Email is inarguably a top marketing channel for communicating and connecting with customers and prospects—and converting those prospects into paying customers.

Considering that there are myriads of newsletters to choose from, the exchange of a prospect's email address for your newsletter or free trial subscription is a feat in and of itself. When a prospect makes that choice, making the effort to add her name to your email list, she indicates her interest in your company's services or products.

She might even buy sooner than later—depending on how you welcome her.

Unfortunately, however, 50% of businesses don't send a welcome email—losing the opportunity to connect with and convert prospects.

And the remaining 50% that do, often forget that first impressions count. The result? An automated welcome email lacking in personality and warmth. More on this later. But first, what is a welcome email, and why should you bother sending one?

A welcome email is the first exchange of friendly communication between a business and a new subscriber. It is triggered when new contact joins a business's email list, and it's usually sent within 24 hours of signup.

The welcome email sets the tone for the relationship with your subscribers. The average open rate for welcome emails is 50%, making them 85% more effective, in that sense, than standard newsletters. They are therefore ideal for helping you to get your subscribers to get to know you, like you, and trust you.

They are then more likely to open and click your future emails, buy from them, as well as forward them to others who can then become your prospects.

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image of Amisha Shrimanker

Amisha Shrimanker is a conversion copywriter who specializes in sales copy for online product launches.

LinkedIn: Amisha Shrimanker