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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.