Whether someone opts in to your newsletter list from your homepage or meanders into your newsletter list from some other source, the next step is to send a welcome message. Always. The reader is new to your list and it will certainly be the first impression of your e-mail program. It may also be the first impression a person has of your organization. Yet many organizations from large to small treat the welcome message as an afterthought, or even worse, as merely a technical requirement.
A welcome message should be inviting, support your brand, and provide your readers with tasteful information that leaves a lasting impression. Always. And here are a couple other recommendations to ensure your welcome message is doing everything it can for your organization, and the reader:
- Reiteration of reader information: If your site requires login information like a username and password, include these in the email in a prominent spot. Be sure to limit copy to just the information the readers need. (No reason to give your reader their address, as they probably already know it.)
- Point readers back to your website: Definitely provide a link, but also provide a reason. Mention a free service you offer or another campaign to learn about. Talk about your content, or your archives. Or tell them about another action you're running.
- Keep housekeeping information highlighted: Basic information, like how to unsubscribe, who and where to contact someone, and how to update their information is really the housekeeping stuff, which should be highlighted and easily found in a consistent place throughout your newsletters. This way readers can use this section as reference should they ever need it.
- Make it personal: Remember, this is marketing relationship. I hate to call it that, but your list is a resource to sell your brand, your actions, and your organization. And as with all marketing ploys, at the end of the day, people buy from people, not companies. So personalize the message by using the reader's first name. And personalize the sender by making it from a person, not just from the organization. You can also go even further by providing the reader a way to contact you.
Properly planned and executed, your welcome messages can serve as not only a reference point to your readers, but also a marketing tool. So give these tips a try -- and if you have other tips or techniques you use, I'd love to hear about them. Sound off in the comments below!