How to create an email nurture sequence

A huge part of building your email list is nurturing trust with your subscribers, and this is where your email nurture sequence (or nurture series) comes in to play. Here is how to create an email nurture sequence that works, how to automate an email nurture sequence and how to sit back and relax while it builds trust with your audience on autopilot. 

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How to create an email nurture sequence

I recently looked at creating a free opt-in to give your audience in return for their email address, as a way to build your email list. But now you need to deliver this freebie to them and start to build trust with them – and that’s where your email nurture sequence comes in.

Before we dive in: You’re going to see me referring to your email marketing tool a lot in this post. I’ve partnered with ConvertKit to offer you a 1-month free trial of their platform. Click here to give it a try.

How to create an email nurture sequence

What is an email nurture sequence?

A nurture sequence (sometimes called an email nurture series) is an automated series of emails that someone receives when they subscribe to your email lists. It starts to build trust with your subscribers and nurture them down the funnel.

If you’re not sure what a funnel is you really need to go back to this article about the buyer journey. 

Step 1: Build an email list

First, you need to have an email marketing tool (also known as an email service provider and probably a bunch of other different names). You need this just to build an email list.

My favourite tool for this is ConvertKit because it’s both easy to use and super powerful at the same time.

In general, your email marketing tool is kind of like a database that stores all of your subscribers. It also allows you to send campaigns to them. Most of the options on the market allow you to build automations, but double check this when you’re signing up because there are some basic ones that don’t.

Step 2: Decide on the length of your email nurture sequence

Your email nurture sequence should be at least 2-3 emails long, at a minimum. But, ultimately it depends on your reader and how long it takes for you to convey all the messages that you want to get across to them.

You can space them out one day apart, or a few days apart, but just don’t have them too far apart as you don’t want your subscribers to forget about you. If you’re worried about people unsubscribing – don’t be. Just make sure that each email is stuffed to the brim with value for them.

If they still unsubscribe, then they were never going to buy from you anyway. Harsh, but true.

Step 3: Plan your welcome email

This is the most important email in the sequence, as it typically has the highest open rate. For example, with a weekly newsletter you can expect an open rate of 20% to 30%. However, for your welcome email, you can expect an open rate of over 50% – usually more if you’re offering a freebie that they can only download from that first email.

Your welcome email is your big chance to make a great first impression. If they enjoy your welcome email, they’ll likely continue to read more emails from you.

You could use this email to introduce yourself and tell them the most important things about you or your business, and then give them a call to action.

For example, maybe you want them to follow you on Instagram or maybe you want them to read your most popular blog post, or subscribe to your podcast. Pick one call of action and tell them what to do.

Step 4: Determine what to include in the rest of your email nurture sequence

Now is the time to think about how you can start to get your audience to trust you. Maybe you’ll send them links to your most popular blog post or video content, or maybe you’ll add another little freebie like a checklist along the way.

Just make sure that each email in your nurture sequence adds value to the reader’s life.

Our inboxes are way too cluttered these days. If your emails aren’t adding value then your readers are going to unsubscribe. Treat your subscribers like real people, which means don’t spam them!

Don’t scream to them in ALL CAPS and don’t sell to them in every single email that you send. One good tactic is to try asking your subscribers a question. For example: what are you struggling with at the moment? This will give you some serious insights into what content or products you could create to solve their problems. You’ll also learn their language and how they describe these problems. You can use this to guide you when writing copy to sell to them, because it will resonate with them a lot more.

Should you sell to people in your email nurture sequence?

This is up to you. If you have a product that is related to the freebie they downloaded, by all means, include a sales pitch in the last email of your nurture sequence. Or, if you offer them a free consultation call, then tell them about this.

If you have nothing to sell them on just yet – don’t stress. They are on your email list now and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to market to them in the future.

Step 5: Automate and test your email nurture sequence

Lastly, you’ll need to automate your email nurture sequence and do a test run to make sure that it’s all working. How you automate it will depend on which email marketing tool you’re using. Most email marketing tools will have detailed instructions on how to do this and ConvertKit makes it SUPER easy to do.

Once your email nurture sequence is automated, you’ll need to do a full run-through, which means testing everything from opting-in on your website to receiving the full nurture sequence. You need to make sure that everything is automated and that all the automations work.

That’s it!


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How to create an email nurture sequence

May 30, 2018

  1. Haley @

    July 17th, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    I have been blogging for a while and have only recently decided to set up an email subscription. I found this post extremely helpful. I have always worried about annoying people with emails but this gives me the confidence to set it up.
    Thank you 🙂

  2. staylor

    July 26th, 2018 at 1:30 am

    So glad to hear that you found this post helpful! Thank you <3

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