This post will outline a unique approach to writing a Welcome Email sequence that 90% of eCom stores simply don’t do.
This strategy is not ideal for all eCommerce businesses. In fact, you need to be a real brand, not just a commodity product. People connect with brands, and this strategy works best when you have a strong WHY behind your business.
It’s also designed for eCom stores that want to grow their monthly email marketing profits from 10% (or less) to 20-30% and sometimes even more. This means once this system is in place, it’ll generate consistent monthly income, without the need to rely on Facebook Ads or Google Ads. (Which seem to be getting more and more expensive right now)
This is the exact strategy I used to help an eCom store quickly scale to $50k a month in additional recurring revenue (that’s every.single.month), starting with one of the most undervalued flows – The Welcome Sequence.
If you want to grow your stores’ email marketing profits using powerful automations THIS is the Klaviyo email strategy to do it.
Note: If you’re a smaller eCom store that’s doing less than 100k a month this will still work, but you’ll need to audit your whole Klaviyo account to get closer to 20% profit margins from email marketing. Click here to schedule a free audit of your account.
Read on to find out why the Welcome Sequence sets the scene for improving ALL of your email automations and improving profits across all your email flows.
The Welcome Sequence Warm Hug: Get Your Customers Excited to Hear From You
Coupons, free gifts, competitions, and paid ads are all important factors for growing a brand’s email list, there are no two ways about it. But, when done right, a well-thought-out Welcome Sequence with real storytelling will drive long-term brand loyalty, increased profits, higher LTV (lifetime value), and repeat customers month after month and year after year.
How it works:
Ask any email marketer or Copywriter how to increase email profits for a store, and they’ll all tell you something like:
- Send more campaigns!
- Have bigger discounts!
- Run a giveaway!
That’s an old strategy from 2015.
Here’s the thing… online shoppers are SMART, really SMART… and they know to expect discounts the second they join an email list. But what if you could bring people into your email list, without giving away more significant discounts, then nurture your audience and have them become true fans, whilst increasing profits at the same time?
Wouldn’t that be a better option instead?
It all starts with the Welcome Sequence. It’s the first touch point for most customers, and it’s your golden opportunity to build an amazing, long-lasting relationship with them. By taking the time to understand them on a deeper level, you can craft a Welcome Sequence that demonstrates your commitment to your products and their needs and desires.
The 3-Steps to Using the “Welcome Sequence Warm Hug”, to Get More Sales, a higher LTV, and Raving Fans
There are three steps to implement the Welcome Sequence Warm Hug strategy successfully.
Step 1: Create a custom Survey
Step 2: Build and split test based on the data you get
Step 3: Write a detailed 7-10 email series Welcome Sequence using copywriting techniques and intelligent storytelling.
Below is a breakdown of how every part of the strategy works. But first, let me tell you what this has to do with a “warm hug.”
The “Warm Hug” Explained:
Have you ever had a shopping experience where you felt like the company really got you?
Like, they’d looked inside your brain, pulled out all your emotions, worries, and personal triggers – and made a product SO damn good that you felt like someone was giving you a nice big warm hug?
Not just any hug either – Like a BIG bear hug – where you felt your whole body smooshed up against someone. You know the hug I’m talking about – a BayMax Hug!
Now imagine if you could do this to people who joined your email list. You made them feel heard, wanted and cared for… Like you were an old personal friend.
This sounds a bit cheezy I know… but it works! And it rings the cash register like crazy. So let’s go through the 3 steps you need to implement this into your business.
Step 1: Survey Your Audience
When was the last time you picked up the phone and called someone who placed an order with you? My guess. Probably never.
Why is that? Well, more than likely it’s because you’re super busy with the daily grind and it would feel a bit weird calling a random stranger – especially in the digital age. But there’s a lot to be learned from speaking 1:1 with your customers.
Now before you freak out, the first step of the Welcome Sequence warm-hug strategy doesn’t involve cold-calling random customers. No one enjoys that and customers will think you’re a total weirdo!
However, the first step of the strategy involves surveying your audience to find out more about their true motivations for buying from your brand.
I first learned about the power of surveying your audience from a fantastic book by Ryan Levesque called ‘Ask’. It’s an incredible book that speaks about asking your audience for input to create the products and services they actually want and care about. Click here to grab it on Amazon.
We’re going to implement part of the strategy from Ryans best selling book in our Welcome Sequence Warm Hug right now.
To do this we first need to create a simple survey using a tool like Typeform, Jotform or VideoAsk.
Tip: VideoAsk is especially cool and it lets you create video surveys to keep your audience super engaged, but typeform/jotform will do the job just as well. VideoAsk does require more time to set up, but it opens up the opportunity to get video answers directly from your customers.
For the purpose of this article, we’ll use a popular free tool called JotForm. You can head here to sign up for JotForm. If you want to remove the JotForm branding, you will need to pay for a monthly subscription.
After you’re all set up, we need to build our survey for our audience. Personally, I always opt for the card layout, because this causes less overwhelm for anyone going through the form. It also looks better on mobile devices.
Now it’s time to ask some “know you better” questions. These questions are all about getting down to the true motivations for buying from you. Remember, we’re trying to extract our customer’s desires, worries, concerns, and experiences – so our questions need to address those emotions. Sit down with your team and spend an hour brainstorming these questions – it’s worth the time investment.
The answers will probably surprise you, and that’s a good thing – trust me!
Here’s a list of 20+ questions you can use as a base for your survey:
- Do you recommend our products to friends and family?
- When you think about the products you’ve purchased from us, what’s the one thing that specifically comes to mind? (Quality/price/design)
- Did you purchase from [XYZ brand] because of the reviews on our site? Was this a big influence on your purchase?
- Have you ever read our brand mission statement?
- Did you compare our products to our competitors? Why did you choose us?
- What matters most to you, price, quality or something else?
- Do you care about the process we use to create our products?
- Do social media influencers have an impact on your purchase decisions?
- Would you like to hear from our brand owners? Why/Why not?
- What’s the number 1 thing you’re currently struggling with when it comes to XYZ/Product?
- Do you trust the information and content we provide about our products? Why/why not?
- When you buy from a new brand for the first time, what’s the number one thing you care the most about? (Trust, shipping, good offers, reliable service, reviews).
- Do you like hearing stories from us about things we do in the community/success stories/customer outcomes?
- If you were to buy from another competitor, who would it be? Why?
- How did you feel when you first used our product?
- Do you like hearing from our CEO/owners about things we’re improving/changing?
- What’s the number 1 thing we need to improve as a brand?
- Does our Instagram content impact your decision to buy from us?
- Do you like the packaging we use for our products?
- When you received your product from us, was it a pleasant unboxing experience?
- How often do you buy products similar to ours? (even cheaper brands/products)
Now obviously, every brand is different, and this list isn’t exhaustive but these are a great starting point for you to get a deeper understanding of the things your customer REALLY cares about.
Remember: You’re trying to dig deeper to find out why your customers are buying from you, what they care about, and where you can make improvements. The data you get back will have a significant impact on our new Welcome Sequence.Luke
Now that you’ve spent the time building your survey, it’s time to get it out to a segment of your customers. To do this, we need to create a new segment inside Klaviyo.
- Inside Klaviyo, you’ll need to head over to the Audience > List & Segments area on the left-hand side of the dashboard
- We want to create a new Segment and call it ‘Deep Dive Survey’
- What we want to do next is create a segment of your audience who are active or have purchased from you in the last 180 days.
- The first Definition is ‘Opened Email’, ‘At Least Once’, ‘In the Last’, ‘90 Days’.
- The second definition is ‘Placed Order’, ‘At Least Once’, ‘In the Last’, ‘180 Days’.
- This will help you create a solid segment from your existing audience to send the survey to.
- Click ‘Create Segment’ in the bottom right corner, and see what size your list comes to.
- If your list size is less than 2,000 names, you might want to open the ‘open email’ definition from 90 to 180 days. 2,000+ will generally give you a good number of responses to find out more about your audience.
Now that you’ve got your survey ready, and your segment built, the last step is to get the email out to your audience.
Head to the Campaigns area of Klaviyo, click Create New campaign, and select the date to send the campaign. Depending on your audience, an email delivered earlier in the morning might get an improved open rate.
On the next screen, you’ll select your list Segment (which we created in the previous step), and now be ready to create the email. Click the ‘Continue to Content’ button in the bottom right corner to create your email.
The next part of the process is really important! Our subject line needs to get people to open the email and actually complete the survey.
Note: You might be wondering if it makes sense to have a small gift or prize available for anyone who takes the survey. 🎁 If your list is sizable, this isn’t required. Plus it can often skew results – because people are only after the gift, not really looking to help your brand.
Here are a few headlines you can use that’ll help with open rates:
- We need your help!
- Mind helping us with something?
- Your input is invaluable
- Help shape [brand]
- We give a sh*t about your opinion
- Your opinion matters – share your thoughts
- Our annual ‘make sh*t better’ survey
- Small favour please %FIRSTNAME%
- A super fun survey (promise) 🤞🤞
- We’re making changes [short survey]
Writing the Survey Email:
I know a lot of people reading this post probably aren’t copywriters or don’t enjoy writing, so I put together a mockup email that you could model your own survey email around. Feel free to rip this email off if you can’t come up with your own. (P.S. LeatherLabs isn’t a real brand)
Don’t overthink this step, just keep the email short and sweet, and then send it out so you can get responses back.
If you use JotForm/TypeForm, wait 24-48 hours before you start reading through the responses from customers. Often people will open and read the email but not respond to it until they’re at home or on the train.
(Optional: If you get a lower response, you can send a second reminder email the next morning which will generate more survey responses)
Once you’ve got a decent amount of responses, take the time to really digest your customer’s responses and input as it will have a direct impact on how much revenue you can add to your email marketing.
For example, if you asked the question “We’re you happy with how quickly you received your items?” And you received several negative/neutral responses – That’s now a golden opportunity to not only add a better shipping option on the checkout page, but also mention it in your welcome sequence.
These are invaluable insights that we’ll add to your Welcome Sequence and split test.
Step 2: Build and Split-test Everything in Klaviyo
Now that you’ve taken the time to survey your audience, it’s time to turn on the money-making machine. Your Welcome Sequence Warm Hug.
This is the fun part because the work you just did is about to pay off BIG time.
We’re about to take your generic as hell 3-part email sequence and turn it into a warm hug sequence of 7-10 emails that’ll work for years to come. Seriously, if you do this, you’ll be miles ahead of most of your competition and you’ll have an asset that will absolutely crush it year after year.
Here’s how we use the information you gathered from your survey to write a KILLER Welcome sequence.
- Write emails as if you’re writing to a real person (who you know, like and care about). Use a mixture of both text-based/graphic-based content. This will improve email deliverability and keep you out of the spam folder.
- Share a mixture of both content & product info across the email flow
- Weave survey responses, customer concerns, and testimonials into your flow
- Use smart conditional logic so you don’t bombard buyers with emails
- Share why your brand is different from competitors
- Implement, test, and improve
Now, I won’t leave you hanging here, because I know a lot of you want this laid out in black in white, right? How do you ACTUALLY put this in place and make it work… don’t worry, I got you. Enter your email below and I’ll send you detailed pdf with how to creat this inside your Klaviyo account:
If you split test a headline, a subject line, copy or graphics inside the email – it becomes extremely difficult to determine what made the biggest impact. Do one test at a time and track them accordingly.
It’s important you split-test your emails in your Welcome Sequence. I’ve found that testing headlines, descriptions, and ‘send from’ names have an enormous impact on open rates and total revenue. To do this, use the ‘Add Variation’ option inside Klaviyo. I never test more than 2 additional headlines at any one time, and I always track a split test using software like ClickUp. Click here if you want my help setting this up.
Step 3: Write a detailed 7-10 Step Welcome Sequence to Warm Hug your audience
Okay, now that we’ve got all the pieces of the puzzle put together, how about we create the most kick-ass Welcome Sequence you’ve ever seen?
If you already have a Welcome Sequence in place, I recommend leaving that untouched and creating a new Welcome sequence from the default Klaviyo templates. We don’t want to start making changes to your existing flow because our goal is to beat out your existing flow and increase revenue.
The basic template from the gallery is perfect as a barebones layout to build this flow out, but we’ll obviously need to make some changes to get it firing in the best way possible. Download the .pdf to see a full infographic flow layout with triggers, conditional splits and content strategy.
Remember, we’re aiming to write 7-10 really meaningful emails for our Welcome Sequence, so let’s start by dragging in the email blocks & time delay blocks from the left-hand side.
If you downloaded the .pdf you’ll also notice that I add conditional logic blocks after every 3 emails that automatically opts buyers out of the flow.
You might choose to add these every 4-5 emails because you want to keep people highly engaged in your content. This changes brand by brand, and there’s nothing set in stone here. Do what you feel is right for your brand.
The timing of your Welcome Sequence Warm Hug emails is also really important. Again, you’ll notice in the pdf guide that I typically space a 7-10 series across 20-30 days.
This does a few really important things: First, it keeps the open rate high, it keeps your domain safe/warms up your domain (so you stay out of the spam folder), and doesn’t overwhelm subscribers.
If you’re still struggling with how to layout your email sequence, here’s a few mock ups you can steal for your own brand. Remember, it’s a mixture of content, products, experiences and customer survey responses.
Heres 4 Free demo sequences you can steal for your Welcome Sequence:
Brand 1 – Food Brand:
Email 1 – BFFs for life!
Email 2 – Why we created [brand] during the pandemic
Email 3 – meet the farmers who blends our spices
Email 4 – How we pack every jar of pickles
Email 5 – Meet my mum – She is my WHY
Email 6 – Winner of the “best tasting pickles” 2 years running!
Email 7 – try our pickles for 100% free
Brand 2 – Coffee Brand:
Email 1 – Welcome! Let’s get Brewin’
Email 2 – Ethical coffee beans – a myth?
Email 3 – how we source our beans in Mexico
Email 4 – Why our coffee beans cost more
Email 5 – Make a better coffee with this weird technique
Email 6 – What to buy a coffee snob (true story)
Email 7 – 5 tips for better sleep using coffee
Email 8 – Our best-selling coffee cup (coupon inside!)
Brand 3 – Apparel Brand:
Email 1 – You’re in! Welcome to the fam.
Email 2 – Why hemp?
Email 3 – Why our pants last so much longer
Email 4 – We were featured on Kim K’s Instagram page!
Email 5 – our warranty on all products
Email 6 – A good news story
Email 7 – we made a funny TikTok (please share!)
Email 8 – Help us provide aid for flood victims
Email 9 – Look your best with these hemp products
Email 10 – Meet Emily – our new photographer 🙂
Brand 4 – Outdoor Lifestyle Brand:
Email 1 – Welcome to the Crew
Email 2 – We’re adventures, just like you
Email 3 – Our Personal 4-Wheel Drive Setups
Email 4 – How to live off-grid for a month at a time
Email 5 – Why we created the best camping chair in the world
Email 6 – The time I almost died in Western Australia
Email 7 – I spent $27k creating our best knife sharpener (read the story)
Obviously, these are just examples, but I think you get the idea here. A Welcome Series should do more than just deliver a generic coupon. It should show a deep connection with your customers, interest in their needs and concerns, and your commitment to becoming the ONLY brand they want to buy.
Bringing it all together – How to Add 50k with a Welcome Sequence:
In step 1 of the process, we created a detailed survey to send to our audience. This provided us with valuable insights about our existing customers.
In step 2, we used our survey responses to build a new sequence using the templates inside Klaviyo. I provided a detailed .pdf you could use to map out your own Welcome Sequence Warm Hug.
In step 3, we created a series of new emails using a mixture of content & product-related information. We intelligently weaved in the data and feedback from our survey. By doing this you should a huge bump in open rates, sales and customer lifetime value across the board.
After writing this article, I realized there’s actually a fourth step, which is the ongoing split testing and optimization of the new Wecome Sequence. Once you’ve swapped in your brand new Wecome Sequence, you really need to keep split-testing what’s working and what’s not driving engagement and revenue. Extended the sequence will give you a big boost (across all your flows), but an ongoing strategy can really improve your growth.
Doing these steps is truly worth it – as you’ll be able to boost Klaviyo-based sales even further than ever before.
If you’re like a lot of time poor eCom store owners I chat with that want someone to do all of this for them – I can help. Here’s how:
Get more help: Simply head over to this page, fill in your details, and tell me a little bit about your eCom store and how your existing email marketing is going. For a lot of brands, having a Welcome Sequence Warm Hug in place means they can reduce (or increase) Digital Marketing spend, hire a new staff member, or scale to the next level. Questions or comments? Drop them below!