.
Don’t be afraid of losing subscribers. If you do any kind of email marketing, you WILL lose subscribers, guaranteed.
If you don’t want to lose any, then don’t do email marketing at all. If you don’t do email marketing = no subscribers gained = no subscribers can be lost 🙃
People inside this series will receive “last chance” emails asking if they still want to hear from you. Those who still want to hear from you will have the opportunity to “let you know” so that you don’t delete them.
2 - 3
Inside your email marketing tool, find subscribers who have not opened your emails in at least 90 days. This is a good indication that these peeps are no longer interested in your emails.
Tag this group of folks “cold” or something similar. Then put them into this series. They will receive emails asking them to click a link if they still want to hear from you. When this link is clicked, the tag “cold” will be removed from the subscriber.
At the end of the series, you can safely delete those who’re still tagged with “cold”.
Also known as Customer series.
This series is for customers who have bought from you.
- Let them know how much you appreciate them
- Say thank you, let them know how they can get help should they need it
- Make sure they solve their problems by consuming your product
- Make your product better by asking for constructive feedback
- Increase product conversions by asking them to leave a review / testimonial
- Ask them to refer their friends to your product (best if you can offer some kind of incentive)
- Introduce your other products/services
3 - 5
After someone buys your product, your cart/payment system needs to let your email marketing tool know who this person is.
The email tool then puts them into this series (to be automatically followed up) and tags them with “product X customers”.
After folks have completed series #1, #2, #6, put them into your weekly / bi-weekly / monthly newsletter so that you keep appearing in their inbox and stay top of mind. Remember, they might not need your product/service right now, but they might in the future or even refer you to their network.