Okay. You’re sitting down to write a series of follow-up emails to those who’ve attended a webinar or downloaded a white paper. You know those emails are key to driving more conversions, so they’ve got to be good.

What are you going to say in each of those messages?

Obviously, each email can’t be essentially the same. If you merely write seven variations of “buy now”, your conversion rates will plummet.

The good news is, there is a simple way to plan out your email sequence. Here’s how to do it…

Step 1: Start With The Prospect

Imagine you’re the prospect. You’ve just downloaded the white paper or attended the webinar. What are you going to be thinking and feeling? What questions are you going to have? What more do you (as the prospect) need to know in order to take action on the offer?

It’s not enough to merely visualize your prospect or glance at a buyer persona. You really need to get into their moccasins.

When I do this, I go into a lot of detail. I think about whether the prospect is using a mobile device or desktop, whether the prospect is at home or work, whether it’s a weekday or weekend. I think about how busy the prospect is, what their priorities are, and what they’re trying to accomplish, both personally and for their business.

Step 2: Ask Yourself Questions

Next, make a list of questions prospects are likely asking themselves after the initial lead-generating event (i.e. webinar, white paper download, etc.)

For example, say your business provides high-end coaching and you’re using a webinar to generate leads. Your offer is for a free “30-minute coaching session”. Once the webinar is over, what questions are participants likely to be asking themselves?

Here are my guesses:

  • I have follow-up questions? Can I get help?
  • How much does it cost? Is the cost worth the benefits?
  • Why now? What’s the urgency? Why is it important to take advantage of this free coaching session, today.
  • What do your clients say about your services? What bottom-line results did they see?
  • I’m not sure if this is for me. How do I make that determination?
  • How are you different from other coaching businesses? Why you?
  • What happens during the 30-minute coaching session? How will it benefit me?

Once you’ve jotted down these questions, you can start to see a buyer’s journey emerging. Now it’s time to nail that down, which is our next step…

Step 3: Arrange Those Questions Into a Buyer’s Journey

What’s the first step for the prospect? Well, prospects likely have follow-up questions after a webinar or white paper download, so that’s ideal content for the first email. Pricing is typically a question that comes up when prospects are at the tipping point of “buy or not buy”, so the best place for that email is near the end.

You get the idea. Here’s an example of a possible sequence based on anticipating the buyer’s journey:

  1. I have follow-up questions? Can I get help?
  2. What happens during the 30-minute coaching session? How will it benefit me?
  3. I’m not sure if this is for me. How do I make that determination?
  4. How are you different from other coaching businesses? Why you?
  5. What do your clients say about your services? What bottom-line results did they see?
  6. How much does it cost? Is the cost worth the benefits?
  7. Why now? What’s the urgency? Why is it important to take advantage of this free coaching session, today.

Once you’ve done this, you’re ready for the final step…

Step 4: Create a simple theme for each email

Now you can decide what topic you’re going to focus on for each email in the sequence. Here’s an example…

  • Email #1: Got questions? Here’s how to get answers.
  • Email #2: What happens during your 30-minute coaching session?
  • Email #3: Is our coaching program for you? Take the quiz…
  • Email #4: 3 important ways our coaching is different.
  • Email #5: How our coaching client, Lisa Smith, doubled her team’s productivity. (And got a promotion!)
  • Email #6: Will coaching be worth your investment?
  • Email #7: Last chance. Spots of filling. Waiting list has begun.

This four-step approach — imagine, questions, arrange, themes — takes the guesswork out of putting together an email sequence. It also results in higher conversion rates.

Try it the next time you’re writing follow-up emails for a white paper/ebook download and lead-gen webinar.