A few good welcome emailsWhen someone signs up to your email program, there are four increasingly advanced ways to treat them:
1. Add them to your list and let them wait for the next email scheduled to go out
The technical term for this is "a wasted opportunity." By not extending any kind of email welcome, you're ignoring them at the very moment they are most engaged and positively disposed toward you.
And let's hope they didn't sign-up the day after your monthly newsletter went out. Otherwise by the time they get their first email from you, they might have forgotten they ever subscribed.
Now they think you're a spammer. Great.
2. Send them a welcome email and then add them to your standard email marketing program
Here you need to adhere to some basic best practices for welcome emails. Even those using value-priced services and software should be able to send this kind of welcome message.
Miranda has some good and bad examples for you here.
3. Send them a series of "welcome" emails tuned to the needs of new subscribers, then eventually shift them across into your mainstream email marketing program
Chad White talked about this "onboarding principle" last August.
A series of welcome messages guides the newcomer into your program, priming them for the "real thing," and making the most of the greater level of interest in your brand/business generally shown by new subscribers.
In addition, you get to learn more about the recipient based on their responses to these welcome messages. That information can feed into your main program to ensure they get relevant emails.
Adam Covati provides a good example in this analysis of the early messages in the Netflix email marketing program.
And his colleague DJ Waldow describes how one company overdid the welcome, risking an end to the email relationship before it has a chance to gain traction.
4. Send them a stream of welcome emails, customized according to the source of the signup and what you know about them. Then eventually move them into your wider program, depending on how they respond to your initial messages
If you can use segmentation with your main emails, then why not with your welcome messages?
You don't have to wait to segment based on responses to previous emails. You can use the information you get at signup or the information you already have about the prospect/customer.
At the very least, you should know where they signed up. So you can add nice touches like "thanks for visiting our booth at the ACME Tradeshow" to your welcome.
And if the new subscriber has expressed clear content preferences, make sure you respect them. Dylan Boyd reveals the frustrations induced when you don't.
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