As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression, and email marketing is no exception. The first email a new subscriber receives can make or break your relationship with a customer. Strike a good first impression with the latest addition to your subscriber base and you'll be off to a great start for a happy, healthy relationship.
There are several tactics email marketers can use to start things off right with their readers. Follow these best practices for onboarding new subscribers to keep customers opted in and reading regularly:
No time like the present
When consumers first interact with your brand, engage quickly to keep your brand top of mind while it's fresh in their memories. The ideal timing to send your initial message is immediately. Whether a consumer makes a purchase, subscribes to your newsletter, or engages with social media content, target that individual with an email message as soon as possible to increase the likelihood of a second interaction.
Cite your source
Customize your first email with content based on the referral source for your new subscriber. If a customer opted in to your newsletter from visiting your website, simply include basic information about your company. If your customer made a purchase, use your first message as an opportunity to reference this and extend relevant offers based on the product purchased. If the opt-in channel was social media, make your first message image-based and light on text content to mimic the experience on social platforms.
Lay the groundwork for long-term loyalty
Marketers must be increasingly focused on giving consumers exactly what they want in order to generate lifelong brand loyalty. How can you make sure your email marketing campaign provides your customers with the content and offers they're looking for? Just ask!
Set expectations early by letting new subscribers know what type of content they will receive and how frequently they will hear from you. Ask what type of content they are interested in receiving, how often they want to receive your emails, and whether they would like to opt out or opt down. Even if your subscribers opt to reduce the number or frequency of emails they receive, this step will help ensure the content they receive is relevant and most likely to garner future engagement.
Make it personal
Use data you've compiled about your customers to personalize your email messages as much as possible. Leverage purchase information from your e-commerce site or POS system to share targeted product offers. For example, if a customer purchased a dress, send an offer highlighting the matching handbag or pair of shoes to entice another purchase. Include as much data as you can to increase your message's relevance and drive high open, read and click-through rates.
Roll out the welcome mat
Once your customers have taken the first step to opt in to your emails, use an onboarding series to guide them down a path toward a long-term relationship with your brand. Send a trail of messages that highlight products and offers that are most relevant based on their interests and purchases. Tailor your welcome series to reflect the referral source - whether it's website browsing, a purchase, or social media. If you've used an intelligent workflow tool in the past, use this to power your onboarding series and target your customers with more or fewer emails based on their actions or inactions.
First impressions count, especially in email marketing, so steadily build mutually beneficial relationships starting with the very first interaction. Start new subscriber relationships off right by engaging immediately, referencing a referral source, setting expectations, using personalization, and building an onboarding campaign. Keep these tips in mind for customer loyalty that will last a lifetime.