Delivering an effective welcome message is the next critical step. A simple 'Thank You for Subscribing to Our Occasional/Monthly/Weekly Newsletter' message, along with a few one-or-two-sentence highlights from recent enewsletters, press releases, or case studies with links back to your website will do it.
This is an opportunity to feature new services and products, and invite the prospect to tell you more about what they are most interested in. Since the prospect has already taken the first step in engaging with your brand, there may not be a better time to ask for some information about content preferences and interests. A link to a short profile survey with questions that can be used for future segmentation or a straightforward 'contact me' page will help capture that information.
Quick Follow-Up and a Compelling Subject Line
The two most important factors that email marketers can control in this first effort are timing and subject line. Timing, of course, is critical because a new prospect is not likely to become more engaged with your brand while waiting for that first contact. In the worst (but not uncommon) case, busy prospects will forget that they even signed up and are more likely to mark that first, late message as spam.
A compelling subject line will include an anchor that the prospect can use to recall that first interaction and ensure that your first effort will be opened. Be succinct. Simply stating 'Thank you for signing up on flyingmag.com' or 'Here's your first enewsletter from the flyingmag.com team' will do it.
Mature email marketing firms have adopted a couple of best practices that accomplish two things: remind the prospect of that initial sign-up, and provide helpful links in case image rendering is disabled. Mobile phone and tablet email readers are another cause for special consideration since the permutations of operating system, screen resolution, and portrait/landscape orientation are too numerous to attempt to handle every case.
Here's a suggestion for the first two lines of text in the header of the email:
You are receiving this email because you signed up for occasional updates from flyingmag.com. Trouble reading this email? Click here to view in a browser. Click here for mobile.
One or two columns with an appropriate text-to image ratio is best for email and mobile email-optimized applications.
The industry best practice for the bottom of the email includes the following information:
- Link to Unsubscribe (1-click required by law in Canada)
- Link to Manage Your Contact Preferences
- Street Address for the Company
- Email Address for Customer Care
Next up: Critical Email Marketing Performance Indicators
Post by: Patrick Colbert,