What do you do when someone new subscribes to your email list?
If you’re like most organizations, you send them an automated “thanks for subscribing” message and leave it at that. At a bare minimum, you should be doing this, so that new subscribers know you received their request to opt in. However, if this is all you’re doing, you’re missing a great opportunity to start building a strong relationship with your new subscriber right away. We recommend going the extra mile to welcome them to your community of subscribers, whether it’s through a single email or a series of automated messages over a period of days or weeks.
You can use a welcome series to thank your subscriber for joining your list, make them aware of other ways to stay in touch (via your social networks, for example), offer them new subscriber discounts or coupons, incentivize them to tell their friends about you, or all of the above. It doesn’t matter which of these you choose, but it does matter how you execute.
With that in mind, here are some ideas for using welcome emails to begin building a strong relationship with your new subscriber, right out of the gate.
1. Ease their minds
Let them know you respect their privacy and will not share their information with anyone for any reason. And make sure they are aware that it’s as easy to unsubscribe from your list as it was to subscribe. They need to know that if they want to leave, it won’t be a hassle.
2. Don’t overwhelm them
If you choose to do a welcome series of 2 – 5 messages rather than a single message, that doesn’t mean you have to send them an email every day. In fact, that’s a surefire way to put them off and lose them before you’ve even started! Instead, give some thought in advance to what you want to achieve as a result of the series (converting “x”% of new subscribers into customers within 30 days, or some other goal). Create your content based on your ultimate goal, and schedule your emails accordingly. Once a week, or at most, once every 3 days, is often enough.
3. Make it personal (just not in the subject line)
Recent research has shown that click through rates increase exponentially when email content is personalized, even if it’s just in the greeting. Interestingly, personalizing the subject line was shown to have the opposite effect and actually turns people off of opening a given message. Personalized subject lines (such as, “Karen Frasca, our new fall catalog is here!”, etc.) can come across as “spammy”, so people tend to avoid opening them.
4. And speaking of subject lines…
Make them stellar! Just because they’ve opted into receiving your emails, doesn’t mean you can stop working to get their attention. Put as much thought and effort into crafting your subject lines as you would for any other campaign.
5. Give before you even think about getting
Now is not the time for the “hard sell”. Give your them valuable and practical information they can use, as well as special new subscriber offers or discounts. This fosters loyalty right away, because they know you’re not going to bombard them with sales messages.
6. Reward fast action
Provide coupons or special offers, but give them an expiration date (say, two weeks from the date of the email) to encourage your new subscribers to quickly take action and become customers.
7. Create high quality content and graphics
Seal the deal by showing your new subscribers the level of quality they can expect from you right away. Give them the highest quality content and most user-friendly design possible to ensure their loyalty going forward.
So now that you know what it takes to write great welcome emails, how will you incorporate these ideas into your next welcome series? Let us know in the comments below!