I had a revelation the other day while chatting with a wonderful client and was able to see this tried-and-true concept in a brand new way: a welcome series campaign is a lot like your first couple dates with someone new. You can begin to lay a strong foundation right there with a few smart moves or ruin it with a few often-made missteps. Hear me out.

When you go on a first date, think about how you’d act. Would you blurt everything out at once? Would you walk up, give a little polite hug, and whisper in their ear where you went to school, what your job is, how much money you make, what kind of car you drive, that you don’t really get along with your parents all that well, that your cat Dwight is your best friend, and that in the next year you want to be married with a baby (named either Caroline or Jack, after your grandparents)?

Not a chance. I mean you could, but please don’t. So why do we dump this kind of overwhelming word-vomit on a brand new subscriber? How is that any different?

Take it easy. Be cool. Let it out in a trickle, not a tidal wave.

Instead of bombarding someone with BUY BUY BUY! when they hardly know you, try thinking of what you’d write if you had to create an online dating profile for your business. What would you say to make someone interested in you? And at what point in the relationship would you like someone to see that side of you? Send a series of welcome messages that are carefully crafted to let this content slowly drip out and build up the relationship. Don’t say too many things at once.

And remember – when writing your messages, brevity is key. People don’t read (they skim) and you have about 3 seconds to grab and keep someone’s attention. Use your message’s real estate wisely to pique someone’s interest in you and bait them back to your site to build the relationship.

See for yourself – which email welcome message is most appealing to you? In this first example, the messaging is based around the subscriber – sort of like asking your date a lot of questions to get to know them:

In this second example, it's all about the retailer. While I typically love this brand's emails, they're coming on a little strong here:

The layout is nice and it's easy to scroll through, but it's a lot of information up front and it lacks any personalization for the subscriber. Welcome messages have some of the highest open rates, so use that to learn more about each customer instead of just talking about yourself.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section.

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