The vast majority of opted-in subscribers these days are usually either inactive or they haven't yet placed their first order. Getting new subscribers to make their first purchase is the first barrier to turning them into a longer-term paying customer.

By sending newly opted-in subscribers a series of email communications encouraging them to buy, you ensure that they are kept engaged and likely to buy within a targeted period of time. That series of emails can be setup via your email service provider (ESP).

An email marketing welcome series is used to engage your new subscribers and warm them up to make their first purchase. Especially in the case of new subscribers, once they make their first purchase, they will have a higher propensity to buy from you a second time (providing you give them a good experience on their first order).

Customers are more likely to buy from you again if they have bought from you recently.

Remarketing emails aren't a new thing, and marketers have been doing it for years. But many companies still don't have a proper welcome series set up to welcome new subscribers and turn them into new customers.

So here are eight steps to creating an email marketing welcome series.

1. Make sure your ESP has the capability of creating a welcome series work flow

When I say welcome series work flow, I don't just mean the ability to send a welcome email. I mean having the ability to send out a series of many emails controlled by a work flow you create, similar to this diagram:

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Ben Liau is a veteran digital marketing strategist and head of customer acquisition at Digital Flank, a digital agency specializing in Web strategy and optimization.