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Of Dungeons and Emails

Updated: Apr 30

What makes an email onboarding experience a really good one?


Well, there are many ways to answer this question, but if there’s one thing that can make a new subscriber lose their marbles is this:


Getting bombarded by too many emails in the first 48 hours of joining the list.


I’m specifically mentioning 48 hours, cause this time period has been proven to be the time window in which your new subscriber is most engaged with your brand, if your brand is completely new to them.


What is “too many emails”, you may ask. I’m going to pull out my infamous catchphrase here for the first time today - it depends.


You have to test it out and get feedback from your subscribers about it, but my personal default is 1 email straight after subscribing, and then starting to drip the cadence of the welcome sequence with an email every 24 hours.


But you didn’t think it was all that easy, did you?


That’s exactly where so many brands still get it wrong.


Let's time-travel for a sec


When you joined my list, did you receive both my welcome sequence and my ethical Friday newsletters?


The answer is no.


I onboarded you fully, with the soft opt-out option, before you got anything else from me.


(Whether you chose to read each one of those emails was completely up to you, of course.)


The brands that I see, give consults to, or work with tend to have a solid welcome sequence, but they send their welcome sequence alongside their ongoing emails.


Do you see how this can come across as hella annoying?


So what do you do instead?


Divide and conquer.


If you have a welcome sequence that you’re dripping to your new subscriber, create a segment (and/or add a tag) in your Email Service Provider the moment that someone joins your list, and call it “Do Not Disturb”, or DND for short.


Then set the following rule:


As long as someone is going through your welcome sequence, and for as long as they have this tag, they won’t get any other materials from you.


Here’s how it looks like, very currently, in my own system:






If you chose the soft opt-out option, you’d jump directly to the “GOAL” part (don’t ask me why ActiveCampaign [affiliated] set it like that, I’m still very confused by their automation setup).


If you didn’t opt out softly, you skip that GOAL and will wait one day.


Now, I learned that part the hard way -


I’ve had subscribers in the past who completed my welcome sequence, and then, it could be 5 minutes later, got my ongoing emails.


Clingy much?


So I added the “wait 1 day” gap right there, and hypothetically, it can also be longer.


It’s only when you get past that point when that initial tag gets automatically removed, and my new subscriber gets a new tag - “out of DND”.


If you got to this article through my newsletter, you only got it cause you currently have an “out of DND” tag, and are part of a segment of my email list that includes that tag.


It might look different in your system, but the principle is similar:


  • You’re creating a clear separation between those who still get to know you and your brand, and those who are already one step ahead.


  • You build the relationship with your new subscriber gradually and strategically, just as you intended to do with your welcome sequence


  • And you don’t annoy your new subscriber to oblivion, which decreases the unsubscribing rate.



Onboarding a new subscriber needs to be a smooth experience - segmenting your list strategically like that from the get-go is a necessary step to help it being one.






The DND tag is only one of many common mistakes I see brands do with their onboarding experience. Yours can be smooth and fun, and much better than the competition. Need more assistance with it? Book a 1:1 email strategy consult call with me now.

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