Congratulations blogger, you just acquired a new subscriber. The question is: now what?
Usually our answer is to dash off a default “Welcome” email and then go silent until we post a new article.
Not so fast. Virtual relationships are as sacred and as delicate as your in-person relationships.
You wouldn’t take your loved ones for granted … and you shouldn’t misuse the privilege of being invited into someone’s inbox. Unless you earn the trust of your subscribers by providing steady value, your digital partnership will be short-lived. Nurturing your subscribers from day one is the only way to establish a long-lasting and lucrative blogging career.
To do that, here’s a simple, three-part sequence – with detailed examples along the way – of the emails you need to wow your newsletter subscribers.
1. The promise
The new subscriber relationship begins with a promise. Perhaps your “bribe to subscribe” is an ebook on how to acquire 100,000 visitors in a year, a list of your favorite blogging resources, or a PDF about how to market your blog on social media.
Whatever your freebie might be, the least you can do is give it to new subscribers – and give it to them right away. While obvious, it’s heart-breaking how often this very first step falls apart.
Michael Hyatt, for instance, promises a free guide on time management.
As soon as they sign up, subscribers get an email with the Subject Line, “Inside: the ebook you requested.” This clear heading tells his subscribers exactly what they’re going to get in the email. Inside, the yellow “DOWNLOAD YOUR EBOOK NOW” button not only pops out of the screen, but also aligns with the yellow button in the opt-in form. These two elements create “scent” — strong continuity and coherency — between the offer and the email.
While Michael’s P.S. offers additional value to the original promise, another way to approach this first email is by making another promise altogether and then immediately fulfilling it.
Jeff Bullas does this perfectly.
After delivering his first new-subscriber email, he sends a second promise email one day later. Notice how conversational the opening lines are:
What follows is Jeff’s personal story about how he overcame seemingly insurmountable hurdles – including lack of technical knowledge and debt – to become one of the most highly sought after content creators. He reassures them that their fears were his fears.
By reflecting his audiences’ unspoken challenges, Jeff establishes himself as a compassionate, confident, and courageous mentor.
The email is certainly about Jeff, but in the closing paragraphs he turns directly to the reader:
Lastly, Jeff’s P.S. underpromises and overdelivers by including a second article (along with a dash of humor):
Your promise email should follow suit: (1) give your subscriber exactly what they asked for; (2) create “scent” between the offer they signed up for and the email you sent; and (3) make it conversational, narrative, and unexpectedly valuable.
2. The question
People rarely stumble upon your site for no reason. They are usually seeking a solution to their woes. And something about your site has impressed them enough to subscribe.
That’s a huge win. Now it’s time to prove that you have your finger on the pulse of your audience.
One powerful way to achieve this is by asking the single most important question surrounding your service, topic, or industry. The question could be specific – “Do you want to learn how to monetize your blogs?” – or more existential – “Where do you see yourself five years from now?”
Ed Gandia’s email below is a phenomenal example.
How many times have you jumped into unchartered waters without knowing your purpose or destination? Ed preys on our penchant to leap before we look with a pointed question: “Why are you a freelance writer or copywriter?”
Making a living as a writer of any kind is hard. Groping in the blind will only make it harder, depleting your time, energy, patience, and willpower. And you know it.
By urging his subscribers to think about their big “Why?” Ed is already setting the stage for a conversation. Entering into a thoughtful and thought-provoking dialogue with your subscribers is a surefire way to embed yourself deeply into their hearts.
Lastly, always end your question email with a direct invitation to write back and set them up for what’s coming next.
3. The best
New subscribers can easily get overwhelmed or lost on your website, especially if you have accumulated a vast collection of resources. The best email acts like a sitemap, getting subscribers up to speed by pointing them to the best resources you have to offer. This will enable you to showcase the depth of your expertise … without coming off like a know-it-all.
Famous for his long-form, self-help articles about productivity, creativity, psychology, health, and goal management, James Clear shines on this type.
Two to three days after sending his Welcome, James emails “The Beginner’s Guide to JamesClear.com,” a summary of the tastiest goodies on his website.
Not everybody is as prolific as James Clear though. If you’re a novice blogger, direct your subscribers to your top two or three articles to begin with. But keep adding to your resource section. This will help future subscribers and increase your clout in the industry.
As a final note on the best, never be afraid to mix in elements from the previous two types. Notice that James ends with question:
While this question isn’t as profound as the question itself, it’s still a conversational way to engage your new subscriber.
Emailing the wow factor
Email is the closest bloggers come to having a face-to-face chat with each of their subscribers. It is the only platform that provides one-on-one access. It is the only platform that can be personalized. It is the only platform that encourages a two-way dialogue in the truest sense.
Too often, we forget this personal side of email marketing, choosing to get mired in impersonal stats, strategies, and schemes.
These three onboarding emails pave the way for genuine conversations and connections: (1) the Promise, (2) the Question, and (3) the Best.
Are Ready to wow your audience? Tell us what you’ll do in the comments below.