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You don’t want to mess up your Welcome Email…

The most important emails you will ever send

…now remember, it’s the first time we’ve met them, so we need to really spoil them with gifts… 

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First impression’s matter

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again… how important it is to make a great first impression.

I remember hearing it before I went for my first ever job interview. It was for a summer job as an accounts assistant and I made sure my shoes were nice and clean (I believe you can tell a lot about a person from their shoes), my tie was straight and my shirt ironed (thanks mum!).

I strode into the room with all the confidence in the world ready to demonstrate how great I was… and then realised that first impressions cut both ways.

I may have put the effort in, but the person who was interviewing (and would be my manager), didn’t feel the same way. I distinctly remember the rumpled shirt, the tie with an old stain on, the tatty shoes (told you about the shoes!), and the general, “there’s better and more fun places I can be then speaking to you” attitude that pervaded the room.

I got the job, but left the interview with the distinct impression I wasn’t going to get on with my new manager. He actually turned out to be a nice guy, but a bit “too” relaxed, and that first impression I had of him never got shaken.

No matter the circumstances and who it is your ‘meeting’ for the first time, that first interaction is so very important – and when it comes to your marketing, and specifically the first time you ‘speak’ to them directly – which is likely via email – the rule doesn’t change.


You MUST have a Welcome Email Sequence

In my mind, the most important emails you ever send to someone are the first ones.

When someone gives you their email and permission to email them, it’s a very important step on “The Path”, because it’s the first time that they’ve taken action to move closer to you – anyone can read a blog post or two, but when they ‘sign up’ they are giving you something of value – their email address – and want you to treat it carefully.

..and consequently the first few emails that you send to them are very, very important, because they set the tone for future communications. They are a big part of helping create the recipients first impression of you.

It’s also important to state that a welcome email is likely you delivering on your first promise to them. Usually, you’ll have some form of incentive to get them to give you their email (a lead magnet), and so when they sign up they are requesting it… automatically sending it to them means you’ve both promised and delivered on their request – and set the service expectation moving forward.

So it’s important for them to get the right idea about you…

…but your welcome emails are also important from a technical point of view too.


A Welcome Email is not just about the recipient, it’s also about training their Inbox

When you send an email to someone for the first time, it’s likely the first time that their email software has encountered you too… and consequently, that first email, and how the recipient reacts, will start to train their software in how to react to your email.

If they react positively to your email, by opening it, clicking on it, dragging it to their inbox and even replying to it, then all of these are positive signals to the software that you are a ‘good’ emailer… and thus the software will react positively to your emails in the future and not mark them as spam.

So a good (and timely) welcome email will not only create a good impression but will help ensure that all future emails bypass the spam folder and hit the inbox.

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The Numbers support the theory

Research also backs up how important that first email is.

According to Experian, your welcome email is likely to get 4 times as many opens as the average email and 5 times as many clicks.

So if you think your welcome email doesn’t matter (or don’t even really have one), then you are missing out on a massive opportunity…

…we all want our emails opened and clicked, so why wouldn’t you have a welcome email sequence?

… and even if you aren’t that bothered, the first email you send is more likely to get opened… so why wouldn’t you want to create a good impression?


Setting up your welcome emails to succeed

OK… so now you know how important the welcome email is, both in terms of positive impression, but also in terms of training someone’s inbox to not tag you as ‘spam’.

…but how should you set them up and structure them?

Here’s a few tips to get you started:

  • Don’t think of it as just one email
    Yes, it’s called a welcome email, but it’s actually a welcome series – someone has just given you their email address, and although you don’t want to bombard them, they are saying they’re interested in you… so sending just one email isn’t enough.
  • Speed Matters
    In this article I mention the importance of reacting quickly to someone’s enquiry… so make sure that your welcome email is automated and gets sent as soon as you’ve got their email.
  • Name & Subject Line are really important
    Don’t try and get clever here… they’ve signed up on your website, usually on a specific form – so make sure that the name is from your business and a business domain and that the subject line makes direct reference to where they signed up and what they may have signed up for.
  • Be interesting
    Make sure you tell your story in your emails – you’re creating a first impression so you don’t want to appear boring and someone they don’t want to learn more about.
  • No Selling
    The purpose of these emails is NOT TO SELL… If you look at the path, they’ve likely just given you their email address because they’re interested… and so you need to reflect their interest… and NOT sell to them.
  • Activity
    The more you can get someone to do something in your welcome email, the better… clicking, reacting, replying are all great tools that keep them engaged AND help train their email software.

If you follow these steps and think about your welcome emails… you’ll have made your email marketing so much more impactful.


Don’t Mess It Up

If you hadn’t got the impression by now, your welcome email is the most important email you will ever send.

If you don’t have a welcome email set up and automated, or do but haven’t really given it any thought… then you are missing out on a huge opportunity with your email marketing.

A welcome email trains their inbox software, it’s you ‘fulfilling’ your first promise to them, and it can set the tone for all future communication.

Just like my first boss… first impressions matter… even if they are in a completely virtual world.

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Robin Adams

Robin Adams

Robin Adams is a business owner who is passionate about helping businesses build effective marketing systems that work and don't waste money. Having a lifetime of Marketing experience (he's got a degree in Marketing before there were degrees in Marketing!) and having worked for big and small businesses and both client and agency side, he understands not only the theory, but the systems that are required to underpin everything.
51% marketer and 49% Chimp, Robin is the main man behind chimpanswers.com and the Mailchimp Answers Facebook Group - the world's biggest Mailchimp User Group. Connect with him on Linkedin.

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