You’re all ready and charged to grow your email list.
You signed up with an email service provider. You’ve created your opt-in freebie and opt-in forms. You’ve been hearing all these amazing things about why you need a welcome email and you crafted your first!
But does your welcome email live up to all that it’s supposed to do?
Did you know that the first 48 hours after a subscriber opts-in is when they are most engaged with your brand? If you have access to some statistics, have a look at the open rates for your welcome email.
Welcome emails have one of the highest open rates compared to other emails sent. This is your opportunity to make a great first impression, and to start cultivating a relationship with your subscribers on the right note.
Here’s what the average welcome email does:
• Deliver your opt-in incentive
• Tell the subscriber where they can find you on social media
• Shares your most popular posts
• Shares some social proof in the form of testimonials or links to places you’ve been featured
I’ve worked with several bloggers and seen several welcome emails and sadly, most welcome emails end up falling flat.
What’s going to make your welcome email stand out are 3 critical ingredients that will add that much needed pizazz or ‘wow’ factor and get subscribers to look out for your name in their inbox.
3 Things Your Welcome Email Doesn’t Do
#1. Your welcome email doesn’t state why you are the best person to help them.
It doesn’t matter what niche your blog is in. Most of our blogs exist to entertain, educate or inspire our readers. Your blog could do a mixture of all three.
Identify the purpose of your blog:
• Are you educating a reader about healthy eating?
• Are you inspiring her to fix her money mindset?
• Are you educating your reader about how she can travel the world on a shoestring budget?
Now that you have identified this, why are you the best person to inspire, educate or teach your subscriber about this?
You don’t need to be an expert. You don’t need to have a certification or to have been blogging for an insanely long period of time. You don’t need to earn 6-figures or be an author as well.
You just need to be 2–steps ahead of your reader.
Are there certain things you did that made you clear your college debt within 3 years? Do you save money through meal planning? Have you visited over 10 countries on a limited budget?
While these may seem ordinary to you, there are people who would LOVE to do some of the stuff you’ve done.
So share your experiences in your welcome email and give them a glimpse of what they can learn from you and what change they can expect by reading your content.
#2. Your welcome email doesn’t invite people to converse with you.
You lay out what they can expect and where they can find you on social media. But you don’t invite them to respond to you!
You may have heard about the importance of asking your subscriber “what are you struggling with?”. This phrase was popularized by Derek Halpern of Social Triggers and you may have seen several of your favorite bloggers asking the same question in their emails.
While that very term ‘what are you struggling with’ is getting pretty cliche, the principle behind it is to encourage the reader to share their thoughts with you.
By opening a conversation loop, you invite feedback and are able to peek directly into what your subscriber needs. This gives you insight to the content and products you can possibly offer them.
But what can you ask without sounding like 95% of bloggers out there?
If you’re a travel blogger, you could ask them what region or country they want to conquer next and what their biggest hurdles with traveling are. If you blog about organic living, ask them what trips them over when it comes to shopping for organic food.
Your question has to be simple and specific to your niche, and you can leave it in the Postscript or P.S of your email. And be prepared to get replies! And if you want to nurture your audience, respond to as many of those emails as you can.
#3. Your welcome email does not tease and intrigue
How do you make your subscriber anticipate your next email? How do you get them to look out for your name in their inbox? How do you keep them on edge thinking about something you raised?
You can do so by adding a dash of tease and intrigue in your welcome email.
Don’t sign off with your name. But rather, close your email with a question. Here are some examples of how to do this:
• Do you know that 90% of what people believe about organic vegetables is wrong? I’ll tell you what that myth is tomorrow and how it’s going to help you cut your expenditure by up to 50%.
• Do you know the number #1 mistake people make when it comes to meal planning? If you’re thinking X, then you’re wrong. I’ll tell you what that mistake is tomorrow and how it’ll make you look at meal planning differently.
• Do you know how long it takes for your body to form a habit? The answer will shock you. Look out for that tomorrow.
I’m, of course, making these up, but you get the overall idea.
When you tease, you also need to ensure that you close the loop in the next email. You want to live up to that tease and intrigue. Don’t leave them on a cliffhanger just to say ‘I was joking’. That’s the biggest trust breaker.
Now you may be thinking…
How are you going to incorporate all of these different elements in a welcome email without it being 2 pages long and having the reader overwhelmed with all you have to say?
You have a valid concern. A single welcome email can only do so much…
Which is why I advocate having a series of 3-5 emails in a welcome email series.
Each email builds off the other to help reinforce your brand, get them acquainted with your best content, what you have to offer and why you’re the best person to help them. You can set these emails in a sequence to go out on auto whenever a person signs up to your list.
Structuring your welcome email series
Here’s how I structure these emails. I do 3 emails back to back and then space out the other 2 emails. I pack as much value as I can in these first few emails.
I point them to pieces of content that give a glimpse of what I believe in. I share my personal story with them. I go the extra mile and give them the unexpected freebie in the form of guides or checklists they weren’t expecting.
If you’re panicking when you think about the time needed to create additional content – don’t. I didn’t have everything figured and ready from day 1. I built up about 3-5 pieces of exclusive subscriber-only resources over time. You can also link to existing posts that share your perspective or thoughts on your niche.
Nurture new subscribers on auto
By the end of the welcome email series, you should have created a solid foundation and impression of your work, and delivered as much value as you possibly can. This is a trial of sorts to show new subscribers what they can expect by being on your list, and how you can help them.
Anyone who chooses to unsubscribe after or during this period is not your ideal reader and you shouldn’t worry about that unsubscribe.
It takes some time to set-up these emails, but once you do, your welcome email series is a tool that’s going to help you nurture your list on auto.
You set the path that a new subscriber takes, and you always have your best content going out. Your welcome email series takes care of new subscribers even when you’re on vacation.
Have a look at your welcome email now. Where can you inject more of your personality and experiences? How can you expand this into a series of emails that play to your strengths and reinforces your brand and your valuable content?
About the Author
This post was written by my good friend Meera! Meera is a certified email marketing specialist, and contributor at Addicted 2 Success, Marketing Profs and several other sites. She helps ambitious bloggers and solopreneurs find focus, build authority and stand out online.
Want to get serious about email but don’t know where to start? Sign up for the free Email Lists for Newbies course that helps you kick start your email list even if you have not sent a single email or have a tiny list.
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