You only have one chance to make a first impression, especially with a new email subscriber. After all, think about what they’re looking at in their inboxes every day. Sales messages from practically every company they do business with, newsletters from websites they may have signed up with years ago, and spam. If you don’t do a good job with your welcome email, then you’re going to end up in the ignored pile pretty quickly.
Move Away From the Template Response
Most email list services have a default welcome message they automatically send to new subscribers. It’s generic and unappealing. You’re telling subscribers you won’t even put forth the effort to change a default email, so they won’t have much faith you have anything worth reading.
Customize your welcome email with your branding, personality, and elements that make it different from the default template.
Tell Subscribers What to Expect
Repeat what subscribers can expect from your emails. After all, they may not remember why they wanted to be on your list, to begin with. Go over the topics you’ll cover, the types of emails you’ll send, and how often you’ll send to them.
Reward Them For Their Subscription
Do you have an incentive associated with your email list? For example, an ebook download or a coupon code in exchange for their email address. Make sure you include the coupon code, the file attachment or a link to their special subscriber content.
You may have them going to a landing page with the incentive immediately after filling out the subscription form. But you never know if they closed the page too soon, or somehow missed the incentive.
When you send it in the welcome message, they have it handy and don’t get frustrated over not getting what they were promised. Plus, it’s all automated, so you don’t need to worry about sending it out manually.
Get Them Started
Once you go over what they can expect out of the list, tell them the next step. Introduce them to the rest of your site content by suggesting resources they should check out. Lead them through your site with Getting Started articles and guides, and mention a few of your most read posts as well.
Putting together an amazing welcome email isn’t difficult. You just need to think beyond a basic, templated message and leverage your brand and content.
Author: Mike Gingerich, President of web firm Digital Hill, Co-Founder of TabSite .
Digital and Social Media Marketer, Speaker, and Business Consultant. Part geek, part marketer, total digital junkie! Seeking to add value, make the complex simple, and leave a positive impact.
Follow me on twitter: @mike_gingerich.