And that can be a costly mistake.
We need to think of email as a conversation rather than another “chance to get our message out there” – and start inviting conversation, real engagement.
That’s how your ‘Welcome Email Series’ should flow starting with your receipt of their subscription information!
What is a ‘Welcome Email Series’?
NOTE: For those of our readers that work in Higher Education, this is what some of you have in place for adults interested in enrolling in one of your programs. However, as you read on, you will notice that there are subtle, yet key differences – and they can help make your efforts more effective.
You want to acknowledge the fact that they took the time and showed the interest necessary to subscribe. And then you want to gather some additional insights that help you better understand what you need to do moving forward to build a strong relationship.
Oh, and before jumping in…remember the importance of your subject lines!
Email 1: Acknowledgement/Fulfillment
Ask quickly as possible – as soon after their submission of their subscription information – you should send them an email that states at the very least, “Thank you for subscribing” and then delivers any promised gift/content.
You might want to restate and reinforce what they signed up for – for example, the bi-weekly email focuses on the following topics and includes tips, tricks, best practices, case studies, interviews with experts…
You might also want to include personal contact information so they know who to speak with if they have a question.
That all said, the first email is a quick acknowledgment of their decision to subscribe and delivery of any promised incentive or reward.
Email 2: Lets Connect Elsewhere
Next, you want to offer them faster, easier, more convenient ways to get what they want – to invite them to connect with you on social media.
Perhaps your Facebook strategy is to publish “Daily Tips” – to make them aware of that unique value.
Or maybe your Twitter strategy is to blend a little of your personal with professional life – so invite them to follow you on Twitter so they can [ex] see your devotion to your favorite sports team or hobby as well as sharing the top news of the day.
Send this email out about 2 days after Email 1: Acknowledgement/Fulfillment so they aren’t feeling pressured.
Email 3: Ask a couple of key questions
This one is valuable to both the subscriber and your business because it allows you to identify key interests that you can segment the newsletter on.
There are two popular and efficient ways to do this – first is to use a tool like SurveyMonkey to create a short survey or, second, ask them to hit ‘Reply’ to the email and include their answers to your questions.
Having tested both approaches, I lean towards the survey because clicking a button seems to be a more preferred response mechanism than clicking “Reply” based on results. No matter the reason you should consider:
“We have 3 short questions that will help us ensure you get the most out of our relationship, so please click the button below – and you will receive a small “thank you” that is <INCENTIVE>
- When is your birthday?
- Please check your top 3 topics of interest from this list:
- How did you learn about our firm?
- How would you describe your level of expertise on the following topics?
This email should be sent about 3 to 4 days after Email 2 so they have some time to breath – after all, they have done a lot in a short amount of time with a new (unknown) contact.
Email 4: Thank you for your input
This goes to each and everyone that responds to Email 3 with helpful information. Again, it acknowledges their effort and your appreciation of it, but it also gives you another opportunity to share something unique, relevant and valuable with them – to include a link to a checklist or white paper or some content that shows you heard and understood what they shared with you.
The timing for this should be like Email 1 – immediately after the information has been received by you.
You might want an Email 4A for those that don’t respond to Email 3 – such as a reminder/second change – but we suggest waiting 4 to 5 days before sending.
Again, you don’t want to make them feel pressured and this timing should allow for the new subscriber to have received at least one of what they originally wanted – your newsletters.
These simple emails help onboard the new subscriber in a comfortable, personal way that helps get the relationship off on the right foot.
Plus, it helps you get some valuable insights into their wants and needs so you can segment the list for greater results.
Think about that for a moment. By asking about “topics of interest”, you can make sure your future emails are focused on the audience’s wants and needs. That should positively impact their perception of value which means the door of opportunity remains open longer.
Let me know if you have any questions – and be sure to subscribe to my newsletter. (I’ll even send you a free copy of my Content Marketing eBook!)
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