Out of all the emails you send to your subscribers, your first few will have some of the highest open rates. It’s a HUGE opportunity to start building a strong foundation, so you should avoid the massive mistakes so many default to, especially after all the hard work you’ve already done to get the lead.
Trying to figure out the perfect first message to send to start turning your new leads into raving fans & customers might leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed and unsure...
Do you reach out to every lead individually and send a personal message? Do you try to educate them? Engage them? Understand them? Or do you blunder though it and end up sending the same lackluster emails everyone else does?
When I started getting leads on my website, I felt confused on what to do and it reminded me of a dog from my childhood. You might be feeling similar...
I used to live next to a family whose dog LOVED to chase cars. Without fail, he’d tear off at full speed along the fence barking at every passing vehicle.
I’d always laugh to myself saying “you silly dog, I’d love to see your face if you ACTUALLY caught one...”
All this work to chase down and catch the car and never really thinking about what happens if the hunt is successful.
The answer is different for everyone and every business, and it can get extremely sophisticated when you start diving into segmentation, data enriching, lead scoring, MQL to SQL conversions, and pitching. However, the reason why you need to put time into the follow-up isn’t.
An effective follow-up is essential for more success.
The more effective your first email is, the more successful you’ll be, because of how high the open rates tend to be on the first messages you send to new subscribers.
Most people make the same errors with their first messages:
- Sending a mindless “here’s your free stuff” email with nothing else.
- A complex message trying to do it all...follow me on every social media channel, buy all my products, sign up for this webinar, this ebook, my podcast and check out this blog post.
- Some barely thrown together promotional/sales email in a desperate attempt to monetize the lead.
- No email at all, leaving the subscriber wondering if something went wrong.
In this post I will help you stop making these mistakes by going through 3 different types of welcome emails and explaining why they work, as well as the different types of businesses you can use them for to give you the maximum results for your own website...
3 Types of Welcome Emails The Pros Use (& You Can Too!)
1) The Associate - Laser Focused & Highly Personalized
Why It Works
A well researched and personal e-mail to the new lead can have a huge impact because it shows you took the time to learn and understand them and their potential problems. It will result in more relevant and personal conversation either over the phone or email.
Who it’s Perfect for
- Consulting business
- High priced products
- Sites where you don’t get many leads and have the time to do the necessary research
Real Life Example
Josh Garofalo from SwayCopy personally researches and then emails every person that signs up to his mailing list with a work email. He starts it off with a short feeler email--the point here is to gauge interest, not to sell.
He has already done his research and knows how he will add value to the potential lead if he gets a positive response from the feeler message:
Because he was prepared before he sent the follow-up email, he was ready to send this lengthy response on the same day if the lead expressed interest (which the lead did).
This email was a HUGE success in closing the lead; not only does it provide immediate value to the potential client, it also:
- Establishes credibility by demonstrating he knows what he’s talking about with precise suggestions on what he would work on.
- Demonstrates professionalism by showing he’s serious, moves fast with his research and can immediately provide value.
- Sets expectations by explaining how he sees the compensation working and why.
Researching Tools You Can Use
2) The Analyst - Engage, Gather Info & Start a Discussion
Why It Works
Questions are irresistible, especially when it’s simple and directed at someone who’s excited about the subject. You can use this fact to try and open up a dialogue with your new subscriber. When you add this human element to your opening email and they respond, you can reply back directly.
This will add a nice touch and the helpful information you provide will go a long way in turning them from a faceless reader to a raving fan more likely to share your content in the future.
You can use the simple question to do more than just open a dialogue, you can use it as a way to gather information about your new subscriber to help you. Ask them what they are interested in, or why they subscribed to give you easy content ideas you know will resonate with your readers.
Who It’s Perfect For
- Bloggers & Content Producers
- Software & Service Providers
- Larger Email Lists
Real Life Example
This is a technique we have used here at ThriveThemes. The first email to a new customer contained the question: “what’s the number one goal you would like to accomplish with the Thrive Themes plugins and themes?” It’s a good question because it’s open ended, easy to answer AND the answer will help us improve our products.
What You Can Do With The Responses
With the example above, we had about a 15% response rate with the email and we did two things afterwards:
- Take the time to read all the responses and get back to the people who took time out of their day to reply.
- Analyzed the responses and then created an automated email and onboarding sequence to help accomplish the most common goals we heard from the responses.
3) The Adviser - Take Them by the Hand & Show Them the Way
Why It Works
The subscriber has just finished opting in, confirming the opt-in and downloading their goodies. They have built up a momentum of following easy directions, so it’s a low resistance time to ask them to check out your other content/products, follow you on other social media accounts or help you spread the word to their friends.
The key here is to make it as low resistance as possible. Any favor you ask of them should be done by a simple click of a link.
Who It’s Perfect For
- Established websites with lots of content/products.
- Visually appealing sites with sharable social media accounts- travel, food, fashion, etc.
- Sites trying to get more sign-ups for a course/webinar/free trial
Real Life Example
Drift uses this strategy for their first email by taking the new subscriber by the hand and making it very easy for them to get up to speed with what they are all about before ending with a link to set up the new subscriber with a free account.
Ideas On Where You Can Lead Your Lead
- Bloggers - Your most shared/read content, books you’ve written, social media profiles
- Freelancers - Links to work you’ve done on other websites or other projects you’ve completed
- Photographers - Your Instagram profile
- Physical goods - Your best selling products
- SaaS/Software - Webinar signups, free trials, free ebooks/courses
Get Everything You Can From Your First Email
Your first email to a new subscriber will have amazingly high open rates since you are fresh in their mind, so it’s a great opportunity you shouldn’t waste.
But now leads are coming in, and your job is to start turning them into fans. So your first email is no time to send a lackluster message, but rather the best time to start the new relationship out on the right foot by building a strong foundation.
Every audience is different and has different expectations as well as different requirements for what will be successful with the new lead, but one thing you’ll notice from the examples above: they don’t try to accomplish too many things at once. They focused on getting the user to do one or two simple things, total.
Use these examples as templates for your own first email. And if you like to learn from example or just want to see more of what the pros are doing, I've created a great resource for you. Just share this post by clicking the button below and you’ll unlock a swipefile with 10 more examples of successful welcome emails.