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An email nurture sequence is a series of automated emails that are meant to help you build long-lasting relationships with your subscribers over time.
Nurture sequences can be used as a tool to not only engage subscribers but to ultimately spark their interest in your content — leading them to explore your website, browse your services, buy a product, click and purchase through an affiliate promotion, check out your blog post or even sign up for your free training.
There are so many things it could include!
My nurture sequence for Duett (which sends on Tuesdays) includes 75 emails — that’s nearly 1.5 years of AUTOMATED emails going to my subscribers each week.
By having a nurture sequence all of my subscribers can get all the same helpful content — links to my affiliate programs, sales emails so they know how they can work with me, and links to helpful videos and blog posts I’ve created — that I had sent out to my subscribers long before they joined my list (or even knew I existed).
Nurture sequences are a perfect way to fully deliver on what your subscribers came for — and to keep them coming back for more!
Whether your nurture sequence is made up of emails you create from scratch or you repurpose a newsletter (like I do!), subscribers will see you as a friend, an authority and someone who can help them improve their lives in some way whether it’s by you sharing information or inspirational stories, leading them to your services or providing tips that you know will add value to their lives.
Soooo the big question… how can a nurture sequence help YOU?
By delivering high quality emails to your list — with valuable content that solves their problems, gives them ideas or inspiration, or helps them feel connected — you can deepen their trust and credibility with you. (The other phrase for this would be “brand loyalty.”) Isn’t that what we want?
When you’re already sending out newsletters to your list, don’t you think future subscribers would want that information too? I say yes!
How can you do this?
After you send your weekly email — if it’s evergreen content — add it to the end of your automated nurture sequence and modify the filter so that it only sends to people who’ve joined your list after a specific date.
See my date filter in ConvertKit here:
Test that new email, publish it and watch it go out each week to your newest subscribers when they reach that point of the nurture sequence!
Bloggers, more traffic is always better, isn’t it?!
With an automated nurture sequence, you can be sending traffic back to older, yet still super-quality blog posts. By creating emails that focus on older content — sent out a separate day than your newsletter — you’re giving subscribers more reasons to click through to your site.
You can use a nurture sequence as an opportunity to “package up” content in ways that your email subscribers will find helpful. Not only will you send traffic to older blog posts, you’ll create a really sweet experience for your subscribers to explore your content easily.
For example, here are a couple of emails we created for clients that share a collection or “roundup” of older and newer content based on one topic per email:
For example, here’s Jason’s email that links to a few older RecipeTeacher recipes. They’re all related (about chicken) and both actually have a recipe that “pairs well with” it, making it even easier for his subscribers to plan their meals.
And here’s Tessa’s email that features three different Salted Plains gluten-free baking recipes, followed by a link to check out another 18 over on her website (all in one roundup post).
If you have a product, what you’d HATE to have happen is have someone on your list for a year who, when surveyed, says they had no idea you had a product.
Eep — ball dropped.
With an ongoing nurture sequence, you can easily slip in a few sales-related emails in between emails sharing free, valuable content.
So if you’re selling a cookbook, an ebook, have a membership, or you’re gathering a waitlist for a product — you can share details about this with each new subscriber so they, a) can take advantage of buying it now, or b) at least be aware of it to buy it from you at a later date or refer it to a friend.
The rule of thumb is that you can pitch an offer (aka a sales email) for every 3 non-sales emails you send. It’s a good way to make sure you’re delivering more value than anything else and only asking for the sale from people who know, like and trust you.
By positioning your offers in this way, you’re giving more incentive to click through and learn more about the product over on your sales page.
Bonus tip: Include a testimonial from a happy user in the email too!
If you have a webinar and you pitch it to all new subscribers — what happens if they never signed up but they’re still on your list 3, 6, 12 months later? Do you think something changed in their life within this timeframe that would make your webinar appealing to them NOW?
Through an automated nurture sequence, you can send email reminders to encourage webinar registration sign-ups at any point later in the subscriber’s lifetime of being on your list!
Repurpose your webinar “hype” emails — the kind that identify the goal of the webinar, explain who it’s for, and encourages subscribers to sign up for the webinar — and integrate them into your ongoing nurture sequence.
All you need to do is exclude any current subscribers who DID attend the webinar or buy your related funnel offer from getting these emails. (That’d be annoying, wouldn’t it?)
So for Dani at Clean + Delicious, we pitched her waitlist for her course The Don’t Diet — in her Welcome Sequence but in case not everyone was ready to join during their first week of being on her email list, we also added little reminders throughout her nurture sequence emails.
Like this copy that’s at the end of one of her nurture emails:
(Of course, if someone has already joined the waitlist or stated they don’t want weight loss content, they don’t see it at all! ConvertKit conditional content for the win!)
What if you could go on a month-long vacation and know that most of your list would be hearing from you every week without YOU having to do a single thing before leaving for vacation? Or taking a week off from creating something new?
With an automated nurture email, even if you’re not sending a brand new newsletter, your list* will hear from you. (*Well, technically those who are still in your nurture sequence.)
This will help you maintain consistency with your subscribers, and they likely won’t even notice you weren’t creating something NEW for them because they’re busy checking out your automated emails and visiting your older blog posts!
Set up a whole nurture sequence or workflow (depending on what your ESP calls them) that is going to be all of your best evergreen content that you want all new subscribers to get.
Make sure all new subscribers are added to this sequence or workflow after they complete your nurture sequence… and then sit back, do nothing, and watch each email go out week after week without you having to change a thing!
Here’s what my Visual Automation for welcoming new subscribers looks like in ConvertKit:
Especially if you create a few different avenues of content for your blog or site, this strategy — to personalize your subscribers’ content based on their interests — is pretty dang exciting! Not only can you send subscribers more of what they want, you can send them less of what they don’t!
Say you have vegetarians on your list, but your whole site is not vegetarian… By segmenting your subscribers, you’ll be able to send them the types of recipes they’ll actually make/eat/enjoy versus sending them more emails they’ll have to delete (ugh, annoying).
Or, in the case of my client Sharon of Cupcakes and Cutlery, we allow her subscribers to update their preferences if they no longer want any alcohol recipes in their inbox (a sensitive topic for some that we wanted to be aware of). If they click to unsubscribe from alcohol-based cocktail recipes, we add a special tag that we use to “mute” them from content they don’t want — but they’ll still get everything else she sends!
You can ask subscribers to click a link in an automated email (you know, within your Welcome Sequence) that will add or remove a tag — or have them adjust their preferences through a link in every email footer.
Then, once you know what people prefer, you can hide different emails entirely from being sent to them. Or you can hide individual messages WITHIN emails from someone seeing it who has a certain tag.
For more on how to do this, among other strategies, you can check out my Email Conversion Strategy Bundle here.
In Sharon’s example, subscribers can update their subscription preferences in the footer of every email:
After they update their profile, ConvertKit adds the tag, “MUTE: Cocktails or Alcohol.” Then we used conditional content to hide the cocktail-related message from within the email so it doesn’t show to those with that tag. However, they can still see the rest of the email (which is still really valuable!):
Or you can use ConvertKit’s per-email filters to skip sending them an email entirely:
[I’m a proud affiliate of ConvertKit — and have been a happy user since 2017!]
This is the perfect way to serve your audience well by listening to what’s important to them AND still being able to share the rest of your content with confidence!
The worst thing that could happen when creating a community of loyal fans online… is if they have no idea what you do, what kind of content you create, or that you have products that will help them.
If someone was on your list for a year and didn’t know you did ____________*, wouldn’t that suck!?
*What you sell
*What you write about
*How they can engage in your community
With a nurture sequence, you can make sure to send out content every week that covers the breadth of your blog topics, resources you have ( free or paid) or the services you offer — one email at a time, one week at a time. And because it’s automated, every new subscriber who joins your list would learn about this span of content over time. Isn’t that great?!
This means you don’t have people joining your list who think you only do XYZ (when that’s just 25% of your content) or that you only send out free content (when you’ve also actually got some pretty awesome paid products you want them to buy!).
Build a nurture sequence that shares some of your top content, resources and services “in rotation.” So consider a pattern of content like:
Or something like:
This way, when someone joins your list for the first time, they get a full introduction to the wide scope of content — paid and free — that is available to them, in addition to your regular newsletters!
While “nurture sequences” may not be the sexiest strategy, it’s one that you can set, “forget” and still know it’s giving a full introduction to you, your content and sending new emails subscribers back to your website, your products, and/or your services without you having to do any extra work each week.
I’ve had the same nurture sequence for 42 months. It reminds my email list of who I am, what I offer, and sends valuable content (and traffic to my website) each and every week even if I don’t create something new.
I know that it shortens the learning curve for new subscribers to know me and get some of my best stuff — whether that’s blog posts, podcast interviews, products/courses, or tips and tricks they’ll find helpful — shortly after joining my list, even if they weren’t on my list when that article, podcast episode or resource was first created.
A nurture sequence is our way of continuing to provide value, on autopilot, in a way that makes sure subscribers have a full, holistic view of you and how your content will help them.
I hope all of this information is super helpful for you as you build a deeper connection with your email list and MAXIMIZE it by putting it on autopilot.
Which of these benefits are most important to you? I want to hear it all!
[I’m a proud affiliate of ConvertKit — and have been a happy user since 2017. There are affiliate links in this email, which means I will receive a small commission if you choose to sign up using any of them (at no additional cost to you!).]
If you’re not welcoming new subscribers and pointing them in the direction of your best, most beloved content — or you feel like the one you have isn’t doing the trick — it’s time we fix that. Use this free 5-part framework to make a meaningful & lasting first impression as you write your first welcome sequence for new email subscribers!
FYI : I sometimes talk about and link to tools, sites, books, and resources that I LOVE. Sometimes those companies give me a little gift for sharing if you choose to purchase something through my affiliate link. I promise to be straightforward with you and to only share things I personally use and would vouch for 100%.
Join us for the next email marketing roundtable, a free live event where we'll clear up any confusion you have around email marketing — so you can get your message in front of your audience, engage subscribers, and optimize conversions for sales and site traffic.
We’re Duett, an email marketing agency specializing in email strategy, email copywriting, and email automation setup with a special place in our heart for bloggers (especially those who make delicious food). If you’re a content creator craving to authentically connect with your audience so you can build lasting relationships, increase site traffic, and put your best offers forward — Let’s Duett!