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No matter how long you’ve been working in marketing, there’s always room for improvement. This is as true in email marketing as it is in any other digital marketing discipline.

When you consider that 93% of marketers are using email to distribute content and connect with their target market – and that email is the third most popular source of information for B2B audiences – it’s clear how high the stakes are for getting it right.

Unfortunately, not everyone understands how to create a well-constructed welcome email for new subscribers. So what is a welcome email, and what are the best practices for creating a great one?

What is a Welcome Email?

A welcome email is the first exchange between your business and a new subscriber or potential customer.

As soon as you start interacting with your new subscriber, you need to make sure that the tone of the email is correct, that it connects with your target audience, and that it isn’t too pushy.

You want new subscribers to engage with your business – not be turned off immediately from pursuing a further connection with you.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Work on Your Subject Line

Welcome emails won’t work if new subscribers don’t actually open the message. If your subject line doesn’t make people want to open the email, you’ve failed this first hurdle.

First impressions count.

Always be testing new subject lines. Learn from your successes and failures, and continue to tailor your subject line message over time based on the data you’ve gathered.

2. Always Say Thank You

It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many welcome emails don’t actually convey the message that you’re thankful for the new contact.

They’ve chosen to engage with your business, so show your appreciation. Good manners cost you nothing.

3. Deliver on Your Promise

Did you give your new subscriber an incentive to sign up? Did you promise prospects that you’d respond in a set period of time? If so, you need to deliver on that promise. If you offer a free download or a discount, that messaging needs to at the top of your email.

Nothing breaks trust faster than not delivering what you’ve promised.

4. Focus on Benefits

Your new subscriber isn’t as clued into your business or your brand as you are. You may think the benefits of your product or service are apparent. But they probably aren’t as obvious to your new subscriber.

List them out for clarity’s sake.

Lay them out in bullet points so that new contacts can take them in quickly. Email newsletter recipients often scan, rather than read in-depth. Make it easy for them to do so and still walk away with the knowledge you need to share.

5. Let People Know How Many Emails to Expect

One of the biggest reasons people unsubscribe from email newsletters is because they receive too many messages.

Once you discover that email works for your business, it can be easy to go overboard. Let your new subscribers know how many emails they might expect over a month, as well as what they are likely to find in each newsletter.

If your new subscriber knows what to expect – and how often they can expect it – they’ll be less likely to unsubscribe.

6. Invest in Good Design

Good design sells.

Period.

Sloppy or bad design sends the wrong signal to your new subscriber. Good design helps convey trustworthiness and experience.

Thanks to the many design tools available today, not being able to afford a professional designer is no longer an excuse for bad design. Tap into these resources, and ask people you trust to review your designs and see what messages they convey.

7.   Invest in Strong Images

Design is essential – and the images that you choose are just as important. Showcase your products, and show new contacts what you offer.

Remember, new contacts wanted to know more about your business or product. That’s why they contacted you or subscribed to your newsletter. So show them (just please, please, never resort to using stock photography to do so).

8.  Provide a Whitelisting Option

Its best practice to include a whitelisting option in your welcome email.  After all, you don’t want your hard work getting stuck in your new subscriber’s junk filter.

Often, whitelisting requests are included an email’s pre-header by asking new subscribers to add you to their “safe senders list.” Be direct. Don’t let unclear messaging prevent you from hitting the inbox.

9.  Create a Strong Call to Action

What is that you want your new subscriber or contact to do? Whatever that is, make it extra obvious what they should do next.

Since people tend to scan messages, they might miss subtle CTAs. Instead, make your request stand out, but keep it reasonable. Show value. Give them something for free. Demonstrate that you can help them or address their pain points in order to build the groundwork for your future relationship.

10. Include All of Your Contact Details

Sounds obvious, right?

You’d be surprised how many welcome emails don’t have this essential information included.

Try to include:

  • A link to your website
  • Your email address
  • A phone number (if applicable) – some people will still prefer to contact you via phone
  • Links to the social profiles – Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, etc. – where you’re most active. You may even want to encourage them to follow you on these channels.

Remember, one goal of your welcome email should be to keep contacts coming back for more. Don’t leave them with unanswered questions, but don’t overwhelm them either.

It’s the job of the welcome email to encourage ongoing connections with your brand. Not every new contact is going to become a new customer, but a well-crafted welcome message can increase the percentage that goes on to do business with you. Keep these best practices in mind, and you’ll be well on your way to creating ongoing relationships that last well into the future.

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