What should you do when someone new joins your list for the first time? Whatever you decide to do, you should decide to do it while your list is still small, preferably, rather than scrambling backwards with a large list and a lot of people opting out. But if you still haven’t prepared something special for first-timers, NOW would be a great time to do so.
Yes, I said it. After 5 years of telling people to only use a single opt-in, I’ve been swayed into the other camp of asking for an email confirmation, or double opt-in. You can still chose to use a non-confirming opt-in if you like, but a confirming opt-in is an up-level move. Why? Because of large lists I’ve worked with.
I see people with several thousand people on their list – from 10k to 100k people on their list, but guess what – it’s just a show, just a misconception to others. Because behind-the-scenes, what I see and know, is that somewhere between 25% to 66% of leads on these lists are opted out and cannot receive emails from a broadcast or campaign. And of those who can still receive marketing emails, only about 5% of them ever open the email. So the person with a list of 10k really only has a marketable list somewhere between 3k to 7k on average, and only about 450 people might open the email. Do the math for larger lists. It starts at about 1000 people on the list to have a lot of attrition, so prepare to avert this in advance by asking them to confirm their email. Then if they don’t respond, ask them to confirm their email a second time. Repeat a third time if you like. You can even put a video in the email requesting them to confirm their email. And if they never confirm their email, you can still broadcast emails to them (this may depend on your autoresponder), so it doesn’t hurt anything to ask.
If they do confirm their email, you will have much greater email deliverability rates. Trust me, email deliverability is a huge issue that people pay a few hundred a month to improve. You can improve it from the start by simply asking for the confirmation. Your list may grow slower, but more steady and stable, not unlike the turtle vs the hare in the classic story. You will also never run into any illegalities with other countries.
This is a HUGE problem with larger lists. If they are, ask them to update their email to their best and preferred email, rather than having 2 different emails for the same person cluttering up your database and causing chaos later down the line. Make it possible for them to update their best email address themselves (and regularly merge duplicate records), or if you aren’t able to have them update their email themselves (or if a lead doesn’t know how to do that), ask them to reply, providing you with their best email address.
Also mark or tag them for any other marketing lists you may want them on by default. Give them a link to update their email preferences, too, so they can join even more of your non-default lists, and become acquainted with more choices than only opting out of everything.
NOW it’s time to give them the grand tour and roll out the welcome mat. This is sometimes referred to as indoctrination, but I much prefer to call it a welcome sequence. It’s so they can get to know you with the intention of liking and trusting you, and then buying from you. ONLY send them through this welcoming sequence the first time they join your list through any of your webforms, and not again when they sign up for something else.
Some webforms ask additional questions of areas of interest. If they selected a certain interest then send them that email sequence following the general welcome sequence (such as giving them a tour of the back yard if they’re interested in gardening after they’ve had a tour of the main house).
If you don’t have a system that can do the things mentioned automatically for you, reach out to me here and let me know. I can help set this up for you.
Check out my other blog posts in this series:
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