You want to do this right, and do it organically. So, you add an email sign-up form to your website and your social networks. You also have a big ol' sign-up sheet at your store, events, and trade shows. And before long, the email addresses start coming in.
You need to send them a welcome email, stat! Not to put the pressure on or anything, but that first email is like the all-important first impression on a hot date. You don't want to come off as desperate (so no hard sells here, please), but you definitely want to pique their interest.
Here are seven simple tweaks to take that welcome email from zero to hero:
1. Be Recognizable
The "from" line is one of the first things people see, even before your subject line. If the "from" line is anything other than your company name or the person your subscribers specifically opted-in to get emails from, they might get confused or annoyed and unsubscribe.
2. Remind Them
Because new subscribers may not remember signing up, your welcome email is a great opportunity to remind them how they got on your mailing list or when/where they signed up for your emails (e.g., at a specific event, on Facebook, etc.). This also will eliminate any suspicion that you got their address off a purchased list.
3. Have Some Fun
This is where you can really break from the monotony and be memorable, or start to become more than "just a business" to your subscribers. Unless you're in a super serious industry, injecting a little personality in your message will help you stand out from a sea of similar emails.
4. Be Consistent
Your emails should have a consistent look with the rest of your brand. Are your company colors red and gold? Don't design your welcome email with purple and black. Remember, the recipient might not recall who you are. Using consistent visual cues will help jog their memory.
5. Link to More Details About Your Company
The welcome email is a great opportunity to refer new subscribers back to pages on your website that can be helpful, like the FAQ section or your blog. They can easily access more background information about your company, product, or service. This is super important in the early days, when you're just beginning to establish a relationship with a customer or prospect.
6. Get Social
The best welcome letters also promote others ways your recipients can connect with you. Got a Facebook Page? Link to it. Same for Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and any other social networks you may be on. Don't forget your blog, too.
7. Set Expectations
This really is just about making sure your subscribers know how often they'll hear from you and what you'll send them. It can be as simple as saying, "Once a week, you'll get an email from us jam-packed with (fill in the blank) ideas and inspiration."
Have you received any memorable welcome emails? Tell me what was cool about it in the comments below!
JANINE POPICK is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse (a Deluxe company), a leading provider of self-service email and event marketing, online surveys, social media, and direct mail solutions. The company was ranked No. 2,802 on the 2012 Inc. 5000. @janinepopick