The First Thing I Send To People Who Give Me Their Email Address

How I wrote my welcome email.

It’s a big deal when someone gives you their email address.

And a big opportunity.

No matter whether they subscribed to your newsletter, purchased your product, or simply joined your email list, there’s going to be a first email you send them and it’s going to send a message beyond the words it contains.

The first email people get from you influences how they feel about your presence in their inbox, forms a foundation for your relationship, and establishes your brand.

No pressure.

While a bad first email may not actually ruin your life, if you don’t approach it in a strategic way, you are missing an opportunity.

If your first email is a sales pitch, that says something.

If it’s a silly joke, that says something else.

And if it doesn’t align with what the person signed up for? Well, that’s just plain evil.

The first email you send should represent what you want people to know about you, your work, and how it aligns with the recipient’s ultimate goals.

To help you think through how you may want to approach your own first email, here’s a look at how I crafted the welcome email I send to people when they subscribe to my newsletter.

What My Welcome Email Used To Say (Not Awesome)

In case you’re not familiar with it, my For The Interested newsletter features a collection of ideas to help people produce, promote, and profit from their creations.

Until recently, if you subscribed to it you would immediately receive the following welcome email with the subject line “You did it! Now, for your next trick…”

That was a straight forward welcome email designed to make sure subscribers knew about the various places they could follow me on social media and the assorted other creations I have which I thought may interest them.

It was intended to promote my stuff to people who may be interested in it, and…it wasn’t that great.

Why I Changed My Welcome Email

I wanted a welcome email that was shorter, simpler, and most importantly would prompt an interaction with new subscribers.

If someone is interested enough to give me their email address, I want to know who they are, what they create, and what they struggle with because that can inform how I serve them and reveal if I’m attracting my desired audience.

I also want a new subscriber to understand I view my newsletter as a two-way relationship, that I’ll respond to them if they reply, and that the newsletter is written by a person who actually gives a crap about them.

Most importantly, I want my welcome email to be more about me providing value to subscribers than them providing value to me.

I didn’t love that my previous welcome email was essentially me asking them to do stuff for me (Follow me! Do this! Buy this!).

However…

I do still want new subscribers to be aware of my social channels, products, services, etc.

So, rather than cram all that stuff into my welcome email, I created a page on my website to introduce them to the For The Interested “universe” and made that the only link in the welcome email.

That page is designed to promote whatever I’d want a new subscriber to know about.

You can see it here.

I’ll probably add some additional stuff to it down the road like popular posts, book recommendations, etc., but for now it basically includes an overview of my social media accounts, products, and services.

My New And Improved Welcome Email

With the above goals in mind, I changed my welcome email to what you see below.

The subject line is now, “What do you create and how can I help?”

Personally, I think it’s a huge improvement, but time will tell.

It’s also an open question at this point if it will be sustainable because replying to each new subscriber will take some time.

I currently get about 20 new subscribers a day, but I assume many won’t reply to the welcome email 😢, so in theory I should be able to handle 5–10 replies a day, but we’ll see…

Speaking of which, when people do reply and tell me about themselves, my plan is to find a relevant idea I’ve previously shared in my newsletter (I archive each idea individually on my site so they’re easy to find) and send it to the subscriber.

For example, “Oh you’re a blogger? Cool. You might find this post about how to make your next blog post better helpful.”

Again, the idea is to provide immediate value and establish relevance/connection with subscribers.

Because after all, isn’t that the definition of a warm welcome?