How to create a welcome email series, part 1 of 4


Now that you’ve got a firm understanding of the value of a welcome email, let’s kick it up a notch by transforming it to a welcome email series. To do this effectively for maximum results, consider looking to the 1898 work of St. Elmo Louis’ venerable marketing framework, AIDA. If you’re unfamiliar with AIDA, it stands for:

  • Attention: capture the attention of your audience by any reasonable means
  • Interest: keep people compelled to pay attention by holding their interest in your product or service.
  • Desire: incite desire to want your product or service.
  • Action: get your audience to take action and buy.

Over the next 4 posts, we’re going to look at how to apply Louis’ framework to your welcome email series.

In step 1, you have to capture the attention of your new subscriber in their inbox. You’ve obviously caught their attention enough to get them to join your mailing list, but that’s on the web. What should you do in the inbox to recapture that attention? More important, what can you do in the first email that will pay the attention you’ve earned forward to subsequent emails? Set the groundwork for a successful subscriber!

First and foremost, create a consistent appearance. If someone came to to sign up for our newsletter, the first email should be from If someone came to a personal landing page on from CEO Allen Nance, then the first welcome message should come from Allen Nance,, so that the experience is consistent.

Make sure the subject line is clear and obvious. The first welcome email isn’t the time to be overly clever. Something as simple and as blatant as “YOU JUST SUBSCRIBED TO THE WHATCOUNTS GAMECHANGER. READ THIS NEXT.” can be powerful and effective. These days, more obvious subject lines are working better and better because people have shorter attention spans.

Lay out expectations for the welcome series and for the regular newsletter. This is the time to reiterate when you’re going to send, what you’re going to send, and what value you plan to provide. For example, you might specify that the next few welcome emails will be every day or every 3 days or every week – whatever the interval that you’re going to send, set that expectation.

Create immediate value to make the first email attention-getting. What immediate tip or content can you provide from the first message that will convince people to stay subscribed?

Use these tips to start off a great welcome series with an attention-getting email. Tomorrow, we’ll look at part 2, interest.

Christopher S. Penn
Director of Inbound Marketing, WhatCounts


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