Yes! You’re growing your email list. I hope you feel so proud of your efforts! 🎉
But now what?
Well, simple. You need a series of emails to introduce yourself to your new subscribers and set the groundwork about what they can expect from you. But, knowing what goes into a welcome email sequence and actually creating one are two completely different things.
I called in Liz Wilcox, the “Fresh Princess of Email” to chat about all things related to welcome email sequences. In this episode, she provides some concrete and clear suggestions on how to write (or edit) your welcome email sequence in a way that feels genuine, creates the opportunity to build relationships with your readers, and also convert them into potential customers.
This ended up being one of my most favorite interviews so far on the show, and I certainly think you’re going to love it too.
Here’s Liz and Erin’s best advice about writing a welcome email sequence
The low down on how many emails should a welcome email sequence have to be successful
What actually goes in those emails that are part of the welcome email sequence
What you want to share in the welcome sequence (that isn’t the email words)
The email staircase — and why it’s important
A reminder that an introduction to who you are and what you’re doing in your email sequence should not be a memoir
The beauty of unsubscribes, especially during a welcome email sequence
Which of the Liz’s suggested emails will have the highest unsubscribe rate
Quotes about welcome email sequences from Liz and Erin
“I’ve really been able to apply all of these physical disciplines and have the stamina and endurance that I’ve learned from running and ultra marathoning, specifically, to my business…Yes, I can go one more mile…My mind is telling me to quit, but like, I’m not actually at my limit yet…I look at it as an advantage to people who, you know, have never experienced that with their physical self and have never push themselves beyond what their brain told them to….I can do that. I’ve run 50 miles. Of course, I can click a button and send an email, or whatever. I can actually push past my limits, because I’ve quite literally physically done that to myself.” – Liz Wilcox
“When it comes to email, this is where I think everyone falters. It’s consistency.” – Erin Ollila
“As a runner, I don’t make my own shoe. And I don’t pretend to know…the mathematical science behind the design of the shoe, right? I go to like Brooks or Nike or Adidas for that, right? But the shoe enables me to keep pushing myself. In my products — and in your products, too — you’re the person. You’re helping the runner and you are, you know, the magic behind the shoe.” – Liz Wilcox
“Email is emotional. Email is an intimate channel, for lack of a better term, right? It is, you know, this one-on-one experience, or it feels like it. Even though it’s one-to-many, you know, somebody’s getting it to their inbox.” – Liz Wilcox
“But what’s the key ending of this story that you’re telling in the last email of the welcome sequence? Think of that more as the memoir or the essay, and not the autobiography.” – Erin Ollila
“I finally decided to ‘do the thing’, and launch my first digital course. I had 141 people on the waitlist. When I did the traditional open-closed cart, I made 141 sales.” – Liz Wilcox
“I always want you to practice discernment with email, especially because email like we talked about earlier is so emotional, please like do what feels right for you.” – Liz Wilcox
Liz’s homework assignment for you is to make sure expectations are clear in your welcome email sequence
It doesn’t matter if you don’t follow Liz’s suggestion of writing a welcome sequence with the number of emails she discusses in this episode. But what does matter is that you set expectations with your readers somewhere within your email sequence.
Quick, before you do anything today, read through your welcome sequence to make sure somewhere in those emails you’re letting your subscribers know what to expect from you, what cadence you’ll be messaging them, and what they can expect from your content.
The Fresh Princess of Email Marketing, Liz Wilcox is an Email Strategist and Keynote Speaker showing small businesses how to build online relationships, package up their “magic” and turn it into emails that people want to read and, most importantly, purchase from.
In the span of 5 years, Liz grew and sold a successful blog, got bought out of her second company, and built the third into a multiple six-figure party that just won’t quit! In other words, she now teaches online entrepreneurs to simplify the whole “email marketing thing” and finally master their sales in a way that leverages their personality, vision, and values.
She’s best known for her 1800+ users membership, 20-Minute Newsletter technique, and the Email Staircase framework she’s taught to tens of thousands of creatives, freelancers, ecommerce shop owners, and small businesses across the globe. Offline, Liz lives in Florida, loves to run and is a walking 90s pop culture encyclopedia.
How to Learn from Liz No matter what you do, you’re going to want to head over to Liz’s website, click on the big pink button in the top right-hand corner of the home page, and download the welcome email swipes we talked about during this episode.
After you’re done with that, come join me in the Email Marketing Membership. For just $9 a month (Yes, you read that correctly), you will get a weekly email template that you can customize and send to your own list. You’ll never be able to complain that you don’t know what to say, because Liz literally provides you with the content and tells you exactly how to use the template as a jumping off place so the email itself is all of your own creation.
And when you’re done with all that, check out the rest of the products she has. I like to think of Liz as a copywriting friend, but as someone who previously worked through some of these courses, I can vouch for her teaching style and how actionable her content is — which I think you learned firsthand today when you listened to the episode.
If Liz could meet anyone, she’d meet:
Chad S. White, Head of Research for Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting
Learn more about your host, Erin Ollila
Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform – and even transform – its intended audience. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and went on to co-found Spry, an award-winning online literary journal.
When Erin’s not helping her clients understand their website data or improve their website copy, you can catch her hosting the Talk Copy to Me podcast and guesting on shows such as Profit is a Choice, The Driven Woman Entrepreneur, Go Pitch Yourself, and Counsel Cast.
Want to know more about the welcome email sequence? Here’s the transcript for episode 035 with Liz Wilcox
NOTE: This podcast was transcribed by Otter, an AI tool. Please forgive any typos or errors.
Erin Ollila, Liz Wilcox
Erin Ollila 00:04
Hey friends. Welcome to the Talk Copy to Me podcast. Here we empower small business owners to step into the spotlight with their marketing and messaging. I’m your host, Erin Ollila. Let’s get started and talk copy. Hello friends today we are here with Liz Wilcox. And if you do not know her, you really need to make that change. And hopefully this helps you today, Liz has actually run 52 miles at one time, and it took her 14 hours to do so. I’m going to say I’m really impressed with this one because it is a huge fee. And I think anyone would say that. But by the time I get up the stairs in my house, I’m a little winded. So the idea that you ran for 14 hours. I took a nap the first time I read that because I was just completely overwhelmed. So first, let’s just jump into that what initiated this like what made you decide that you are going to just start running and never stop?
Liz Wilcox 01:08
In other words, Aaron asks her guests what would compel you to do something so outrageously ridiculous? What’s up, folks? I’m Liz Wilcox. And yes, I have indeed run over 50 Miles actually more than once I’ve done this more than one time, what will compel me I’m, first of all, if you know anything about the INIA gram, I’m a three, which means I’m a high achiever. And I just tend to do things I don’t know, out of spite for the anonymous like to go, I’m gonna go do that. I’ve always liked running. And it’s just was, you know, I got into the half marathons that I did the marathon. And again, you know, my Enneagram three was like, what’s next? What’s next. And I just decided, yep, I’m gonna run a 50 mile race. And it didn’t day, the first time took me 14 hours, which is a really long time. My hip flexors were exhausted, to say the least. But it’s just one of those things. I actually probably why I brought it up as the fun fact. And Aaron survey was, it taught me so much running in general, but especially Ultra running, which is where you run more than a marathon teaches you so much about self discipline, and just so much more about your mental self, like you have to be very aware, when you’re running at that length and creating that type of endurance in your body, you have to be very aware of what your body is saying to you. Because I mean, I have had multiple attempts where I didn’t finish the 50 miles, right, it was like, Nope, you know, my, my toe, or my arm or whatever is telling me like, if you take another step, we’re gonna go down a really bad road. And I’ve really been able to apply all of these physical disciplines and have the stamina and endurance that I’ve learned from running and ultra marathoning, specifically, to my business where it’s like, Yes, I can go one more mile. You know, I’m not actually my mind is telling me to quit. But like, I’m not actually at my limit yet. And that’s kind of I look at it as an advantage to people who, you know, have never experienced that with their physical self have never push themselves beyond what their brain told them to. And it makes it way easy for me to just, for lack of a better term, like pull the trigger on things where it’s like, yeah, actually, I can do that I’ve run 50 miles, this is outrageous. Of course, I can click a button and send an email, or whatever, right, I can actually push past my limits, because I’ve quite literally physically done that to myself. Yeah, I love
Erin Ollila 03:50
how this is the story that kind of started off conversation. Because next week, we’re gonna be talking about email consistency on the podcast. And you know, I wanted to bring this up at the end of our conversation, because I absolutely love your membership. I think one I’m a member. So I can vouch for the idea that it is great. And it’s helpful to help business owners idea like what content to share, but from a marketers perspective, looking at the membership, and looking at the type of clients that are in your membership at this point in time. It’s it’s such a value to the small business owner, right? Like, we are all left to our own devices to wear all of these hats and it’s impossible for people who are not natural marketers or trained marketers to be able just like oh, yeah, let me email my list once a week right let’s what are these conversations I should have with them like, and that’s a hard stop for business owners. So when they have your membership, which if if you’re listening and you’re not familiar, Liz has a membership where every week she shares content and ideas of what to email your own business list, right? So I love your membership and I love that it gives people the Like ability to be consistent because, you know, bringing it back to everything that you shared. While email marketing every week is not the same thing as running 50 miles at a time, I do think that you have to train yourself to be a consistent marketer. And when it comes to email, this is where I think everyone falters is consistency, because it’s what do I say? How does this relate back to all of the things that I’m doing? Am I being too pushy? Am I not, you know, emailing enough. And I think having a tool like your a membership, and then just training yourself to get in there and kind of be consistent is what people need to do in order to be visible and show up regularly for their audiences?
Liz Wilcox 05:42
Yeah, thanks so much. I love talking about email marketing, membership. And to the point of, you know, being a business owner, Aaron kind of dropped this about doing all the things and, you know, like, as a runner, I don’t make my own shoe. And I don’t pretend to know, the mathematical science behind the design of the shoe, right? Like, I go to like Brooks or Nike or Adidas for that, right. But the shoe enables me to keep pushing myself, right. So you know, I like in my products, and you can like in your products, too, you know, like, you’re the person you’re helping is the runner and you are, you know, the magic behind the shoe. Right. So that’s, I never thought of that. Oh, Aaron, we are getting good. You can tell to copywriters talking to each other.
Erin Ollila 06:32
It starts immediately.
Liz Wilcox 06:34
It was getting so good. Write this down, folks. This is
Erin Ollila 06:37
not a podcast where we’re going to just chat for 10 minutes and then not then start to go into the good stuff like we are jumping right in. Yeah, cool.
Liz Wilcox 06:45
Use that. Use that for your sales page. If you’re listening, like you know, you are the runner, and I am the magic that creates your shoe or whatever the heck, I said it better the First Time Rewind. It still works. Yeah, I’m saying.
Erin Ollila 07:01
So I think the important thing, and I’m really excited to talk about this today is that like, yes, consistency is super important. But what I think people don’t pay attention to enough, I think that they think oh, I have to show up like it’s this thing we’ve been lectured to. But what they aren’t doing is they’re not creating that welcome sequence that really like initiates them into their customers life. And, you know, if we’re gonna look at initiation here initiates the the clients the leads into their circle of being right, like, who are they as the business owner? And how does that help the person that’s on their email list? Like, what’s that relationship that they’re building? So let’s talk about the email sequence is, I’m going to jump into a really hard question. And I already know the answer. And I swear, I’m not going to say the two words that I say every single episode. But is there a certain amount of emails that one should send in an email welcome sequence?
Liz Wilcox 07:56
Actually, I think Aaron wants me to say it depends. But I’m not going to say that. I’m going to say for quatro, fo you are
Erin Ollila 08:07
this is like the first time No, you’re right. Thank you for saying it depends. So I didn’t know I’m actually really glad you have a concrete number here. I do think in general, my big answer and marketing for everything is it depends. But I think that when we are doing this on our own right, and we’re looking at this from this lens of how do I take this knowledge that I’m getting and learning it, it’s so helpful to have something concrete to say like, okay, Liz says for the answers for let’s talk about those four emails, do you want to do an overview of what you think needs to go in them, or you want to just jump on with email number one,
Liz Wilcox 08:41
so I save for and of course, to Aaron’s point, like it will vary. Of course, if you are listening to this, and you already have a welcome sequence, and it’s six, I don’t want you to go in and delete two of them and try to you know, fit into the Liz Wilcox box, right? But if you are listening, and you’re like, Oh, I’m not sure if my welcome sequence is working, or I don’t even have one. Or you know, you’re just starting with email marketing listening to this amazing series. You know, I just want you to know that you can have just four very simple emails that are going to lead people through, you know, oh, I just got this freebie type of situation to oh my gosh, I love Erin. I love what she does, like, I know exactly what’s going to happen from here on out, and I’m going to stay on the list or they will opt out. That is also a point. You know, if you’re writing these emails, and they don’t like what you have to say, it is okay for them to unsubscribe, that could be a totally different episode.
Erin Ollila 09:41
Now I’m just nodding my head. This is like my biggest thing that I preach is like repelling the wrong type of clients is a blessing for you and for them. It is not a bad thing. So thank you so much for bringing that up before we even really dive into like what to say because I think people worry about unsubscribes way more than they need to As the number is not the important thing, it’s like who’s on it? And are they primed? And are they the right people not having the wrong people with a massive amount of them?
Liz Wilcox 10:08
Right. And I understand email is emotional, it feels email is an intimate channel, for lack of a better term, right? It is, you know, this one on one experience, or it feels even though it’s one to many, you know, somebody’s getting it to their inbox. It’s not Instagram feeding some algorithm like spewing things out to you, these are things that you opted in for. So I understand when you get an unsubscribe, that that can feel really emotional. But at the end of the day, you’re building a business, and you’re building a business like, driven by you. So we need people on our email list that are going to, you know, invest in us the same way we’re going to invest in them. So part of the welcome sequence is making sure that our email list those people getting on the list are the right people, when I follow up with my welcome sequence with any newsletter with any email list is something called the email staircase. It’s just three steps. I keep things simple. You’re my life, my personal life is kind of chaotic. I don’t know about yours, but I got a lot of things going on, like when I turn the computer off, right. So my business has to be really, really simple. So this email sequence that I’m going to share with you the email staircase I’m going to share with you was built like in the margins of my life, it wasn’t something where you know, I’ve got a team of 10 I’m going to create this, you know, 10 module course for you. And you know, you better just pray that it works for you. Right? This was created when I lived in an RV, I didn’t even have an internet on my phone, like, let alone in my RV. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the woods. But if you have, you can imagine the type of internet that was going on. Okay, so it was really created like in parking lots, just trying to get my emails out. So following the email staircase, first you have a follower, right? You find somebody on a podcast, they find you on Instagram, tik, Tok, whatever, get them on your email list. And then you can turn them into a friend. And that’s what we’re going to do here with the welcome sequence today. And then once you have a list full of friends, you can basically just ask them, Hey, I created x, would you like it? And then you have that list full of customers. And I’m telling you this works. This is my Liz wilcox.com is my third business. I’ve done this with b2c b2b, you know, my list, I think I checked yesterday, it was almost 45% Customers like this really does work, to build that list full of friends, and set that foundation to get customers.
Erin Ollila 12:44
I think that’s super important to point out too is the whole friendship thing, right? Like, we’re taught that there’s methods to do these things. And when we look at it from that way, there’s such a like boundary between who is on the list and and what we’re doing in our business, right? Like, we’re not all here studying email marketing for the fact that we want to be like doctorate get doctorates and email marketing, right? We’re here because we want to build the relationships. So if you really look at it, like you’re communicating with a friend, I think that it’s helpful to be able to just kind of like, pull down that like fear of like, what to say and what to do. And are you you know, stepping into your brand voice and all of those worries that people have that really just kind of show up and have the conversation instead. And then it’s a lot easier to look
Liz Wilcox 13:26
at it. Yeah. So how the heck do you make friends in the first place, right, like, people are your friends because they like your personality. They, you know, have a shared vision of their future, and they share some of the same values. So with your welcome sequence, you just want to share your personality, your vision for your students, or clients and then your values. So a little bit of personality. If you aren’t, you know, if you’re just listening, you’re just tuning in to miss Wilcox. You can probably already tell a little bit of my personality, but if you Google me, you’ll really see like, Okay, this lady is very 90s She’s got this headband mullet looking thing going on. She’s got rainbow glasses, she loves them sync. You know, you’ll you’ll get a lot of my personality right off the bat. But you can share your personality in your welcome sequence. I’ll share where to do that in these four emails as well. And then your vision. So Aaron, do you remember you’ve seen Forrest Gump right? Again, I’m a I’m a 90s. Kid, right? So I’m gonna I’m gonna make 90s References buckle up. Oh, and running how perfect so you know when Forrest Gump is running, and there’s all these followers behind him, and he’s just kind of aimlessly like, I don’t know, he’s in like Saigon or something. And he turns around and he’s like, Well, I think I’ll go home now. And everyone just kind of turns around and it’s like, okay, that’s not real life. No one is going to blindly follow you into the desert while you aimlessly wander. We have to have a vision to Hold for our clients. So I picture it. And I’m going to I’m going to pull up a prop for Aaron. I’ve got a degree here in my hand right now, like a rolled up piece of paper with a ribbon. I look at it like if somebody was graduating from Liz Wilcox University, what is that degree that I’m handing them? For me, it’s making money with email, like, hands down. That’s what I want. That is my vision for you. And lucky for you, it starts with a welcome sequence. And that’s what we’re learning today. But think about your clients, think about your students. What is that big vision, whether it’s, you know, I want them to have, you know, the best sales pages there ever were, I want my people to be able to create a course I want them, you know, to be able, I see Aaron’s got a beautiful painting in the background, you know, I want them to be able to, you know, feel like they can paint whatever that vision is saying that in the welcome sequence. It’s suddenly not like, Oh, I got this freebie. Now what it’s like, okay, I know exactly where I’m going with Aaron, I know exactly where I’m going with Ricky, right? We’ve got to share the vision with them so they can get on board with us, right? And then your values. That’s the last part. And this is not, you know, this is the ding ding ding like, this is not where you spew your politics and you tell people who you’re voting for, and all of that. But we do live in this time. And we live in this market, where people want to buy from people, people want to know, what the company values are, I just saw in the news at the time of this recording, what’s the guy Patagonia or however the heck you pronounce that. He just, you know, renounced his throne, so to speak, right? And it’s like, Well, did he or didn’t he? You know, that’s to be debated. But you know, there’s this new Rise of the ethical CEO and things like that. And so people, even those giant corporations are trying to show you their values. And for Patagonia, one of their values, obviously, is you know, environmental consciousness, right? That’s very obvious from the beginning when you when you encounter their brand. So what is it about your brand, what, what principles or values are driving you in your business? One of mine is affordability. Aaron talked about my email marketing membership, it’s nine bucks. No, dang it, I’m not raising the price. Because when I started, and I was listening to podcasts like this, and people were telling me about email, I was like, Yeah, but I can’t afford this, you know, five week program, I can’t afford a copywriter and cetera, et cetera. So that’s one of the values that I state directly in my welcome sequence. So any thoughts on that, Aaron?
Erin Ollila 17:42
No, I love it. And I just agree with everything. So continue on.
Liz Wilcox 17:46
Okay. Now we’re finally into the question that Aaron asks this, this is getting to be a real long sales page. No. So the four emails, they’re just really simple. And again, it’s all about just driving that personality, vision and values. So like Aaron and I talked about earlier, we’re attracting the right people. And we’re repelling those that are like, Oh, actually, Liz, I love the Backstreet Boys. I just can’t get behind Justin Timberlake by, right. Like it doesn’t have to be personal. Although it felt that way in the seventh grade punch line. It’s not anymore, ladies. Okay, so the welcome sequence, email number one is just a freebie, you know, you’re giving them the freebie or what however, they opted in, you’re fulfilling that promise. And then just a very quick intro, I’m sure Aaron, you see this all the time working with clients, you know, that kind of when he called like a kitchen sink, everything but the kitchen sink first email where they’re telling you their life story. And, you know, oh, find me on Instagram and Tiktok and Pinterest and Twitter. It’s like, when was the last time you logged into Twitter? Sis, like, why are you? Why are you putting that. So just a very quick intro, and this intro is going to showcase a little bit of your personality and that vision, we’re going to get that knocked out right in the very first email, because we know that first email, there’s nothing like it, everybody’s opening that email, right? There’s, you’re never gonna get a higher open rate than that first email. Right? So everybody likes free stuff. So we’re just gonna say something. Like, for me, mine is as much as I love the 90s I love the idea of you making money with email even more. So as much write this down, y’all I know you’re driving. So you know, pull over it’s that important, right? You’re like, yeah, right,
Erin Ollila 19:32
pull over safely pull over safely pull over safely.
Liz Wilcox 19:35
You know, make sure there’s no semi behind you. So as much as I love x, and then put a little bit of your personality and this can be very superficial. Right like, the 90s. Right. That doesn’t tell you much about Liz Wilcox, but it can give you an idea of Liz right. So this can be superficial when the more you eat Email and the more you build your business, the more you’re going to be able to lean into those real parts of your personality. So don’t overthink this. It can be you know, as much as I love Starbucks coffee as much as I choose Duncan over anything, you know, as much as I’m like team, Baskin Robbins, you know, whatever, right? You know, I’m Team X, or Y, even more. So as much as I’m x, that bit of personality. I love the idea of why even more, and why is that vision that you have for your clients? Aaron, I’d love to hear it. Let’s can we do like a live workshop? What would be your sentence?
Erin Ollila 20:37
Oh, script here, guys. She’s thanks a lot, Liz. I you know, that’s a great question. As much as I love ice cream, probably I talk about ice cream and pretzel bread so much that I even throw it on my about page. Oh, my gosh, so perfect. That would probably be it for me. But you know, I really I want to say one thing. And it’s totally great agreement of what you’re seeing right here. Because whether it’s email or your website, or social media, wherever you’re inserting information about yourself. As the foresight here, guys, I do have a Masters of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction. So if you’re gonna ask me questions about memoirs, or essays, like I’m your girl, that being said, 100%, you do not need to say every single thing about you as an introduction to anyone. Imagine going to a networking event where you are face to face with someone they’re like, hi, what do you do, and he started from like, your second grade classroom, and you had this conversation with your teacher. So you decided when you grew up, you wanted to be this. And then all of the steps you took from second grade until this point in your life to be able to be who you are and what you’re doing like that would be utterly ridiculous. You would never do that face to face. So on your about page as an example, same thing in your emails in your welcome sequence. Don’t do that. You’re going to drive everyone away if you’re over sharing. So I love that you mentioned like the intro can be so quick as even a you know a short sentence or two about that differentiating factor. So yeah, just just full agreement here.
Liz Wilcox 22:07
Awesome. Awesome. And I love what Erin just said about the pretzel bread. To me that stands out more than the ice cream, right? Because it’s everybody loves ice cream. Sesame Street has a or a song about it that I have to hear every day with my seven year old, right? But the pretzel bread. It’s like now I’m like suddenly in the mall. And I’m 12 years old again. And I’m like, oh, yeah, I need to get one of those. I love pretzel bread too. Right? And it’s suddenly you know, we’ve got the warm fuzzies. And we’re going to open up that second email. I would love it. If you put the recipe like in a PS and that first email be like, did pretzel bread, catch your attention? Here’s the recipe like I would click on that’s going to increase your click rate right off the bat.
Erin Ollila 22:47
I am totally okay with this episode becoming a generative series where we like just rewrite my welcome to you guys, because this is working for me. Thank you, Liz.
Liz Wilcox 22:54
Okay, great. Moving on email two is just some of your best content. So this does not mean you have to be a blogger to share your best content, it could just be you kind of free writing your best piece of advice, right? It could just be that for me, I love being interviewed. I love doing live trainings, I have a lot of them. And a lot of my products are just recordings of live trainings. And so for me, my best content is video. So I just made a, I think, three, maybe four minute loom video that I link over and I say, Hey, I just wanted to, you know, make sure you saw what I looked like, and give you my best piece of advice or something like that. And then you know, it’s just a couple minute video, again, it’s going to increase that click rate. Because I have a video maybe, you know, Aaron puts the PS pretzel bread thing in this email instead, right? And then getting them to click over say your best content you think is just like a series you did on Instagram. Or maybe it’s a podcast or something, getting them to click over. If you have the content, don’t feel like you need to go out and create this content, you can just write it directly into the email. But if you do have something outbound that is definitely going to increase your click rate, which I know Aaron is getting into with other people about consistency and getting people to read your emails. If you can get that click rate or reply in the welcome sequence. Maybe we talk about that after the four emails, like oh my gosh, it’s gonna light up your whole world, it’s gonna blow your mind with the results.
Erin Ollila 24:29
Can I ask a quick question here? Because yeah, I work with a bunch of creatives who have very little content, there’s no blogs, there’s not too much case studies. Maybe they’ve been on podcast and you know, examples of some could be interior designers. Photographers, would you say that like a quick save for them and this email and this, you know, totally redirect me if I’m wrong here. But if they don’t have a lot that they could share of their own stuff, would it be valuable to make that an email full of helpful content? So if they’re or let’s pretend it’s a wedding photographer and they don’t have anything to link out to they could share, like, here’s a great way to prep or here’s some questions to ask as you’re considering who to hire, so that they can have a valuable email even if they don’t have much to share.
Liz Wilcox 25:15
Yeah, Aaron is spot on. Some of your best content might just be are you the best thing about you might just be that you’re really good at curating other people’s content. I love other people’s content. I also don’t have a blog, I’m only semi serious about social media. You know, my, my main piece of content are my newsletters, right? So yes, I highly recommend not just in your welcome sequence. But in newsletters linking to other people’s content is a great way to establish your credibility to really turn people into a friend like, oh, this lady knows what she’s talking about. And you know, they are like, on the up and up in the industry, right? It just helps establish that authority and credibility. So yes, you could definitely take this second email and just find some of the best content on the internet for your person, or I loved what Erin just said about questions you should be asking before you hire XYZ, that doesn’t even have to be your own post. But that is going to get them thinking like, oh, wow, this person really wants me to have the best experience. And they’re educating me on how to do that. And one thing I kind of skipped over it, when you turn someone into a friend, you have to show that you’re invested in them, and you’re invested in your own business, before they’ll invest in you. So sharing other people’s content, things like that shows that you are invested. And it makes it so much easier for them to invest back into you.
Erin Ollila 26:38
Yeah. And when it comes to investment, I mean, this is what you’re saying. But like to say it very directly, like showing them an investment is also showing them it’s a two way street, right? So it’s not just, this is who I am. And let me tell you about me and what I can do and how cool I am. It’s showing them that you understand if they have a need or where their current situation is, and that it’s a conversation, you know, like, I would assume most people’s friends are not just you know, on the line and not talking back to them. It’s not a monologue, it’s a conversation. And the same thing can happen, I think in email, you know, Oh, yeah.
Liz Wilcox 27:10
What I love about email versus everything else, and I kind of hinted at it was, you know, it’s this more intimate channel, you can very easily turn one too many into one on one, right? You can we can talk about this, after I get through email for but getting people to reply, and you know, starting those conversations, especially as a service provider, it’s going to be like, it’s going to be more than top of mind. Right? You are going to be the chick, right? And so I just love everything Aaron brought up that’s so true. We’ll just
Erin Ollila 27:45
keep agreeing with each other that this is the My favorite kind of podcast. Let’s just keep agreeing with each other.
Liz Wilcox 27:50
Okay, we’re gonna braid each other’s hair after this guy says each other’s nails. I want purple. Please.
Erin Ollila 27:56
Liz Wilcox 27:59
so the third email is newsletter expectations. And if you have nothing but like five minutes after this podcast episode, this is the email that I want you to do. This is the this is the advice I want you to take seriously, especially if you already have your own welcome sequence. You’re like, okay, Liz, you know, okay, but this is the email that you’re probably missing. I’m gonna make an assumption here. You’re probably missing this. You need to set expectations. This is the newsletter expectations. What does it mean to be a part of this newsletter. So this is the email where you say like, Hey, you join my list. Here’s what’s about to go down. Here’s what it means to be a member of my community, whatever you want to call yourself, I think I call mine like the inbox crew or something like that. And this is where you say, when you’re going to email, what kind of advice or tips you’re going to give. And this is also here’s the ding, ding, ding. This is also where you tell them you are going to offer them free and paid resources, services, products, whatever word you want to use, is going to flip the switch from I got this free thing from Erin to Oh, wow. Aaron is, you know, a legitimate copywriter that is going to offer me her services. Okay? If and this is the part, this is the email where they’re really going to unsubscribe, if they don’t like it. Oh, I don’t want an email every Tuesday. Liz. I just wanted this free thing. Thanks for the reminder that I need to get off the list because you’re going to send emails every Tuesday, right? And that is okay. And so it can be very simple. I just bullet a little bit. You know, I say, hey, you know, I’m so glad you’re here. By the way, here’s what it means to be a member of my inbox group. And I say something because I want people to laugh when they are in my presence. Not laugh at me, but I want people to know, email is hard. Like, let’s Let’s lighten this load, right like let’s have a good time. So I say something like, you know, I’m going to offer you like fun and real advice for when you know, email feels too tough to handle, I’m going to, you know, send you a email newsletter every Tuesday to show you how to stand up and stand out for your subscribers or something like that. And then I’m going to offer you free and paid products to make email marketing simple. And then I’ve sub bullet a couple different examples. If you don’t have a couple of different examples, forget that. But if you do, linking out to you know, a product or your VIP page or you know, your calendar, is going to be a great way to introduce them to a couple different offers. Now, is anybody gonna buy in this email? Probably not, they probably already would have signed up for service instead of the list. But it’s just that way of introducing people so that when you know, and I know Aaron is going to talk about this later with another guest about being consistent and writing newsletters. They’re more apt to Oh, yep. I remember that. She said that. Okay, I’m ready to buy now. Right? It’s just putting that offer out there, right from the get go is going to flip that switch from, oh, I just wanted a freebie. I’m never gonna buy too. Oh, these are the offers she has, when I’m ready. You know, I’m gonna go with her.
Erin Ollila 31:22
Is it safe to assume that even though this one will be like a higher unsubscribe rate, doing so is actually decreasing the feature unsubscribe rate, because you’re setting those expectations?
Liz Wilcox 31:34
Yes, but also, it’s going to help increase the open rate. And now I know open rates are not completely accurate. But they’re always they’re very consistent, right. So if your email open rate, says 30%, over and over and over again, even though that number is probably more like 20%, it’s consistent. And so we still want to see increased open rates, right? We still want to get that number up, even if that number isn’t wholly accurate. We want people to get off the list right away. So they’re not bogging down weighing down our list later when we you know, commit to being consistent. And we send out newsletters, and nobody’s opening them. So setting that expectation of I’m going to email you every Tuesday or you know, every other week, whatever is feels right for you, you know is going to get those people to kind of jump ship early. So they’re not weighing down your list later. Because that’s where you really get into, well, nobody bought and nobody’s you know, my open rates now 18%. And I’ve been emailing consistently for five years, what’s up with that? It’s, you know, it’s not greeting them properly, so that they know whether or not they should, you know, stay on the boat, so to speak.
Erin Ollila 32:48
All right, email him before, what do you got for me?
Liz Wilcox 32:50
All right, the big finale, the fourth email should just be your big why Remember, we’re climbing the staircase, we’re trying to turn followers into friends, like Aaron’s point about 10 minutes ago, when she said, you know, you wouldn’t sit down in a conference room, and just start spewing all the details. This is where, you know, maybe this is Oh, you made a buddy at the conference, you finally hung out. It’s the last day now you’re gonna get in more into why you do what you do. Right? Because you, you’ve greeted the person, you gave a quick intro, you showed your value with your best content, you set some expectations on how the friendship would go with the third email. Now we can get into this is why I do what I do. And then they’re gonna make that personal connection more than the pretzel bread, we’re gonna get a little you know, we’re gonna get to that second or third layer of the epidermis here, right? I’m mixing analogies like crazy guys,
Erin Ollila 33:43
all I do is mix analogies all good, perfect company here.
Liz Wilcox 33:47
Oh my gosh, we’re best friends now done. I would recommend if possible, you know, making this as short as you can, you know, five to maybe 700 words, right? You don’t have to get really into it. But you can get a little more in depth here. So for me, it was you know, I started my RV travel blog. I had, you know, I finally decided to do the thing quote unquote, and launch my first digital course. I had 141 people on the waitlist. When I did the traditional open closed cart. I made 141 sales word got around. And copywriters were telling me, oh my gosh was you know you didn’t that’s impossible. And I said, Well, here’s my receipts. And so when I realized that was abnormal, like highly abnormal, I knew I had to sell
Erin Ollila 34:36
them mentally abnormal.
Liz Wilcox 34:40
Like third year on the neck when I realized that I knew that I needed to sell that RV travel business and teach people my methods. And that’s part that was part of my big why I didn’t want anyone missing out. I grew up poor And I was like, Oh my gosh, when I learned I could click a button and make money. I was like, Holy crap, y’all, we need to get in on this. And so that’s part of my big why that’s part of the story that I share in that fourth email. So think about, you know, why you got into design or photography, or you know, weddings in particular, or whatever, and just share a little bit of that story that’s gonna make that personal connection. And then you know, you’re off to the races, there’s your welcome sequence, my friends,
Erin Ollila 35:28
I don’t know if this is helpful for anyone at all. But you know, a lot of the times when I do talk to people about my creative writing degree, they’ll be like, Oh, memoir, that’s great. You can write people’s autobiographies or biographies. And I’m like, actually, no, like, the key difference between the two is an autobiography or a biography is a look at a human over a period of time, which quite often is their life’s for, for some people, or at least, like a key period of important time in their life. Whereas a memoir focuses on a specific, I wouldn’t say topic, because it could, you know, cover a few things. But it’s pointed right, like, you know, you might read a memoir about a woman’s infertility battle, that doesn’t cover her entire life or everything that’s important to her. So I know this is kind of jumping again, here. But the reason I say that is when you look at you know, email number four, your big why? And Liz tells you to kind of keep it keep it short, you really are sharing and you’re building that friendship. And, you know, if we relate it back to that person at a conference where we’re really going a little bit deeper, that’s the memoir, right? Like, that’s like, why are you here? Why are you in this business world? What is the impetus or? That’s the memoir part, it’s not the autobiography. So again, if you’re trying, if you’re saying, Well, I have so much to say about my big why, like, there’s many reasons that have led me to where I am, or there’s many reasons that motivate me to do my work? Well, same for me. Same for Liz, same for all the other business owners. But what’s the what’s the key ending of this story that you’re telling with the welcome sequence? And think of that more as the memoir The essay, not the autobiography? Now, I have a question for you What comes after the welcome sequence? Like even I have felt this at times like that, I need to make an announcement like the welcome sequence is now Don, and you will drop into my normal emails, which I know you don’t, because email three is kind of covering that. But is there something that business owners should be doing to prime their readers? Or is it okay to just drop into the normal conversation that you’re having, because you’ve already kind of told them what to expect previously,
Liz Wilcox 37:25
when you write that email three, that newsletter expectations that says, you know, I’m going to email every Tuesday or, you know, the first of the month, you know, whatever you feel comfortable with right now, I would advise you to try for once a week, but if you still need to build that muscle, you know, once a month, twice a month, you know, do your thing baby so saying that eliminates the need for like, you know, the curtain call, like okay, that was it folks, like I’m picturing, you know, what’s that Porky the pig like, that’s all folks now now on with the show or whatever, it really eliminates that. So yes, you can just drop them into the newsletter. So what I do just, and I know you’re having like a tech guru come in also. So that’s going to be great. But what I do is I just email four emails over four days, you could do four emails over eight days, whatever you feel comfortable with, I always want you to practice discernment with email, especially because email like we talked about earlier is so emotional, please like do what feels right for you. I just, you know, I when I send out my newsletter, I just subtract those days. So anyone that entered my email list 123 or four days ago does not get my newsletter, I just keep it incredibly simple that way. So yours might be you know, eight days, 12 days, whatever feels good for you. And I just, you know, continue on the conversation just knowing that they’ve been prepped properly. So I can just write my newsletter carefree I guess, you know, knowing that they already got all the information they needed to know what to expect from the newsletter.
Erin Ollila 39:02
Awesome. Now one more question before we end our wonderful conversation is how do you know if your welcome sequence is working? Or if you need to adjust it once you’ve started it and you know, get it out there in the world?
Liz Wilcox 39:13
Yeah, this is a that’s such a great question. So I would suggest cliques and trying to get people to reply. So in that in that first email in particular, I would add a p s that gets them to reply to a very simple yes or no question. Now, it has to Yes, it has to be a yes or no question. It can’t be on a scale of one to five remember they are not our friends yet they don’t even know our big why yet like they don’t you know they only know that we love pretzel bread and you know copywriting right. That’s it. So we have to ask them a yes or no question, one that they can answer right off the top of their head and remove as much friction as possible to getting people to reply. And so for me, it might be you know, PS Do you even have a welcome sequence set up yet? Yes or no? Now some people are gonna reply. Yep. Some people are gonna be reply no and give me my their life story like, oh my gosh, I’m, you know, I’ve been I hate email marketing, but you were so funny, or I love you know, I love New Kids on the Block. So I figured Sure, I’ll listen to you, right? You know, some people go really hard, so to speak, and other people will just hit the yes or no, you know, just type yes or no. So you’re gonna get a plethora of answers there. That is a good indication that not only is your welcome sequence, working, but you’re getting the right kinds of people on your list, the people that are really are going to engage, and you’re asking the right question. And then in that third email, what I want you to do, when you set those expectations, you’re going to ask them to reply with a very specific word. So for me, mine is too legit to quit. If this sounds good to you reply too legit to quit. So I know you’re in. Right You’re the newest member of the inbox crew. And guys, I’ve already got this written for you. So you can just take it and make it your own. Obviously too legit to quit only make sense. For a very small portion of email or so probably don’t use that. You can just say, you know, I’m in hit reply. I’m in whatever, you know, pretzel bread, reply pretzel bread. So I know you got to the end of the email. And you know, you and I are going to be best friends now write some Power BI for days. Yes, carbs. I love that. You know, carbs for days, something like that. It can be very personality driven, or can be very practical. Just so you know, when you get those emails like, Okay, people are reading this, these emails. You can also you know, make sure that first email, no one’s going to open your email more than the first email, right? So make sure that’s true. If your newsletter open rate. And again, these are always inflated nowadays, but there can still be accurate and that they’re going to be different consistently. So if your newsletter says 30%, you know, your open rate for that very first welcome, email should be 50% or up, right? It should be much more than the newsletter. So making sure that’s accurate. And then just looking at clicks are people clicking on that freebie in the first email. If in the second email, you know, you have that curation of content, that should be a really high click rate. If your normal click rates, 1% know that it’s working if it’s 2% or higher, very simple. And then you can slowly climb for there from there. And then you also know your welcome sequences working. If as you grow your business as you send out more consistent newsletters. People just seem to know you. People know that story about affordability. People know that story about the pretzel bread. And of course that comes with time and with new subscribers. But as you’re sending out newsletters and you’re getting replies, you know, oh, I just I just loved that you said this about you know, I just love that you came from an RV travel blog, Liz that’s so crazy. You know, it inspires me to just keep going when I feel like I don’t have enough resources. I know that person read that fourth email, because that’s where I normally talk about it. Just little things, you know, practical things like that. And you know, the the long term things like that are really going to help you understand what’s working about your email sequence, and even what’s not
Erin Ollila 43:36
awesome. So before we started this podcast recording, Liz and I both talked, we took a vow of brevity, because we knew that we could talk about this forever and ever. And here we are just going on and on. And I don’t think I can cut a second of this conversation because it was so good. So we’re gonna fly through our last connect like our three connection question. Okay, as fast as we possibly can. I’m in question number one. If you could give a homework assignment to the listeners, what would it be?
Liz Wilcox 44:02
Oh, super easy that newsletter expectations, you have to set expectations for what is to come. And even more specifically, make sure you tell people I’m going to offer you free and paid resources, services, whatever. If you do nothing else, put that one sentence somewhere in those first few emails.
Erin Ollila 44:21
If you could be connected to anyone in the online business world, who would it be and why?
Liz Wilcox 44:26
Oh, my gosh, I shouldn’t she sent me these questions. And I was like, I don’t know. I know.
Erin Ollila 44:32
I might know someone. So if you aren’t stuck, I could help you. And you could tell me if I’m completely wrong. Okay. When we talked last time you wanted to be introduced to Chad White from Oracle because you really oh my gosh,
Liz Wilcox 44:42
yeah. I have his book right here. Chad white. If you’re listening, sir. I really admire your work. He is like an email marketing. I don’t know. Can I call him a geek but still love him? Yes. Yeah, absolutely. He’s just like he’s who I really admire and who I Learn from Yeah. Holler at me, boy. I’m ready. All right, final question.
Erin Ollila 45:05
Oh, gosh, I always put myself on the spot with this one because I don’t even know what to ask. All right, so you’re known for being a 90s. Girl. If you could share one favorite thing from either the 80s or the 2000s, what would it be pop culture? Any anything? Any reference?
Liz Wilcox 45:21
Yeah, so I actually, and I know we’re supposed to be going rapid fire. But I want to leave people with this story from Will Smith, who is 80s 90s 2000s. And now he tells a story. And this is how I built my entire life. I heard this story when I was in high school or something. And he tells a story about when he was a boy, his dad owned a building, he was like an air condition business guy, and he tore down a wall in the building. And he made his sons rebuild it after a couple of days, we’ll just looked at his dad and was like, Yo, this is impossible. We cannot build a wall and his dad you know, just picked up one brick and said, you know, son, we’re not building a wall. We’re just laying one brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid. And soon you will have that wall and I heard that and it was in reference somebody asked him How do you do all the things you do? And he said that’s how I’ve been able to you know outshine my competition work harder than everybody is like everybody’s trying to be the biggest superstar in the world. I’m just trying to make one movie at a time I’m just trying to you know say one line at a time and that’s something I took away and I think of that every single day I mean I got Will Smith I got him on my mug you know I think about that story every single day when I’m you know sitting down at work and anytime I feel overwhelmed by my tasks is you know, Liz I’m not you know, I’m not trying to get to 10,000 members and II mmm I’m just trying to you know, do this one podcast today you know send out that one email right now. You know right my welcome sequence to day that has made all the difference.
Erin Ollila 47:09
I love that that was the most perfect ending to this podcast episodes of pretty much all I have to do now is balanced levels because there’s no editing to be had so let let’s be your Nike you take off running and guess you can do all those things. And you should but honestly just just pay for her membership. It is worth every single penny and it is as affordable as good way. Liz, let’s stop. Thank you so much. I’m so glad to have you here today.
Liz Wilcox 47:33
Thank you so much, Erin.
Erin Ollila 47:37
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Top copy to me. If you enjoyed spending your time with me today. I would be so honored if you could subscribe to the show and leave a review. Want to continue the conversation. Head on over to Instagram and follow me at Erin Ollila. Until next time friends
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