E-commerce Link: Sign Me Up!
In the second situation, you visit a Web site, see an invitation to join an e-mail program and sign up. There’s a clear value proposition and a link to a sample e-mail, so you understand the benefits and know what types of communication you will receive. Wouldn’t you be much more likely to open and read these e-mails?
Extend permission to the welcome and confirmation process.
It’s a best practice to send a confirmation e-mail that welcomes new sign-ups. This is a great way to start the relationship. It also gives you the opportunity to make sure you have deliverable e-mail addresses. Be sure to include an opt-out link in your welcome e-mail so if, for any reason, recipients prefer not to receive additional messages, they have an opportunity to exercise that choice.
Studies show that welcome or confirmation messages have the highest open rates of any e-mails a marketer will send. This is the perfect time to restate benefits, encourage recipients to add you to their address books and even include an introductory offer to immediately engage them.
As you analyze the performance of your campaigns, examine results by date of sign up. A recent study shows a significant decline in open and clickthrough rates over the first three months of a recipient’s tenure; after the first 90 days, results are stable. This statistic might set up the argument for a welcome series rather than a single welcome e-mail. The series could contain your best offers, most-read articles or interactive elements that encourage participation. Anything you can do to counteract performance declines during this critical early period will result in a more productive list member.
Allow subscribers to update their information and change their preferences.
An e-mail preference center is a must-have adjunct to any successful e-mail program. Recipients should be able to link to their own preference page from an e-mail to update contact information, sign up for additional e-mail programs (if available), change format preferences or even change the frequency of how often they receive e-mails.