Your audience will never be more engaged than after they have just opted-in to receive your email.
They have just made a conscious decision to clutter their inbox with something from you so you better make sure that the first one that arrives makes them feel special. The “Welcome Email” sets the stage for what you are hoping will be a long(and profitable) relationship so get it right and then continue that conversation through consistent messaging. It goes without saying that any email you send out should be designed with mobile in mind. Our customers are increasingly mobile, so it’s ridiculous to create something new that is not done with Responsive Design.
Welcome emails should always contain these 5 things:
1. A Thank You.
Acknowledge that you understand that this relationship is special. It reminds them that they did, in fact sign up to receive your email and gives you a chance to introduce yourself as someone that will respect that.
2. A consistent message that matches your site.
They signed up because they liked your content, your tone, your products; they liked YOU. Make sure that the same feeling is carried over to your email. It’s the same thing as a mismatched PPC(Pay Per Click) ad and landing page. If the reader doesn’t jibe with what he or she is expecting, they will leave, or, in this case, unsubscribe.
3. A compelling reason to be engaged.
Whether that is an offer, a free piece of content, an experience tailored to them, or anything else that you can provide that makes them feel as though giving you their email address was a fair trade for what they are receiving in return.
4. Set expectations.
If you are going to send them 1 email a week, 1 email a month, or 1 email a year explain to them what they can expect from you. Pro tip: Because of CAN-SPAM, you must always give people a way to opt-out. Pro Email Marketers always offer a way that their subscribers can opt-down as well. Not everybody really wants to stop all contact. According to Forrester Research, the top two reasons for unsubscribes are: annoying, off-brand, emails and too many e-mails. Only 26% said they didn’t want to hear from the brand or company ever again. So, for the remaining 74% (a HUGE number), the opt-down strategy lets you both keep them in the loop and keep them as a customer.
5. Don’t stop at one.
We recommend at least a 3 touch cohesive series that bring your new subscribers into the brand and teaches them what you are all about. Keep the conversation going by offering smart ways for them to interact, provide you with more information, and become an advocate.
Bonus: Track emails individually.
Each email should have a consistent naming convention so that you know whether email 1, 2, or 3 is more successful in driving revenue or engagement. This will allow you to figure out how to optimize the others for that action you are hoping for and in turn, evolve your program to be more effective.
Email is the one ubiquitous channel that is with us nearly everywhere we go and we can track it very definitively.
Lifetime Customer Value for email subscribers is, in general, higher than other marketing channels. If I can leave you with one thing, it would be that an email address is a special thing. Treat it with respect, and value it for what it is: a direct pipeline into your customers’ home, phone, and tablet that they have invited you into. Do not misplace that trust: continue to give them reasons to invite you in.