“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.”  

– Helen Keller

The goal of every online community owner is to see their community grow and blossom to its maximum potential. After all, why set up a community for only a limited number of subscribers when you can reach for 100’s or even 1000’s of members?! I guess there are communities that aren’t interested in expansive growth and are set up for a specific group of people. However, the majority of business owners, coaches, influencers, and the like ARE interested in growing their community. One of the key processes for fostering a thriving community is the creation of a well-crafted Welcome Email Series.

For online communities, implementing a well-thought-out Welcome Email Series is paramount!

It’s kind of like how Carmax treats their new car buyers. They walk you out of the finance department after you have signed a zillion documents and show you to your car. They shake your hand saying congratulations and then give you the keys. The big moment is when you see the huge yellow bow on the hood of your new whip (aka car). It’s a new-to-you gift that makes you smile, appreciate the gesture, and take a photo opp.

When a new person subscribes to your community and becomes a new member, they deserve that level of appreciation for sure! That’s where the Welcome Email Series comes into the picture. Immediately upon sign-up, new members should receive their very first email in the series. This creates a first impression which is why it’s so critical.

EMAIL #1

Let’s break down what the initial and immediate email should look like when a new member joins your community! This email sets the stage for what they just signed up for and also what they can expect moving forward. This email, as with other emails in the series, can be set up in a variety of ways and include different types of content. You can include video, website/webpage links, text, a CTA “call-to-action” and much more. 

The length and style can vary because there are no written rules when it comes to crafting this email. What is essential however for inclusion in your email template are the following key pieces:

     

    THE WELCOME: Just go ahead and say it – “Welcome to our community”. This may be blatantly obvious but the importance can’t be taken for granted. Let them know they are welcome in your community with heartfelt words and the white glove treatment.

    THE WHAT: Let them know what they just subscribed to by mentioning in summary fashion what the community is about and what they can expect!

    THE WHY: Write a paragraph stating why the community was built and mention a few benefits that come along with it. Highlight the reasons why they will be glad they joined the community.

    THE WARMTH: Let them know how exciting it is knowing they will be an integral part of the community and that the community will benefit from their awesomeness. Encourage them to click the CTA and start engaging with the community.

    THE WEBBIES: Include as part of the email signature or in the footer of the email template all the social media links and web links. Make it easy for them to access other key resources and sites they can benefit from.

    EMAIL #2

    The second email is typically sent 2-3 days after the initial welcome email. it’s all about encouraging new members to get involved and to start getting to know the community layout and channels available to them. Thank them again for joining and reiterate how crucial they are to existing community members. 

    Encourage them to engage in threads, ask questions, and offer their expertise. New members can offer new skills, share creative ideas, and be a source of inspiration for existing members. Make it like a pre-game motivational speech from the coach of a football team for example.

    Take the time as well to let them know what’s in store for them as they begin their journey in the community. Include information and links for any upcoming events such as webinars, Q&A sessions, and any community challenges.

     

    EMAIL #3

    Send this one 2-3 days after the second email. This one doesn’t have to be as long or filled with an abundance of stuff honestly. Use this chance to encourage action from new members. Ask them to share insights, milestones, and what’s new in their world with the community. Implore new members to dive into discussions and explore the resources available to them.

    Offer assistance to new members by asking them to reply to the email with any questions they may have or to utilize the community threads to seek answers or advice from other members. Portray the community synergy in the best light. Let them feel the massive sense of comradery the community has and that they are an integral part of that continuing and growing in the future. 

    It matters because a new subscriber isn’t just a number or a $$ symbol

    It matters when it comes to creating a great first impression

    It matters because without it new members may feel lost 

    It matters because new members need direction 

    It matters because without the communication they may cancel their membership

    It matters for the future growth of the community

    SUMMARY

    Just like it’s critical to reach out and nurture your Email List, it’s just as important to take great care in communicating with your community members. It’s not just a good business practice but it’s also the glue that holds the community together. These new members should also get your community newsletter. Start one if you haven’t yet! 

    Utilize an email platform like Convertkit to create your Email Welcome Series. Start today building your templates and get your new community members started off on the right foot.

    If you are looking for more guidance and support, let this be an invitation to join our community of community creators called the OCC. Join other business and community owners to propel your community to the next level.

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