Issue #2 • February 2017

How to Use Email Marketing to Boost Your Side Hustle

Build Your Audience

Who here knew the exact process to follow when you started your business? From the moment your business was just a twinkle in your eye to the launch of your first product, you never missed a step on a perfect planned path to success. I’m sure no one could raise their hand to that, right?

There are so many variables, failures, mistakes, and obstacles on your journey to building your business. Every day you’re faced with decisions to make and the endless possibilities that result from them. I want to take away as many obstacles as I can to help you get your side hustle going.

So far we’ve taught you how to create a quick and simple website, how to set a budget, and even given you a long list of ideas of what you can do for your side hustle. But once that is all figured out and you’re ready to get going, what’s next? If you’re out there on your own, no one is there to tell you what that next step is. It’s kind of a vague place to be.

If you’re one of our customers or you’ve taken a second to check out what our company is all about, you can probably guess what I’m going to tell you the next step in your side gig business should be: Email marketing.

Email marketing is critical for any side hustle

As a side gigging business owner, your biggest asset is going to be your email list. Emails are the only form of direct communication you have complete control over with your reader. By opting into your list, they’ve given you permission to send information straight to their inbox. I don’t know if you realize it, but that’s a BIG deal. No amount of tweets or Facebook posts can equal that kind of upfront and personal power.

But it’s the automations of email marketing that are the true star. Automation rules are what allow you to perform actions based on settings and conditions that you specify. And as a side gigger, these automations are the time-saver you need.

These funnels, sequences, and triggers help you create an incredible customer experience that can reach a broader audience without having to manually hit the send button over and over again. When used correctly, you can segment your audience and send them extremely targeted messaging which can lead to increased trust, authority, and revenue.

But writing an email sequence to your readers is a lot harder than it sounds no matter how much experience you have in email marketing. Knowing what to say, how to say it, and what to say next is a tricky thing.

So I’m here to make it a little bit easier on you, at least for one thing. Today I’m giving you templates for your Welcome Sequence.

The importance of the welcome sequence

The very first thing your readers should receive from you (after they’ve signed up with their email address through a form) is a welcoming series of emails. This is the best way to introduce yourself and tell your readers about you and your business, why you do what you do, and possibly pitch one of your products or services.

These first few touch points really set the tone for your interaction and continuing relationship, so you want to put your best foot forward. You need to clearly communicate as well as continually provide valuable content. All that will help you create the trust and authority your readers need from you before they’re willing to become your customer.

To help you get started, I’ve created two sets of templates for you to use as you welcome a new subscriber. Welcome Series Template #1 (the Beginner Template) is for anyone new to email marketing and who wants a basic sequence. Welcome Series Template #2 (the Advanced Template) is slightly more advanced and uses segmentation.

Now, I can’t tell you exactly what to write because I don’t personally know your business, but I can give you a general outline of what you should put in each email to keep readers engaged and interested. All you’ll need to do is plug in your own content and hit publish.

Ready to create your welcome series sequence?

We’ve included the full text of both email sequences below, but you might want to download the template that fits your business for future reference. You can do that here:

Beginner Welcome Email Series Template

Advanced Welcome Email Series Template

And if you find them helpful, go ahead and hit a share button and send them along to your friends. Now, for those of you that want to give them a browse before downloading, here’s the full version of both series:

Beginner Template

EMAIL #1

Hi <name>,

Paragraph 1: Greeting.

Your reader has stumbled upon you and your website in some way. Whether it’s from a guest post, a retweet, or Google (thanks SEO), they were interested enough to enter their email address in a form, but they might not know much or anything at all about you. This first email in your welcome sequence is really your time to put on a good face. This sequence should be sent immediately after your read opts in.
Tell your reader who are and welcome them to your corner of the web.

Paragraph 2: Connect with the reader. Tell your reader why you started your business.

What was the problem you (or your customer) were faced with. Talk about about that pain point and how it disrupted your life. Hopefully, the person reading this first email will face a similar problem and will feel connect with you.

Paragraph 3: Explain your mission.

Tell your reader how your product/service/business will help them overcome that problem. You could even link to one of your most popular blog posts talking about your mission in this paragraph (makes sure it’s a new window pop-up link).

Paragraph 4: Thanks and feedback.

Thank your reader for their interest in you and your product and let them know they’ll be hearing from you again soon.

If you feel up for it, you can also ask for feedback in the last paragraph. By hitting reply to the email or sending readers to a social media channel, you could ask if they’ve ever been faced with a similar problem or if they have any further questions. Just be sure you can handle whatever volume of responses you get.

Sign off

EMAIL #2

Note: This might be hard to understand, but don’t talk about your product yet. You need to earn your new reader’s trust before that can happen. This welcome sequence is designed to help you keep popping up in their inbox to deliver value content.

Hi <name>,

Paragraph 1: Greeting.

Say hello again.

If you asked for feedback or comments in the previous email, this is where you can mention the responses you had and how you enjoyed hearing your new friends.

Paragraph 2: Connect with the reader. Talk about pain point #1.

Most likely, there will be many points that your product/service/business will help your readers overcome. In this second email, talk about pain point #1 and why it is so frustrating.

Paragraph 3: Educate your reader

The best way to gain the trust of a new reader and build authority in your core topic is through education. You can engage your new reader by teaching them valuable content about your topic and the pain points they are facing.

You can link to important studies or your most popular and educational blog posts in this section of the email.

Paragraph 4: Thanks and feedback. Call to Action (CTA)

Thank your reader for their interest in you and your product and let them know they’ll be hearing from you again soon.

A strong audience is an engage audience. Give them an actionable next step by ask them a pointed question about the content in this email. Tell them where and how they can respond and make sure you meet them there.

Sign off

EMAIL #3

Note: Keep up with the valuable information about your core topic in this email. Make sure to keep it concise and interesting.

Hi <name>,

Paragraph 1: Greeting.

Say hello again.

If you asked for feedback or comments in the previous email, this is where you can mention the responses you had and how you enjoyed hearing your new friends.

Paragraph 2: Connect with the reader. Talk about pain point #2.

Most likely, there will be many points that your product/service/business will help your readers overcome. In this third email, talk about pain point #2 and why it is so frustrating.

Paragraph 3: Educate your reader

The best way to gain the trust of a new reader and build authority in your core topic is through education. You can engage your new reader by teaching them valuable content about your topic and the pain points they are facing.

You can link to important studies or your most popular and educational blog posts in this section of the email.

Paragraph 4: Thanks and feedback. Call to Action (CTA)

Thank your reader for their interest in you and your product and let them know they’ll be hearing from you again soon.

A strong audience is an engage audience. Give them an actionable next step by ask them a pointed question about the content in this email. Tell them where and how they can respond and make sure you meet them there.

Sign off

PS: Intro your product/service/business

After a little more valuable info, you’re now ready to talk about your product. A P.S. at the end of this email is the perfect sized introduction. You don’t want to sound really salesy, so just mention it at the end of this email. For example- “If you feel the same way, I’m you’ll like what I’ve got in store for you to hear tomorrow. “

EMAIL #4

Note: Finally, this last email is your time to tell your reader all about your product. If they haven’t unsubscribed by now, you can bet they’re interested in what you’re selling so don’t hold back. This should be your most epic content.

Hi <name>,

Paragraph 1: Greeting.

Say hello again.

If you asked for feedback or comments in the previous email, this is where you can mention the responses you had and how you enjoyed hearing your new friends.

Paragraph 2: Talk about your product

Remind them of your reader of their pain point and how awful it is. Next, show them how your product fixes that. Fill them in on the why’s, what’s, and how’s of your product so they can make the most informed decision about their potential purchase. No need to have anything educational in this email – focus on your product.

This is a good place for testimonials if you already have some.

Paragraph 3: CTA

Write a strong call to action for your product/service/business.

Next, make it as easy as possible for them to purchase. Give them a single link that takes them straight to your desired sales page.

If they click the link, you can add a trigger to segment the reader as interested in your product/service/business. This will help you better know what you reader wants and needs in the future.

Paragraph 4: Thanks

Thank your reader for their interest in you and your product. Let them know how to find you if they have any further questions or comments.

Sign off

Advanced Template

EMAIL #1

Hi <name>,

Paragraph 1: Greeting.

Your reader has stumbled upon you and your website in some way. Whether it’s from a guest post, a retweet, or Google (thanks SEO), they were interested enough to enter their email address in a form, but they might not know much or anything at all about you. This sequence should be sent immediately after your read opts in.

This first email in your welcome sequence is really your time to put on a good face. Tell them who are and welcome them to your corner of the web.

Paragraph 2: Connect with the reader. Tell your reader why you started your business.

What was the problem you (or your customer) were faced with. Talk about about that pain point and how it disrupted your life. Hopefully, the person reading this first email will face a similar problem and will feel connect with you.

Paragraph 3: Explain your mission.

Tell your reader how your product/service/business will help them overcome that problem. You could even link to one of your most popular blog posts talking about your mission in this paragraph (makes sure it’s a new window pop-up link).

Paragraph 5: Segment your readers

Ask your readers a question to help you know more about where they are on their journey.

For example: If you are a health food blogger, you could ask your readers where they’re at on their journey to eating better. The answers could be “I’m very healthy, but love hearing more tips”, “I eat well sometimes, but need to be challenged”, or “I’ve never eaten a vegetable in my life”.

You can create a tag with a link trigger for each answer, and when your reader clicks their corresponding tag, they will be segmented with other readers who answered the same. With this information you can create extremely targeted content for your three segments of readers.

Note: Starting with Email #2, you’ll need to make a funnel for each answer to the question you ask. So if you offer three different choices, you will need three Email #2s, three Email #3s, and so on to deliver extremely targeted content to your audience.

Paragraph 4: Thanks and feedback.

Thank your reader for their interest in you and your product and let them know they’ll be hearing from you again soon.

If you feel up for it, you can also ask for feedback in the last paragraph. By hitting reply to the email or sending readers to a social media channel, you could ask if they’ve ever been faced with a similar problem or if they have any further questions. Just be sure you can handle whatever volume of responses you get.

Sign off

EMAIL #2

Note: This might be hard to understand, but don’t talk about your product yet. You need to earn your new reader’s trust before that can happen. This welcome sequence is designed to help you keep popping up in their inbox to deliver value content.

Hi <name>,

Paragraph 1: Greeting.

Say hello again.

If you asked for feedback or comments in the previous email, this is where you can mention the responses you had and how you enjoyed hearing your new friends.

Paragraph 2: Connect with the reader. Talk about pain point #1.

Most likely, there will be many points that your product/service/business will help your readers overcome. In this second email, talk about pain point #1 and why it is so frustrating.

Paragraph 3: Educate your reader

The best way to gain the trust of a new reader and build authority in your core topic is through education. You can engage your new reader by teaching them valuable content about your topic and the pain points they are facing.

You can link to important studies or your most popular and educational blog posts in this section of the email.

Paragraph 4: Thanks and feedback. Call to Action (CTA)

Thank your reader for their interest in you and your product and let them know they’ll be hearing from you again soon.

A strong audience is an engage audience. Give them an actionable next step by ask them a pointed question about the content in this email. Tell them where and how they can respond and make sure you meet them there.

Sign off

EMAIL #3

Keep up with the valuable information about your core topic in this email. Make sure to keep it concise and interesting.

Hi <name>,

Paragraph 1: Greeting.

Say hello again.

If you asked for feedback or comments in the previous email, this is where you can mention the responses you had and how you enjoyed hearing your new friends.

Paragraph 2: Connect with the reader. Talk about pain point #2.

Most likely, there will be many points that your product/service/business will help your readers overcome. In this third email, talk about pain point #2 and why it is so frustrating.

Paragraph 3: Educate your reader

The best way to gain the trust of a new reader and build authority in your core topic is through education. You can engage your new reader by teaching them valuable content about your topic and the pain points they are facing.

You can link to important studies or your most popular and educational blog posts in this section of the email.

Paragraph 4: Thanks and feedback. Call to Action (CTA)

Thank your reader for their interest in you and your product and let them know they’ll be hearing from you again soon.

A strong audience is an engage audience. Give them an actionable next step by ask them a pointed question about the content in this email. Tell them where and how they can respond and make sure you meet them there.

Sign off

EMAIL #4

Note: Keep up with the valuable information about your core topic in this email. Make sure to keep it concise and interesting.

Hi <name>,

Paragraph 1: Greeting.

Say hello again.

If you asked for feedback or comments in the previous email, this is where you can mention the responses you had and how you enjoyed hearing your new friends.

Paragraph 2: Connect with the reader. Talk about pain point #3.

Most likely, there will be many points that your product/service/business will help your readers overcome. In this third email, talk about pain point #3 and why it is so frustrating.

Paragraph 3: Educate your reader

The best way to gain the trust of a new reader and build authority in your core topic is through education. You can engage your new reader by teaching them valuable content about your topic and the pain points they are facing.

You can link to important studies or your most popular and educational blog posts in this section of the email.

Paragraph 4: Thanks and feedback. Call to Action (CTA)

Thank your reader for their interest in you and your product and let them know they’ll be hearing from you again soon.

A strong audience is an engage audience. Give them an actionable next step by ask them a pointed question about the content in this email. Tell them where and how they can respond and make sure you meet them there.

Sign off

PS: Intro your product/service/business

A P.S. at the end of this email is the perfect sized introduction. You don’t want to sound really salesy, so just mention it at the end of this email. For example- “If you feel the same way, I’m you’ll like what I’ve got instore for you to hear tomorrow.”

EMAIL #5

Note: Finally, this email is where you start to talk about your product. But it’s still too early to push hard. This email where you give the reader the soft sell.

Hi <name>,

Paragraph 1: Greeting.

Say hello again.

If you asked for feedback or comments in the previous email, this is where you can mention the responses you had and how you enjoyed hearing your new friends.

Paragraph 2: Educate

Here’s another chance for you to give them a little more information about your core topic. Keep it simple, keep it valuable.

Paragraph 3: Give a brief overview of your product/service/business

Remind your readers about their pain points and then tell them about how your product/service/business can help them overcome those problems.

Paragraph 3: Thanks and a CTA

Thank your reader for their interest in you and your product. Let them know how to find you if they have any further questions or comments.

Sign off

PS: Intro your product/service/business

A P.S. at the end of this email is a great way to start hyping your product.

EMAIL #6

Note: Pull back just a little for this email. You got to sell in email #5, but you don’t want to be an overwhelming presence. Here’s your chance to stand out in a crowd of all-caps typing marketers and simply provide them with some more education information. Make it fun with a video, colorful screenshots, or interesting graphics.

Hi <name>,

Paragraph 1: Greeting.

Say hello again.

If you asked for feedback or comments in the previous email, this is where you can mention the responses you had and how you enjoyed hearing your new friends.

Paragraph 2: Talk about your core topic.

Give another little educational lesson about your core topic. By always teaching and providing value, you are building trust with your reader. As that trust builds, you’ll soon be seen as an authority in your topic.

Paragraph 3: Remind them about your product/service/business

Nothing fancy here. Just remind them why you got into business (ie- to help them get over their pain point) and how your product will help them achieve their goals.

Paragraph 4: Thanks

Thank your reader for their interest in you and your product and let them know they’ll be hearing from you again soon.

Sign off

EMAIL #7

Note: Finally, this last email is your time to tell your reader all about your product. If they haven’t unsubscribed by now, you can bet they’re interested in what you’re selling so don’t hold back. This should be your most epic content.

Hi <name>,

Paragraph 1: Greeting.

Say hello again.

If you asked for feedback or comments in the previous email, this is where you can mention the responses you had and how you enjoyed hearing your new friends.

Paragraph 2: Talk about your product

Remind them of your reader of their pain point and how awful it is. Next, show them how your product fixes that. Fill them in on the why’s, what’s, and how’s of your product so they can make the most informed decision about their potential purchase. No need to have anything educational in this email – focus on your product.

This is a good place for testimonials if you already have some.

Paragraph 3: CTA

Write a strong call to action for your product/service/business.

Next, make it as easy as possible for them to purchase. Give them a single link that takes them straight to your desired sales page.

If they click the link, you can add a trigger to segment the reader as interested in your product/service/business. This will help you better know what you reader wants and needs in the future.

Paragraph 4: Thanks

Thank your reader for their interest in you and your product. Let them know how to find you if they have any further questions or comments.

Sign off

Your welcome series teaches your readers what to expect from you

A great welcome series that teaches what you know, is genuinely valuable, and focuses on the needs of the reader will be an incredible asset to you and your business.

As a side hustler, it’s incredibly important to build systems that help you make the most of your time so that you can focus on the creative, fulfilling work you set out to do to begin with. Email marketing is one of those tools that will save you time and continue to be valuable over time.

Do you have an email welcome series for your readers? If so, how is it working? If not, which of these two templates do you plan to try out? Let us know in the comments!

Dani Stewart

As a daughter of an entrepreneur, the wife of an entrepreneur, and an entrepreneur herself, Dani has lived and learned all sides of creating and growing businesses. She is excited to bring all that life experience as well as a decade of crafting content to the ConvertKit community. She is a part-time baker, dinner-party planner, and lover of good bourbon living the simple life in Nashville with her husband, Sean.

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  • Helen Reynolds

    Thank you for this article! It is so helpful! I have just started working on my email list and as the subscribers have come in, my welcome emails have been pretty weak. I am so excited to implement these ideas. (One little editing error in your article, you used “frustration” when you meant “frustrating” I believe.) I am currently doing the 72 hour challenge and anticipating great growth. Thanks again!

    • Dani Stewart (ConvertKit)

      Hey, @disqus_dTbqdYWZSs:disqus! So glad you found it helpful. We’re going to work on creating more templates like this with each new issue we release. Good luck on the 72 hr challenge!

  • These are great templates! Thanks.

    • Dani Stewart (ConvertKit)

      Glad you liked them, @caelanmac:disqus!

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