‘How often should I email my list?’ 

This is probably one of the most common questions I get asked about email marketing. 

The rather unsatisfactory answer is ‘it depends’ - on all sorts of factors, including how often you usually email your list, what’s going on in your business at the time and what your goals are. 

But what I can tell you is that you are almost certainly emailing your list less than you should - and missing out on sales as a result.

In this podcast episode, I tackle the question of how often you should be emailing your list - and share the key email sequences every business owner should have. 

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode}

1. The 'delivery/welcome' sequence 

This is the sequence of emails you send someone when they join your email list.

If they have signed up via a free lead magnet (i.e. a resource you create specifically with the intention of getting people to join your list), I’d suggest sending a series of 3-5 emails where you break down the content of your lead magnet and give additional value. I generally refer to this as a ‘delivery sequence’.

So for example with my 23 Social Media Ideas lead magnet, I send five follow up emails (across four days). The first - which should land immediately after they subscribe to the lead magnet - is to deliver the lead magnet.

The second - sent around 24 hours later - asks subscribers to email back and let me know if they received the email ok. This can help troubleshoot any potential problems with spam (once a new subscriber emails me back, their email provider recognises us as ‘friends’ - which means my content is less likely to end up in spam).

The next three delve deeper into the problem the lead magnet solves (not being able to come up with engaging content ideas). I share three types of post (one each day): the question post, the ‘story’ post and the ‘grenade’ post.  In this email I make a sales offer to a product/service that feels like the natural ‘next step’ to the lead magnet. This may or may not lead into a sales sequence.

I may also make a ‘soft’ sales offer in the p.s. of the second or third email (or both).

If people are joining your list for another reason i.e. you just have a general ‘sign up’ email, I’d recommend a 3-5 email ‘getting to know you’ sequence where you talk a little bit about what to expect from being on your list and help people get to know you better.

You should also create a welcome sequence for people who buy one of your products/services. For a coaching/membership programme - where you’re going to be working with people over a longer period of time - I’d recommend a 3-5 day ‘tour’. In my Build Your Online Audience Programme, you get a ‘tour’ of the membership (including the site/resources and team). For an online course, masterclass or playbook I’d generally keep it shorter.

2. The ‘sales sequence’ 

This is the sequence of emails you send someone to promote a paid product/service. This can be anything from an online masterclass to a playbook to an online course.

The length of your sales sequence really depends on the product/service you’re selling, but, personally, I wouldn’t recommend sales campaigns that run for longer than 5-7 days - with some kind of scarcity built in - otherwise people can start to zone out.

I’d recommend sending at least one email every day, with at least 2-3 emails on the last day. I’d also recommend creating a ‘looked not bought’ sequence - which you send to those who have clicked on the link to purchase (more on that later).

However, the length of your campaign can depend on the product/service you’re selling. For example, I have a four day email sequence I use for online masterclasses, which I generally start three days before the day of the masterclass. If I start to promote any earlier, I find people forget about the masterclass.

3. The ‘looked not bought’ sequence

One of the biggest mistakes I see people making with their email marketing, is not asking people why they didn’t buy. While it can be uncomfortable to ask, it can also be an opportunity to convert someone who might otherwise have walked away.

The reasons people don’t buy are varied and complex. Some people have unanswered questions, but for whatever reason they don’t ask. Others have a fundamental misunderstanding about the product/service - which can be down to missing/misleading information on your sales page, for example. A few have decided the product/service is not for them based on an incorrect assumption.

For example, lots of my customers/clients convince themselves my services are not suitable for product-based businesses - even though I do my best to stress this in my marketing and use relevant testimonials.

In many cases, when you provide subscribers  with the information they need, they will decide to buy.  Even if they don’t, at least they’ve had all the information they need to make a decision (which means they may still buy at a later date).

This is why it’s vital to have a Looked Not Bought sequence in every email campaign you create where you simply say something like: I noticed you’d been checking out x product/service but haven’t yet bought. Let me know if you have any questions.

But if you’re not brave enough to ask the question, you’ll never know. Which means you’re almost certainly missing out on sales.

This is why it’s vital to have a Looked Not Bought sequence in every email campaign you create where you simply say something like: I noticed you’d been checking out x product/service but haven’t yet bought. Let me know if you have any questions.

Podcast shownotes

  • About my daily email  (2:45)
  • About this podcast episode (4:07)
  • How to send a delivery/welcome email sequence when someone joins your list (5:02)
  • How to use lead magnets to get people to sign up to your email list (5:24)
  • Why a sign-up box on your website won't get people to join your email list (7:41)
  • How to follow up with an email delivery sequence after sending a lead magnet (8:03)
  • How to make sure that people have got your download and avoid the spam folder (09:50)
  • How to get people to email you back and build a relationship (11:45)
  • Why you need an email structure and set templates (13:50)
  • How to move people onto your sales sequence email list (15:20)
  • How to use scarcity in your email marketing and why it focuses peoples minds (16:26)
  • How often you should email people in an email sales sequence (19:38)
  • How to make sure people don't unsubscribe from your whole list (21:09)
  • Why I only have a four day lead-in for sales for my masterclass (23:12)
  • The 3 types of email that you can put in your email sales sequence (23:37)
  • Why emailing people who have looked but not bought will help your sales (25:15)
  • Examples of how to follow up with people if they haven’t bought from you (28:21)
  • Why you need to become part of peoples routine (31:04)

Resources

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Other podcast episodes

[333] 39 surprisingly easy ways to build your email list (podcast)
[334] How to build a large audience without paid advertising with Callie Willows (podcast)
[335] How to create a high converting lead magnet (podcast)
[348] How to write social media posts that sell (podcast episode)
[359] How to create an email newsletter that people look forward to receiving (podcast)
[360] How to get people to open your emails (podcast)
[375] How to get your first 1K email subscribers (podcast)
[395] How to write addictive email copy with Rob & Kennedy (podcast)
[398] What sort of content should you create during a global crisis (podcast)
[399] How to build your online audience during a global crisis (podcast)
[400] How to build a large audience for your blog, vlog or podcast (podcast)
[Bonus] How to turn your in person services into online offerings (podcast)
[Bonus] How to generate income fast by creating a power hour for your business (podcast)

How to write social media posts that sell (online masterclass)

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