What is an indoctrination or welcome email sequence?
One of the most simple email marketing campaigns we suggest creating is an indoctrination or welcome series. Read on to find out the why, the how and the content you should include in your ‘ultimate hello’.
An indoctrination campaign is a welcome campaign for your new leads.
We like the word indoctrination as a healthy welcome campaign should do exactly that - indoctrinate your prospects into your way of life.
It’s true relationship building... educating them on you and the things you stand for, whilst adding value in a meaningful way. It:
1. Clarifies who you are in your prospect’s mind
2. Shows your prospects what you can do to make their lives better.
A good indoctrination will increase conversion rates and make prospects more receptive to your offers. But a bad indoctrination can lose you precious leads straight away. You want to do it right.
Important warning > > > There should be zero sales messages in an indoctrination
It’s all too easy to break the tentative relationship by creating a bad impression - pushing the ‘buy buy buy’ button too quickly is a definite no no.
The focus in a good welcome campaign is getting to know your prospect and building trust.
If you're still a little unsure on all of this, check our our in-depth blog: What is a welcome email campaign.
Why should you send a welcome / indoctrination series to your prospects?
I’m going to start with the reasons to sack off an indoctrination campaign, which we commonly hear from clients when we’re introducing them to the concept of a Ninja indoctrination campaign:
1. I’m going to annoy my prospects. They don’t really care .
2. They’re going to get sick of me, too quickly, and I won’t have a chance to sell to them.
Our response to those two is this:
1. You will always annoy some people, but y‘know what - those people are NOT your prospects, they don’t belong on your list if they find you annoying, they ain’t going to be a customer so let’s sort the wheat from the chaff! An indoctrination can serve a bit like a filter in this way - they’ll unsubscribe themselves if they have had enough of you…. And that’s ok, unsubscribing is a natural part of the subscriber life cycle.
2. The people who get sick of your lovely welcome, they’re not your prospects! They’re highly unlikely to buy from you anyway - so adieu to them!
Indoctrination is a serious word. I like to lighten the mental load by imagine someone waving flirtatiously, inviting you to come and join them.
You gotta seize this opportunity to educate them, allow them to get them to know you better. Time spent crafting some great emails here will have a hugely positive effect on your conversion rates. We’ve seen it for ourselves. (Check out our blog ‘8 Reasons Why People Aren’t Opening Your Emails’ for some great insight on this - we talk subject lines, adding value, how to set expectations and when to pitch.)
Your prospect has just signed up to you, so you’ll be front of mind, they are primed to open your emails and hear what you’ve got to say - so say it right!
What should you be talking about in your welcome emails?
Remember that the indoctrination is a great way to ensure that your prospect is a qualified lead through educating them.
It’s a clever way to filter out the people who are not supposed to be on your list, who are not true prospects. Ooo we have a blog for you if you want to get more segmentation knowledge - read it here. In this blog we talk you through our 13 different types of customer/prospect, (the good, the bad and the awesome!), how to define and segment them, and how you should be talking to them for marketing success.
Human after all
What we’re looking for is your prospect to feel that real human connection to you and your brand. So be a real person!
Don’t add fluff, don’t try to impress with fancy language. Imagine they’re stood right in front of you and you’re having a cuppa together.
Be real, be human, and allow your audience to get to know, like and trust you.
Drip fed education
This is where we need some structure. And there’s a little bit of work to do before you can go ahead and draft your indoctrination copy.
We have an AWESOME tool here I’d love to direct you to - it’s the Ninja ‘Engage Playbook’ - a printable resource for you to work your way through, it’ll help you to clarify the education that your ideal customer will need - taking their awareness level into consideration.
Remember, no sales - pure nurture.
Ideas for your email welcome series copy
Here are some other prompts to spark off your indoctrination copy:
- Welcome them to your family. make them feel part of something
- Let them know that they are with like-minded people
- Who are you?
- What do you stand for?
- Why are you different?
- What should they expect from you?
- How often?
- Build your credibility - awards/testimonials/social proof
- Get your prospects excited
- What's in it for them?
- What should they do next?
- Let them know that you're available to them if they want to get in touch
Getting an extra slice of engagement
Getting people to visit your site is a grand idea. What can you offer them in your indoctrination email which will send them to site? A useful PDF? A blog post? A longer welcome letter? A video welcome? A free chapter of your book (what better way to make sure people are really on your page)?
Some of our clients have found it helpful to invite people to share their experience/challenge/preferences... prospects who take the time to answer you are worth their weight in gold. They are highly engaged.
If you don’t want tonnes of email replies, you could collect answers in a webform, or direct them to your social media channels to continue the conversation. (and get more engagement across socials, woop!)
- How to easily view opt-in and email status in Infusionsoft
- Keap vs Infusionsoft: What you need to know
What does an indoctrination and welcome campaign look like?
Here’s a sample flow of an indoctrination sequence, taken from the Engage Playbook:
Email 1: A welcome email that sets the scene. Tell them what to expect and what they will be getting from you over the next few days. Introduce yourself in this email, but don’t go into too much detail, tease the next few emails
Email 2: Send a “who you are” email. In here you can tell them who you are and give them a good idea of what it is you do. Talk about the things about you/ your business that they would be interested in
Email 3: Send a “why you’re different” email. Talk about customer successes, and how your mission, vision and values has enabled you to achieve them
Email 4: Send a “how to get the most” email. Talk about how they can get the best out of being on your list. What should they keep an eye out for? This is your opportunity to showcase how you’re going to add value to their lives .
Found that useful? Download the playbook for more strategies around engaging your list… It’s printable, scribble-able, you can get your engage strategy drafted out in a couple of hours. What are you waiting for?
Important Nitty Gritty
Two things I want to include here because the devil is in the detail...
The indoctrination campaign should have an exclusion tag to stop any other marketing hitting their inbox until the indoctrination is complete. Don’t inundate them. We’re in it for the long haul here!
When anyone enters your list, we suggest triggering an ‘Indoctrination eligibility check' rather than just triggering the indoctrination.
In short, you’d have a gatekeeper sequence which will ask if that contact has already received the indoctrination before. Just in case - we all know how embarrassing it can be to completely forget you’ve met someone before and introduce yourself for the second time… oopsie.
How to optimise your welcome series
Tweak tweak tweak
You want the open rates for your indoctrination to be sky-high. This is your first real interaction, we want those ears to be listening hard!
It really pays to set aside the time (we suggest at quarterly intervals) to check on those open rates, and optimise to get them higher. This is a great place for split testing.
Ninja Tip > > > Don’t forget to make use of the ‘Preview text’ in your email builder, that text can have a big impact on open rates.
Make use of videos - don’t be shy of being on camera. Including videos in your indoctrination campaign will help in two ways:
1. They will help encourage bonding with you as a real person.
2. Clicking to view videos will get people used to clicking on the links in your emails - you’re priming them for when you want them to take more valuable action
How to deal with potential lead magnet campaign clash
Delivering lead magnets too, and worried about a clash between lead magnet delivery/encouraging to consume emails and indoctrination?
We recommend that you stagger emails between the delivery of the lead magnet and the follow up/encouraging to consume the lead magnet.
People who come onto your list via a lead magnet may have an indoctrination all to themselves - it’s more work for you, but that personalisation is so very valuable and will be appreciated by your prospect.
Make it easy to scan read
This goes for any emails you’re sending, but do make your indoctrination emails scannable if they are long form. Use headings, bold, colours and breaks so that people can scan the content to see that there are real nuggets in there.
Onward! Wishing you the best of luck in creating not just any old indoctrination, but an awesome one.
Fancy getting a helping hand and a touch of Ninja expertise in writing and implementing your welcome campaign? We've got two options for you:
1. Welcome Campaign Project. This is a one off project where we work with you (though we do the brunt of the work) to create and build an incredibly welcoming campaign for your lush new leads. Once it's live, we'll leave you to reap the rewards!
2. Marketing Automation Academy. If you're more of a DIY hands on type of person, you could join our membership academy. We'll teach you everything you need to know to design your own outstanding indoctrination series. Plus, you'll get access to all our detailed templates and feedback from the Ninjas!