3 Things Your Welcome Email Must Do (And Probably Doesn't!)
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 signup 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’re most engaged with your brand? If you have access to some stats, 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:
Delivers your opt-in incentive
Tells 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 add some much needed pizazz 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’re the best person to help your subscriber.
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 how you’re helping, 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 millions of dollars 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 in 3 years? Do you save money through meal planning? Have you visited over 10 countries on a small 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 exact question is getting pretty cliche, the principle behind it is to encourage your subscriber 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 your subscriber what region or country they want to travel to next and what their biggest hurdles with traveling are. If you blog about organic living, ask them what trips them up 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. Be prepared to get replies! If you want to nurture your audience, respond to as many of those emails as you can.
#3. Your welcome email doesn’t tease and intrigue
How do you get your subscribers to look out for your name in their inbox? How do you make them anticipate your next email? How do you keep them on edge thinking about something you talked about? You do so by adding a dash of tease and intrigue in your welcome email.
Don’t sign off the email with your name; 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.
Now you may be thinking… How are you going to incorporate all of these different elements in a welcome email without it being two pages long and overwhelming the reader 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, and share 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 autopilot whenever a person signs up to your list.
Structuring your welcome email series
Here’s how I structure these emails: I do three emails back to back and then space out the other two. I pack as much value as I can in these first few emails. I point new subscribers to pieces of content that give a glimpse into what I believe in. I share my personal story. 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 one. I built up 3-5 pieces of exclusive subscriber-only resources over time. You can also link to existing posts in your welcome series that share your perspective or thoughts on your niche.
Nurture new subscribers on autopilot
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 could. This is a trial of sorts to show new subscribers what they can expect from being on your list. Anyone who chooses to unsubscribe after or during this period is not your ideal reader and you shouldn’t worry about those unsubscribes.
It takes some time to set-up these emails, but once you do, your welcome email series is a tool that’s going to nurture your list on autopilot. You set the path that a new subscriber takes and you always have your best content going out automatically. 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 reinforce your brand and your valuable content?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This post was written by Meera Kothand, a certified email marketing specialist and contributor at Addicted 2 Success and Marketing Profs. She helps ambitious bloggers and solopreneurs find focus, build authority, and stand out online.