Sure, "getting the opt-in" is extremely important. But the true measurement of success ISN'T your opt-ins list... it's your customers list.
That said, the ultimate goal of your list building strategy should be acquiring lifetime customers.
I know that can seem intimidating... but it shouldn't be. It's actually very simple: Treat your leads like real human beings!
Communicate with them, show them you appreciate them, and do your best to show them how you can helpthem achieve their goals.
It's a long-term strategy that you'll need to implement throughout the lifetime of your business...
But it all starts with the welcome email. Nurturing new leads is as important as gathering opt-ins in the first place.
Welcome Email Best Practices
1. The first rule of welcome emails is: Have one!
I was checking out a really great niche marketing site the other day (something to do with printing Instagram photos) and I was shocked that they didn't send me a welcome mail of any kind when I signed up! NOTHING...
At the very least, it would be nice to have a reminder that "You created an account at such-and-such website."
A "Welcome to the family" type of email would be even better -- especially if it gave information about how to get the most out of my new account (see Rule 2).
Here's why this is so important: Your customers are human. Human beings are forgetful sometimes, and they ALWAYS like to be acknowledged.
Have you ever walked into a restaurant, been completely ignored by the wait staff, then walked out? Most of us have...
If they aren't even courteous enough to acknowledge your existence, can you really expect them to provide good customer service? To answer questions about the menu? To take your order accurately? Refill your iced tea? Probably not.
2. Offer helpful quick start advice!
One of the best ways to encourage leads to engage with your product is to teach them how to benefit from it. Start doing this in your welcome mail!
According to research from MarketingSherpa, subscriber interest begins to disintegrate two weeks after a user opts-in. Personally, I think that's about a week too long...
A subscriber's interest peaks immediately after they opt in. That's why you need to get them to engage ASAP. Two weeks might be the cut off, but the welcome mail is the first and best opportunity to get them to discover the value of your product or service.
Split test your welcome mails to see which ones get users to engage. The better your email teaches users how to benefit, the more subscribers you'll be able to convert into customers.
3. Speed of delivery is crucial. Send it now!
61% of retailers send their welcome mail within 10 minutes of the opt-in. Even that is almost too slow!
Welcome emails reinforce the decision to opt-in. It reminds leads that they took action, almost like you're congratulating them. In fact, the first word in the body of your welcome email might be "Congratulations!" I usually like emails that start with "Congratulations." Don't you?
Speed of delivery is even more important if your leads opted in for a free report or video. Not only will this help boost engagement, but it also confirms to the user that your system is working properly... that's a BIGGIE.
Why? Because your welcome email should include a welcome bonus or discount (see Rule 4).
4. Reward them with welcome offers.
In addition to welcoming your new leads, you should also reward users for opting into your list. This is a great time to encourage new leads to take action with a discount offer...
Don't assume they're not ready to take the next step. Ask for the sale, gently.
If it takes you 24 hours or more to deliver a welcome email -- with a amazing discount or without -- your lead has likely cooled off. They may think your customer service is slow and/or lacking. They may have even grown frustrated with waiting on the welcome mail.
Either way, you run the risk of letting them move on...
5. Give them the relevant links.
One of the most important things you can do in your welcome email is to give them a link back to your website.
Even if they forget everything they just learned about you and your company, they can still find their way back to you through their inbox.
If they just created an account, send them to your "log in" panel. If they opted in for a report, take them back to a page where they can download it again, in case they lose it or they're using a different device.
At the very least, your welcome email is a business card that leads back to you.
Got something to add? Share your welcome email tips and tricks