THE BLOG

The Most Important Email You'll Ever Send

04/15/2015 04:28 pm ET | Updated Jun 15, 2015

Let's face it: We live in a hyperconnected world that shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. A hyperconnected world leads to hyperconnected consumers which ultimately leads to hyper-confused business owners trying to market a product or service.

Getting customers to engage with your brand is one thing. But providing them with a remarkable experience that inspires them to evangelize and influence others is every brand's dream.

Yes, email is still important.

In the midst of all of this, yes, email marketing still holds value. But wait. Email is dead, right? Email is so "dead" that based on a recent AWeber survey of over 1,500 business owners, it is the number one marketing tactic in 2015 where they plan to up the anty on dollars spent.

The most important email you'll ever send is...

The one that sets the first impression. Every email marketing campaign should begin with a "welcome" email. This is the very first opportunity you have to start building a relationship of trust with customers via their inbox. It's your chance to establish your brand's personality, set expectations or serve as a gateway to additional information that will help educate and make your customer successful. After all, first impressions are everything, right?

A recent study from ReturnPath found that readers will open welcome emails 42 percent more often than regular, promotional emails. Knowing that a welcome message yields such a high engagement, maximize it by instructing readers on how to "whitelist" (save as an approved source) your newsletter to increase your chances for future opens and engagement success.

Another great value of this email is that it lets you quickly identify, isolate and remove any invalid email addresses. A healthy list will ensure long-term deliverability and engagement success.

Finally, don't delay making your first impression. Make sure your welcome email is scheduled to be sent immediately after your subscribers hit the sign-up button. The sooner you're able to get them to react and start engaging, the more likely you're able to create a long-term, high-value customer.

What should you write?

Your welcome email doesn't need to be lengthy. Keeping it succinct yet educational should be the focus. Congratulate your new subscriber for signing up (saying 'thank you' is too easy), set the expectations on what they'll be receiving and provide info on where they can go to get more information. Have a lot of great information to share with your new readers? Consider a welcome series. Set three to five messages at a cadence of every other day so you're able to consistently provide helpful and useful information over a condensed period of time.

Over time, successful brands will follow a welcome email or series with other email content that continues to meet or exceed the expectations that were originally set. That content could include more relevant insights like a sneak peak of a new product or feature, a behind the scenes look at the company or an exclusive offer. With every brand now under the authenticity microscope, email is an easy way to make customers feel connected, like an insider or like someone that you value as a person, not just an email address.

Think about your welcome emails differently

It's more than simply setting the right first impression. Consider these quick tips when crafting your welcome email or series:

Make it immediate. Start engaging with your audience the moment they show interest.
Use it to improve your list quality. Identify and weed out bounces or spam addresses.
Start building trust. Set expectations immediately on what subscribers are going to receive and keep your ongoing content consistent with those expectations.

Couple these considerations with the fact that those who open and engage with your welcome emails or onboarding series are more likely to be a higher value customer in the long run.

Email remains one of the key initiatives in your marketing suite that can establish and build that trust with your customers. What approach are you taking with your welcome email or series?