Probably my favourite and possibly the most passive way of selling something.
It generally works extremely well for services and courses but with some adaptations, I see no reason why it couldn’t work well for products and e-commerce businesses as well.
So what is an email soap opera sequence?
An email soap opera sequence is basically a sequence of emails someone receives after opting into your mailing list.
It’s designed to build a connection with your audience, show your authority, and ultimately get them to buy.
And why is it called a soap opera sequence?
Because each email is designed to give the reader a hook to read the next email in the sequence the way a soap opera does on TV and to weave a story into it.
It’s not as complicated as it sounds.
I’ve seen the same pattern used by a few online marketers now.
I can’t fit the intricate details of every email into one blog post – I mean I can but you probably won’t read it all and I focus on giving practical advice here.
Also, it needs to be tailored and nuanced to you and your business.
So here is the overall structure you want to follow. Each email should be 1 day apart unless I state specifically.
Email 1 – The Lead Magnet
I’ve gone over lead magnets already.
Basically, that is your tool to get someone to opt in to your mailing list and start the sequence.
As soon as someone opts in, you send them an email with the following:
- The thing they actually opted in for
- A super quick introduction to you
- Ask them to reply with their biggest struggle with the pain point you’re solving for them
- Tell them to look out for an email with social proof tomorrow (for example, “tomorrow I’m going to tell you how [client name] did this [overcame pain point] without [obstacle or fear that is stopping them]” – so maybe “tomorrow I’m going to tell you how Karen lost 20lb in 6 weeks while eating pizza every week.”)
And that’s it.
Email 2 – Build a bond with your reader
You’re actually not going to send them the social proof or testimonial today.
You’re going to talk about you and your struggles so they know you understand what they’re going through and you’ve overcome it yourself before.
So what you’re sending today is:
- Ask how they’re getting on with their lead magnet
- Tell them you didn’t send the social proof today because you didn’t want to overwhelm them or come across as a know it all
- Throw in a short personal story about how you went through and overcame the same pain point they’re going through
- Say you’ll definitely send them the social proof story tomorrow
Email 3 – The testimonial (finally)
Apart from the lead magnet, this is the first one where you really start to build authority and show you’re the person to help them.
You need to make it emotive and tell a story – talk about emotions, pain points, and struggles.
Talk about the journey and the strategy instead of the basic tactics – tactics for everything are free online but when someone is buying from you they’re buying into your knowledge, experience, and strategy.
In the PS you can start to add a sales pitch so staying with Karen, you can say something like:
“PS: If you want to know more about how I helped Karen and how I could help you with the same outcome, hit reply, and let’s have a chat.”
Email 4 – The pain email
Talk about the 3-5 most common mistakes you see that stop your audience from overcoming their pains or achieving their goals.
- 3 crucial mistakes every personal trainer makes when trying to sell on the phone
- 5 critical mistakes every coach makes with their Facebook ads
- 4 dangerous mistakes everyone makes when starting a new diet
Make it relatable and talk about how you made these mistakes yourself.
Sign off by saying something like “I told you what NOT to do, tomorrow I’ll point you in the right direction of what you should do!”
Email 5 – Hint at the solution
This is where you really get to flex and show you know what you’re talking about.
This is like the teaser to the big reveal in your soap opera sequence.
You give 3-5 helpful tips that counter the pain point you had been dealing with yesterday and for each tip add 2-3 sentences explaining it in further detail.
- 3 things you can change today to start losing weight AND keep it off
- 5 strategies to double your online clients in 3 months
- 3 changes to your Instagram profile to triple your DM enquiries
That sort of thing.
And then you add the hook at the end along the lines of:
“I’ve found that implementing these into a structured system has taken out all of the guesswork for me and saved me tons of time and energy and fast-tracked my success. I’ll give you the exact details tomorrow.”
Email 6 – The BIG sales email
This is the one where you finally make your pitch.
Expect it to be a LONG email.
Emphasise pain points again, show social proof, talk about what you deliver, and why it’s beneficial.
Focus on benefits (them achieving their goal) instead of features and lead to a clear call to action (usually to book in a call or direct buy)
Because it is so specific to your business, it’s hard to give you a definitive template or structure but here are 2 that have an awesome set up you can emulate:
Just remember that we’re adapting these for email so don’t worry about the visuals too much.
Email 7 – The FAQ
This one goes out 48 hours after the sales one – so NOT the next day.
Literally, just take all your common questions and answer them in one epic email.
You’ll want to cover in absolute clarity:
- Features and benefits
- Price and any guarantees
- What is onboarding like
- What happens after they pay
Basically, counter their objections before they even have them and emphasise your call to action (to buy!) again.
Email 8 – Create some urgency
You can send this one 24 or 48 hours after the FAQ one.
Explain why someone should buy now instead of waiting on the fence or just thinking about it.
Possible options include:
- Limited spaces or limited copies
- Impending price increase
- Early action taker rewards
- It’s the only chance to get some specific bonuses
Think of 1-2 things that can take your leads from “I’ll think about it” to “I need to act now!”
Email 9 – What next?
This goes 48 hours after the urgency one.
The leads are still on your email list so you can keep mailing them.
Acknowledge now wasn’t right for them to buy from you but you’ll keep doing what you can to support them.
Use this to push them to your other socials too – Instagram / Facebook / Youtube / Podcast / LinkedIn – or maybe throw in another freebie that might support them.
Be generous and empathetic instead of annoyed that someone hasn’t bought from you.
What about after the soap opera sequence?
Unless they unsubscribe, these people are still on your list.
So find your cadence and consistency with email and stick to it.
Keep focusing on delivering value.
Use multiple PS in sign-offs to sell and grow your other platforms too.
Remember there are only ever 3 outcomes:
- People will buy now
- People will buy later
- People will never buy
Your buyers are great but don’t completely ignore the ones that never buy.
If you’re good and they’re engaging with what you put out, they are more likely to at least pass your stuff on to someone else who will buy.
So that’s email soap opera sequences for you
Put time and thought into it.
Make sure you focus on nailing your audience and the problem you solve.
And learn to write emails that engage them.
And if you want support with email marketing…
Lead magnet + email funnels are my specialist area so feel free to get in touch here.