Getting To Yes

Ep. 8 Takeaways from Inbox Pause

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Let’s dive into the strategies and methods used in the Tailwind onboarding email, featured in Episode 7.


(3:23) Takeaway 1: Convert users by helping them to get to the aha moment

(5:13) Takeaway 2: Use fun to increase engagement, but temper it with relevance

(6:34) Takeaway 3: Use future pacing to help readers get over barriers and into their dreams

(7:19) Takeaway 4: Challenge your defaults to keep yourself fresh

(7:57) Takeaway 5: Get readers hooked with a micro-commitment

(8:45) Listen in on Dawn’s experience collaborating on this project – and her insightful thoughts on the email and flow

Links from this episode

Take a look at the email we’re talking about today

Plan more effective onboarding sequences with my SaaS Onboarding Success Pack

Be more persuasive with the 7 persuasion principles presented in Influence by Robert Cialdini (Pre-fluence is his latest, but I haven’t read it, so I can’t recommend it.)

Grow your business when you join the Creative CEO Academy

Follow Nikki on LinkedIn

Get Nikki’s email musings at ⁠ ⁠

Let me know what you thought about the episode by emailing

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Nikki Elbaz: Now  Aha moments are big and sass, but that doesn’t mean you cant apply the
idea in a slightly different way to other industries.

Nikki Elbaz: Welcome to email swipes, where we peek behind the scenes at the emails that catch your attention and earn their place in your swipe file. Every other week, we’ll, talk to an email expert about an experiment they ran, and in the following episode, we’ll dive into the strategies and methods used in the email so you can inform and inspire your own email work.

Nikki Elbaz: Im Nikki Elbas, the copywriter behind winning emails for eight and nine figure SaaS and e-commerce brands like Shopify, Four, Sigmatic, and Sprout Social. And I know that adhering the background stories to these emails will help you turn pie in the sky insights into plug and play actions. Ready to make inspiration tactical? Let’s go. First, a quick recap of the email we discussed last week that we’ll be digging into today.

Nikki Elbaz: So cool to see you’ve joined Tailwind, Nikki. I’m Danny. Hi. We haven’t met, but I’m the
CEO of Tailwind, and I wanted to reach out to you because I feel like we have something
really fundamental in common. We both have goals. I know. I know everyone has goals,
but we’ve got big goals. For example, you want to grow your business by driving traffic
from Instagram to your website. That’s a big, awesomely ambitious goal. I shared one of
my big goals on Instagram recently. It’s illustrated here. My goal was to live a healthier
life. My journey toward that goal started with I had a vision of what my after would be.
My vision was that image you see on the right above. I got there and now my vision has
shifted to the next iteration of who ill be while always being the proud dad of the
birthday girl. Im not sure what iteration of your business youre on Nikki, but chances are
good that no matter how successful you are, youre in a before version of your
businesss story. And you have an after in mind. Something you envision, like doubling
traffic year over year, or tripling leads from Instagram, or something even more
ambitious. Successfully driving good traffic from Instagram is within your reach,
especially with help from tailwind. But for stellar results, it helps to envision where you
want to grow too. It helps to visualize a future that’s as clear as the after photo above.
So I’m going to ask you to do something a little strange. Bear with me. One thing I’ve
learned from my pre tailwind days at Google, AOL and YouTube is when you’re willing
to take risks and do the crazy thing. You create space for creativity and productivity to
thrive. So here’s my ask of you, as wonderfully busy as you are, pause for a moment
and look into the GiF below. Let your thoughts wander with this prompt to guide them.
What one thing has been keeping me from driving the traffic and leads I want using
Instagram? There’s no wrong answer, by the way. Next, take another moment to
visualize what it will mean to your business and your life. When you actually do double
traffic from Instagram this year, what will it mean when tons of that traffic converts into
subscribers or leads? Visualize that outcome. Got a crisp picture in mind, Rosie?
Nikki Elbaz: Filters applied?
Nikki Elbaz: Good. Use that vision to drive the next few weeks with talent. And if you’re
keen, why not hit reply and share your vision with me? Thanks for taking this risk with
me, Nikki. I’ll check back in soon.
An onboarding flow helps new signups understand the tailwind
Danny PS wondering what kind of results you’ll see with Tailwind? You can see typical
results of tailwind for Instagram members here.
Nikki Elbaz: I started out last week’s episode telling you that this email lived in an
onboarding flow, the goal of which was to help new signups understand the tailwind
platform and hit the aha moment. So what even is an aha moment? The AhA moment
is that point in time when the user hits on an outcome that the software gives them a
turning point, if you will, when they know they can’t go back to doing things the way they
did them until now. Could be they try a feature and see how it saves them tons of time.
Could be they run a report and get data they know will be game changing for
presentations. Could be they share a link and everyone who gets it is super impressed.
It’s different for every software, and it’s even different for each segment that uses the
software. A CEO may care about the data, an employee may care about impressing his
boss. Point is, there’s a point where the user is convinced that the software is worth
paying for, is worth the learning curve, is worth the time spent migrating, and
sometimes is even worth getting company wide adoption. Once you know that point,
your number one job is to get the user to get to that action. The sales pitch after that
point is just peanuts. By the way, if you love this kind of stuff and want more on aha
moments and SAS onboarding, check out my SAS onboarding success pack. It
includes a hands on, over the shoulder, six part mini course in slide deck, a sample
workflow and copy from a real live sequence with over 50 emails, a plotting checklist
and my whimsical template. And yes, the link is in the show notes now.
Use fun to increase engagement, but temper it with relevance
Aha uh moments are big in SaaS, but that doesnt mean you cant apply the idea in a
slightly different way to other industries. SaaS definitely has the advantage with aha uh
moments because SaaS is digital, which means users experience the product together
with your emails and onboarding prompts. The touch points tie right into product use.
But you can do a similar thing in, say, ecommerce with SMS marketing. They can click
into a tutorial, they can share UGC. It’s more limited, but with a little creativity it’s
possible to apply the principle. But back to takeaway number one, always know the
point your subscriber needs to get to in order to believe your product is the right thing
for their life. And then that becomes your sole focus, getting them to that point. The first
reason that I quoted for beginning each email with an Instagram post from one of the
Talwin users was that it was super fun and visual. This sounds a bit fluffy, but fun can
be the reason people open and read your emails. But this takeaway comes with a huge
caveat. We don’t just want to provide fun, just fun would mean high engagement rates
like opens and clicks below conversion rates. We’re not here just to entertain. We need
fun, so people keep opening. But we also need relevance so they convert on the offer.
Even more importantly, it is the very rare brand that has such fun emails that normal
non marketing people read them for the entertainment. Just today I was speaking with a
super digitally savvy neighbor who mistakenly labeled marketing emails as spam super
typical of non marketers. And she also said that she never reads them except for a few
spam emails that were relevant. Those she does read. See what I’m saying? I get these
kinds of comments all the time from people on the ground, non marketers. Sometimes
we live in a bit of a marketer silo and forget how non marketers experience marketing.
For most of us, relevance is what’s going to get the opens. If you can throw in some fun,
you’re pushing the open ability even higher. But fun is never the end. All be all, both
because it’s not how subscribers use email and because it doesn’t convert. So
takeaway number two, use fun to increase engagement, but temper it with relevance.
Use future pacing to paint the possibilities for your reader
Okay, now let’s talk about future pacing. Future pacing, like I mentioned in the main
episode, is where you show the reader their future with your product. You place them
into that dream state. Just help them write over any objections and barriers they have
and put them into the world of perfection and potential. This isnt a lie by the way. Often
we get in our own way. We worry so much about the how and the how long and how far
that we just dont jump. But when we do take the leap all the calculations fall away and
were there on the other side. Thats what future pacing is. Future pacing helps our
readers get out of the logical side of things and into the emotional side of things. It
helps them see the possibilities and decide if this is how theyll get what they want. So
take way hash three. Use future pacing to paint the possibilities for your reader. Seeing
the potential is very powerful. I told you that I had to adapt my default copy style to fit in
with Dawn’s vision for these emails. She had a great handle on the audience and her
style of voice was really important to incorporate. It was challenging, but very
refreshing. And I think challenging your voice from time to time can be a great exercise
to keep you fresh. At one point when I was working at copyacros, Jo read an email I
wrote and said this is a Nikki email and she didn’t mean it as a compliment. I totally
have a default voice and style and she was challenging me to shake things up. So
takeaway number four, challenge your voice and default styles from time to time. Use a
different formula. Flip your hook or try to write in someone else’s voice. It’s fun and it’ll
add another dimension to your skill. In episode number six, I told you about Robert
Cialdini’s book influence. If you still haven’t read it, I’ve got another persuasion principle
for you. Micro commitments. When the tailwind founder asked for us to add in a line
asking users to share their goals with him, I said, number one, that he knew it would
make it more personal, and number two, that it would also give him some great
anecdotal data on what his audience is working towards. But the third thing that line did
was create a micro commitment. By hitting reply, each user was stating what they were
working towards. And as humans, we like to think we’re consistent. So if we make a
small commitment, if we say we’re going to do something, we work hard to follow
through. This is why accountability sharing works. And it’s not just the peer pressure.
We want to keep our commitments, even just for our own dignity of how we view
ourselves. Even so, takeaway number five. If at any stage you can get a commitment,
go for it. Even if it’s small, it’s valuable.
Chava Shapiro’s creative CEO Academy can transform your business
and life
And now I’ve got a special treat for you. I asked dawn to share her experience of what it
was like to write these emails together, as well as to give a few takeaways of her own.
I’m really excited for you to listen in.
Nikki Elbaz: Hey, creative, I want you to join Chava Shapiro’s creative CEO Academy
because I think it’s going to be transformational to your business and life. Now, I’ve
taken four, yes, four freelancing biz dev programs. So why am I promoting this one?
The other programs were decent, one was even excellent, but they were missing one
very critical piece. They were only tactics. Now, I know mindset stuff sounds all fluffy,
and I am the first to shy away from any of that kind of talk. But let me ask you this. If
you’ve been in the biz for a bit, you probably already know how to do a large chunk of
what Chava teaches. You already know you’re supposed to be doing a lot of the tactics
that she lays out. Things like pricing for value, asking for referrals, reviewing profit and
loss statements. So tell me, dear listener, if you know you’re supposed to be doing
Nikki Elbaz: Things, if you know how much these.
Nikki Elbaz: Steps impact your business, why aren’t you doing them? I’ll tell you why. I
nodded and took notes as four instructors told me to do those things. And then I just
kept not doing any of them because these things are emotionally hard. You can be
armed with the best sales scripts, but if you feel like you’re being manipulative by
asking the questions that get you price by value answers, you’re not going to use them.
You can download the best referral ask templates, but if you feel too vulnerable to reach
out and ask for a favor, you’re not going to use them. You can have the best p and l
spreadsheet, but if you’ve hit a ceiling and don’t know how to grow past it, you’re going
to find it too painful to look at your numbers and you’re not going to use them. One of
the things I look up to in chave as a friend and colleague is her genuine curiosity. More
than anything, it’s her attitude towards business that colors her entire course. It literally
pricks all the angst out of the balloon, all the fears, hesitations, buts they just don’t exist
anymore. I know it sounds unbelievable. It can’t be that simple, right? But I think it
comes down to this. One of the things that sets Chava apart from the other instructors
whose programs I took is that Chava is still in the business. She didn’t shift to teaching
courses only. She didn’t hire a full time team.
Nikki Elbaz: To do the work.
Nikki Elbaz: And she just manages things. She’s doing the work day in, day out. This
means that she really, deep down gets it. Not that she used to get it and forgot. Not that
she never got it and thinks she does. She knows what each step and task means,
physically, mentally, emotionally, and she tackles each piece. This understanding,
coupled with her contagious sense of discovery means you’ll fall in love with your
business all over again. Remember those heady first days before you got burnt out?
Plus, you’ll stay in love as you grow to 15k months and beyond.
Nikki: Thank you so much for inviting me onto the podcast
All right, I’ve rambled enough. I’m a bit passionate about this. If I’ve intrigued you, head
to the show notes for the link. It’s got all the details on what’s included. It’s a lot when
you have to join by your investment, etcetera. And now I’ll let dawn say her piece.
Dawn Petran: Thank you so much, Nikki, uh, for inviting me onto the podcast. And thank
you even more for all of the lessons I was so blessed to learn when we collaborated on
an email sequence back in 2019.
Dawn Petran worked with Nikki Elbaz on Instagram onboarding
So my name is Dawn Petran. I am a funnel, uh, strategist and agency owner. I own all
connected agency and we mostly work with thought leaders, coaches, course creators
and influencers. But back in 2019, I was lucky enough to land a gig working with Nikki
on a project for the copy Hackers agency where we collaborated on wrote together the
onboarding sequences for Tailwind’s Instagram platform. I learned so much on that
project. I was just a baby copywriter at the time. I had written a whole bunch of welcome
sequences, really post quiz welcome sequences for all sorts, of course, creators,
coaches, thought leaders, wellness entrepreneurs. But I had only written one
onboarding sequence for a SaaS platform, and I was so stoked to be asked to work on
the tailwind emails with Nikki. And then I was so scared because if you listen to the last
episode, you will know that Joanna Web, the brilliant and lovely woman behind copy
hackers, decided to pit me against Nikki Elbaz in the email marketing strategy and
positioning for the, uh, sequence. So there I am on my first call with the copyhackers
team, and I have to present what I thought we should do with the email sequence.
Hands are clammy, you know, face is all red, heart is beating so fast. And I present a
pretty standard let’s take these people through the aha moments and onboard them to
the app, I stop speaking, Jo nods her head, and then Nikki’s up and she presents the
most brilliant strategy of using user generated content to create emails that really
showcase the dream state of what using tailwind can be like for these Instagram
creators, as well as creating like, beautiful, almost Instagram feed style emails that
would land in their inbox. Needless to say, Nikki won, and I just got to learn so much
while working with her on this project.
Tailwind recently sent out an onboarding email to customers
So the email that we’re speaking about today is the letter from the CEO, and it is
brilliant. I loved this email so much and it really, uh, it got me excited because the
premise of the email is that the CEO was landing in their inbox and really just setting
the stage for them to visualize what the success they were going to achieve using the
platform was going to do for them and in their lives, in their businesses. And I have a,
ah, background in, um, yoga and wellness. And it was really cool to be on this email
because I never imagined that a software company would send out an email that was
asking the readers to close their eyes and think and dream and set the intention for
what they were going to be creating using the platform. So one thing I really loved about
this email was that the CEO had been on his own, sort of like health and wellness
journey. And in her perusing of everything, tailwind, Nikki had found this beautiful post
of his where he shared before and after photos. He was on a health journey and they
were on a business journey, and you could see where he started to where he was
going and the work that he put in. And one of the things we’re trying to do in onboarding
emails is set the stage for people to understand that it’s going to be worth the effort to
learn how to use the app, and that they will achieve a level of success that they’re
looking for with it. And I feel like a health journey, losing weight, getting fit, is also a
whole bunch of work and, uh, a whole bunch of work that so many of us are constantly
in. So I feel like this email really both empathized with the user’s journey. They were
going to have to do some work to find this success, and also helped them see tailwind
as a people led product rather than a piece of software that they had to pay for every
single month. On top of that, I feel like by asking people to meditate on what their
reasoning was for signing up for Tailwind in the first place, why they wanted to have a
more organized posting schedule, why they wanted to have these analytics they were
able to anchor in the reasons that they would be doing the work. Just like him being so
much more fit would anchor in the reasons he was doing the work. So I loved that.
Nikki used a gif to help readers visualize their big business dreams
On top of that, in the last episode, Nikki mentioned the really cool gif that Jo chose to
put in the email. And I loved it because it was just this really peaceful ocean sunset
thing. You just like could look at it and stare at it. And that’s what Jo up level the email to
say. So instead of close your eyes and meditate on what you want to build for yourself, it
was like, watch this Gif and anchor in the success that you are building for yourself with
Tailwind. I feel like this calming Gif with this uplifting message of if you do the work, you
will have success. Look how I did it. I’m so much more fit now. Here’s how I did it with
this ask for them what is your big dream for your business? And instead of creating sort
of this stressful, oh no, now I have to go and learn how to use all of the parts of the
software. It brought the reader into a more visceral state of uplifted peace where the
dream state that we were having them imagine for themselves could land in their
bodies and give them the impetus to just do the work and figure out how to use the app
so they don’t have to work so hard on Instagram.
Nikki Elbaz: Thanks for geeking out with me about that email story. If you enjoyed either
of these episodes, you’ll probably enjoy getting my emails. Plus you’ll never miss
another episode. Sign subscribe and yes, that link is in the show

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