First Impressions In Email Marketing
Tips to maximize your first moments of email engagement.
You know how the old saying goes – you never get a second chance at making a first impression. Getting someone to hand over their email and join your list is certainly a reason to be excited, but what happens next is what separates the players from the bench riders. Your email marketing efforts are only as good as the level of engagement your audience demonstrates on a consistent basis. Lose their interest? Fail to reinforce the value propositions and benefits of being a member of your list? Miss a chance to connect on a deeper level? Well, you just might be left with an underperforming sales and marketing channel.
By my math, regardless of your industry or company size, ballpark averages for email open rates are currently sitting in the low twenties, while average click rates are lucky to hit three percent. This means that for every 1,000 subscribers you have, roughly 200 will see what’s inside your emails and about 30 will even bother to click.
Increasing Your Odds
This email game of ours may be a challenging one, but the rewards far outweigh the struggles. Figuring out how to increase your odds of beating those industry averages will set you up to own a powerful email marketing program. One way to gain an advantage is to put extra effort into making an impactful first impression to solidify your place in the mind of a brand new – and often doubtful – subscriber. Here are some examples of marketers doing exactly that and in different ways.
Chris Brogan, small business marketer and author, is well known for his tendency to go above-and-beyond with his content marketing and brand personality. The above screenshot shows the very first post-confirmation email sent in Chris’ automated onboarding flow, in which he introduces himself and delivers his first micro task to the reader.
Offer unexpected value
When you sign up for Neil Patel’s emails about online marketing tips and tricks, he immediately begins promoting a pre-recorded webinar covering advanced customer acquisition strategies. He even includes a countdown clock for when the on demand video will be removed (most likely a trick, by the way).
Learn about subscribers
Audiokite Research, a crowdsourced music feedback service, targets artists of all experience levels as well as managers and even labels. In the startup’s first “welcome” email, they offer the the recipient a 20% discount on their first purchase. But here’s the catch: the user needs to fill out a survey in order to get the discount code. What’s really happening here is that the Audiokite folks are incentivizing their new customers to hand over more information about themselves for future sales targeting purposes.
Give ‘em other options to engage
One of the most celebrated startup accelerators – 500 Startups – has its own growth marketing team called 500 Distro, which regularly churns out killer content through its emails. Once you submit your email to one of 500’s lead capture forms, you are directed immediately to a thank you page that promotes their Twitter account. To some this may seem like overkill, asking a brand new follower to become a follower again. But different people have different preferences, and your job is to give your audience every chance to remain your audience.
Another example from Chris Brogan, this post sign-up page provides the lay of the land for what new email subscribers can expect when messages hit their inbox. This includes a warning that Chris and team will occasionally attempt to sell things through their email newsletter.
Give them more control
Mailchimp, the undisputed king of small business email services, hits its subscribers right off the bat with an offer to customize their experience through both choice of frequency and choice of delivery time. It’s a smart way to set the tone from the get-go and reduce any post-purchase jitters.
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling a service, sharing knowledge, or inspiring the masses, a meaningful first impression will help you start your relationship with subscribers on the right foot. Set yourself apart from other marketers and increases the chances that your emails will be opened and enjoyed by following the examples outlined here.