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  • Writer's pictureKrista Frahm

Why Your 5-Email Welcome Sequence Isn’t Working (And What to do Instead)

Email marketing can be the heartbeat of your health and wellness business—working behind the scenes to keep things moving. And just like our hearts, we often take it for granted. 


If you're here, it's likely you're in one of two camps:


You’ve created incredible online programs for people seeking alternatives to traditional healthcare services because they haven’t found the answers they’re looking for.


Or...


You’re coaching other clinicians through mentorships, memberships and business coaching programs can be the difference between that new entrepreneur succeeding vs having to return to their 9-5. 


Either way, your clients can only get support if they know about your program and understand it. 


That's where your email welcome sequence steps in. It should clearly explains your program and work to convince the reader to take action.


Traditionally, a 5-email sequence has been the go-to, like the trusty 3 sets of 10 used to be in exercise programs. 🏋️


But, in today's economy, where trust is hard-earned and decisions are weighed with care, this approach is no longer the best option for online course or program creators. 


Just like cookie-cutter rehab programs don’t get the results people are looking for, a quick 5-email welcome sequence won’t turn as many new subscribers into customers either. 



It's time to refine your approach and create a more nuanced, "forever funnel" that nurtures, educates, and guides your audience from curiosity to conviction.


In this article, we're going to cover:


  • Why the traditional 5-email welcome sequence falls short in today's market.


  • How to evaluate and repurpose your best emails into a cohesive, extended sequence.


  • The art of mapping your customer's journey to tailor a sequence that leads to readiness to buy.


I always offer clinical parallels and straightforward advice, so let's dive into how to enhance your email welcome sequence, turning first-time subscribers into clients.



The Importance of Trust in Customer Relationships 


Trust is a cornerstone in the health and wellness industry. The stakes are high, and consumers do their research before making decisions about their care. Healthcare professionals also vet their options before investing in mentorship and coaching programs.


Just as you wouldn't expect a new patient to commit to a large wellness package without building trust, your email marketing needs to establish this trust with potential clients.



The Online Course and Program Industry is Booming


Today's digital marketplace is crowded. When the world shifted online in 2020, everyone realized they could create and sell courses to earn extra cash and reach more of the people they like to work with. 


This doesn’t mean the marketing is over-saturated and you won’t be successful. 


But it does mean your audience is bombarded with information and options. 


Building trust takes time, similar to how patient trust is built over several appointments in clinical care. 


Your email welcome sequence should foster this level of trust, acknowledging that people are more cautious and need more touch points before they feel ready to make a decision.


The Power of a Prolonged Email Welcome Sequence


An extended welcome sequence, or "forever funnel" isn't an endless sales pitch. 


The trick is to provide meaningful content that builds trust over time. It’s just like building rapport with clients. Some people warm up faster than others, but you must consistently build a connection with people.


By extending your welcome sequence, you’re recognizing that people take longer to decide in a down market and adjusting your strategy to meet them where they are instead of trying to push them to decide faster. (There’s no trickery here.) 


Trust Through Education and Engagement


Providing valuable content over time shows you're ready to support your audience's journey. 


Each email is a chance to demonstrate your expertise, share insights, and show understanding of their challenges and aspirations. They are potential customers, but they're ALSO individuals seeking to improve their health and wellness. Keep that in the forefront of your mind every time you create marketing collateral.


Short email welcome sequences can feel like being at a “party” for an MLM company. The reader thinks they’re going to get value, tools, and insights… but in reality they get one drop of value and a bucket-full of sales pitches. 


I’m not sure how you feel about those parties, but I prefer to avoid them at all costs. 😉



Building trust takes time and consistency. 


Your email welcome sequence, or forever funnel, can do this for you on autopilot when it’s curated to meet your clients where they are and take them on a journey. 


With the foundation of trust established, let's explore how to evaluate and repurpose your best emails for an extended welcome sequence.



How To Create Content for an Extended Email Welcome Sequence


Creating a longer welcome sequence doesn't mean starting from scratch. 


Your past emails are likely a goldmine of content that can be repurposed into an engaging and trust-building sequence. 


Here's how to evaluate and utilize those emails effectively:


1. Review Performance of Past Emails


Start by looking at your email metrics from the past year. Identify which emails had the highest open rates, click-through rates, and engagement. These metrics indicate what resonated with your audience. 


High-performing emails are prime candidates for your extended welcome sequence. Pull them out and add them to your list of potential funnel emails.


2. Assess Content Relevance


Evaluate the content of these high-performing emails. Are they educational, inspirational, or promotional? The goal is to provide a mix that educates and engages your audience throughout the sequence. 


Content that addresses common questions or concerns, shares success stories, or provides valuable tips is particularly effective.


3. Update and Revise 


Once you've identified the best emails, consider how they can be updated or revised. Some emails might be timeless and only need minor tweaks. Others might benefit from updated statistics, new insights, or expanded content to add more value.


Even if an email performed well, it needs to be relevant to future subscribers. If your email was about a current event, it may not be the best choice. 


4. Think About What’s Missing for Readers


As you pull out the emails, you might identify gaps in the content, or related ideas may strike. 


If you’ve been answering the same question repeatedly, you should likely write an email about it. This is your opportunity to create new emails that address these gaps, ensuring a seamless flow from one email to the next.


Leveraging your top past emails helps build an extended welcome sequence that engages and builds trust. It ensures that your new subscribers receive your best content, tailored to guide them from initial interest to readiness to engage with your offers.


At this point, you have a pile of emails and content. The next step is to map out your customer journey so that your emails create an effective funnel and answers questions that your clients have.



Organizing Your Welcome Sequence: Mapping the Customer Journey


To avoid sounding scattered or confusing your new subscribers, you must organize your welcome sequence to create a customer journey that leads them to make a buying decision. 


This journey isn't just about the emails; it's about understanding where your subscriber is mentally, emotionally, and in terms of readiness to purchase your offer. 


Here's how to map this journey within your extended welcome sequence.


Gain Clarity on Your Starting Point


You need to know where people are when they join your email list. 


Not their geography, but their mental space, health condition, what they’ve tried before, and what is leading them to keep searching for answers. 


Are they seeking information, looking for solutions to specific problems, or are they ready to make changes but unsure where to start? Your first few emails should meet them at this starting point, offering value and establishing a connection.


Create Stepping Stones


Think about the milestones or stages your subscribers need to pass through before they're ready to buy. These might include recognizing the problem, understanding the value of solving it, considering your offer as a solution, and deciding to purchase. 


Your emails should create stepping stones for them to walk on to get from where they are to where they’d like to be.


Address Objections and Questions


Anticipate common objections and questions that arise at each stage of the journey. Plan emails that address these concerns directly, providing answers and reassurance that guide subscribers closer to a decision.


It may feel strange to bring up an “objection” or a reason that someone would choose to not purchase your offer/program… but when your write an email that talks about their objection, then you can address it instead of letting it stay in their mind and hold them back. 


Engage and Educate


Use a mix of content types to engage and educate your subscribers as they progress through the journey. This can include success stories, case studies, educational content, and direct calls to action. 


The goal is to keep them engaged and moving forward. Not every email will land with every person. That’s ok as long as they like more than they dislike. They’ll skip past the content they’re not interested in and dig into what they do want to read. 


Make Sure They Can Buy When They’re Ready


Although many people are taking longer to buy, that doesn’t mean we should block people from purchasing when they’re ready. 


It’s possible people have been on your list before, or they’ve been reading everything else you have online and now they’re simply ready to purchase. 


Most, if not all of your emails should have an option for people to purchase/book if they’re ready. This can be a low-key ask in the P.S. section of your email or below your signature. But whatever you do, don’t make it difficult for them to finalize a purchase if they’re interested. 


You can also use their actions to segment your list and follow up more with the people who have clicked links or opened all your emails, but to keep it simple, just make sure they can buy when they’re ready by having a call to action in every email. 


When mapping out your customer journey in your email welcome sequence, keep your potential clients in the forefront of your mind. Meet them at their problems, empathize, overcome objections, show them a different way, and offer to help them. 


This strategic flow requires an understanding of your audience and creating content that meets their needs at each stage. But once it’s set up, it will work for you while you’re focusing on other tasks. 


Next, we'll look into implementation and best practices to make your extended welcome sequence a success.



Email Welcome Sequence Implementation and Best Practices


Creating a high-converting welcome sequence doesn’t often happen on the first try. It’s an art and science that requires tweaks and changes. 


It involves a blend of strategy, personalization, and ongoing optimization. 


Here are some best practices to keep in mind:


Start Small and Scale


If the idea of creating an extended welcome sequence with 6-months of emails seems daunting, don't stress. You can start smaller and build your sequence out over time. 


Begin with a core sequence that addresses the most critical stages of the customer journey. (This may even be your original 5-email welcome sequence!) As you gather more insights and content, you can gradually expand and refine your sequence.


Segment Your Audience


Not all subscribers are the same, so why treat them that way? Use segmentation to deliver more personalized and relevant content. 


My favorite way to do this is by having different opt-ins, or having a quiz that people take when they join your email list. Based on the results, they get a different set of emails. 


However, if you’re about ready to shut your computer just thinking about this, then don’t worry about it now. You can outsource the strategizing and writing, or you can keep it simple and focus on your most ideal clients and speak directly to them. 



Monitor Engagement and Adjust


Keep a close eye on your email engagement metrics, such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. If you notice a drop in engagement, it might be time to update or adjust your content. Remember, the goal is to keep your audience engaged and moving through the customer journey.


You can test different aspects of your emails and see what improves your conversions. Just remember to let 100+ people go through your sequence before you start making changes. Also, don’t change a lot of things at once or you’ll never know what’s actually working. 



Don’t Overwhelm People


During the first week or two of your sequence, I would send more frequent emails. Depending on your audience, this could be every day for a week, or every other day for two weeks. Monitor your open/click rates as well as unsubscribes and adjust your strategy based on your subscriber’s actions. 


If people are still opening emails during week two, and your unsubscribe rate is lower than 1-2%, then you’re doing fine. It’s natural for your open rates to drop after the first week. After 2 weeks, I recommend only sending 1 email per week. Play the long-game here instead of trying to send them everything at once.  


Encourage Two-way Communication


Invite your subscribers to respond to your emails or reach out with questions. This not only provides valuable insights into their needs and concerns but also strengthens the relationship by showing that you're accessible and responsive.


An additional bonus is that it may improve your “sender reputation” which essentially tells the email bots that you’re cooler than other people and your emails should never go to spam. 😉


An extended welcome sequence is a powerful tool in building trust and guiding potential clients to a decision. By being intentional about your setup, you can create a sequence that is engaging and highly effective in converting subscribers into loyal customers.



Email Welcome Sequence Examples


Bringing these theories to life, let’s look at some examples where extended welcome sequences made a difference for clinician owned businesses and health and wellness professionals. 


Case Study 1: Online Niche Health Coach & Course Creator


This client had written her emails based on a traditional 5-email welcome sequence template. The sequence delivered a freebie, had the founder’s story connection, provided more value, made a soft ask, and then had a sale email at the end of the sequence. 


The problem is, after this one “make a sale” email, subscribers didn’t get more communication that was in line with the sequence they’d just finished. They got sporadic updates about blog posts or YouTube videos. The other problem was people weren’t making purchases from her emails, but she knew that sales from email were possible.


It’s not that the business owner didn’t want to continue nurturing the new subscribers, but she didn’t have time because she was running her business. She came to me to ask for help turning her welcome sequence into an asset that could make sales for her. 


We expanded the sequence into 10 emails and shared the opportunity to “cut to the chase” and join her program sooner in case people were ready to get solutions instead of finding freebies online. We also added emails about case studies and success stories. 


The results? 


I’ll update you after a few hundred subscribers make it through the sequence… because we can’t make any clear judgments until that time. But the client is happy with her new sequence, so that’s a bonus! 



Case Student 2: A Specialized Therapist Who Trains Others to Become Specialists


This client has been offering online courses and mentorship since before it was the 2020 trend. She has a solid offer suite and a proven track record. 


She also had a 5-email welcome sequence that was based off of a templatized strategy. 


The problem was, it wasn’t converting new subscribers into customers. When I looked deeper into the emails, I found that the stepping stones to help clients get from curious to ready to buy were missing.The emails required the new subscriber to step in and be ready to jump into a 4-figure investment to specialize… but the opt-in was created for beginners. 


So, we reworked the strategy and focused on meeting new subscribers at their curiosity stage and working to only sell the next step while hinting at the benefits of the full specialization. (Planting the seeds of specialization shall we say.) 


We also discussed segmenting the audience as soon as possible to have professionals on one list and students on a different list, because the students weren’t ideal clients… yet… but they may be in 3-5 years if they stick around. 


The results? 


Well, over 500 people have completed the sequence so far, with over 2K emails sent. I’ll pull the numbers based on this for now. 


The average open rate is 56% and the click rate is 2.6%. 


The analytics for sales isn’t connected yet. (Writing this reminds me that I need to follow up about this so we know if sales are coming from the email sequence or if we need to extend the sequence/modify anything.) 


I’ll update here when I have more results as well.


Email Welcome Sequence Strategy Has Changed


If you have a traditional 5-email welcome sequence and aren’t happy with the sales it’s generating, then it’s time to upgrade your strategy and extend your sequence. 


You’ll build better connections with your potential clients and (hopefully) make more sales when you expand your welcome sequence into a “forever funnel”. It gives people the time they need to warm up to your methods, see you an the expert, and then make a decision to invest their money.


This approach also aligns with the needs of health and wellness professionals looking to sell more online programs without increasing their workload on social media.


Remember this: 


Trust is Paramount


Just like in clinical care, trust is foundational. An extended welcome sequence allows you to build this trust gradually, mirroring the patient-caregiver relationship.


Value Over Volume of Emails


It's not about sending more emails, but about sending the right emails. By repurposing your best content and carefully mapping the customer journey, you can guide potential clients from curiosity to readiness to purchase.


Personalization and Engagement


Tailoring your sequence to address the specific needs and stages of your audience ensures relevance and maintains interest. If you do use a template, make sure you customize it completely so it almost doesn’t even seem like a template anymore. 


As health and wellness professionals dedicated to providing value outside the traditional healthcare system, your email strategy should reflect your commitment to care and quality. 


By implementing an extended welcome sequence, you not only enhance your relationship with your audience but also set the stage for sustainable growth and success.


 Next Steps: Create Your Welcome Sequence or Outsource the Task


Now that you know why the typical 5-email welcome sequence isn’t performing as well as it used to, what will you do about it? 



You can roll up your sleeves and start pulling emails out of your archives and writing new emails, or you can outsource the task and buy back your time. 


The choice is yours, and either option is fine. 


But if writing your emails and spending weeks organizing and assessing their performance doesn’t sound like fun to you, then we should connect. 


I offer email marketing strategy, writing, and implementation for clinicians and health and wellness professionals. 


That  means I’ll map out the customer journey, write emails that resonate with your specific audience, and even plug it into your email system if you’d like. It’s an end-to-end solution to support your business goals. 


Fill out an application today to start the process of outsourcing your email sequence.


Or, we can start with a Funnel Assessment and Tx Plan, where you get expert eyes on your funnel (including your emails) and a detailed plan of action.


Let me know if you have questions about either one.



Krista Frahm sitting on a blue chair with legs crossed, smiling at the camera

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