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Every time someone signs up for your email list, they’re giving you a precious gift: their email address.

Think about it… we create fake email accounts to contain our spam. We go through waves of unsubscribing to contain the overwhelm. Half the time we click the ‘Trash’ button before even reading the subject line.

Our email addresses are precious to us.

So when an internet stranger has entrusts you with their email address, you’re going to want to treat them right. 

We see five common pitfalls allllll the time from entrepreneurs and thought leaders who are taking positive steps towards building their platform…and then dropping the ball when it comes to email strategy.

Heck, we’ve committed a few of these mistakes ourselves over the years.

Read ‘em so you can avoid ‘em — and so you can build a positive relationship with your new subscribers, right from the get-go.

Pitfall #1: You send your new subscriber straight to regular campaign emails

Imagine you walk into a party full of strangers.

They all seem to know each other, but the only person you even recognize is the host. But she doesn’t greet you, doesn’t introduce her friends, doesn’t offer you a drink.

You might still have an okay time, but wouldn’t it feel way better if your host went out of her way to make you feel welcomed?

Email lists are kinda like that.

When you sign up to be on someone’s list and get sent straight into their regular campaign emails, it’s like walking into a party where you don’t really know anyone. Heck, you might not even know the host very well.

Instead of throwing your subscriber into your launch, newsletter, or campaign in media res, don’t you want them to feel welcomed? It’s a far more VIP, personalized, warm experience to be entered into a short welcome sequence before you start getting the regular emails with everyone else.

This onboarding email sequence gives you the change to introduce yourself and your community. You can show them around and help them out. The result? They’re way more likely to stick around for the after party.

All you need to get started in creating {or optimizing} an email sequence for your new subscribers is our free Ready, Set, Automate guide.

In it, we give you a simple outline for an effective onboarding sequence. After your new subscribers go through the sequence, then they can start getting your regular emails.

{…You do send regular emails, right? If not, this is a great time to set a schedule for yourself. How often do you want your list to hear from you? The last thing you want is to warm them up with a great welcome sequence and then ghost on them!}

Pitfall #2: Your email frequency is out of whack

You go on a date. It’s fun. That night, you get a quick text — “Had a great time! Let’s get Italian next time.” Sweet, they had fun, too.

And then… the next day, you wake up to another text. And then another. Asking when you want to get together again. Asking why you aren’t responding faster. It goes from cute to annoying {and a little creepy} real fast.

What are the chances you’re going on another date with them? Yeah, right.

So don’t be a creeper to your list. When you email too frequently, you can start to sound desperate {or, at best, super chatty}.

On the flip-side, if you ghost on them by emailing too infrequently, they may forget who you are. If that same fun date was never heard from again, you might start to rethink how well it went. And if you run into them months later you may even struggle to remember who they are.

There’s no hard and fast rule for the frequency of emails that’s too much or too little. What’s important is that you find a rhythm that works for you and set a schedule. Whether it’s every day, once a week, or twice a month…it’s the consistency that matters most.

Pitfall #3: You treat your subscriber like a number, not a person

Yes, you run a business, and there is a lot of advice out there about how to do it “right”. But the best piece of advice you’ll ever stumble across {in our humble opinion}? Treat your audience like the real, live people they are.

It’s so easy to get lost in the “shoulds,” to get tangled in different strategies, to obsess over your numbers, and to get frustrated by the action {or inaction} of your list. But when you take a step back and frame your list-building efforts around relationship building, it takes on a different meaning.

Yes, you want to make money. Yes, you want to sell your product or service. But you also want to grow a community of people who trust you. When you write your emails, don’t be afraid to be yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to break the mold a little bit.

The people on the other end will appreciate it.

Pitfall #4: You sound like the robot you aren’t

Let’s build on this theme of relationship building for a sec. You’ve heard of the Turing Test? Artificial intelligence can pass the test if they can fool a human into thinking that they’re human too. {Basically, Westworld.}

Robots — even super-advanced ones — are the last thing you want to sound like. A lot of people worry that an automated email sequence will sound robotic, but you don’t need to worry about that. Write from the heart {but strategically}. Use your own words. Create a word bank to make your copy sound like you. Tell your story. Share your journey…

and connect it to them. Speak to them. Pretend you’re writing to a friend. Because hopefully you’re attracting people who are legit friend material. {They’re more likely to become one if you treat them well from the get-go!}

Pitfall #5: You never actually selling anything

I {Marie here} have a background in nonprofit grant writing. It was my first job out of school, and I was so excited to have a job as a professional writer, I didn’t remember to ask the particulars. A week into it, I realized I was basically a saleswoman.

It took me a few years to find a way to feel really good about asking people for money — even though it was for a good cause. But that process has made me a better entrepreneur.

Here’s what I discovered: Sales don’t have to be pushy. They don’t have to be uncomfortable or icky. When we think of making a sale as opening the door of opportunity for someone, so they can make a well-informed choice about something they want or need, it makes it a lot easier to sell with confidence.

And if you don’t open that door for your people? The ones who’ve generously given you their email address and who you’ve been working to build a relationship with? They won’t understand how you can help them. They won’t see your confidence. They won’t feel like they even have an opportunity to get to the best you have to offer.

So they won’t buy. Not because they can’t. Because they don’t know how. {Or what. Or why.}

Your solution? Open the door. Make an offer that makes sense for them. Be clear about the benefits. Show them how it could address a problem they’re legitimately having. And then reiterate the offer a few times. {Not everyone opens every email they receive. Shocker, right?}

Want more help? Sign up to receive your Ready, Set, Automate guide. We’ll help you plan out your welcome sequence so you hit all the important stuff and make your new subscribers really feel special. We’ll give you a full roadmap towards welcome sequence bliss… all fo’ free!

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