5 Ways to Welcome Email Subscribers Into Your Program
Similar to new employees, new email subscribers need a proper introduction to your program. Throwing subscribers into the thick of the action without a proper warm-up can overwhelm and cause them to prematurely opt out. Instead of adding them into your regular program, consider a customized warm-up course to welcome new subscribers. Follow these steps:
1. Welcome emails: The best way to welcome new subscribers into your program is with a dedicated message. This is their first experience with the email brand they signed up for and your first look into what type of subscriber you just added. Make sure you send the welcome message quickly — within 48 hours. The longer you wait, the more likely your messages will be ignored, either from lack of recognition (recipients didn't remember signing up) or decreased relevance (they're no longer in the same buying mind-set as they were at signup).
Beyond sparking engagement, welcome messages also provide a predictive marker of long-term subscriber behavior and value. Use your new subscriber's response (or lack thereof) to preemptively re-engage rather than waiting and waiting until it's all too clear that they're unresponsive.
2. Series: Try a welcome warm-up series instead of a single message. By creating a series, you're able to showcase your program's value over multiple interactions while setting subscribers’ expectations that there's more to come. In a recent Return Path study, we discovered that subscribers who interact with multiple messages in a welcome series have remarkably high post-welcome engagement.
3. Preferences: While engagement with a welcome message can give you insight into the type of subscriber you acquired, don't shy away from asking for more details. Remind new subscribers to visit your preference center to make sure they're getting the content they want. Providing customers with a way to tailor your relationship gives you insight into the real benefits to your program — from their point of view — as well as natural list segmentation strategies.
4. Additional perks: If your brand has sub-brands or partners whose programs might interest your new subscribers, send them an email sneak peak and ASK them to join. Do NOT auto-enroll your subscribers into programs they didn't sign up for, and make sure that you receive and document permission from each subscriber for each additional brand or subscription. Don't miss opportunities to promote your other offerings, however. Make sure your customers are aware of any loyalty programs or insider content you offer, and provide occasional tastes of any additional relevant content they can select from your preference center.
5. Drip campaigns: Your email program can additionally serve to direct attention to other channels. Send a series of drip messages to educate subscribers about your social pages, let them download your newest mobile app or mark their calendars for big shopping events. Done well, these messages provide clear value and new opportunities to engage with your brand outside the email channel.
Kevin Kelleher manages analyst relations for Return Path, a provider of data solutions for email marketing optimization and fraud protection.