Ep 122 | Building a Welcome Sequence with Sarah Cook

Yeah, I mean, what a welcome sequence is, it's a series of emails that your organization writes one time, and puts them on automation, so that as soon as a new subscriber joins your list, they will automatically receive this welcome the sequence of emails. So it's really nice, because you put in the work up front, it runs on automation. So you only you know, it takes a little bit of work on your part, and then the benefits can go on forever. – Sarah Cook

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In this episode, I am joined with Sarah Cook, a Naturopathic doctor who has certification in medical writing, digital marketing, and direct response copywriting. She is also a copywriter and content writer for the health and wellness community. Join us as she shares useful tips on why email marketing is a great tool and marketer’s toolbox. And the importance of organizations to come up with multiple welcome sequences for different kinds of entry points and the different types of emails that should be in your sequence. She also talks about best practices for somebody to leverage their list.

What you'll learn:

  • Why email marketing is a great tool and marketer’s toolbox.
  • The meaning of the welcome sequence and why it is important.
  • The different types of emails that should be in your sequence.
  • Different approaches to take with a welcome sequence.
  • Best practices going forward after the emails.
  • Things that make a difference in how successful email companies are.
  • The value of open rates and unsubscribes.

Want to skip ahead? Here are some key takeaways

[03:57] Email marketing, a great tool and marketer’s toolbox. It is more powerful to connect with your audience by email. Email marketing is all about relationships.
[12:27] The different types of emails that should be in your sequence. There are four emails. Introduction to who you are, a story of impact, supporting your mission and, asking them to take action.
[18:13] Different approaches to take with a welcome sequence. There are two approaches. More asking and more nurturing. We use the welcome sequence to nurture, connect and establish.
[25:06] The length of newsletter-type emails from nonprofits. The newsletter style is less effective in getting people to take action.
[30:02] Best practices going forward after the emails. Pick a schedule to commit to and, make sure that the emails you send are useful.
[34:45] Things that make a difference in how successful email companies are. Subject lines-they have to make people curious.


Ep 6 | 4 Essential Homepage Copy Tips with Storybrand Certified Writer, Sarah Cook
50 Email Subject Lines

Sarah Cook

Sarah Cook

Founder, Wellness Website Pro

Sarah Cook is a copywriter and content writer for the health and wellness community. Having attained her naturopathic doctorate as well as certifications in medical writing, digital marketing, direct-response copywriting, and as a StoryBrand Certified Guide, Sarah uses words to take health and wellness businesses from IGNORED to ADORED. Sarah offers copywriting services and a content marketing monthly subscription through https://wellnesswebsitepro.com.

We love creating the podcast. If you like what you learned here please give us a tip and help us offset our production costs.

When you leave a review it helps this podcast get in front of other nonprofits that could use the support. If you liked what you heard here, please leave us a review.

Full Transcript

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of the digital marketing therapy podcast. And today,  we're talking email marketing, and more specifically, what a welcome sequence is, why you need them and what should be included in them. I am obsessed with email marketing. And so I'm really excited about this conversation that I have with Sarah cook. And I think you're gonna love it too. It's really specific, she's going to give you really specific information on what should be in your email sequence so that you can take action on it right away. And you might remember Sarah, if you've been a longtime listener of this podcast, she was with me way back in Episode Six, I believe. I'll link it up in the show notes. But she joined me then to talk about copywriting and your homepage. So also a great one to check out if you want to evaluate the copy on your homepage. 

Now, Sarah Cook is a copywriter and content writer for the health and wellness community having attained her naturopathic doctor as well as certification in medical writing, digital marketing, direct response copywriting, and as a story-certified guide, excuse me. As a storied brand certified guide, Sara uses words to take Health and Wellness Business from ignored to adored. Sarah offers copywriting services and a content marketing monthly subscription through wellnesswebsitepro.com. Now she is, like I said, gonna give you some amazing tactical, like real down and dirty stuff that you can do. So I hope that you'll listen to this episode if you don't have a welcome sequence already. And if you do, then this is just going to be a great time for you to refresh it to take a look at it, to take a look at the effectiveness of it, and maybe make some tweaks. She might give you some ideas for things to update and change. So I love email marketing. I love this episode, I think you guys are gonna love it too. 

But before we get into it, this episode is brought to you by our brand new Patreon membership. And I think you're gonna love that I hope you check it out as with as little as $5 a month, you get access to a digital worksheet for all of the episodes that we have going on this month. So for example, with this episode, you would have a worksheet that's going to walk you through all of the things that she's talking about in this episode so that you can take action. And then we have other plans, but the most expensive one is $30 a month. We have live q&a, we have ways for you to get unstuck and keep moving forward. I really hope that you will head on over to the first click .net/Patreon. Check it out. That's Patreon. Check it out and see if there's a plan that fits for you to help you keep moving forward. And if you have any questions, you can always reach out to me Head at thefirstclick .net. I am here for you. And I hope that you will become a patron and join me I can't wait to get to know more about your organization and the people and the community and the concerns that you serve and all the good that you're doing in this world.  

But for now, let's get into the episode. 

[Intro] You're listening to the digital marketing therapy podcast. I'm your host, Sami Bedell-Mulhern. At each week, I bring you tips from myself and other experts, as well as hot seats with small business owners and entrepreneurs to demystify digital marketing and get you on your way to generating more leads and growing your business.


[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Hey, everybody, please join me in welcoming Sarah Cook to the podcast. Sarah, thank you so much for coming on. This is your second time. 

[ Sarah Cook] Yeah. Thanks for having me, Sami.

[ Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Well, so I'd love if you could just kick off I know we're talking to email marketing, specifically welcome sequences today. But I would love it if you would just start by saying, you know, overall, why you think email marketing is such a great tool and marketer’s toolbox? 

[Sarah Cook] Oh, absolutely. Um, you know, email marketing is probably one of the really best tools for marketing. You know, nowadays, I think there is just so much information. There's just a lot of noise online. And so a lot of times businesses and organizations, think that they need to show up on social media, which, yes, like that can be a helpful tool as well. But if you compare kind of the actual return on investment from something like showing up with your message on social media versus showing up with emails, statistically, it's actually much more powerful to connect with your audience on emails, and I think there are a few reasons for that, you know, one is it is actually more direct, there's a higher likelihood that a person is going to see that email from you in their inbox, versus a little bit more hit or miss on social media. Um, and you actually own your email list. So you're not so much at the at what is it called, the risks of other algorithm changing and things like that on social media, you have complete control over your list and your subscribers. And it's just a very kind of a more personal way to connect. That can be, you know, really powerful I work. I work more with small businesses and wellness businesses and practitioners and nonprofits. But what I've seen in what we can do with emails, and you know, we'll talk about a welcome sequence and how to nurture and promote any kind of strike a nice balance. But with email marketing, we're actually, you know, able to do some really powerful promotions, getting some really good results that I think when we look at nonprofits, which translate into really successful donation drives, for example, a really powerful tool.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] I couldn't agree with you more on everything you said. But we are here specifically to talk about a welcome sequence. And so why don't we start off by just in case people aren't sure about what a welcome sequence is, like, you know, what is that? And why is that something that that should be part of your email marketing plan? 

[Sarah Cook] Yeah, I mean, what a welcome sequence is, it's a series of emails that your organization writes one time and puts them on automation so that as soon as a new subscriber joins your list, they will automatically receive this welcome sequence of emails. So it's really nice because you put in the work upfront, it runs on automation. So you only you know, it takes a little bit of work on your part, and then the benefits can go on forever.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, and the power of the welcome sequences, it's usually triggered by an action that somebody takes. And so the open rates on a welcome sequence are usually much higher 

[Sarah Cook] Absolutely, yeah. So I'm sorry, you had asked, you know, why is it so important? I didn't really answer that yet. But that's one of the reasons is that you know, when people initially I like to look at email marketing, it's all about relationships. And so we need to kind of continue to come back to this. Remember that these are people and they're, they're coming on to the list at a certain point in time, where usually they're, they're at a stage of that relationship with your organization of just being curious. And so you know, maybe it depends on how people join your lists, like, maybe they've given a small donation, or maybe they've asked for some information from you. Or maybe they've just specifically said, I want email updates. But whatever the reason, it's kind of like, I mean, I never did the bar scene much. But I think it's a really good analogy. Whereas you first meet somebody, and if it's in the bar, maybe if somebody looks at you and like winks across the room, and now the balls in your court, and what are you going to do? So like, are you going to go over and buy that person to drink? Are you going to continue the conversation? Or are you just gonna look at the floor or turning the other way? And so I think that's kind of what it's like, a person makes some sort of gesture like they're choosing to be on your email list for some reason. And that's like the Wink across the room. And now the balls in your court, and what are you going to do? Are you going to start to nurture that relationship? Are you just gonna drop the ball?

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, right.

[Sarah Cook] Oh, yeah, we're at this beginning, like, really critical moment, actually. I'm starting to build a relationship with your new subscriber. And they're feeling curious. They're kind of ready, this really perfect window of opportunity. 

 [Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, and you mentioned a couple of different types like maybe they gave you a donation, or maybe they signed up to be to get, you know, notifications on your current affairs, what's going on? Maybe they signed up to volunteer, whatever. And so, is it important for organizations to come up with multiple welcome sequences for those different kinds and different types of entry points? 

[Sarah Cook] you know, that's an interesting question that, you know, I definitely think that would have to be considered on a case by case basis. Although, probably as a general rule to me if I think that the ideas I that I teach about what topics to go into the welcome sequence would probably be universally applicable. So that, um, maybe there could be three or four different ways people might get on the list, they might get a single email kind of confirming that initial reason. Right? Oh, thank you for your small first donation, right. Or thank you for requesting information from us. So whatever the initial contact, you fulfill that in one email, but then maybe you would have four or five other emails that are the actual welcome sequence that goes out after that, regardless of what was the initial reason they joined

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Okay, well, yeah, absolutely, absolutely. I think it's critical to hit them where, you know, they came in for a reason. So let's acknowledge that reason. But then, you know, ultimately, the mission-driven piece of, and we're going to go into the topics right now. But um, you know, what you talk about in the rest of it is important. You might need to tweak and refine, but as a general rule of thumb, you can take these next steps no matter how people come to you.

 [Sarah Cook] I think so. Yeah. You know, and I know, it might be a little bit different with nonprofits. And the reason that people are getting on the list, you know, because with small businesses, a lot of times it's, it's giving some free download, or some kind of, you know, free content. And in that situation, you know, there might be four different free downloads, people could request, and they would get that one, and then they would all go into that same welcome sequence regardless.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, and the key thing I want to make sure to mention here is, I don't want you as an organization to get overwhelmed and be like, Oh, my gosh, now I have to write like all these sequences for all of these things, like the important thing. I think what you're saying, Sarah is like, just get started with one main sequence, and then maybe you can develop it, as you see things kind of changing and growing. But, you know, it's, I think it's important to just get started so that you can start measuring and start engaging, interacting, and taking advantage of the power of email marketing, and then it can always be an ever-growing, blossoming part of your process that you add to it as you can.

[Sarah Cook] Yeah, I would definitely keep it simple. At first, I see no reason to write more than one email sequence.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Right. Okay, so let's jump into the meat of this, which is, what are the different types of emails that should be in your sequence? Kind of what are you talking about in each one of these emails, so that people can kind of run through and create these themselves?

[Sarah Cook] Yeah, sure. So I'm kind of the overarching goal here is that we want to just, we really want to set the stage start to build relationships, so that subscribers over time will really just become lifelong advocates for your organization or repeat donors, okay. And so that the way we do that, um, again, it's about remembering this is a real person, and kind of following the rules of a relationship. And so, but maybe what I can do is I have four, really four specific topics that I think are really helpful to cover in a welcome sequence. And so maybe we can just go through those four. Does that sound perfect?

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, sounds great.

[Sarah Cook] Yeah. So the number one, well, one of the topics that really have to be in there is an introduction to who you are. And so the thing is, you cannot assume that just because somebody made a small donation, or just because they've asked to join your list, that doesn't necessarily mean they fully understand who you are and what you do. So having one email in the welcome sequence, that just reiterates your mission, your vision, like some of that foundational messaging, of who you are, maybe a little bit of kind of what successes that your track record of impact, right, some of the things that the organization has achieved. So it's kind of just an introductory, making sure everybody's on the same page and understands who it is that they've just connected with. And this, you know, it depends, of course, on the organization and how big it is, like, I think it'd be really nice for this to specifically come sign from a person like making it a little personal lover, that whoever it makes sense for that person to be whether it's the executive director or, but that it's like a personal message from our executive director, for example, right. And it's like, you know, we're so grateful for you to have joined us, this is who we are, this is what we're about. These are some of the successes we've had, you know, thanks for coming on board. So a little bit personal touch and introduction.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, I think this is critical in the nonprofit space because just like you We cannot assume that people understand what we're about. And somebody could have come in because they attended your run, walk, and maybe a friend brought them along. But then you just to your point, you have that missed opportunity of retaining them as a longer donor, because maybe they haven't emotionally button yet to your mission. Or maybe I adopted a pet from your organization. And so now I want to give you a little extra, but I don't understand that you guys also have a whole other program that rehabilitates troublesome dogs, whatever it might be, like all of those things that might continue to bring me back for more. I think that's, that's supercritical. And so I love that you brought all that up.

[Sarah Cook] Yep. And that can just be in one email. Um, so number two is at least one story of impact. So stories are just extremely powerful. And I think, especially in the nonprofit sector, to demonstrate, you know, what, to demonstrate what kind of impact you're having. And so stories, you know, I think a lot of organizations maybe do have these they can be in writing, it could be like, specifically written for this email sequence, or it could be something that you already have written up on a blog, for example, or maybe it's in video form, which is even more powerful. Yeah, have something like that, where there's just a Video Example of like, here's something that we did. And I know a lot of organizations are doing so many different things. But that's okay. Like one example, because it really grounds it just connects with people emotionally. And really shows a little bit deeper than just this is our mission. This is like on the ground, what we're doing, here's an example.

 [Sami Bedell-Mulhern] And would you have this one coming from the voice of the so if it's somebody that was personally impacted if it's a family, or, you know, like a commute somebody from the community or whatever? Would you kind of have it come from the voice of that person? Or would you still have this email come, you know, written from the organization talking about that experience?

[Sarah Cook] You can do it either way. But if you can get a person who has been impacted, interview them, and would say that's even, that would be the best. Yeah, I think that that just really, that would really connect more, you know, kind of touch the heartstrings more.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, and one thing I want to bring up at this point, too, because I think it's kind of obvious maybe to you and me, but in these emails, especially these first two, it's specifically talking about impact, there is no ask for a donation or for anything from the reader, correct?

 [Sarah Cook] Yes. You know, I may be kind of I should have maybe, prefaced but yeah, um, so there are really kind of two different approaches to take with a welcome sequence. One is more promotional or more asking, in this case, versus an approach that's more nurturing. And so what I'm actually talking through now is more of a nurturing approach to a welcome sequence. The approach that's more sales promotion, asking, I think it's going out of favor, because if we go back to the idea in the bar, like, oh, someone winks at you, what are you going to do? Are you going to run over and say, Hey, you want to get married? Right? That's kind of the old way, like a lot of digital marketers used to do that. someone gets on the list, and you start instantly promoting something and asking for them to give more or buy more. It's a little bit too much too soon. And I mean, I've actually done sequences like that before, and not seen a whole lot of results from it, because people aren't quite ready. Right. So the concept that I'm teaching here is, it's a little bit more of the long game. And we use the welcome sequence to nurture to connect to establish a foundational relationship that's going to prime them, to then give and to be interested in, you know, what you're asking down the road. But we're really focused on delivering value and nurturing upfront.

 [Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, no, I love that so much. And I'm in full agreement with you on that one, too. Okay, so we've sent the mission and the vision through our executive director, we've shared an impact story. What's the third topic? 

[Sarah Cook] Okay. Ah, perfect segue because you want to send something helpful. Okay. So, this I think, maybe might be a little bit. A lot of Organizations wouldn't think about this. But I'm what I'm thinking here is that think about Who? Who are your advocates and your donors? Who are these people who are raising their hand and saying, I want to get information from you? Um, they probably are people who want to feel like they're making a difference, right? And specifically for your organization, what types of people? Are they? How are they wanting to make a difference? So let me give an example here. So let's say it's an organization that collects plastic trash from the oceans and turns it into art, right? There is an organization that does that. So let's say that that's what you do. Somebody has just, you know, given a small donation, they're on your list. What else would those people be interested in knowing what will be helpful for them in relation to what you do? So maybe they care about the environment, right, they care about reducing their use of plastics in their everyday life. So that could be your next email is like, Look, you know, we're on this mission to clean the oceans from plastic, here are some things you can do every day to reduce your use of plastics. Yeah, you're empowering them on an everyday basis, something they can do. And so you're not telling them Oh, you can be helpful by giving us money, or donating, you know, or giving your time. You know, volunteering, you're not telling them this is how you can be helpful by helping your organization No, you're actually like giving them a valuable tip and tool of how they can make a difference in their everyday life in like supporting your in supporting your mission in a similar way

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] One thing that I think is so cool about this is, but you're empowering them, you're making them feel useful. And this is a perfect time, I'm a big fan of like, we have to ask people to do what we want them to do. So you might tell me, this is a bad idea. But I think this is also a perfect time to say, hey, share with your friends, what you're doing to help us spread more of this, like good ways to save single-use plastic, whatever it might be, like, share this tip with your friends and family. So you can even help us make a bigger impact. So they're more likely to share something like that. Because they also feel like they're empowering their friends and family, then they will share a post about your organization saying hey, give to these folks.

[Sarah Cook] Yes, this is my number four topic. The beauty of it is you can weave these ideas together. So yes, because the number four thing you want to do is to ask them to take one more small step, a small ask do something, take an action. And so yes, exactly what you're saying, yes, you could ask them to. Yeah, share a social media post. If yours Yes, you could ask them to donate more money than they already did. Or to get on kind of a low monthly donation. Right? Like you can ask them for a small next step. But you're absolutely right. Even in the email, where you're being helpful, you can add that small ask where it's like, Guys, get involved, take action, share these tips with your friends. That is a perfect strategy.

 [Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Yeah, cuz it shows your passion, it shows it's more authentic, and getting your donors and people that are on your list to broadcast about your organization gives you so much more authentic visibility. And I think to your point at the beginning, it's a long-term strategy, right? Like that's not going to turn into multiple donations right away. But that overtime is going to help build much more visibility for your organization. And we know now, you know because things are so noisy, you need so many more touchpoints. But those touchpoints from somebody that I care about. I'm like that's a friend of mine on social media is so much more impactful than you speaking about it. As an organization.

[Sarah Cook] Yes. So I think asking for a share is a perfect thing to include in the welcome sequence, which really, it can be done along with any of the emails we've talked about already. And it can't be done in a separate email of its own where you're asking for a small additional, you know, action for them to take.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Okay, so we have the four emails, I have a couple of questions specific to just in general, all of them. So I know. we've all gotten these more newsletter-type emails from nonprofits, and it's just like this laundry list of all The things right. So when it comes to writing these, how long should they be? And like, what are kind of your do's and don'ts of what to include and what not to include in these emails, right?

[Sarah Cook] So the newsletter style, I think is less effective in getting people to take action. Because of people's attention spans, it's just much easier for them to say, Okay, this email is about one thing, and it's asking me to do one thing. And, and especially in this welcome sequence, we definitely do not want to overload the information. So we're going to keep each of the emails to a single topic and relatively short. You know, and so when we like to do this, a lot of organizations might only be generally emailing their list, even once a month, maybe once a week, right, once a week to once a month, the welcome sequence goes every day. So somebody initially joins the list. And then they're going to get four or five emails once a day for five days. Um, you can preface that. So with the very first email, it's fine to say, you know, thanks for joining the list, or thanks for whatever reason, they join the list. Over the next few days, we're gonna send a little bit more information, so you can get to know what we're doing and give you some helpful tips, right. So that you give them a heads up like we're going to be sending you more information for the next few days, they get an email every day. And partly because of that, like you need to keep each of those pretty short and sweet. And so that's why we just kind of focused on, you know, one topic, um, you know, you really don't even so as a general rule for email marketing, I recommend having one call to action in each email, where it's like, we're asking you in this email to do this one thing. For the welcome sequence, it's actually Okay, especially for those first couple of emails where you're just introducing your organization or telling a story, in the welcome sequence, it's actually okay to not have a call to action there. Like, it's just this, it really is just this idea of starting to get to know them and nurture and provide value.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Well, and your call to action in those emails might simply be links back to the website to dive deeper into that particular topic.

[Sarah Cook] Yeah, exactly.Yep. And the only and then you might well, the only real call to action that's asking them to give might be just a small, like one of the last emails of the sequence that is like, you know, the small ask of a monthly donation, commitment, something like that.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Okay, so let's walk through some of the logistics of setting this up because you talked about automating. And so if you so the beauty of this is, you know, hopefully, it's linked, this is linked up to an email service provider. So when somebody donates, it automatically triggers or when somebody signs up on your website, it automatically triggers. But what we don't want to do is send these types of things in bulk from our personal email, right? You know, there are lots of different email software providers that are out there, and your CRM might have that capability, as well. But it's really critical to set this up to trigger automatically, so you don't even have to think about it.

 [Sarah Cook] Yeah, I mean, this definitely needs to be done through an email service provider. Yeah, yeah, like MailChimp, ConvertKit Active Campaign, one of those, and they're all gonna have similar ability to do that. 

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] A lot of them have nonprofit rates as well. So definitely check that out. I know, active Active Campaign for sure does. And, to the point you made way earlier, the ROI on email marketing is huge. I think it's like what like for every dollar it's like 39 or $41. 

[Sarah Cook] 42 dollars on every dollar spent is what the statistics are showing right now.  

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] And it's been that way and if not increasing for the last, I don't know four or five-plus years. So it's definitely not going away. So anything you're spending on your email service software is well worth the effort if you take action, right if you continue to do 

[Sarah Cook] I think a lot of those companies bill you based on how many subscribers so I think that makes a lot of sense. Because the fewer subscribers you have, the fewer the less money you're gonna make off your list right so right it becomes I think it's fair for them to charge more for more Subscribers.

 [Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Agreed. Yeah. Okay, so we've got our welcome sequence set up. We have it automated and ready to go. What do we do like what is kind of Some of your QuickBooks best practices for one somebody has gone through the welcome sequence, like how do we continue to leverage our list after that, and I know this is like a whole big long conversation that probably is a separate podcast episode.

[Sarah Cook] It is broad concepts that are pretty easy, I think, yeah, um, one thing is, so the very last email of your welcome sequence, I recommend it being somewhat of a transition email, where you say, Look, I know, I've sent you a lot over the past few days. But here's what to expect going forward. And you just pull it out a little bit, like, once a month, we're going to be sending you or once a week, and you just give them a heads up, to know what to expect by being on your list. And that is a good time to say, to even just foreshadow a little bit that like we're going to be sending you, you know, helpful hint tips, we're going to be sending us stories of what we're doing, we're also going to be asking you for to give, I mean, there's some how-to word like, set this stage that through your ongoing email marketing, that they can expect for you to ask some stuff of them. So that's like the last transition email. And so then, okay, best practices going forward is what you're asking?

 So one is to just pick a schedule to commit to, so you want to choose, I'm going, you're going to send weekly emails, maybe you're going to send once every two weeks, maybe we're going to send once a month, but whatever it is, you need to commit to that, make sure that you have a plan to execute on that. And you want to be consistent so that if it is every week, it always goes out at the same time. Because people actually do start to get accustomed to that they know when to come on Friday afternoon. Okay, and they, and then they actually, even if they don't know, they're looking forward to it, like, once it shows up, they're like, Oh, yeah, I was looking forward to this. So the same time, every week, or every month, whatever it is, um, and, you know, the second thing to do with that ongoing emails, what we really just want to strike this balance between being helpful providing value, and then asking. And so I think that, yeah, it really is about making sure that the emails that you send are useful. Um, you know, that's really like, that's the reason people are going to continue to want to open them. Um, and yes, and the other thing that that does, so this nurture, every week or every month, being helpful being useful. What that does is it actually kind of builds that relationship to give you permission to occasionally you do a bigger, maybe a donation drive, like a stronger push a stronger ask, because it Yeah, it's like you've, you've done all that nurturing. Now, once or twice a year, you can do a big push, that is asking them to give back for what you have given 

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Well, let's go back to your bar analogy, right. So let's say person winks at you, you go over, you have a quick, you know, brief conversation, you have a drink together, you have a good time, and then you don't talk to them ever again. And then six months later, you happen to be at the same bar, and you go up and say, Hey, like, Oh, I know you, oh, let's get married now. And they're like, wait, but you haven't talked to me in six months? Why do I care about what you have to say to me? You know, it's like the same situation, you really have to look at it as a relationship. Yeah. Well, and I think the beauty of email, and to your point of showing up regularly, you also stay top of mind, with the organization. So if there's, you know, you never know when somebody is ready to give again, and what their motivations necessarily are. So by emailing them regularly and consistently and showing up in their inbox, you know, you're showing them that, you know, you're here, you're still here, you're still open, you're still doing great things, and their money is going to be wisely spent with you.

[Sarah Cook] Yeah, you know, in terms of, I mean, there's a whole probably a long list of email, best practices I could go into, but one of the things that makes a big difference in how successful email campaigns are, is subject lines. Because if people so the subject line, they say more than, like, 64% of people decide if they're going to open an email or not just by reading the subject line, right? 

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] 100% Yeah.

 [Sarah Cook] And it's Yeah, and so a lot of people if it's just boring, and they're just not going to open it, well, if people don't open your emails, then all of your efforts, you know, have not been worth it. And so yeah, so subject lines, really they have to make people curious and kind of, I like to say it's like open some sort of story loop, like start to say something that people read that and are thinking, Wait, what does that mean? Or what? What's the end of that sentence in the subject line, it makes them curious to actually click and open. So there's, I mean, there's a lot of different ways that you can do a subject line that just gets people to kind of instantly reflexively open without thinking, but that is, you know, have all of the energy you put into writing an email, just don't drop the ball on the subject line.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Like, don't have it be the January newsletter. Or January updates, right, or, like, impact report, like, you know, tease a little bit about what's in it. That's so good. Um, one other thing that I think trips people up with email, and I just want to touch on this really quick is and get your thoughts are people get, I think, depressed about open rates, and unsubscribes. Um, they think that it's not good enough to make to continue to make that investment. So could you maybe just talk about that? briefly. I know, depending on your organization and your industry, your open rate averages are going to be different.

[Sarah Cook] Right. I think this statistic across the board, just for marketing emails is around 20%. Right, is typical for open rates. And so you know, if you're getting anything better than that, it's like, you're doing really great. And I know people see that and thank God only 20%. Um, but I mean, partly in email marketing, you just have to accept that that is a reality. But here are a few things about that. For one, it's still valuable for them to see that in their inbox. If they don't open it, like you're saying stay top of mind, they still see the name of who it's coming from. It's still a reminder. And they might not open every week or every month, but then occasionally they do. And I think plenty of people, they purposely stay on your list, because they think like, Oh, you know, occasionally I like to read the email. Right? So yeah, it's valuable, even if they don't open it because they see it. And yeah, so actually, so I think the last statistic I saw on this was that Tuesdays are the day that gets the highest open rates and the highest unsubscribe rates. And so then people are like, Well, wait, do I want to send on Tuesdays or not? Right? Yes, you do. Because it keeps your list clean, it keeps the people on your list who are going to engage and be interested. It's not worth having people on your list who don't care.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] If they unsubscribe, they're not going to donate to your organization anyway. And if you're paying per subscriber, why do you want to pay for somebody who, who could care less? So I Yeah, I agree with that. 100%? Yeah. Okay, so many good things. Um, I hope that you guys will get on your welcome sequences right away. And when you do, let me know, because I want to subscribe to your list and check them out.

[Sarah Cook] no pressure, no pressure.

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] But, um, Sarah, if people want to learn more about you, and I know you have some great resources, how do they do that?

[Sarah Cook] My website is wellnesswebsitepro.com, I have a resource, I'll send you the link if you want to share it in your show notes. 50 email subject lines to get better open rates. So that might be helpful for pretty much any business organization. And I'm on Instagram, is that's the same, @wellnesswebsitePro. 

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] So I love it. Well, thank you so much for coming back. Your previous episode, which was all about copywriting, on your homepage, which was like one of the first ones that we did is still the best-performing podcast episode that we've ever done. So I'm sure this one will be up there too. We'll have a little have to have a little competition with your against me. But yeah, check out the show notes. We'll have all of the resources linked there for you. But Sarah, thank you so much for joining me today. 

[Sarah Cook] Thank you, Sami. It has been fun. 

[Sami Bedell-Mulhern] Big thank you to Sarah. I know I got some great reminders from this episode. I hope that you learned a lot. I will have the resources that she mentioned the subject line tips in the show notes as well as some of the other software tools that we talked about. I just want to really reiterate that a lot of these email software platforms offer nonprofit, right? So make sure you check out TechSoup for some of that or just ask any software that you're contemplating using if they have a nonprofit, right, I know most of you are already doing that, but I just wanted to make sure I bring that up again. For now, I hope that you'll subscribe where you listen so that you don't miss an episode. And I will see you at the next one.

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