Brand and subject lines are key factors in getting your e-mails opened, but so is your recipients’ prior experiences with your e-mail efforts. According to a study conducted last year by Return Path, 51.2 percent of survey respondents indicated prior value influences their decisions to open e-mail. What’s more, prior value was the only factor to exhibit year-over-year growth.
What this means is the value clock starts ticking with the very first e-mail contact you make. And for many marketers, that’s the welcome e-mail. To ensure your welcome message sets the proper stage for e-mails to come, check out these eight best practices offered by Margaret Farmakis, Return Path’s director of strategic services, in her whitepaper A Welcome Message Study: Marketers Are Missing Opportunities to Pave the Road to Relevancy:
- Send your welcome message within 24 hours to people who sign up for your e-mail program.
- Provide a link to your preference center so subscribers can manage their subscriptions.
- Include a welcome offer or other incentive to make a purchase; be creative about incorporating this offer into the subject line without making it too long to display in subscribers’ inboxes.
- Provide subscribers with information on the types of content they can expect to receive from you and how frequently.
- Include whitelisting instructions so subscribers can keep your e-mails out of their junk folders.
- Although welcome messages likely are considered transactional under the CAN-SPAM Act, it’s still smart to include an opt-out link in case people change their minds about subscribing.
- Try to personalize the content for maximum relevancy and subscriber retention.
Source: Target Marketing