Make Email Marketing Subscribers Welcome by Jordie van Rijn @jvanrijn

Email Marketing Welcome Messages

Make Email Marketing Subscribers Welcome

Did you know that there are over 800 ways to say hello in different languages? The Cherokee use “O-si-yo” to greet someone, while the French say “Bonjour” and in Hawaii they say “Aloha”. Well it’s a good custom to greet someone when you see them, especially when you meet them for the first time. So let’s talk welcome emails.

Email marketers love a warm welcome
A welcome email is a great opportunity for an email marketer to engage subscribers and drive action. A welcome email might have higher open rates, because they arrive when the subscriber is literally asking for it. That makes it an ideal time to set the stage for further contact. When done well, it could help you get the first boost in engagement and get better results in future email campaigns.

Don’t let the welcome moment pass
Research form 2009 by Smith Harman’s Chad White showed that a lot of email marketers still don’t seize the golden welcome opportunity. Sometimes a new subscribes has to wait a month (or even more) to get their first email message. That is too long, way too long. It’s often overlooked that the purpose of a welcome email is to remind people that they signed up in the first place. Especially if the sign up was a co-signup or together with a purchase or download.

24% of high end retailers don’t send out a welcome email at all, according to the research. Almost a quarter of the ones that do send, take more than 24 hours before they send it. Ideally a welcome e-mail should be sent very close to the moment of sign-up, in those first “golden minutes” of maximum receptivity and effectiveness.

White list
Because the welcome message has a high attention value, it is a prime opportunity to add some extra content besides just saying “hello” or “thank you for joining”. A first thing you could add is white list instructions, to make sure that your future emails get delivered to the inbox instead of falsely being marked as spam.

Hi my name is…
The “from address” is the most important part of an emailing as far as open rates are concerned. Make sure that the recipient recognizes your company name. Also, think about adding the company name to the start of your subjectline and adding your logo in the welcome mail to let the recipient see who he is signing up with. But at least, always, always, add a link to your website. For the same reason, make sure that you don’t sign the welcome email with “webmaster” or something similarly generic. They didn’t sign up to the webmaster, did they?

Building blocks of your relationship
The first period is a great period for building loyalty and a solid basis for a customer relationship. Make sure you make a right impression. But choosing the right message can be a tricky thing. It helps to put yourself in the shoes of your new subscribers and ask yourself, “what would I need now?” and even better, “what would I love to get now?”

Setting the right expectations
Telling your new subscriber your name is not enough to let them really know you better.

Make sure that your emailing is in the same tone of voice and visual style as your future emailings (so no text-only!). Look and feel is important, as it will help them recognize your future emailings.

To set the right expectations, you could:

  • Tell them how many emails and topics of emailings they will receive
  • Add a link to the latest version of your emailings or (sales) promotions
  • Point them to helpful resources like a FAQ
  • Warm them up for future things to expect
  • Give them a product or service tour
  • Introduce and brand yourself a bit further…

Other options for welcome messages:

  • Give an introduction (sales) offer or special coupon
  • Ask for extra information about themselves and interests (progressive profiling)
  • Ask for product feedback
  • Add some fun elements
  • Let the director or CEO write the welcome message
  • Get a lasting impression by making it a highly personalized email

So many choices, so much to do
As you can see there are many ways to say “Hello” and many other things you could say or do when you welcome someone. So you could think about making a welcome series, with 2 or more welcome emails during the first period and get the most out of your relationship with those new subscribers.

Takeaway: There are many ways to welcome someone. But it is the best thing you can do to start off your email marketing on the right foot. The best way depends on your situation, but make sure you do it!

If you have any questions feel free to add your comments or questions below or catch me on Twitter.

Jordie van Rijn

Meet the author:

Jordie van Rijn

Jordie van Rijn

Jordie is an independent email marketing consultant with his company eMailMonday. He specializes in email marketing and event-driven campaigns, helping brands to get the most from their email marketing efforts. Selecting emailtools at email vendor selection website is another.

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