On my blog and in my newsletter articles, we often explore issues relating to email newsletter content, subject lines, email’s role in the broader marketing mix and so on.
In this article, I want to discuss several often ignored but powerful elements of the email newsletter process.
1. The welcome sign-up email
2. The sign-up thank you page
Firstly a quick digression about opt-in forms: all websites should have an opt-in form – preferably on all pages of the site or accessible from all pages of the site.
Research shows time and time again that people WANT to hear from companies that they do business with or are interested in IF the timing, content and format of the communication is appropriate.
For a great example of opt-in implementation see leading UK charity Digswell Arts – no matter where you are on their site – an opt-in form is visible.
How many times have you been on a website of an organisation that you would like to keep on your radar and just can’t find a way to get ON their database?
It happens to me all the time.
What a lost opportunity for the organisation – imagine all those lost warm prospects over the years.
Bonus Tip: Test your opt-in form on a regular basis. Opt-in forms can easily “break” if you change web host, or your website is fiddled with. I have seen situations where opt-in forms have been broken for years unbeknown to the website owners.
With your opt-in form in place, you can look at setting up your “welcome sign-up email”, and your “sign-up thank you page”.
When users “opt-in” to an email newsletter, they are “engaged and involved” with your site and your brand – this is significant.
The humble welcome email and sign-up thank you page deepens and extend this time that your user remains “engaged and involved” with your site.
The “welcome email”
Immediately on sign-up your website, users should receive an email from your organisation that “welcomes” them and confirms their sign-up.
The welcome email should include the following:
- Your company branding – simple at this point works best.
- A link to your most recent newsletter or your newsletter archives.
- Details on how the recipient can “whitelist” themselves so that their email program doesn’t incorrectly flag your emails as spam.
- Clarification on how they can unsubscribe should they wish to.
- Bonus content: for example, marketer Matt Diggity who founded the website https://diggitymarketing.com provides his new subscribers with several ebooks as a thank you for signing up.
You may even want to include:
- A link to a video welcome from the CEO.
- Links to your Facebook pages and Twitter feeds.
- Bonus code for a discount if you sell anything online.
- A request – possibly incentivised – for the user to provide more detail about their interests and other information.
The “sign-up” thank you page
When the user submits their details into the opt-in form, the website will then present some sort of “thank you” page.
Depending on the way your website is built this “thank you page” may be a completely new page or refresh only part of your page.
Either way, this is a good point in the process to capitalise on the user’s engagement with your website.
The “thank you” page should contain the following:
- A thank you for signing up!
- A note for the user to keep an eye on their inbox for the welcome email.
- A link(s) to an appropriate next page of the website for the user. This can be an interesting article, an exciting product, or an exciting part of your website.
- For example: “Thank you for signing up to our newsletter. You will now receive our regular monthly email updates. Click here and read what some customers have had to say about their experiences with our company”.
- Links to bonus content similar to the welcome email.
A sign-up process that is professional and well thought through achieves several important outcomes:
1. The user gains confidence about your company and brand through the quality of the well thought out process.
2. The “dialogue” that you initiate via the welcome email and thank you page will set a strong foundation from which you can build an effective email newsletter campaign.
In the next article, we will look at how you can refine your welcome opt-in process even if you don’t have an opt-in form on your website.
For example, many corporate companies build up their database lists via their day to day operations with data getting fed into their CRM systems, accounting systems and similar.
Remember: Don’t be shy and if you need a digital marketing consultant, please let me know.