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

We’re closing out our welcome email series using the 1898 work of St. Elmo Louis’ venerable marketing framework, AIDA. As a reminder, AIDA 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.

Step 4 of Louis’ series is about action: how do you get people to do what you want them to do?

Depending on your scheduling and timing, you may or may not need to restate the first three steps in your email. For welcome email series where there are more than a few days between mailings, restating the value you’ve provided thus far is important; for series with a day or two between mailings, it’s less important.

For example, you might say in your action email:

You were struggling with email marketing ROI, weren’t you? Luckily, over the past few emails, we’ve shared some tips and tricks that help you find that ROI (such as our eBook on 18 ways to integrate social media and email marketing), as well as showcased ways to start growing it.

It’s now time for the “ask”, for the pitch, for moving ahead. First and foremost, you’ll need to do the arm-length test on your email creative.


Open your action email message on your mobile phone of choice and hold the phone at arm’s length. If you can’t spot the call to action immediately, then it’s not obvious enough.

Next, your ask has to be commensurate in commitment to the value you’ve provided. If you’ve simply offloaded a few unhelpful blog posts repackaged as emails and then ask someone to sign for a $95 million airplane, your action email will be profoundly unsuccessful. Conversely, if you’ve provided great value in the preceding welcome emails, then the ask will be a gentle transition into the next stage of the commitment process.

Finally, be aware of how you use language for the ask. If you’re unfamiliar with common sales techniques for encouraging a commitment from someone, then stop your welcome series email project until you learn a few of them. I’d strongly encourage you to check out Changing Minds, a free website that looks at popular methods of “closing”.

There’s never been a better time to implement a welcome email series in your email marketing program. With the right email service provider, this series of tips and tricks, and some elbow grease, you can create a program that gets people’s attention, gets them interested, creates desire, and encourages them to take action.

Oh, and if you’re looking for even more ideas about how to use email marketing for encouraging action, check out Email for Sales, our free eBook for sales and marketing professionals to amplify the power of email in the sales process.

Christopher S. Penn
Director of Inbound Marketing, WhatCounts


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