The 4 Emails You Need to Warm Up Your List Before Your Next Launch (Guest Post with Whitney Ryan)

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A good launch is like a good tomato sauce.

You need the right ingredients, mixed in the right combinations, simmered in juuuust the right way.

It’s a festival of flavors all up in your launch.

And while you can’t quite taste how the oregano plays against the parmesan, or how the salt brings out the intensity of the garlic, there’s one ingredient you can never fake: the tomatoes.

If you start with ripe, juicy tomatoes, you’re on your way to a mouth-watering sauce.

But if you use young, flavorless ones, there’s only a certain level of tastiness you can achieve.

It doesn’t matter how fresh your other ingredients are or how closely you follow Grandma’s secret recipe. If you start with underripe tomatoes, your sauce simply isn’t gonna be all that delish.

How ripe are your  tomatoes?

When it comes to your launch, your subscribers are your tomatoes. And the ripeness of those subscribers depends on how much value you’ve been giving them.

If you haven’t emailed them in a while, they’re going to be pretty underripe. And hey, I get it. When you’re a busy business owner, creating your own content and emailing your list often falls to the bottom of your to-do list.

But in order for your launch to be effective (aka to make you mad moolah,) you need to ripen up your tomatoes first.

The way to do that is with a warm-up sequence.

This is a four-part email sequence you’re going to send to your list before you send your launch emails. Before you even mention that you’re going to be launching anything.

This sequence is metaphorical fertilizer — a magical way to get your audience primed and ready when you eventually announce your offer.

It takes your audience from underripe, Stone-Cold-Steve-Austin to red and juicy and toasty warm.

Email 1: The Vanilla Ice (4 weeks before your launch begins)

You’re gonna get all “if there was a problem, yo, I’ll solve it” on your audience.

Email 1 is about sharing quick value. You want to give them a tip, strategy, or tool that can solve one of their problems…fast.

This isn’t about spilling everything you know about helping them reach their goals. It’s about zeroing in on one specific problem they’re having and give one specific solution.

The goal: Prove you can deliver real results in an easy way.

Let’s pretend you’re a health coach and you’ll be launching a group program called Scared Sugarless, a 21-day program to cut sugar. Think about a problem your ideal client is having, like not knowing how to track her sugar intake. Then give her a quick solution to help her do that.

In this case, your first email could be something like “My #1 Resource to Help Track Your Daily Sugar Intake.”

People are more interested than ever in convenience. We don’t want another overwhelming list of all the solutions to our problem. We just want a trusted expert to give us ONE.

That’s exactly what this first warm-up email does.

Email 2: The Give-‘Em-What-They-Want (3 weeks before your launch begins)

There’s a saying in persuasive copywriting to “give them what they want, sell them what they need.”

I was working with a client recently who was launching a social media program. In creating her warm-up emails, she told me one thing her clients always ask is how to get more likes. She knows that this isn’t the key to social media success. But they don’t know that yet.

And it’s a much bigger challenge to try and convince them of that than to simply give them a few tips to get more likes.

She gave them what they wanted (more likes) with her tip-filled email. And later, she’ll give them what they really need to get the results they’re craving, in the form of her program.

The goal: Show your audience you “get” them by addressing their big, bad want AND show you’ve got the solutions.

Back to our health coach example. You know your clients want quick and easy recipes. For Email 2, you could write about “4 Sugar-Free Desserts You Can Make in Under 5 Minutes.”

Email 3: The Jedi Mind-Buster (2 weeks before your launch begins)

This is where things really get strategic.

In this email, you’re going to address one common objection that could prevent your subscriber from eventually purchasing your product. And you’ll bust that objection by sharing value.

Think about the most common reason why people wouldn’t purchase your product and write a post dispelling the logic.

The goal: To remove the argument — in a creative way — before it comes up later in the purchase process.

Pick whichever objection you think will be the most powerful and overcome that objection in this email.

If it’s fear of temptation at home, your third email could be “The 4 Things I Did to Convince My Cupcake-Loving Husband to Join Me on a Sugar-Free Lifestyle.”

Email 4: The Honest Look (1 week before your launch begins)

Email 3 was about getting strategic. Email 4 is about getting real.

This final warm-up email shows subscribers that you’re a living, breathing human. Not superwoman. Not a crazy perfect robot who got crazy perfect results. But someone who messes up just like they do.

There’s something so loveable about someone who shares their struggle. And this is exactly the place to do it.

The goal: Humanize yourself by sharing a personal story.

Tell the story about how you went from where your ideal clients are now (struggling) to where they can be if they follow your system (soaring.) Show them it’s okay to make mistakes and you get it…but you also know the way to a better situation.

To get ready to launch your health coaching program, you might write something like “From Sugar-Coated to Sugar-Free: The Ups, The Downs, and the Sweet Moments in Between.”

By telling your story, you give your audience something honest they can relate to. You can make the transformation real.

Little Extras that Make a Big Difference

To give your warm-up emails even more superpowers, here are a few extra bits and bobs to add in:

  • Interlinks

Link to your other content whenever possible in these emails! When people click around and read your content, they’ll get to know you even better. And that’s exactly the point of these warm-up emails.

  • Social Proof

The more social proof you can add into your warm-up emails, the better. Include client stories or lines from testimonials from beta testers that showcase your results. Don’t force it, but sprinkle them in where they feel natural.

  • Credibility

Include subtle mentions of your expertise in these warm-up emails. Lines like “Over my 10 years as a health coach…” or “When I was in coaching school at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition…” can work wonders to position you as an expert.

Above all, keep this in mind:

A strong launch is built on a toasty warm list. And nothing warms up a list more than being authentic.

So don’t worry if your warm-up emails aren’t perfect! As Sheryl Sandberg says, “done is better than perfect,” anyway.

Your list will appreciate the opportunity to get to know you through your emails. They’ll love the personal connection. And that puts them in the ideal position to buy from you when you finally present your offer.

How else do you warm your list up before a launch?

What is the #1 reason someone would NOT purchase your product? How can you overcome that objection?

What did your personal journey look like? How did you move from a place of struggle to a place of success?

Get to know Whitney:

Whitney Ryan is a copywriter + content strategist who’s loved sharing stories since Mrs. Sawin’s first-grade writing class. Armed with a background in psychology/marketing and over half a decade creating copy for small businesses, she turned down a position at a top online marketing agency to start Whitney Ryan Copy + Content. She uses her business as an excuse for reading too many blogs and spending too much time on Pinterest. She also loves vegetarian cooking, traveling to new places, and long Chicago walks with her 10-lb poodle-mystery-mix Brody.

When it comes to warming up your list, email marketing is your best friend. But there are five critical mistakes most people make when it comes to emailing your list with a warm-up sequence.

In Whitney’s free video training, learn the five relationship-killing mistakes to avoid, discover the tools to make email marketing way easier, and download her cheat sheet for a 7-step email autoresponder sequence that turns new subscribers into customers…automatically.








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{ 19 comments… add one }
  • HOT DAMN, is this one of the best posts I’ve read in a while. Way to suck me in, Whitney – I absolutely la la looove your writing style!

    Pinning this bad boy for more devouring later. I’m knee deep in planning a Jan. launch so this couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m so gonna get my warm up on.

    BIG ass high five for sharing Whitney with us, Farideh. ROCK ON ladies… 😉


    • Thanks Andrea. Truly, so good!

    • Andrea!! Thanks so much, girl! I’m so happy to hear that you found this helpful.

      How’s the warming up going for your Jan launch? Let me know if you get any sticking points along the way and I’ll help you past ’em!


  • Thanks so much for sharing these great tips, Whitney!

    Besides making me hungry for pasta, I’m definitely going to use these to help build up more excitement and point to my launches. I’ve usually started my launch sequences with the “Hey, cart’s open!” email – but it makes so much sense to add a little extra and strategic nurturing at the front.

    I’ll let you know how it goes!

    • YES, Jessica!! It’s funny — so many people start their launch sequence with the “oh, hey, my cart’s open now!” email. But it works SO much better when you wine and dine ’em a little beforehand.

      Please keep me updated and let me know how your next launch goes with the warm-up! xx

  • Jessie Ford Coots

    These tips are fantastic, Whitney! I hadn’t even thought of sending “warm-up emails” prior to launch emails. What a simple and effective trick, but one that most people overlook. Super helpful!

    • Excited to hear this, Jessie! 🙂 A few strategic warm-up emails seriously work WONDERS to get people hungry for what you’re selling.

      Let me know if you need any help — I’ll jump in with ideas if you get stuck! xx

  • I love how you give us everything we need to actually create a great warm-up sequence AND the ripe tomatoes analogy helps it stick in my nimble brain. Thank you Whitney!

  • Rob

    I don’t have a new package yet to launch, but reading these words got me thinking seriously about what it could be and HOW I can talk about it. Fantastic! So helpful to see a framework for building interest through incentive and a human approach. Thanks, Whitney 🙂

    • Thanks, Rob! Hearing that you find this to be a “human approach” is seroiusly the BEST compliment you could possibly give me! 🙂 A little more humanity in our launches is the best way to build those quality relationships that last fo’ life.

  • I’m trying to prep for a re-launching of my website in the coming months and I think these tips will definitely come in handy.

    I always struggle to know if my list is interested in what I send, and with what I should send anyway, so this lays it all out for my launch. Thank you both!

    • Yay, April!! I’m so happy to hear that it’s helpful to give you some direction on what to send. It’s always a challenge to nail down a topic for your pre-launch emails!

      Best of luck with the new site! Exciting times! xx

  • Fantastic to see both of you lovely ladies posting together about the awesome mail goodies that help us connect better with our mail list. It takes time for people to get to know us, trust, and see our expertise-before they’ll consider investing. This nurturing email sequence can really help! Ps- love the colors in the graphics here too!

  • I’m creating a course soon and doing all the research I can to launch a successful course. Thank you so much Whitney! Gosh, I love the way you write. I realize now that although the course content is super important (and what we course creators are good at) marketing the course is another topic altogether. Warming up the audience is such a good idea. I even purchased Farideh’s launch playbook and I’m loving it so far. Keep up the good work ladies. ❤

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Leah-circleI sold 10x over my goal and grew my list by 30% with Farideh on my launch team. There is no way I could have done that without her help. Launching is hard. Farideh is a life-saver and you need her.
Leah Kalamakis,