Here’s How You Can Make Your Welcome Email Work Harder and Smarter
“Connecting an email list to your blog is like flicking on a turbo switch – everything accelerates. But however fast your list is growing, if you don’t optimize your welcome email, you’re leaving money on the table (even if you’re not monetizing your blog)”.….says Aman Thakur (a digital marketer @ Email Field.com)
A strategic welcome email gets bigger and better results from fewer subscribers. It’s a quick and easy change that keeps giving back because every new subscriber receives the email.
As an email marketer, you know that those early interactions with new subscribers are crucial. They set the tone for your new relationship, and they happen in that precious “honeymoon” period where readers are actively thinking about your blog and the value it could provide to them………And the start of that relationship rests on one simple communication:
Your welcome email.
What is a Welcome Email?
- Your welcome email is the message that’s sent automatically to new subscribers after confirming they want to sign up for your list.
- In its simplest form, it’s a short thank you message. And if you offer your subscribers a juicy sign-up incentive, it’ll tell them how to get that too.
- When your new subscribers open that first email, their interest levels are at an all-time high. It’s a rare situation in which you have your reader’s undivided attention.
So here are 11 quick but highly effective ideas to make sure you (and your subscribers) get every ounce of value from your welcome email.
1. Lead Subscribers Toward Your Greatest Content Hits
- One of the best ways is to use your welcome email to point them toward your most valuable content – the posts that have already proved to be popular with your audience.
- Linking to popular posts will:
- Give new subscribers a “quick win” by helping them with a common problem
- Deepen the sense of connection between new subscribers and your content
- Generate traffic and create additional opportunities for social sharing
- You can simply include a short list of your most popular posts in your welcome email, or use anchor text to lure subscribers
2. Use Total Transparency to Build Their Trust and Respect
- Your welcome email is a great place to remind them exactly what they can expect from you – before you send them anything they might not be expecting.
- This kind of transparency:
- Builds trust and respect
- Creates anticipation for what’s to come
- Reduces your unsubscribes
- When setting readers’ expectations, be sure to cover the following items:
- How often they’ll hear from you
- What type of content they can expect to receive
3. Multiply Your Connections by Turning Subscribers into Followers
- The more connections you have to your audience, the stronger the relationship will be.
- So once you’ve persuaded someone to join your list, it’s the perfect time to make sure they’re following you on social media, too.
4. Get Valuable Intelligence about Your Readers’ Burning Questions
- You can ask a question like Noah Kagan (AppSumo and OKDork founder) does in his welcome emails:
- “If I could write about 1 thing to make your day better, what would it be?”
- Just imagine what Noah could do with the answers:
- Generate ideas for future blog posts
- Improve user experience by showcasing his most relevant content
- Create a new product that solves his readers’ most common problems
- As your list grows, this single question could you give you an almost inexhaustible supply of new ideas for your blog.
5. Showcase Your About Page
- You should invest time in crafting an About page that builds your credibility and likeability.
- Once you have an About page to be proud of, it’d be a real waste if the only people who saw it were those who stumbled across it, right?
- So why not use your welcome email to send new subscribers to your About page?
- It helps put a face to the blogger behind the blog and it’s a clever way to reuse content you’ve already invested your time in.
6. Use Social Proof to Convince Cautious Subscribers
- Most people like making choices that have already proven popular with other people – we find safety in numbers. It makes our decisions feel less risky.
- Author Robert Cialdini calls this social proof, and your welcome email can effectively exploit this human tendency.
- Use evidence from other people to reassure your new subscribers that they’ve made a smart choice by signing up.
- Even simple elements of proof, like a quote or two from existing readers, can be seriously persuasive.
7. Delight Them with an Unexpected Bonus
- Exclusive audio recordings, free ebooks and handy checklists – these are just a few of the freebies you can use to lure new subscribers.
- But because such “bribes” are so commonplace, even a genuinely valuable giveaway can feel underwhelming.
- That’s why you should try to over-deliver.
- So give your new subscribers something extra – more than you originally promised.
- It’s a great way to build trust early in the relationship and to overcome any skepticism that tells them the only reason you’re giving something away is to get their email. (It’ll also make them wonder what bonuses you might give away in future.)
- So why not create an area on your blog with free resources exclusive to your subscribers and tell them about it in your welcome email?
8. Protect Your Emails from Getting Sidelined or Junked
- Sending emails to your subscribers is pointless if they don’t get seen.
- One of the biggest frustrations for email list owners is having content marked as spam by overly aggressive filters. Subscribers get frustrated too, because it means they miss the updates they chose to receive. (The best antidote is to have clear instructions on the “Thanks for subscribing” page on your blog explaining how to whitelist your email address.)
- But a newer threat appeared a couple of years ago when Gmail – the most widely used email service – introduced the Promotions tab and started funneling anything that looked like a marketing email into it.
- The problem is that most Gmail users open the Promotions tab far less frequently than the Primary tab – where non-marketing emails such as those from friends appear.
- The result – your open rates plummet.
- The solution: Do what Robbie Richards, founder of RobbieRichards.com does with his welcome email he tells people to move his email from the Promotions tab to the Primary tab. Once his subscribers do that, all future emails will land straight into the Primary tab, where they have the best chance of being opened and read.
9. Give Your Subscribers an Unexpected Quick Win
- Know the best way to make sure people are glad they joined your list?
- Give them a quick tip that gets them some results right away.
- Before they even receive any regular content from you.
- Even a teeny tiny tip that teaches them something valuable right now can have a powerful effect.
- Try to pick something that most subscribers won’t know but will work for almost everyone.
- And remember, it doesn’t need to deliver huge results, just quick results.
10. Persuade Subscribers to Promote Your List – For Free!
- When Boost Blog Traffic visitors sign up to receive Jon Morrow’s famous“Headline Hacks” report, the welcome email immediately asks them for a quick favor – to tweet a link to the sign-up page so their followers can get the same report (and, of course, join Jon’s list)
- If it seems cheeky to ask for a favor so soon after sign up, remember that many people will want to reciprocate the favor Jon just did them – sending them his valuable report.
- And note how the favor itself is very carefully worded. Sharing the link is positioned as a way to help other people – not just helping Jon build his list.
11. Make Subscribers an Offer They Can’t Refuse
- If you have have a product or service that’s suitable for new subscribers, don’t be afraid to make a gentle pitch in your welcome email.
- If you’re worried that people will unsubscribe from your list if you try to sell them something too soon, you needn’t be.
- As long as the pitch is friendly with no pressure to buy – and it doesn’t seem like making a sale is the main purpose of the email – you’ll be just fine.
- Try to make the offer as attractive as possible by giving an exclusive subscriber discount
- Making an offer early in the relationship not only gives you the opportunity to land a few extra sales, but it lets readers know that you have something to sell.
- Which means they won’t get a nasty surprise when you make a more determined pitch later down the line.
So if you’re excited about “leveling up” your welcome email , pick one of the above 11 ways and implement it right away. You could even combine two or three tactics in a single email as some of the bloggers above do.
Just remember, you don’t get a second chance to send your first email to new subscribers……So make it count.
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To Your Success,