Having someone be willing to hand over their name and email address is a feat some marketers never master. But even a fraction of those who do end up ruining their accomplishment because they start off on the wrong foot.
Most marketers do nothing more than send out a welcome email that says, “Thank you for subscribing. You’ll be hearing from me.” It’s not exactly anything that leaves a lasting impression.
Once you have a subscriber on your list, you want each and every communication – from the very beginning – to go off without a hitch. So let’s start by working hard on your welcome email because it’s your first impression.
The welcome email is actually the second email your list will receive. The first is the confirmation email, which, after they click the subscribe button, has the new reader confirm their subscription.
Upon confirmation, the welcome email goes out. Some marketers forget to even set one up, and simply begin blasting out broadcast emails filled with promotions on a daily basis.
But everyone should set up an initial Follow Up email that goes out to extend a warm welcome to your new list member and not explains how things will work as a new member of your list, but also gives them something wonderful.
Make sure the email is easy to read. Your subscriber’s time is precious and a convoluted email will be a major turn off for them. Have simple headings or numbers for what you’re telling them, and keep it brief.
Some marketers try to get fancy with tons of neat graphics in their email, but you might find that subscribers enjoy plain text more. What they’re primarily searching for is good information.
Link to Freebie
Aside from making sure you personalize the email with their first name, the first thing you want to remember is to include the link to whatever it was that you offered your list as a freebie or lead generator.
Some marketers completely forget this component, and then the subscriber is left wondering where it is – or worse, having to track you down to get it. Your free offer (the report or video series or whatever you created for them) should be easy to download instantly and access.
Don’t forget that there are still some people in rural areas on dialup or with slow connections. If you’re doing an exclusive, private freebie, then don’t forget to give your new subscriber the password that gives them immediate access to the gift you’ve given to them.
Keep in mind that some people are novices when it comes to being online and downloading or accessing things. You may want to include step-by-step instructions such as “right click on the link to save the file” and “right click and extract all files to access them.”
Another issue that may crop up is what browser your new subscriber is using. Sometimes, a choice of browser is enough to derail their experience, either making the gift look “off” or not allowing them access at all.
Be sure and test your link in all common browsers, including Google Chrome, Firefox, and yes, even Internet Explorer. If any issue arises, then you can either fix it or include instructions such as, “If you’re unable to view this, please try a different browser. If the problem persists, contact me.”
Don’t overwhelm your new subscriber with link after link to a myriad of freebies. You want them to actually download and experience (read, listen or view) one in full so that they see the value you provide.
If you provide them with 5 downloads, chances are, they’ll download them all and then move on to something else, assuming they’ll remember later to find them and access them.
It’s better to space out the freebies over time because it keeps them wondering what you’ll send next, and continues showing them the ongoing support you’re providing to take care of their needs.
Unexpected Bonus Surprise
Aside from the promised freebie gift, one other link you can provide is a single additional unexpected bonus surprise. You can either include this in the original welcome email, or tease them about it by saying something like, “Watch your inbox tomorrow for a special subscriber surprise!”
With this particular gift, you want it again, to be filled with value so that your new subscriber is in awe of just how much of a giver you are up front. Don’t do so many that you train your subscribers to expect everything for free.
Only give them freebies occasionally, with your welcome email and either a day or a week or two later. From that point on, get them invested in paying for your content and advice.
Interviews with other marketers in your niche, or your own mentors who helped you become successful, are a great unexpected bonus surprise you could offer your subscribers.
This can be in the form of a Q&A session you did via email in text with someone, or you can record a phone conversation (with everyone’s permission) and let subscribers listen to the audio version.
You could also conduct an interview via Skype and record your screen so that your subscribers see and hear from both yourself and the person you’re interviewing. Make sure you choose to interview someone who has something unique to offer (or a different perspective) from you.
Free access to one of your paid products is always an unexpected surprise. Now this only works if you have a bevy of products in the stable for them to choose from. If all you have is 1 product, then don’t offer it for free.
But if you have an entire series of courses, then you might choose one for them or allow them to pick whatever they need most. Make sure they know that the product actually has a retail price that the public pays, but that because they’re a subscriber, you want then to be taken care of right away, so it’s your gift to them.
Important Value Blog Post Link
In addition to gifts, one thing you might consider directing your new subscriber to is one (or more) of your most popular, most helpful value-based blog posts. For most marketers, the daily communications won’t just be about promotions and offers – they’ll be a sharing of insight.
Blog posts help you prove to your subscribers that you’re there, on a consistent basis, willing to help them overcome every obstacle they may have. There are several different ways you can choose what to share in your welcome email.
If you log into your blog’s dashboard and go to the Posts section, you’ll see several columns, including title, author, categories, tags, comments and date. It automatically sorts by the date of your last posts.
However, if you click on the comment icon, it will re-sort your posts to show which ones had the biggest response with your readers and visitors. You can choose from the list or simply choose a post that you feel will be most beneficial to your readers.
You might want to create a special series on your blog that you link your subscribers to. That way, they’ll see multiple posts from you, but in your welcome email, you only link to the first part in the series.
The best blog posts to link to will be those that help set you apart from your competitors. You want opinionated posts that showcase your ability to present the same information in a new way to your readers.
Don’t be afraid to take a stand against the status quo way of doing things. If you believe things ought to be done differently – say so! It might be refreshing for your audience to find something (and someone) new.
You might want to consider linking to a branding blog post that combines your area of expertise in text along with a video embedded into it that helps your new subscriber get to know you a bit better.
Some people also link to their blog’s About page or Contact page as a way of getting their new subscribers to land on their blog, and allowing them to take it from there as to where they explore the site.
Special Coupon to a JV Offer or Product
Without overwhelming your new subscriber, you might want to give them access to a monetary savings that puts you off to a good start with your reader. Everyone loves to save money.
The first way you can achieve this good will gesture is by creating a discount coupon to one of your own products. Name the discount coupon something like, “newfriend” or something that reflects the new bond between the two of you.
If you have a store with many products, you might give them a percentage off their first purchase, such as “Save 75% Off” or half off. Or, you can give them a flat rate discount such as $10 off a product.
It doesn’t have to be something of yours that you give a discount on. One way you can create good will with your readers is to secure a discount for them with another product seller.
Most marketers will be happy to create a coupon for your subscribers – especially if you’ll be sending all new subscribers their way. Make sure that you’re sending them to someone you trust and whose products you fully believe in, because it’s your reputation on the line.
First, work on finding a product that you’d be proud to recommend to your buyers. Make sure it’s a nice, evergreen product that will work for months (if not years) to come. Then, contact the vendor to arrange the deal.
They can set up a special “Friends of (Your Name)” sales page where the subscriber sees a specific page alerting the visitor to a discount just because you sent them there. It works to help you with branding and sales.
Invitation and Instructions to Contact You
In your welcome email, you’ll want to disclose how it works being on your list. How often will you email – daily, weekly, once a month? What kinds of things will you be sending them?
Subscribers like to know what to be on the lookout for. Letting them know ahead of time that you’ll be sending them exclusive access to certain things, answering their questions about the niche, and providing in depth product reviews allows them to determine whether or not your list will be helpful to them.
Make sure you include vital details for your readers such as how to contact you if they have any questions or concerns. So many marketers take a hands off approach and those who do personally respond to emails make a lasting impression.
You can give your new subscribers an email address or a contact form to get in touch with you through – or, you might give them multiple methods. Try to steer clear of a typical “help desk” scenario, though.
These are extremely cold and most subscribers dislike having to open a ticket to interact with a marketer. It’s better to be hands on and secure loyalty from that subscriber.
Make sure you also link to your major social networking accounts, too. Depending on where they opted into your list, you might want to include a link to your blog, Facebook Page or Group, Twitter account, Pinterest account, Instagram and more.
Another good way to impress readers is to invite them to give their $0.02 on something. Link to a survey that you create through a site like SurveyMonkey, where you’re asking about their deepest needs so that you can provide ongoing solutions that help them.
For example, you can send a link to a very simple survey that just says, “What area do you need help in most?” and base your future blog posts and emails on those problem spots.
A welcome email doesn’t have to be jam packed with tons of bells and whistles. But it does allow you the opportunity to go above and beyond with your audience and open a dialogue with them so that you can position yourself as their niche guide.