Introduction To The Symbiotic Ascension System (Part 3): System Overview & 3-Step Email List Building Process

Welcome to Part 3 of this introduction to The Symbiotic Ascension System, a marketing methodology designed to provide creative entrepreneurs - with a resistance to pushy sales tactics - a route to monetising their knowledge, skills and experience without selling their soul.

Part 1 introduced symbiotic marketing as a way for both you and your prospects to get what you need, without you having to do anything you’re not completely comfortable with, or them feeling pressurised into a sale.

Part 2 demonstrated how a strategic symbiotic mindset can help deliver a more natural journey for prospects when based on building ascending levels of awareness and knowledge as they go. 

Part 3 (this part) provides an overview of how all the infrastructure, content pieces and offers from first contact to completed sale fit together, with specific focus on a process that can help you get started building your email list with least possible delay.

Quick Catch Up

If you’ve just joined us, don’t worry you didn’t miss much, well maybe a bit, but you can jump back to beginning or here’s a quick recap…

In part one…

We discussed how symbiotic marketing can…

Be a good fit for anyone with a resistance to marketing, as it’s based on building mutually beneficial relationships through helping, guiding and informing which more naturally leads to sales.

Strengthen trust, loyalty and relationships with potential customers by helping them solve problems, achieve outcomes and provide information they need.

Allow you to utilise your expertise, experience and skills to create content and products that naturally and logically help your prospects achieve results they seek (without in your face marketing techniques).

In part two…

We segued symbiotic marketing into a customer journey designed to combine the ascension of price points, customer value, awareness, engagement and trust in the most natural and frictionless way.

We covered why trying to sell a premium product to someone who know’s little about you, usually fails. And why you should take it slow for more natural relationship building instead.

And finally, we looked at how 3 levels of products, offers and information you provide can be designed as strategic stepping stones on a relationship building path that presents more of the right things, in the right way, at the right time to more naturally lead to sales…

Level 1 being where your lead magnet lives. The objective of which, is to attract subscribers to your mailing list with the promise of valuable information or a quick process that can deliver a specific outcome they seek.

Level 2 is where your transformer comes in. This is your first low cost high value product, strategically placed to provide a natural levelling up in the shape of new information, action steps and the promise of a tangible outcome. Main objective being, to transform your subscriber into a customer, which can in turn, transform their mindset to one where they’re much more likely to buy from you again.

Level 3 is your core product; the end objective of your funnel; the thing you’re ultimately looking to sell. But also something that - with the aid of some repurposing - can be utilised to provide lead magnet’s and transformers that can…

  • More strategically advance interest, awareness and engagement
  • Provide a more congruent, relevant and natural journey through your funnel
  • Deliver more relevant outcomes that generate a more natural sense of progress

And all, while saving time, money and headspace along the way.

Which is nice.

The DJ’s Guide To Funnel Building…

Did I mention I used to be a DJ?

 "Nobody cares Nick”

Bear with me, while I shoehorn in another lame analogy…

If you’re idea of a DJ is the bloke (it’s almost always a bloke) who plays random records at a wedding, that wasn’t me.

I’m the bloke (it’s not always a bloke) carefully curating, selecting and beat mixing a - too heavy to carry - selection of 12” vinyl into what I’d - pretentiously, admittedly - call a journey. It is a journey - or at least intended to be so - because the objective is to keep the majority of the audience (the clubbers, ravers and dancers) on the floor, by smoothly taking them from track A to B to C. If I don’t get the beats from one track to another in sync the rhythm will be off. If I follow a downtempo track with a high tempo track, there will be an obvious disjoint. And if I randomly jump from one genre to the next, there’ll be more confusing looks than natural bobbing along.

The opposite side of the coin is that if you were only to play one style, one tempo, one genre you wouldn’t hold the audience’s attention for long either (unless they’re all off their faces of course). So the way you do it, is through a gradual progression one track naturally leading to the next track, gradually building the energy up, creating tension and drama, before dropping things down again to create some light and shade.

So the audience on the dance floor, is not that different from the audience in your funnel really. If you curate the contents of your funnel carefully and you join them up naturally, you get to keep their attention and subtly move them from cold visitor to warm subscriber to red hot customer. And of course if you choose to implement a symbiotic ascension funnel, they may even enjoy the journey, learning, growing and developing as they go. And the point of creating a natural journey is so there’s less friction between levels. If you can pull off a seamless transition between levels, you can take your audience “higher and higher” (sorry) without noticing the joins along the way.

Which brings us to the engineering, the creation, curation and building of all the parts that go to make up the customer’s journey from lead magnet to transformer to core product and beyond. 

As the DJ needs to put time and effort into finding, curating and testing the music; practicing the mixing; mastering the tools of the trade. You have a backend journey, where the planning, creation and publishing of all the content, products and offers, as well as where the building, integrating and testing of all the infrastructure required goes on. This is the creative and technical journey that you take behind the scenes to ensure your funnel actually can ascend your audience from A to B to C in the most natural, effective and hopefully satisfying way.

The Backend Journey (From The Top)...

Now, whereas in part 2 the customers journey was described as having three levels of

Level 1: Lead Magnet

Level 2: Transformer

Level 3: Core Product

Just to confuse things, your backend journey as the funnel curator has three levels of ascension too...

1. Top Of Funnel (aka TOFU)

2. Middle (MOFU)

3. Bottom (BOFU)

At this stage, if you’ve been following along, the following will sound familiar to you, because, the front and back end of the funnel journey have to integrate.

Top is where you’re dealing with turning cold traffic into subscribers (which is where your lead magnet comes in).

Middle is where you warm subscribers up towards a high value, low risk sale (which is where your transformer comes in).

Bottom of course, is where you lead your nicely warmed up customers towards a Core Product sale.

However, within each of these three stages are many more content assets and moving parts - other than your lead magnet, transformer and core product - that need put in place for the journey to run smoothly. I’m talking about both the delivery infrastructure (email automation, landing pages, pdf’s, forms etc) and the content (words, images, video, audio etc), required to nudge hearts and minds towards something they need that you can provide.


Tools, Templates & Tech Don’t Make Sales

If you’re just getting into this, then from technical point of view, your timing couldn’t be better. It wasn’t always so easy - I had to learn html back in 1999 - but these days there is a multitude of affordable tech, tools and templates that make building the infrastructure of a funnel - at least - a lot easier to do.

But easier, doesn’t necessarily mean easy. There’s still plenty of time consuming work to do. It’s just that 90% of that work is achievable without any coding or backend technical expertise. Anyone can do it - more-or-less. But herein lies the problem - imho - for anyone new to the art of funnel building (yes, art), there’s far too much emphasis on the tools, templates and tech and not enough on the fundamentals of marketing content, copy and design. Things like effective audience targeting, clear and relevant communication and effective strategy for a start. Infrastructure doesn’t make sales, it’s the content of that infrastructure that builds relationships and makes sales.

So, as necessary as the tools, templates and tech are to get your infrastructure in place, and as useful as the advice may be on which tools to choose, the differences between tool A and tech B is not what matters most. What matters most - and will make most difference to your conversions - is what you say, to whom, where, when, why and how. Your visitors don’t care whether you’re using Lead Pages, Clickfunnels or Thrive Architect. What they care about is whether or not what you’re selling is legit and if it can bring value to their lives.

So, once you’ve got all your infrastructure in place, using off the shelf templates and hastily hacked together copy, you may be good to go - in theory. But unless you’ve got some foundational grounding in basic copy and design principles; unless you’ve got an innate knack for knowing exactly what to do and say, in the right way, at the right time - there’s a good chance the majority of your visitors will take will shake their heads, hit the back button, erase you from their mind and never return again.

A slower, steadier, more considered approach to building email lists and funnels may not resonate or make sense to you if you’re looking to “get rich quick” anytime soon.

But if you care about the things you create and put out into the world and the people you put it out there for, what follows is a philosophy and funnel building methodology that may be of interest to you...

The Symbiotic Ascension System Blueprint

We’re now going to take a closer look at what a Symbiotic Ascension System designed to grow a quality-over-quantity list, develop relationships with subscribers and transform subscribers into loyal customer more specifically involves.

The SAS is broken down into a series of processes, each designed to ensure the content (products, offers, emails, articles, videos etc) and the infrastructure required to deliver them (landing pages, forms, email automation etc) can be created to a higher than average standard in the most efficient and effective way.

What you include in an SAS and the order you create things is not set in stone, you can pick and mix or add and subtract, but typically, for info products such as courses, we’d be looking at a process like this...

  1. Awareness Content.
  2. Lead Magnet.
  3. Squeeze Page.
  4. Welcome Email Sequence.
  5. Action Guide Email Sequence.
  6. Transformer Email Sequence.
  7. Transformer Sales Page.
  8. Consumption Sequence
  9. Core Product Sequence.
  10. Core Product Sales Page.

Download a more detailed overview of the SAS Blueprint in PDF format here (it’s free)

You may notice that many of the steps involve email sequences. That’s because email is the core medium of delivery for our ‘showing, helping, informing’ marketing strategy. For simplicity, each sequence is just one piece in the blueprint, but each email sequence also requires...

  • 2 to 4 or - should you choose - more, individual emails of various lengths.
  • Click-thru destination content pieces for each email (generally blog post/video/landing page) although each destination doesn’t have to be unique.
  • An email automation set up via a service such as Active Campaign.

There are then additional infrastructure assets such as forms, pdf’s, delivery systems etc.

Point being, we have 10 items above for simplicity, but there’s more than 10 items to create or build. Which is a bummer I know, but it’s also a good reason to have a step-by-step reliable, repeatable processes to follow.

As you can see the full process while not technically complicated - promise - does involve the creation of a significant number of parts. Meaning, if you set out to build the full funnel in a sequential manner, it could take quite a while before you start seeing results. Which might suck and so increase the odds of you giving up. But, before you throw your computer across the room, screaming “it’s all too much” the beauty of the system is this...

You don’t need all the parts built, connected and published before you start seeing results.

You can, in fact - core product ready or not - get to work building your email list with just 3 of the assets above. The infrastructure of which could be set up in just one weekend. You still need to create the content of course, not something I recommend rushing at all. But if you’re repurposing from your core product, you could still be good to go in a week or so.

Cough, cough.

Ok so, if we take the process list above and layer it onto the top, middle and bottom funnel structure we introduced earlier, we get something like this...

A. Top Of Funnel (aka TOFU)

1. Awareness Content.

2. Lead Magnet.

3. Squeeze Page

4. Welcome Email Sequence.

B. Middle Of Funnel (MOFU)

5. Action Guide Email Sequence.

6. Transformer Email Sequence.

7. Transformer Sales Page.

C. Top Of Funnel (TOFU)

8. Consumption Sequence

9. Core Product Sequence.

10. Core Product Sales Page.

And so the quick win is quite naturally to begin - and crucially complete - just the TOFU assets first (let’s call that level A for simplicity) to get your list building funnel up and running and collecting subscribers, before moving onto level B.

Result being...

You can get started.

You can begin to build momentum

You can deliver a quick win

And you can begin building your email list while avoiding overwhelm, procrastination or getting stuck.

Wait, but, level A has 4 parts not 3 right 

Ok, got me.

Just ignore that bit. 🙂

Well one part of it.

For now.

Remember I said the order of events is not set in stone? Well item A.1, the awareness content is - conveniently for my pre-disposition to 1-2-3’s - not strictly necessary to get the list building part of your funnel up and running.

So my advice would be to go: A.2 > A.3 > A.4

Pause for breath.

Then optionally, create your first piece of awareness content.

I say optionally, because awareness content is that first touch piece of content, a means of introducing yourself, creating some awareness - duh - and a means of warming a cold audience up, before you make an offer or ask them to sign up. That’s the ideal anyway. But while you work on your awareness content, you can still send traffic to your brand spankin’ new conversion optimised squeeze page - should you choose to.

We Need To Talk About Traffic...

I will dig into this in more detail in future updates, but traffic 101 is in theory, not that complicated, if you break it down to a choice - or combination - of just three things...

1. Paid

2. Content

3. SEO

Tough love time: non of which comes free unfortunately, with all requiring an investment of time and/or money to varying degrees. And unfortunately if you don’t have enough of one, or the other, it will be a slow uphill struggle to say the least.

With each being a major subject in it’s own right, I wouldn’t be doing you any favours by leading you down this particular path at this stage in the proceedings. That said, rather than completely ignoring what is after all one of the most important factors in any marketing plan, let me give you some pointers for context as it pertains to our scension funnel at least... 

Briefly then, in the current SAS funnel it may appear that content marketing - in the form of the aforementioned awareness content - is the key traffic strategy, which it could be, but it could also show up and be utilised in various different ways, such as...

  • A guest blog post generating traffic from a third party site or platform such as Medium or Linkedin or a video on YouTube.
  • An SEO post optimised for a specific keyword on your site to generate traffic via search engines (with a lot of work and time).
  • The click-thru destination of an ad on google (based on a specific keyword query), a video ad on YouTube or a boosted post on Facebook.

Which ultimately means, there’s plenty of potential crossover and flexibility between paid, content and SEO.

If you do want to dig deeper into traffic strategies, here are some resources I recommend... 

Paid Traffic
Ben Heath (FB Ads Expert) Youtube Channel

Content Marketing

SEO Sprint Course

Ok, we’re now going to move along to the ‘how-to’ of the 3-part fastrack TOFU email list building process, but don’t forget, for future reference you can download a more detailed overview of the SAS Blueprint in PDF format for free here.

The SAS 3-Step Fastrack TOFU Email List Building Process

To build the top of your SAS funnel (TOFU) - the list-building bit - with least bottlenecks and delay, the most productive workflow sequence is...

Step 1. Create Your Lead Magnet

Step 2. Build Your Squeeze Page

Step 3. Set Up Your Welcome Email

So, in the core product repurposing section I prompted you to think about your products and offers as strategic pins - of increasing size - on a customer ascension journey map. I also emphasised that although this might result in a slower route to a sale, it can also be a more reliable route. The more strategic thinking allowing you to present the right product or offer, to the right potential customer or subscriber, in the right place, at the right time. Which in turn means a journey with less bounces and more conversions along the way.

As luck would have it, the first pin on the customer journey map is also the first content piece in your process journey (the workflow bit).

So first things first, we begin with...

Step 1. Create Your Lead Magnet

This is your introductory process-orientated action guide or checklist. Designed both for quick consumption and to engage your prospect in a process that can move them at least one step closer to an outcome they seek. From your side of things, boiled down, it’s simply a vehicle to help introduce yourself in a helpful and value-add way (in exchange for their email).

By way of example, it just so happens - hint, hint - I have a lead magnet that goes by the name of...

3 Steps To A Killer Lead Magnet (Action Guide & Checklist)

A quick, simple process that can help...

  • Identify your audience’s ‘before and after’ stages of awareness, to help facilitate the journey from A to B.
  • Identify and match your target audience’s problems with potential solutions, quick wins or tangible outcomes you could provide.
  • Ensure your lead magnet is connected to your core product to enable a more
    strategic first step on the path to a sale.

If you want an effective lead magnet from the get go, it’s worth putting some time into making the right selection and the action guide and checklist  above will help you do that. But remember, if you can repurpose elements of your core product into a lead magnet, then you can also create a highly strategic, natural first step on the ascension journey as well. Repurposing also means you get to demonstrate how you think, work and approach things, while providing a taste of how the experience of engaging with, and consuming a product of yours might be.

One more fastrack hack?

While using the Core Product Repurpose Model along with the Lead Magnet Action Guide offers the most bang for your buck, in terms of efficacy and efficiency, if you don’t have a core product or existing content to repurpose, creating an effective and strategic lead magnet from scratch will of course take a little extra time. But if you’re really keen to get your list building funnel up and running with least possible delay, then as long as you have the ‘what’ of your lead magnet; the premise, contents and title clarified, this is enough to place the first pin on your customer ascension journey map, while you get your lead magnet knocked into shape in the meantime.

Why your magnet matters...

Creating any old lead magnet to collect any old email isn’t rocket science. Wave your magic wand at a blog post to create a PDF and abracadabra: instant – lame old – vanilla magnet!

Exciting right? Quite.

The truth is, if you want to build a quality over quantity mailing list then any old magnet won’t help you do that. What will help you do that is the kind of magnet that’s not just throwing the dice, in the hope of attracting lots of random – potentially reluctant – subscribers, but one that attracts more specific subscribers. Subscribers that are actively  seeking a solution. A solution, that luck would have it, looks a lot like something you can provide.

Because, it’s nice when you both swipe right, right?


So, to land yourself the right kind of leads; leads that will last, you need to focus on the right kind of magnet. The right kind of magnet is one put together with careful thought and foresight to provide the kind of actionable, process-orientated value that can be put to use again and again. And the right kind of magnet is a magnet that’s valued by your leads, making them much more likely to take the next step forward with you.

And so...

“If you’re gonna do it... do it right, right?”

3 Steps To A Killer Lead Magnet can help ensure your lead magnet offers a solid taste of the value you can provide, while opening the door to more opens, engagement and potential sales down the line.

Click Here To Download Your Free Lead Magnet Action Guide & Checklist Now

Step 2. Build your squeeze page

Your squeeze page - aka opt-in page, lead generation page, call it what you will - has one job: persuade your hard fought for - or bought for - visitors that your offer, your lead magnet, is worth giving up their email address for. So, if you’re building an email list it would seem like a pretty important part of the process then.

And yet...

Squeeze pages rarely get the love they deserve.

But why is that?

Is it because with a few quick lines of copy and a ready made template they’re perceived as easy to do and so low value?

Could be.

Just because something is short in nature, doesn’t mean it has to be short in stature (and I should know)

A 12% conversion rate is pretty good for lead generation landing pages. And by "pretty good," we mean you'll be better than about 90% of your competitors. - Unbounce.

A 12% conversion rate may be better than ‘average’ but it’s still far from a stellar result. And it’s still a long way from what it needs to be, if you’re pumping resources into traffic acquisition at least.

Let’s say you were to pay £1 for every ad-click for example. For every 100 visitors, 88 of them would count for crap and you’d be paying £100 for the remaining 12. So you need to make £100 in sales just to break even.

With an optimistic open rate of 50%, you have 6 chances of making a sale. With a realistic conversion rate of 10%, you’d be doing well if you made just one break-even sale.

Bottom-line being, unless you have a very high end premium product, it won’t add up and you’ll be doomed to fail.

So, while it may be easy enough to create a functional squeeze page that does ‘a’ job, getting it to the point where it’s delivering enough conversions to justify the cost of your traffic is not so easy to do. Bottomline, if you want above average results, a below average squeeze page just won’t do.

Unless, of course - your traffic is warmed up first

Sending only warm traffic to your squeeze page is actually the one thing that could exponentially boost your conversion rate. That’s where the awareness content in the SAS comes in. It’s job being part introductory, part warm up and then to direct those warmed up visitors to your squeeze page, the job of which is to get them over the line and subscribe.

That’s the most effective way to do it. However, even if you take the 1-2-3 fastrack list building process route (without the warm up content) there’s still - you’ll be pleased to hear - some scope for above average results.

And that’s because...

Symbiotic marketing is efficient marketing

Logically, if you send generic cold traffic to your squeeze page, the result is likely to be an above average bounce rate and a below average conversion rate. So of course, you need more volume, which involves more cost per subscriber (time and/or money) and every extra penny or minute you put in moves your break even point further away.

So next best thing to warmed-up traffic, is best-fit cold traffic. And best-fit cold traffic comprises a majority of people, looking for a solution your lead magnet can provide, with the knock on effect of more conversions for less cost over time.

Two simple ways you can have more control over the quality of your cold traffic are...

1. Very specific targeting of your ideal audience/customer’s demographics and interests (hello Facebook ads).

2. Very specific targeting of search terms related to what your landing page can actually deliver (hello Google ads).

It’s the ’very specific bit’ that’s the important bit. The bit that will determine your conversion rate, your cost-per-conversion and just how engaged your new subscribers are likely to be. But, even with very specific targeting, you can spend more than you need to, and have a higher cost-per-conversion rate if - you settle for a lazy landing page.

So, you might want to consider...

An ‘above average’ squeeze page that does some warming up instead

Remember an average squeeze page is likely to lead to average (or below-average) results. But above average results requires above average effort up front. That’s the above average effort it takes to purposefully craft copy that clearly communicates a progression in circumstance for your target audience by focussing on benefits and outcomes first.

The good news bit?

You can, create an effective squeeze page - even with limited resources - as long as...

1. You take some time to understand your target audience.

2. You take some time to understand some core conversion optimisation principles.

And what can help you do that is if...

1. You have a blueprint that enables you to structure your page and what it says, in the best possible way (with the aid of conversion optimisation best practices).

2. You have a process to help you efficiently create copy that can quickly connect and clearly communicate (in a way your target audience might actually care about).

So, let me help you with that...

First Steps To A Squeeze Page That Converts includes an introduction to effective squeeze page creation, a conversion optimised blueprint to follow, and 5 (yes 5!) best practice checklists (one for each core section of the page) to help keep you on track.

Click here to see what a squeeze page designed to warm up a cold audience actually looks like.

Click Here To Download Your Free Squeeze Page Action Guide Checklists & get the next set of Symbiotic Ascension System action guides delivered to your in box too.

See what I did there?

Or of course, read on, as we put the final piece of the list building funnel puzzle into place...

Step 3. Set Up Your Welcome Email Sequence

Once you have a lead magnet that can deliver an outcome your target audiences  desires and a squeeze page that quickly and clearly communicates the value that lead magnet - and/or your mailing list - can provide, step 3 is to set up an automated welcome email sequence.

In keeping with our symbiotic marketing philosophy, the first few emails - 1 to 3 typically - are strictly not for selling, but relationship building; expectation setting; a little admin and ideally nudging towards some additional value along the way.

There are three approaches you can take, trade off being time, effort and technical stuff each takes to create, against their effectiveness in term of opens, engagement and deliverability. That said, it can also be approached in a way that means a rapid minimal implementation can gradually be expanded upon for maximal efficacy at a later date.

Which is nice.

Option 1: A minimalist approach...

A minimum viable welcome is not actually a sequence, but a single email that says “welcome, thanks” etc - it’s only job is to acknowledge the list subscription. Pretty much just an autoresponder really. And as it can be knocked up in minutes it’s the easiest way to get your email list-building basics up and running without any delay. 

Not that important then really?

If you don’t set up a subscription acknowledgment as a minimum, then your new subscriber’s may struggle to remember who you are next time you email them. Meaning: less opens, more spam reports and unsubscribes.

However, leaving it at that single minimum welcome is not only an opportunity loss in terms of utilising your email content for productive purposes (your more likely to get an open, when you’re still front of mind). It’s also likely to cause a tangible cost in terms of opens, engagement and ultimately of course - sales as well.

Option 2: Taking it up a notch...

You can take a step up from the minimal option simply by adding some additional content via an expanded welcome email. As you’re using the same single email delivery container - there’s no extra technical tinkering required.

Delivery containers?

It’s just a way of differentiating between an email as a delivery mechanism and it’s words/content. A container, is the document; the email, prior to the addition of any words or content.

So, you can set up ‘containers’ (blank emails basically) in an automation and test delivery etc in advance of creating or finalising their content. A sequence therefore requires a separate container for each email in an automated sequence.

The objective of an expanded version is to tick off as many of the aforementioned boxes (expectations, admin, nudging etc) as is practical - without boring the pants off everyone (i.e. you can make it longer but not too long).

Reasons being...

Immediately setting expectations means you can create some anticipation and give your new subscriber a reason to actually open your future emails - “here’s what you can look forward to” sort of thing.

The admin stuff may be a bore, but it helps deliverability - whitelisting etc, keeps your emails out of spam folders. Which in turn means more opens etc - you get the picture.

Nudging towards an action helps increase initial engagement, which in turn helps memory connection, relationship building plus, yes all that deliverability and spam folder stuff. It can be utilised in the form of an additional offer of value: “click here for this thing you may also be also interested in” sort of thing.

Option 3: Taking it to the max...

A maximum welcome sequence is a series of emails automatically sent at regular intervals (typically every 1 or 2 days). Its objectives and content can be similar to the expanded single email, but it can also help avoid the pitfall of trying to cram too much into one email. Additionally, more importantly, it’s an opportunity for relationship strengthening as you begin delivering some of that value you promised.

It’s also a fact that, while a welcome email is more likely to be opened than most, there’ll always be a high proportion of new subscribers who ignore it, miss it, or do open, but don’t click any links in it. But a maximum welcome sequence provides a second (or third) chance for opens, engagement and action (deliverability, memorability etc). And such a sequence can be set up in a way that means the next email is only sent if the last one wasn’t opened or engaged with.

It’s like this...

New subscribers who open my welcome email but don’t click on anything get sent the next one. If they don’t engage with that one, they’re sent a 3rd and final one. No opens? Same thing. But as soon as a click happens then the sequence ends. Meaning, you’re not overly bugging someone and can move them straight to the next sequence without further delay.

Click here to sign up for my mailing list and see. 😉

So, those are your standard welcome email sequence options. However, in the context of our 3-step fastrack list building funnel, then - because it can be adapted into a sequence at a later date - a single welcome email (minimal or expanded) will help avoid content bottlenecks and infrastructure delay.

Want further clarity on exactly what to include in your welcome email?

Click here to download your free welcome email checklist now

Similarly, once all 3 parts of your list building funnel are connected and integrated: squeeze page leading to lead magnet; lead magnet leading to welcome email, you have a basic, but functional list building funnel ready to be expand upon. 

But that also means, choices about...

The technical bits...

To set up an automated welcome sequence, you will need an email automation provider. That said, a further advantage of the single email choice is there is a simple way to get round it (at least to begin with).

Key to this, is that your landing page builder of choice also has a contact form and autoresponder feature (or if you’re on WordPress, you could use a plug-in). This provides the option of setting up a contact form and then sending the contents of your welcome email via an autoresponder. Eh voila, on form submission your welcome email is immediately delivered to your subscribers inbox.

This is how that works using my landing page builder of choice Thrive Architect.

Job done or only just begun?

Which and why?

There’s no getting away from it, email is the fuel that drives the engine of the Symbiotic Ascension System. So if your subscribers ascension, the customer journey and your sales are to progress - choosing which email automation platform to go with can’t be put off for long

Making a email automation choice doesn’t have to be complicated - in theory. Mailchimp - for example - is free and so can give you a quick start without additional expense to contend with, but...Enter your text here...

The decision can become a little harder, once you realise a couple of important things...

1. Prices are always tied to either the number of subscribers you have or emails you send (or a combination of both). So the cheapest choice in the beginning may not be the best choice in the long run. And just because it’s free now, doesn’t mean it always will be. In fact if you’re serious about growing your email list and getting cracking with your marketing - it definitely won’t be.

2. The more campaigns and automations you have set up, the more reason you’ll have to stay put. It can be just too painful and time consuming to move. So you need to be comfortable with the features you get for the price, your experience using the platform and with the customer support (which you will need, believe me).

So looking before leaping is the order of the day.

My experience for what it’s worth...

Unfortunately, I’m not in a position to offer you the benefit of a wide range of experience on lots of different platforms - just the one I settled into early on. I did try mail chimp as means to a quick start initially, but once I got serious and began to research other options Active Campaign is where I ended up.

So where were we?

Ah yes, your 3 options are...

1. A single minimum viable welcome email

No more than a sentence or two required - to acknowledge a subscription to your email list - means it’s the quickest, simplest, most obvious first-step option. And for bonus points combining an autoresponder with your opt-in form means no additional technical shenanigans required.

2. A single expanded welcome email

Basically option 1 with a significant expansion of content to help set expectations, improve deliverability and opens and nudge your new subscribers towards some initial engagement. With no additional tech stuff required, it’s a logical upgrade with an ROI that makes the extra effor worthwhile.

3. A maximum automated sequence of welcome emails

Option 2 can be spread out and expanded upon by sending a series of up to 3 emails over a few days. More time and space means you can deliver more value from day one while giving yourself a second or third chance to get a welcome email opened and read while you’re still front of mind.Enter your text here...

So whether your initial priority is just getting a basic list building funnel up and running; you’re happy to take little more time to make it more effective early on; or you want to get get up for optimal results from day one, the nature of the incremental expansion possibilities means - no need to get stuck or be held back during your email list building process.

Which is nice.

And whichever route you choose the free welcome email checklist can help ensure your
first email interactions with your new subscribers are properly primed for more opens,
engagement and optimal deliverability down the line.

Click Here To Get The Welcome Email Checklist Now

When You Boil It Down (In Summary)...

The objective of the Symbiotic Ascension System is to connect a logical series of content into a progressive journey that has the power to benefit prospects, by providing value in the form of information and guidance. And the objective of that, is to naturally foster a state of mind, where they’re more inclined to pay you, because they trust you can help them make progress towards an outcome they seek.

Utilising a simple 3 level product ascension model makes the journey easier to plan and visualise with clear objectives to focus on at each level...

Level 1 is planned around your free product (lead magnet) and the main objective is to deliver subscribers and kick-start your email list.

Level 2 is planned around your transformer product and the main objective is to transform your new subscribers into first-time customers with the aid of a high value, low cost sale.

Level 3 is planned around your core product and the main objective is to direct your first time customers and remaining subscribers towards a higher value sale.

And of course, if you already have a core product, then utilising the CPR Model, means you don’t necessarily have to create each of the above from scratch. It can, in fact, be more strategic, effective and productive to re-purpose suitable elements from your core product instead.

Then breaking the levels down further gives us...

Level 1: Top Of Funnel (TOFU)

Quite naturally beginning with level 1 means you can begin building your email list with just 3 assets in place, and to avoid bottlenecks, the optimal creation workflow sequence is recommended to be...

1. Create your lead magnet: a free introductory action guide or checklist that delivers a tangible outcome, an insight to your thinking, and more awareness of how you can help your future customers get closer to where they want to be.

Click Here To Get Your Free Lead Magnet Checklist Now

2. Build your squeeze page: the first contact with your prospective subscribers, where the imperative is a quick connection and clear communication of the value your list  and/or your lead magnet can provide - so you can begin securing those all-important good-fit subscribers for your mailing list.

Click Here To Get Your Free Squeeze Page Checklists Now

3. Write your welcome email: the first all-important communication with your new email subscribers - while you’re still front of mind - is an opportunity to set expectations and create anticipation, while also contributing to improved deliverability, opens and engagement along the way.

Click Here To Get Your Free Welcome Email Checklist Now

Optionally, followed (or preceded) by...

Awareness Content as a warm up to your squeeze page for a higher conversion rate and more engagement with your first emails.

Too much too soon? Then, there’s a fix for that too, if you...

Click Here To Join The SAS E-Mail List

We can send each of the free checklists above one-by-one over the next few days or so instead.

As with all SAS processes, level 1 is designed to strike a balance between efficiency and efficacy, but here the efficiency factor takes priority, enabling you to get your list building up and running in the quickest possible way, allowing you to then quickly turn your attention to...

Level 2: Middle Of Funnel (MOFU)

Here, where the focus is on leading subscribers towards a transformer product, you can build on the foundations of your Level 1 TOFU assets by creating, building and connecting your...

1. Action Guide Sequence

2. Transformer Sequence

3. Transformer Sales Page

Thus, delivering content pieces designed to move your subscribers awareness and understanding forward in a logical and rewarding way.

Smoothing the path towards...

Level 3: Bottom Of Funnel (BOFU)

Where the focus is on designing content that can propel the upward trajectory, while also naturally nudging your new customers towards the main event. And we do this, with the aid of your..

1. Consumption Sequence

2. Core Product Sequence

3. Core Product Sales Page

Although the infrastructure here is ‘more of the same’, the content and copy it contains does require a ‘levelling up, requisite with higher priced sales. This then, is where the SAS range of processes, tools, templates and services very handily come into play, to ensure you don’t get stuck or tripped up at the last few hurdles.

Sounds easy right?

Intentions, Visions & The Glittering Prize

Well, no, not quite.

Appealing as the idea might be, the intention is not to persuade you this ia all easy-peasy to complete. There are, after all - as you can now plainly see - many pieces to create and fit together. And if the system is to be effective - in its goal of building mutually beneficial relationships where everyone gets what they need - ‘average’ content or products won’t cut it either. And so the tough love piece is that: it does take time, commitment and resources to deliver.

Having said that, although building this kind of system may not be the easiest task in the world, it doesn’t have to be a complete slog either - not when you have a clear process to follow, and not when your mind is focussed on the prize...

An automated system that can consistently convert best-fit visitors into warm subscribers, then transform those subscribers into the kind of red hot loyal customers, who can keep your business healthy and strong for years to come.

And so, the actual intention of this guide is simply to...

Help you envision your own ascension funnel, in terms of the key strategic products you might use to map out your own customer journey.

Show you how the complete process can be broken down into smaller achievable chunks with clear deliverable outcomes.

Demonstrate how tangible results can be delivered, allowing you to move forward, without the need for your entire funnel to be up and running first.

More Bad News?

Only a little bit...

In an ideal world, being your own boss would mean the flexibility to work the hours that suit you and the financial security to say “no thank you”. But if your living derives from teaching, consulting or freelancing let’s say, then that living is limited to how many hours you can work each day. And the logical solution, leveraging your knowledge and experience into a model that can scale, is all very well except, urgh: marketing and sales.

And even if intellectually you accept that marketing is a non-negotiable part of the game, if your heart isn’t in it, you’re more likely to be distracted by “magic panaceas” that offer quick hacks and shortcuts. But, of course, these only delay the realisation, that the only way to get yourself a “systemised sales generation machine” is to methodically put the work in each day.

Bottomline, if you’re not feeling the marketing methodology you’re engaged in day-to-day, you’ll struggle to make progress and ultimately, unfortunately, probably fail.

But, there’s still plenty to be positive about...

The Good News Bits

A resistance to spending your time “selling” doesn’t have to be a bad thing, as long as showing, helping and guiding is congruent with your values and ideals and is something you’re happy to engage with

All it takes is a subtle switch in thinking, a switch to a symbiotic mindset that can empower you to...

  • Utilise your experience and expertise to offer help, insight and guidance to naturally build authority and trust over time.
  • Systemise the natural ascension of visitors, to subscribers, to repeat customers - instead of having to pressure, push or cajole your way to sales.
  • Build win/win relationships that lead to more loyalty and repeat custom over time.

And then of course, this time next year...

We’ll all be a millionaires.


Marketing is the way we communicate how our ideas translate to value for people in a marketplace. So, rather than think of marketing as a necessary evil, what if we adopted a different view of it? What if marketing was less about promotion or coercion and more about reaching out to people and helping them to solve problems?

Bernadette Jiwa - Marketing: A Love Story

Truth is, if a symbiotic approach doesn’t sit naturally with you, then I’m wasting my time - and yours - trying to persuade you otherwise. So the switch in mindset, should be the easy bit, because the switch is not about changing your fundamental ideals, values and beliefs. The switch is just about changing the way you think about the marketing piece. And that shouldn’t be that hard to do - as long as your methodology and your values align.

So, if you...

Naturally gravitate towards symbiotic win-win relationships anyway. Have a marketing methodology that drives the content and products you create into more helpful, educational territory.

Have the processes to build a delivery mechanism which aligns the ascension of your audience’s understanding with outcomes your products can provide

And, you want to get your email list started with minimal headaches and delay...

What’s not to like?

Next step...

Click Here To Get The Free Symbiotic Ascension System Blueprint

A more detailed overview of exactly what’s required to get your funnel up and running in PDF format, followed by 3 free foundational action guides designed to help you get started, take action and build momentum towards your own SAS one day at a time.

One Last Thing For Your Consideration...

If you’ve made it through all three of these SAS introductory guides - well done you. That’s not meant to be patronising, but a recognition that there’s been a lot to take in. So thanks for sticking with it. Your time and attention - no doubt in short supply - is appreciated. I hope it was worth the effort and has been worthwhile.

If I had to choose just one thing for you to go away and consider though, it would be this...

If the kind of marketing you’re currently doing or considering feels a bit wrong, that doesn’t necessarily mean the whole idea of marketing is wrong, but your approach to it could be. Not wrong in terms of what may, or may not work and deliver results, but wrong for you, in terms of whether what you spend your time doing fits with your world view.

But if that the case, remember, it can be fixed...

Firstly, if you accept it’s not logical to expect to get yourself many (if any) high-ticket sales on your first contact with a potential customer, then a conventional ascension funnel with the purpose of gradually increasing price-points of products presented should make sense.

And the starting place for that, is to create a basic customer journey map based on those products. But the map is not the territory. The territory is the transitional content of your emails, blog posts, videos and landing pages etc. So, while a product ascension map is a good place to begin, the art is in making the ascension of your products from A to B to C as natural as can be.

Which is where a more symbiotic approach comes in. 

An effective symbiotic approach, requires an understanding of what those travellers most want and need. This then gives you strategic insight into what should go where, when and why. Which, you can then use to plot a route that delivers information and guidance in the most natural and logical way. The objective of which, is to foster more trust and confidence, that in the end, you, your products or your services can actually deliver what they need.

And if you do deliver, then you do get to be perceived as more trustworthy, credible and reliable over time. Which in turn, can mean more sales down the line. And the more sales-per-customer you can achieve, the less time and money you’ll need to feed the marketing machine, and so the healthier your bottom-line can be. Which in turn, means more flexibility and opportunity, for you to choose what you spend your time on and when.

If that resonates and makes sense, then it’s safe to say we’re on the same page. In which case, I for one, would be delighted if you decide to turn the page with me, so we can start the next chapter and working symbiotically towards a win-win.

Speaking of which...

If you’re ready to get started on your journey in earnest, a click on the link below will fastrack you to the complete email list building process, by way of a series of action guides designed  with the ‘how-to very firmly in mind.

Ready to begin?

Click Here To Get The Free SAS Foundational Action Guide Series Delivered By Email

Click Here To Go Straight To The Free SAS Foundational Action Guide Series Now

No email or credit card required. 🙂


Over the years - ok decades - Nick Conneff has turned in his best work initially as a deep house DJ-turned-producer, then a property investor-turned-entrepreneur, but for the last few years has been turning his hand to helping like-minded individuals with digital marketing and sales funnels.

Conversion  copywriting,  conversion optimisation, landing pages, content creation (writing, video, audio),  email marketing, traffic acquisition and funnel design are all things he's happy to lend a hand with.

He's nice like that.

Significant projects in the past have included running an independent record label and co-founding an education & welfare program in S.E Asia.

He works from his home in Manchester, England until the weather takes a predictable turn for the worst - lockdowns permitting -  then remotely from much warmer climes such as Chiang Mai, Manila & Gran Canaria among others.