Written By: Katie Caples
Expand Your Services and Increase Your Earning Potential
Whether you’re launching your own product, course, or membership, or you’re a freelancer looking to expand your services, email sales sequences are incredibly important.
In the vast, virtual sea of offers, opt-ins, and freebies, you want yours – or your clients’ – to stand out and land with each impression. To be successful. To increase impact and revenue.
Here’s a shocking statistic for you… the average e-commerce lead conversion rate is 2.9%.1 Yes, you read that right, 2.9%!
So having a solid email sequence, one that’s packed with value, is essential.
Not sure what I’m talking about? Let’s review a real-life sales funnel – one you may have come across in your journey to becoming a freelance copywriter.
The example? Sarah Turner, a seasoned health and wellness copywriter turned course creator.
Many freelancers in her community first learned of her after Googling, “best freelance writing course,” or, “work from home careers,” and then clicking on a social image. They found it intriguing, wanted to know more, and clicked on the ad.
That ad took them to a landing page featuring her opt-in, 6 Months to Copywriting Freedom.
There, they signed up to receive her free, four-part copywriting course. They entered their name and email, easy-peasy, and **boom** they instantly received an email with their very first video.
The start of her email sales sequence.
And complicated! Well, maybe, to your average signer-upper. But for you? You’re ready to learn, and soon you’ll be a seasoned pro too, creating sequences that are just as effective.
So, let’s take a closer look at everything email sequences. These tips and tricks are perfect for copywriters in any niche, but will also help business owners wanting to up their email sequencing skills.
What’s an Email Sales Sequence?
An email sales sequence is a series of emails that warms up a cold lead. It’s welcoming and takes the customer on a journey – right in their living room.
A journey filled with value, reassurance, and encouragement.
And it’s automatically generated, meaning software prompts each ‘send,’ dripping details of the course or product, strategically into your target audience’s inbox.
The Number of Emails Matters
Many email sales sequences are 7 parts, 10 parts, or 12 parts. For more complicated or well-established products, they can be up to 15 parts. In fact, Sarah’s course has a 15-part email series.
But it’s important that each email has a purpose, an actual purpose – don’t just send an email for the sake of sending an email.
Be Strategic and Intentional
If an opt-in or lead magnet was the trigger for the email sequence, the first email better deliver value. Value, value, value. In a welcoming and visually appealing way.
And if you promised a video series, or guide, or template of some kind, then email #1 better bring it. Because you are a person of your word – and so are your clients. So, start this new relationship off strong.
Next, you’ll focus on your client’s authority, showcasing her experience, why she is positioned to share, educate, inspire. And if it’s a multi-part opt-in, feature the next step or video.
Then, hone in on your client’s ideal customer, the one the signature program or course is intended for. But do not start selling (yet!). Instead, share pain points, relate to her, and connect, really connect.
Share why your client’s course is unique or different – what sets it apart in the marketplace? This is where you can start to mention the bigger offer, in the postscript or as part of the conversation.
Urgency and scarcity are next up. In the final emails, you’ll want to be gentle yet firm, outlining the next step. A countdown timer is a great way to visually show the offer’s end time, or you could even say “3 days left,” then, “2 days,” and call for a final decision.
As you write the sequence, think about adding a favorite quote, one that will connect your client to their audience and show personality. Add testimonials, FAQs, and branded images. And of course, of course, a button for each call to action.
Pro Tip: Think about the end user’s experience. Make the call to action clear, pleasant, and quick loading.
Done well, you’ll attract the right kind of clients. And turn away those that are not a good fit – also a win. Any entrepreneur will tell you, both are critical. No one wants to do business with someone who’s a bad fit. So be honest. Be transparent. And the right customers will buy.
Elements of a Solid Email Sequence
To write a successful email sales sequence, you really have to understand your product and your ideal clients.
Do Your Research
Talk to past customers and new customers. And of course, your client, the course or product creator. Have in-depth conversations. Really get to know them.
You’ll want to hone in on your client’s tone and voice, by listening, really listening. Just as you do with your other copy clients.
And while you listen, consider these questions:
- What catchphrases does she use?
- How does she greet you, how does she talk about her course, her people?
- What’s her natural cadence and rhythm?
Being able to write in her voice builds authority and shows her vulnerable, authentic side.
What are her customers saying? How do they describe the value they’ve received or the impact the course or product has had on them personally? Translate this knowledge, and help your client attract her next round of customers.
These are all aspects to keep in mind as you create your deliverable.
Elements for Each Email
Multiple emails make up your sequence, you may have even outlined how many are best for your client and her product. But now what? Now you’ll start drafting each individual email.
As you do, each email will need:
- A Subject Line
- The Body of the Email
- A Call-to-Action
- An Effective Sign Off
- A Post-Script
- And maybe even a Post-Post-Script
The subject line is super important. Choose clarity over clever wordplay, every time. You want the target audience to open it, to receive value from the freebie, and then to look forward to seeing your client’s name in their inboxes.
It’s your superpower, really.
As for the deliverable, you’ll capture your copy in a Google document, one that is easy to read, with page breaks or visual indicators for your client to signify the start of a new email or action step they’ll need to take.
As you write, keep the purpose of each email in mind. The early emails are full of value, and not so much about “the sell.”
In our example, Sarah Turner’s first four emails each deliver one of her free videos. Yes, they have a greater meaning, like showcasing her experience, her authenticity, and establishing trust. This is the groundwork that lends naturally to making a bigger sale later on. But it is imperative that the value, the free value, be received upfront.
For your client, the opt-in may be a pdf guide, cheatsheet, blueprint, or video series.
Go on, flex your strategic muscles, here. My favorite part of writing a launch sequence is working, and partnering, with my client, offering suggestions that will lead her potential buyer on a journey to purchase. And you may soon discover it’s your favorite part, too.
Pro Tip: Create a swipe file of really great examples. The next time you opt-in for a freebie, pay attention to the emails you receive – the subject lines, the tone, the purpose behind each one. You’ll start to see a pattern, and you’ll never look at opt-ins the same again. Guaranteed.
Add Email Sequences to Your Service Offerings
So now what? You have a better understanding of sales funnels, and in particular, email sales sequences. And you’re feeling confident you can write your own.
Now it’s time to flex those skills. Here are three ways to do just that.
1. Add Email Sequences to Your List of Offers on Your Website
Just as you added blogs, website copy, white papers, VIP days, and packages to your website, you’ll want to add email sequences.
How you do it is up to you, really. It could be part of a bigger package, or a simple line item service. There’s no wrong way to do it, but you’ll want to put it out in the universe as an option.
Pro Tip: Look to your peers, search for examples of copywriters you admire, and see how they are packaging their services. And update your social bios, you never know who is watching.
2. Upsell an Existing Client
One of the easiest ways to offer your new service is to upsell an existing client. Maybe you’ve been working with your client for a while now, writing weekly blogs or white pages as needed.
And you know they’re launching a new program, product, or course. If so, that’s a natural starting point to open a conversation. If you’re not sure what your client is currently working on, simply ask on your next call.
Be curious. If an opportunity presents itself, a course or product launch, start by asking questions. Listen to your client’s goals, hesitations, and fears. Work to understand how you can help. And then make the offer.
3. Start Cold Pitching
If you’re ready to go to the next level, start cold pitching your services. By now, you probably have your own method for doing this. But if you need a refresher, here are places to scout out possible clients: Instagram, Facebook (groups are my favorite), LinkedIn, or Clubhouse.
Pick one platform, and look for creative entrepreneurs that are gearing up for a launch. Maybe they mentioned it on a podcast you listened to, or wrote a long post about a new direction they’re pursuing.
These leads are a great opportunity to reach out, to connect, and to see if there’s anything you can help with. You can communicate right through the social platform, or you can search for their email address and send a pitch that way.
Pro Tip: Be sure to follow up 2-3 days later. Your future clients are busy.
Sure, you’ll get a lot of no’s. But stick with it, and you’ll be happy you did.
Mastering Your New Service Offering
You’ve learned a thing or two about email sequences, and you’ve determined it’s a direction you want to pursue.
First of all, go you! Your clarity, your energy. Lightbulb moments are the best.
Now you’re ready to put in the work to grow your understanding, sharpen your email writing skills, your conversion skills, and take your copy business to the next level.
“Be patient. Do the best with what you know. When you know more, adjust your trajectory.”
– Jen Hatmaker
Remember to the best you can with what you know. And as you do, you’ll know more. And you’ll adjust your trajectory along the way.
Because you? You continue to learn, you continue to grow, and you do the *hard* work.
Heck, you’ve probably already started writing an email sales sequence in your head. Now it’s time to put it on paper. Or on your screen. Write the email sales sequence. Get feedback, have your peers review it. Refine it. And then write it again.
It really is that simple. And you’re a natural. So what are you waiting for?
And if you’re an alum of Sarah Turner’s Write Your Way to Freedom, a heads-up. She just added a brand new lesson in Module 2, it’s called Funnel Vision. In it, she walks you through each step, from awareness to interest to desire to action.
It even includes tips for repeat customers and referral programs, along with real-life examples from various industries. And best of all, she shares lessons learned from marketing her own course. It’s a total gamechanger.
Not yet in her community? Well, if you’re a freelancer wanting to elevate your copywriting career (and your network!), now’s the time. Check out Write Your Way To Freedom. It will get you to the next level, with wisdom and resources you’ll only wish you had known when you started out.
Sending you love and encouragement.
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This is a guest blog written by Katie Caples, author, coach, and Write Your Way to Freedom alum. Katie writes launch copy for female founders, thought leaders, and heart-centered course creators. For a free business planner and to hop on her mailing list, check out All Things Business.