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Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to convert your subscribers into loyal fans and customers. But keeping your audience engaged in this distraction-filled world is harder than ever.
That’s where a soap opera sequence can save the day. Like the daytime TV shows it’s named after, a soap opera sequence uses storytelling, drama, and cliffhangers to hook your subscribers.
With the tried-and-true soap opera sequence template, you can run an email campaign that boosts engagement, brand awareness, and ultimately, your bottom line.
What is a soap opera sequence?
Popularized by digital marketer and co-founder of ClickFunnels Russell Brunson, a soap opera sequence is typically a series of five emails aimed at building trust and increasing conversions.
Each email is optimized to engage your subscribers and make them eager to read the next installment of your story.
You use personal narrative, drama, and cliffhangers to captivate your audience and nurture your relationship.
Because you’re building trust and connection with your readers, they will be more likely to buy when you pitch your products or services.
How a soap opera sequence works
A soap opera sequence is typically a series of five emails sent out over five days. It’s designed to introduce you and your product to new subscribers, but you can also send it out to your existing list to foster engagement or launch a new product.
- Email #1: Start by setting the stage
- Email #2: Share a dramatic story
- Email #3: Reveal your aha moment
- Email #4: Share your success story or the benefits of your product
- Email #5: Introduce your call to action
Email #1: Start by setting the stage
The first email in your soap opera sequence is all about setting the stage for what’s to come. Here’s where you’ll introduce you or your company to your readers and set expectations about what they can expect from you over the next few days.
Explain that you went through a transformation and that you’ll be sharing the unique solution that helped you achieve it. Here’s one example for how to tease this information:
I worked on my blog for two years and was unable to grow my traffic or make money. But this past year, I changed my approach. Now, I have over 500,000 visitors to my blog every month and am making enough money to quit my day job and work on my blog full-time. Want to know how I do it? I’ve got a BIG secret that completely transformed the way I approach blogging. Watch out for my next email and I’ll share my secret strategy with you.
In this introductory email, you might also provide whatever freebie or lead magnet you offered to get your subscribers to sign up in the first place.
Email #2: Share a dramatic story
In the second email, you’ll start to get personal about your (or your company’s) origin story. More specifically, you’ll focus on a low point in your life or career when you realized that things needed to change.
Using sensory language here (colors, sounds, smells, etc.) can help amp up the drama. Here’s an example of how this works:
The turning point came when I logged into my student loan accounts and saw that I owed $100,000 — $10,000 more than I’d borrowed in the first place. I’d taken out a bunch of student loans for college for a psychology degree that I didn’t even use in my job as a bookstore clerk.
While the number made my heart sink into my stomach, it also made me determined to get rid of this debt. I couldn’t let it hang over my head for the rest of my life. So I got to work researching the best ways to increase my income. That’s when I learned about the world of blogging and making money online.
Once you’ve shared your rock-bottom moment, explain what led you to that low point. Make sure you’re sticking to relevant information that your subscribers will relate to.
At the end of the email, tell your readers to stay tuned for the next message, where you’ll share the epiphany that changed everything.
Email #3: Reveal your aha moment
In the third email of your soap opera sequence, you’re going to share your “aha moment” or epiphany that led to your transformation.
You’ll explain something you figured out and implemented to solve your problem or achieve your transformation.
Here’s an example:
I spent hours falling down the Google rabbit hole, trying to piece together free information. But my efforts weren’t working. It wasn’t until I decided to take the leap and invest in a blogging course from an expert that I began to see real results.
Spending money on a course when I was so deeply in debt was hard for me, but my return on investment has been incredible.
In the end, money is a renewable resource, but time is not. If you’re clear on the goal you want to achieve, investing some money upfront to learn from an expert is well worth the time it will save you in trying to figure everything out on your own.
Remember that you’re telling an engaging story here, so be sure to include details about how you had your epiphany and what steps you took after your realization.
To entice your subscribers to read your next email, invite them to stay tuned for the amazing results you achieved in email #4.
Email #4: Share your success story or the benefits of your product
Now that your subscribers are invested in your story, it’s time to start introducing the success you saw with your approach, as well as any products or services you sell.
Emphasize the amazing success you achieved after you had your aha moment and changed your approach.
Here’s an example:
Once I implemented the strategies I learned, I saw my blog traffic grow month over month. I started to make my first bit of income after three months and saw that number triple by the end of the year. Today, my blog brings in over 500,000 visitors and $50,000 in income every month. I’ve managed to completely pay off my student loans, a goal that I never thought I’d achieve. Now, I teach others how to take control of their lives and income in my blogging course.
This email is also a great place to share proof of your results, whether in the form of screenshots or a video. Not only will this proof be more persuasive to your audience, but it will make them feel like it’s possible to achieve the same success that you have.
Email #5: Introduce your call to action
Now that you’ve moved your subscribers through your soap opera sequence, it’s time to wrap up with a pitch of your product or service.
At this point, your readers are familiar with you, your story, and your brand. If you’ve spoken to their pain points and offered a compelling solution, they’ll be more likely to purchase your product.
Make sure to have a clear call to action in your email to make it easy for your readers to purchase. You can also boost conversions by introducing a sense of urgency, such as a limited-time discount, a special bonus, or an open/close cart model.
If you don’t have a product or service yet, you can use this email to explain what your readers can expect from you going forward, such as a weekly newsletter with actionable strategies for achieving their goal.
Even if you’re not actively selling a product yet, a soap opera sequence is a great way to nurture your subscribers and keep them coming back for more.
Bonus tip: Ask for responses along the way
When you’re doing email marketing, the last thing you want is for your messages to end up in the spam folder. One effective strategy for making sure your emails go to someone’s inbox is to ask for responses along the way.
At the end of an email, you could ask your readers to hit reply and answer a relevant question, such as:
- What’s your biggest struggle when it comes to achieving [the solution your company offers]?
- How would your life change for the better if you could achieve [the goal your company helps them meet]?
- Where do you tend to have your biggest epiphany moments?
You could even ask for a short reply, with a line like:
- Hit reply and say, “I’M READY” if you’re ready to [XYZ].
- Hit reply and say, “ME TOO” if you’ve ever experienced this before.
If a reader directly responds to your message, your future emails are even more likely to end up in their inbox and avoid the black hole that is the spam folder. Using a leading email marketing software helps with this, too.
How to set up your soap opera email sequence in Omnisend
Telling stories is one of the most powerful ways that entrepreneurs and brands can connect with their audience. Fortunately, you don’t need to send out your story manually to new subscribers.
With Omnisend’s pre-built workflows, you can set up your soap opera sequence once and have it sent on autopilot to new subscribers.
As you grow your list, you can also set up multiple soap opera sequences for different audiences using Omnisend’s conditional split block. This feature allows you to differentiate your messaging based on the form your subscribers used to join your list or any other data they provided.
When a new subscriber joins your list, it means they are interested in you and your offerings. By welcoming them with a soap opera sequence, you can make an outstanding first impression and convert them from curious strangers to lifelong fans and customers.
Author bio: Rebecca Safier is the blogger and digital marketer behind Remote Bliss, where she teaches people how to launch and grow profitable blogging businesses.