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A 3 part email series that turns subscribers into clients

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Congratulations! You have a new email subscriber.

Now what?

What happens to your new email subscribers once they’ve opt-in?

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Does anything happen?

The reason I ask is because when someone finds your content, reads it, and signs up to your blog or newsletter, they clearly love your work.

And if they’re engaged in your content, that’s the perfect opportunity to continue to build your relationship, exceed expectations and turn new subscribers into leads.

The best way to do that is with an automated, welcome series of emails, which are sent to extend a warm welcome to new email subscribers.

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Automated emails are triggered when someone first opts in on your website. The first email in the series is sent immediately after your new subscriber joins your email list.

This allows you to connect with them right at their peak engagement.

Each subsequent email can be sent at predetermined intervals, say at 1- or 2-day intervals, for example.

The purpose of a welcome series is to introduce yourself, educate your new subscriber about you, your business, and convert them into lead. In short you need to indoctrinate them on:

  • Who you are
  • Why you’re different
  • What they should expect from you – and when
  • What they should or can do next

The success of your email marketing isn’t based on how many subscribers you have, but the relationship you have with those subscribers. Here’s how…

Email 1: Welcome and thanks

The first email you send in the series is your opportunity to deliver what you promised your new subscriber when they opted in, and to set expectations for future emails.

Be sure to thank them for subscribing (duh! may seem obvious, I know, but can easily get overlooked), let them know what they should expect from you and how frequently they’ll be hearing from you.

Don’t forget to sprinkle in a touch of personality. If you’re self-employed or working freelance, it’s time to ditch the corporate speak.

Just don’t overdo it and appear over friendly or unprofessional.

One more thing…

If you want your new subscriber to do something else, ask them in your first email:

  • Follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  • Forward your email to a friend/coworker
  • Survey them for information

In one example, internet entrepreneur Noah Kagan surveys the subscriber by asking, “If I could write about 1 thing to make your day better, what would it be?”

He’s asking a simple question that gives him valuable information about what his audience wants, while still making it about you.

Email 2: Your why

To steal a quote from Simon Sinek,“People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

Most of the creative business owners I’ve met have an interesting story or compelling history.

Your own unique marketing story is an effective tool because it allows you to do several things other marketing messages don’t.

  • They evoke emotion.
  • Stories are easier to remember because people relate more readily.
  • Most importantly – stories build trust and credibility with your audience.

To start crafting your unique story, you can begin by telling more about yourself and why you do what you do. This allows your subscribers to connect with the real you on more than just a surface level conversation.

Another option you could explore is to write an entertaining story that shows how you overcame adversity, to expose your human side – both good and bad.

Drawing from my own welcome series, I start my second email by sharing a little of my back-story, only because it’s relevant to my readers.

“Following a few years in the marketing trenches of putting into practice what I was learning, I began to see the success that can be achieved by following an effective system.”

After that, I bring it back around again to be about my readers and their problems.

“But enough about me. Let’s talk about you.”

And once you’ve indoctrinated your audience… it’s time to convert them into leads.

Email 3: Engagement

Engagement emails are key to converting subscribers into leads. A great approach for these engagement emails is to make offers to your premium content or ‘lead magnets’ by linking to landing pages.

In this example text below, Derek Halpern of Social Triggers uses a direct link to download his e-book to convert his readers.

“Without further ado, here’s the link to download the “How to Get Your First 5,000 Subscribers Ebook.”

A lead magnet is an irresistible free giveaway offering a specific piece of value in exchange for your prospects email address.

The key to a successful lead magnet is to solve a specific problem for a specific segment of your ideal audience. It should help your audience achieve a positive outcome, whether it saves them time, money, or simply improve their current situation in some way.

Simple lead magnet process:

  • Identify a specific segment of your ideal audience.

Ask yourself:

  • What are the top 3 questions you get asked the most by this group.
  • What are their biggest challenges, frustrations and pain points?

Aggregate your results and brainstorm ideas based on these answers.

With your lead magnet setup, you can segment subscribers further by adding them to new email lists or by tagging them by topic. This can trigger new campaigns, such as to promote paid offerings, or to further personalize your communication to them based on topics they’re interested in.

Before you make the final decision on what to create, consider how your lead magnet aligns with your products and services.

For example, if you’re a photographer who specializes in weddings, you could create a checklist like: “Top 20 Key Wedding Moments You’ll Want to Remember on Your Big Day.”

Of course you don’t have to stick to this outline, as there are many other ways you can indoctrinate and engage your subscribers.

If you’re not sure what to include, start with a warm welcome and then introduce them to your ‘pillar’ content – your most popular blog posts, that solves your subscribers most pressing questions and problems – through a series of emails.

Over to you – how do you welcome your new subscribers? Leave a note in the comments below.

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About Stephen Mayall

Stephen Mayall is a marketing consultant, coach, part-time cyclist and doting dad. I help creatives, designers and freelancers generate more leads, create more opportunities and gain more clients. Get my free training: Lead Generation – 101.

Leave a Comment



  1. Hi Stephen!
    Thanks for the great post! Here is where I get stuck – it seems like you have to create the lead magnet just to get the email in the first place rather than using that in step 3. No one gives their real email away (people tell me they create an address that they never check to get free stuff). Do you do a double opt-in confirmation?

    Secondly, I don’t have a training or Ebook and that is going to take some time – plus it seems like anything I write could easily be Googled. I know, I know – write it anyway! But why wouldn’t you offer something like a free service like an evaluation of their website or something that may be a direct way to speak to them and turn them into a client?

  2. Great tips, Stephen! Thanks a lot!

    I like the posts that force me to take action immediately!
    You just made me to make a few changes in the page where I send my subscribers to download the free e-book I offer.

    Offering this e-book and adding a pop-up form to my blog a few months ago, tripled my subscribers instantly!

    A thought I have to engage my audience, is to ask them to chose between 2 or 3 titles-ideas, what they want to read next on my blog.
    This way I’ll know more about their problems or desires, but I won’t spend precious time either on something they might not be interested at all.

  3. Thank you for sharing, Stephen. This post is right on time! I’ve been thinking about the best way to connect with my target audience through my website. The lead magnet has been one of my challenges. I think I’m getting closer to creating one.


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