Should You Use a Welcome Email for Your Email Course?

“Welcome” email with an email course—yea or nay?

That’s what life coach Ed is wondering:

Hey Josh –

Here’s a question for you. What are your thoughts on sending the first email lesson right away vs sending a welcome email first followed by the first lesson coming a bit later. I’ve seen it done both ways but no idea what works better. Any thoughts?

The first email you send right after someone joins your list is *critical*.

This email when it’s delivered within a minute or two following the optin gets far and away the most engagement from readers—I’ve seen open rates as high as 75% for these!

And what you say in this email matters.

So should you spend time on a preamble to your email course, or just dive right in and start sharing your content?

There are advantages to both approaches.

The great thing about sending the lesson right away is you’re assured of a high readership for the first lesson in your email course.

And if that lesson is really good, they’ll be looking forward to the next day’s lesson.

That’s a perfectly valid approach, but it’s not the way I usually roll.

Here’s the issue:

People sign up for my courses from all over the place.

Some of them are clicking on a headline in a tweet.

Some saw my course advertised on a Google ad a one-liner on a YouTube video.

Bottom line is:

Most don’t know a whole lot about the email course or the problem it addresses.

So my goal in the first email is to get all of my subscribers to fully appreciate the problem my course tackles—so they’ll be even more excited about the lessons when they arrive.

In other words, in that first email, I “sell” the lessons to come—and show them WHY they should care about this problem in the first place.

And then I’ll close the email with a cliffhanger, a teaser for lesson 1 that will arrive the next day.

This sets up my entire course for high readership and engagement…

While also laying the groundwork for the “sales story” that leads into my product pitch.

Does this technique work?

Well I use this approach in every course I create now.

And when I do, the dropoff rate between the first and second emails is much lower compared to delivering the first lesson immediately.

(In one case, the open rate between the first and second emails is nearly identical—my subscribers WANT that first lesson!)

For more details on this technique, and to see a living, breathing example course, check out my Behind the Scenes of a Six-Figure Email Course training here: