After all the excitement of entering a new email address in your database you should take a deep breath. You need to calm down as your work has only just begun. You now have to realise the potential of that new customer.
My experience is that when signing up for newsletters and email marketing the norm is that an auto response is generated along the lines of: ‘Thank you for subscribing to our special offers. If this email has been sent to your in error please click here to be removed from our mailing list.’
All very proper but, unfortunately, all very bland as well. And then, often at the very top, there is the notification: ‘This email has been generated automatically. Please do not use the reply facility.’
A double waste of an email. This is not what you should be about. Any communication is an opportunity. Grab it.
The information on the new customer will be limited, but that means you have some. You probably have a number of differing projects running at the same time to capture email addresses: if not, why not? You already know that the one they replied to grabbed their attention. Was it from a page on your website that listed the craft fairs in the West Country? Or one detailing the latest innovations in tennis racquets? Either way you know a region they are interested in or that they are sporting and could well be fascinated by technical developments. So you have some clue as to how to direct your reply / tracked autoresponder.
If you are getting thousands of people signing up every day then you are blessed. However, for the rest of us the numbers are somewhat lower so an email with an address that cannot be used for a reply might not be the way to go.
On the sign up form it can be useful to indicate that they will receive a confirmatory email message. This means the reply will not take them by surprise. You do not want them to feel they are being stalked, even virtually.
By subscribing to your email newsletters they have shown that they have a degree of interest in what you are producing so they should be seen as open to offers. But the first message should reassure them that the decision they have just made is a good one. Welcome them to your company without trying to sell yourself. They are new to your methods and systems so explain your ways to them. Take nothing for granted. Wild stabs is not the way to go.
When greeting them how about a little present, a certain amount off their first purchase perhaps. If they have signed up for a newsletter you could send them examples of previous ones or, better still, direct them to a page on your website where they can download them. They will expect offers and adverts on-line more than they would in their first email. On that page you might well point out that they can access all of the previous newsletters if they sign up for direct marketing emails. Or rather ‘Our series of exclusive offers for regular customers’.
Let them know what is coming their way. Encourage their anticipation and make them look forward to what is to come.
It is all about relationships. You need to make them feel wanted, someone special to you.