Write great lifecycle emails


How you can make landing pages and welcome emails for email courses

by Colin Nederkoorn

Last week you learned how to plan for your lifecycle email course. This week we’ll go into depth on the first email that you send. We’ll also look at how to keep interest high from email to email.

We won’t be talking much about landing pages

Since this is about email copy, we won’t be covering landing pages in depth. For your lifecycle email course though, the first step is to get a place to collect email addresses. You can see my first version for the new course:

Learn to write emails

For some other landing page ideas, here are 25 lead gen landing pages critiqued for conversion from Unbounce.

Unbounce makes landing pages easy, and this morning I figured out how to automatically add Unbounce signups to Customer.io.

Landing pages are a big topic. If you want to learn more about them, let me know. Now on to your emails…

Use your first email to set expectations for the course

Tell people what to expect from you. An automated email series is one of life’s few opportunities to tell people what you’ll do, and then do it without breaking a sweat.

Here are some rules to follow for a first email in a lifecycle course.

The first email should:

  • Deliver value immediately
  • Let people know they’re in control (make your unsubscribe obvious)
  • Tell people what to expect from the rest of the course

Should you start the course on day 0? Or wait until the next day?

Below is the first email from “5 Sales-Spiking Website Tweaks”, a free 5 day course.

You're enrolled

Did you read it? You might notice 2 things. First, you have to wait until tomorrow for your first tweak. However, the other thing you may have noticed is that there’s a cheat sheet for you to download today.

This teases the reader, increasing the likelihood they’ll look for the first email tomorrow. It also gives immediate gratification with a freebie download.

Don’t stress if you don’t have a freebie to give away.

You can start your course with the first email.

I don’t have a good freebie to give away right now either, so we’ll start with the first lesson in email 1. It’s going to be about “From Addresses”. You might want to start with the most straightforward of your subjects to ease people in to your course.

Remember, people like to hear things they already know!

Here’s the first email in the new series I’m working on.

[Example first email]

Here are the goals of the email:

  1. Set expectations. Show all the other emails someone’s going to receive and when to expect them.
  2. Provide value. We started the first lesson on “from addresses”
  3. Give people something they can do now. “Go review your from addresses…”
  4. Get people excited for the next email. You can see my hint about what to expect next time.

If you’re a slacker, creating lifecycle email courses is for you!

I’ll let you in on a little secret… I’ve only written the first email of the new course. That’s enough to get started letting people in to the course.

I’m going to be writing and tweaking the rest of the course emails between now and next week.

Queued up emails ready to send

I have no idea how this works in other email software, but in customer.io, I can create all my emails without content first and start getting people in. Worst case scenario, someone will wait a day while I finish writing an email.

In customer.io I have my 1 email automatically being sent out, and then when people get to email 2, those emails get queued up and will only go out when I say so.

Why would you spend all that time upfront before people are actually in the course?

Are you building your course right now? We’d love to know where you’re having success and where you’re struggling.

Share this post

Did you enjoy this article? Spread the word