When it comes to engaging nurture sequences, great examples are tough to find.
In fact, when I first started out, I tried (and failed) to search for the perfect nurture sequence. I downloaded hundreds of freebies and subscribed to countless email lists in the hope of finding the secret formula.
Here’s what I found – most people’s nurture sequences are really bad!
Or they simply don’t have one at all.
Now, I won’t go into all the reasons WHY you need an awesome nurture sequence (I’ll have to cover that in a separate article) but I will say this…
If you put in the effort to become one of the tiny minority of business owners who has a well thought-out nurture sequence, you’ll have a reusable asset that puts you WAY ahead of 99% of all the other online businesses out there.
You’ll have a tool that helps you make the perfect first impression, deepen your relationship AND direct your new biggest fan towards your desired course of action.
Which is why I want to share with you the 7 steps you need to take to write an engaging nurture sequence that enhances your brand and motivates your subscribers to take action.
Step 1) Set Your Objective
A nurture sequence can help you achieve a number of different objectives. You can funnel your new subscriber to a specific paid offer, you can use it as a tool to establish a solid brand identity OR you can create a nurture sequence whose primary goal is to educate and show your expertise.
Each one of these objectives requires a slightly different structure, which is why it’s important for you to set yourself a goal before you start planning your sequence.
For example, an educational sequence should look a bit like a mini email course. You might create a sequence made up of drip-fed content that helps your new subscriber to achieve a small, quick win.
On the other hand, a sales-orientated nurture sequence will need to focus more on persuasion strategies to move your prospect towards a buying decision.
Step 2) Welcome and Congratulate Your New Subscriber
A while back, I took an email course by an amazing email copywriter called Chris Orzechowski.
He likened the way we treat our prospects to training a puppy. Now, this might sound strange but stick with me on this.
When a new subscriber joins your list, they’re probably feeling a mixture of fear (“Have I just signed up to something that’s going to send a virus to my laptop?”) and excitement (“Yippee! I’ve found just the exact tool I need to solve my problem!”).
One of your first goals is to dial up the excitement and dial down the fear. Which is why, in the words of Chris O, you want to ‘throw your new prospect a treat’ for signing up to your list.
You want to congratulate them for the amazing decision they’ve just made by opting into your list. You want to make them feel really special by letting them know you value you them and by expressing how much of a big deal subscribing to your list is for YOU and THEM.
Your aim is to trigger a happy hit of dopamine that helps to reinforce the positive step they’ve just taken when they joined your list.
Step 3) Tell Your Story
When a new subscriber joins your email list it’s likely that they don’t know much about you. This is particularly true if you’re running paid ads to cold traffic, where their only encounter with you is a brief flirtation with a Facebook or Google ad.
It’s why it’s important for you to show the person BEHIND the brand by telling your origin story. One thing we know about buying behaviour (particularly in millennials) is that prospects are more likely to buy if they feel connected to your WHY.
Why? Because they want to know that you’ve got skin in the game too. They want to feel that you’re operating from a place of purpose over profit.
And that’s what your Origin Story is designed to do. It demonstrates to your new subscribers why you care, so they feel more motivated to buy from you. (If you want the secret to uncovering your Origin Story you can click HERE to download a copy of my FREE E-Book which walks you step by step through the process of finding and writing an engaging Origin Story.)
Step 4) Educate and Show Your Expertise
Regardless of your objective, it’s important that you demonstrate your expertise somewhere in your nurture sequence. Your new subscriber will want to know that you’ve not full of hot air, and that you do actually have the knowledge to help them solve their problems.
You can show your expertise in a number of ways:
- Use storytelling to educate in the form of an analogy or success story
- Write a tips-based email that provides helpful information that complements your lead magnet (in truth, I tend to avoid these as they tend to be quite boring…but they’re still an option!)
- Link to another piece of high-value content, like a second PDF an exclusive podcast or a training video
Make sure that the content you provide is congruent with the content in your lead magnet, so that it helps to enhance your new subscriber’s experience.
Step 5) Present a Persuasive Argument for Taking Action
The action you direct your new subscriber towards will depend on the overall objective you have in mind for your nurture sequence. But regardless of whether you’re educating, brand-building or selling, you want your new subscriber to take some kind of next step.
The next step could simply be to print out and actually use the lead magnet they recently received. It could be to book a discovery call with you. Or it could be to buy a particular product or service.
Whatever the objective, you need to sell them on why it’s vital to move forward with you. Again, there are a number of ways you can present your argument:
- A personal success story
- A client success story
- A cautionary tale
- A piece of research
- A news story
- An interesting fact or statistic
- A demonstration of what’s at stake if they don’t solve their problem
The next step you lead your new subscriber towards should make sense in the context of your lead magnet. For example, if you offered a recipe guide, don’t then move your subscriber towards 15% off a piece of sportswear. That would be weird. It would make much more sense to offer them a nutrition course or a recipe book.
Step 6) Provide Social Proof
When Robert Cialdini published his bestselling book, Influence, back in 1984 he coined the term ‘social proof.’
Social proof is the idea that uncertainty leads us to look to others, just like us, for evidence that we’re making a good decision. In marketing, Social proof is vital because it helps to answer any objections your new subscriber might have about whether to trust you, and whether you really CAN help to solve their problems.
Which is why you should include an element of social proof in your nurture sequence. The best way to do this is by sharing a relevant client success story – even better if you have some screen shots, showing exactly what your client said about you and your awesomeness.
Step 7) Make an Offer
Earlier in this article, I mentioned moving your new subscriber towards taking the next step with you.
When you’ve signed up a new lead, you don’t want to leave them hanging at the end of your sequence. Especially IF they’re itching to move your relationship forward.
Which is why you should always make some kind of offer. This might be a paid offer OR it could be an offer for another free product or service. Your goal is simply to keep up momentum and move your new subscriber further into your funnel and closer to buying from you.
Often business owners spend weeks (even months) agonising over what to include in their nurture sequence. Why? Because they don’t know where to start. The trouble is that most businesses do a terrible job of welcoming new subscribers onto their lists so there’s not much to go on to help you move forwards. So, if you’ve been thinking about creating a nurture sequence but you’re not sure what to include, make sure you follow these 7 steps. By the end of the process, you’ll have a solid foundation for an engaging nurture sequence that’s better than 99% of your competitors.
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