Internet Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Search Engine Optimization

Welcome Email Strategy: 5 Things To Remember When Crafting An Email To Start A Conversation

By Vince Massara on November 15, 2019

The views included in this article are entirely the work and thoughts of the author, and may not always reflect the views and opinions of Regex SEO.

A business’ true value lies in its email list. While it may sound a bit outdated compared to the huge advent of cloud technology and all sorts of other business tech, email is still a considerable factor in almost every business. Not to mention, a dedicated list of of potential clients or customers is something that business owners could only dream about thirty years ago.

Now it’s common for even small businesses to have an email list with hundreds or even thousands of subscribers.

Note, many people think a ‘list of hundreds’ is tiny, but if they’re the right one-hundred people, I’d take that over 10,000 random people any day.

These days there is so much talk about pop-ups, content upgrades and widgets encouraging email subscribers that all the effort goes into getting them to sign up and not what to do once you have them.

I run The Book Summary Club, where we offer business book summaries for business owners and side-hustlers, what that means, is that most of the subscribers we get are well down on the buying cycle. In fact, many are completely cold. 

You’re probably on a million of these type of lists. You want that one content upgrade, sign up, open that first email, then never look at them again.

It was a problem I was facing in my first few businesses. I had read all the email marketing books and thought I knew what I was doing, but the results never changed.

Then I remembered the actual purpose of emails was to start a conversation. A simple concept, but one that we often overlook in businesses.

With that in mind, I started playing around with my customer onboarding systems. After some tweaking and testing, I managed to put together subscriber automated emails that constantly get responses like this.

In the rest of this article, I’ll show you how you can create a welcome email that makes sure subscribers stick around.

If you’re in a service business, this will 100% lead to opportunities to start conversations with potential leads. Once the conversation has started, you can find out what that particular prospect’s pain point is, and how you can solve it. 

“Um, but I don’t want to be replying to hundreds of emails a day….”

If you’re someone who thought about how annoying it would be to spend hours every day emailing those who reply to your welcome emails, you’re not alone.

It is one of the first arguments I hear, and it is a counterpoint that I love.

For starters, while this strategy will definitely increase engagement and replies, how many people do you think will actually reply? Odds are it won’t be enough to completely throw your day off course.

Secondly, if by chance you do manage to get overwhelmed with people emailing you, well, half your luck! There are thousands of other business owners who’d kill to have potential clients messaging them.

The Five Things To Remember In Your Welcome Email

  1. Make it look like an email a friend would send you

The first piece of advice is to make your emails look like something that a friend would send them. 

There are some beautiful HTML email templates out there. And sure they look great, do they actually work? 

I know that when I receive them, I hardly look too much into them.

Some of these templates remind me more of a magazine than they do an email. To me, that is a waste of such a personal method of communication.

So, rather than some incredibly well put together HTML template, use your email service’s text template and write the email like you would if you were emailing your friend. 

  1. Don’t treat the customer like an idiot

In hindsight, I should have put this tip as the number one, two, three, four and five. 

So many business owners treat their subscribers like idiots.

Your subscribers know that you’re not sitting at a computer waiting to press send on a welcome email, so don’t treat it like that.

Embrace the game you both know you’re playing.

I choose to have some fun with my emails. Below is one example of part of an email that I send to subscribers. 

Every time I change the copy (I’m tweaking something every month or so) and take away the part about the obvious auto-responder, replies go down. 

  1. Make it conversational

So, I am one of those people who remember odd things but forget what day to put the bins out. Here is one example (it is related to the topic, trust me). 

I remember being about fifteen and the Starsky And Hutch movie had just come out. Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson were on their press tour of Australia (I’m Australian).

The film co-stars Snoop Dogg, and the reporter was discussing the rapper’s involvement. 

Reporter: “So Snoop Dogg is in the film… How do you guys get someone like Snoop to act in a film like Starsky And Hutch?
Ben Stiller: *stares blankly* “We asked him.” 

It was a completely nothing answer in context, but it has become one of those things that stuck with me. How can you expect someone to take the next step if you don’t ask them to?

The same thought process should go into your welcome email.

While it is important to embrace the autoresponder and let your prospect behind the curtain, you should definitely be asking questions in your welcome emails.

How can you expect your subscribers to reply if you give them nothing to say? 

It is kinda like you’re on a dating app and not continuing the conversation, instead just answering the other person’s question. 

You: “Hi, how was the weekend?”

Match: “Good thank you.”

Below is an example from one of my emails at The Book Summary Club. 

You’ll be surprised how many responses you’ll get just by asking a question. 

  1. Expect a reply

In this welcome email, you’re walking a fine line.

You’re trying to tell the reader that it is an obvious auto-responder, but you’re also asking them questions and hoping they reply.

To get the best of both worlds, let your subscribers know that while you’re sending an auto-responder, all replies go straight to your phone and you read every one. 

Let the subscriber know that you expect a reply.

The small parts of information like that show your new subscriber that you actually care about what they’re saying.

  1. Reply to emails you get

This part is super important. 

While it is great to ask for responses to your welcome email, you need to reply to them as soon as you can. You don’t need to write War And Peace in return, but a simple two-sentence reply to continue the conversation will do wonders.

Make sure it is something that relates to the answer and is obviously not an automatic response. 

You’ll find that some people will reply to test you and see if you’ll actually answer. 

Final Thoughts 

We often put a lot of effort into emails that we send the subscribers that we forget that the most critical email we’ll ever send is the welcome email. 

If the welcome email doesn’t invite a response and start a conversation, it doesn’t matter how good your other emails are, nobody will read them.

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