Email marketing is essential for small businesses. Forget about social media and SEO for now. Emails are where the money lies. With a big email subscriber list, you can build sales, generate new business, and tap into a huge resource whenever your business has something new to offer. Remember, existing customers are the key to long-term success.
If you don’t have a subscriber list yet, now is a good time to start creating one. Add a link to your website, encouraging readers to sign up for newsletter updates. Offer them something in return, such as a discount code or a free e-book. Include a CTA on flyers you print for the business. Again, offer something in return for the person’s email address. If you run an e-store, offer the customer a discount if they sign up during the checkout process. The easier you make it for people to hand over their email, the more likely they are to sign up.
Once people sign up, the very first message they receive from you should be a welcome email. First impressions count in email marketing. If you mess this up, you won’t get another chance. People tend to have a low tolerance for companies who abuse their digital information. They don’t appreciate an inbox full of spammy emails trying to flog them products they have no interest in. Craft your welcome email with the utmost care. If you create a good impression, they are more likely to open subsequent emails.
Writing a Welcome Email
You don’t need to be a copywriter to pen an effective welcome email. Seriously. It’s not rocket science!
Some email subscription services also provide ready-made templates for you. All you have to do is fill in the blanks. It is as easy as 1-2-3. But remember, a template is generic. You are emailing a real human being. Marketing emails need to be personalized. Anyone who subscribes to your email newsletter wants to be treated as a person, not a number.
Let Your Personality Shine Through
Write a welcome email as if you are addressing a long-lost friend. Use informal language and stay away from business clichés. People don’t want to hear about your data-driven marketing or paradigm shifts in the industry. They are not interested in your business being visionary or how customer-focused you are. This is the kind of language that always turns off customers.
Keep it informal and friendly. You are welcoming the person to your brand. Give them an introduction to what you do, in a relaxed kind of way. 86% of people open welcome emails. This is a great opportunity to connect with your target audience. Don’t waste it!
If you want to add some emojis, that’s OK. You can do that. People like emojis. Include some images in the email, the more personal, the better. It’s probably not a good idea to add a photo of you lying on a sunbed, grinning at the camera, but funny photos are a great ice breaker.
Tell Subscribers Who You Are
Introduce yourself and your brand. Explain what the business does and what it can offer the subscriber, including helpful tips, a heads up on sales, discount codes, etc. This is another opportunity to personalize your email. Tell the subscriber something they might not know, such as how you started the business or your mission statement, e.g. how you plan on supporting a local charity this year.
Thank Your Subscribers
This is very important. Always thank your subscribers for trusting you with their email address. This is a huge thing! Sure, plenty of emails are throwaway, but many more are not. Thank people for allowing you a way into their life and inbox. Make sure you reassure them you have no intention of abusing that trust.
Tell them what to expect from future emails. If you plan on emailing once a month with tips and special offers, be very clear that’s what people can expect. Did you offer subscribers an incentive for signing up to your newsletter? Make sure you deliver on that promise.
Ask Subscribers to Add You to their Address Book
This is very important. Some email programs are apt to direct email from unknown senders straight into the spam folder. Ask your subscribers to whitelist your emails, so they stay in the inbox. Otherwise, your hard work is for nothing.
Don’t forget to add social links to the email. This gives subscribers the option to share your emails with their friends and family. It might help you gain a few more subscribers in the process.