The saying is "you never get a second chance to make a first impression," but because of today's flooded inboxes, you barely get a first chance to make a first impression.

That's why sending a welcome email to new subscribers should be a vital part of your email marketing strategy.

Email is a powerful way to build relationships with your customers and members. And a well-timed hello sets the tone from the start, right at the moment when someone shows they're interested in your business.

Feels like a no brainer, right? Then why are so many companies dropping the ball?

Results That Will Surprise You

Think about it—people who sign up for your emails clearly have some interest in your business, and they want to hear what you have to say. So, say something! On average, welcome emails garner a 50% open rate, making them 86% more effective than email newsletters.

Despite the astounding results, only 57.7% of companies greet new subscribers with a welcome note. Welcome messages typically have four times the open rate and five times the click-through rate of other bulk mailings, and they set the scene for long-term engagement. By not sending a welcome email, you're missing out on a key part of email marketing strategy.

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image of Emily Konouchi

Emily Konouchi is director of content and communications at Emma, an email marketing software and services provider that helps organizations of all sizes get more from their marketing. She is also the director Emma’s communal dishwasher-emptying efforts, but only when she has writer’s block.

Twitter: @emikonouchi

Google+: Emily Konouchi