Why Your First Email is Vital in an Email Marketing Campaign

September 14, 2015

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Email marketing is all about timing. Marketers need to be able to judge when the time is right to launch different parts of their campaign, from first contact with new recipients to follow-up emails when the recipient is just about ready to purchase.
However, of all the different emails you’ll send to your contacts list, the first email is by far the most important. You don’t just get one chance at it, but you can greatly improve your chances of success if you get your very first email right.

Strike while the iron is hot
Engagement and interest in your brand is at its very highest immediately after a subscriber joins your list. Why? Because they have sought you out, visited your website and made the decision to receive your emails. This represents an opportunity that you absolutely must take advantage of, with a first email that is engaging, useful and crucially – actionable. If you miss this opportunity, your new subscribers will very quickly lose interest and you may never be able recapture their attention.

How to make your first email a winner
Your first email should do a couple of important things – it should introduce your brand, welcome the subscriber and make the recipient feel they have made a good decision in joining your list. It should also set their expectations for the rest of the campaign, so make sure you don’t make promises you can’t keep. This is where setting up an auto-responder sequence, or using other marketing automation tools, can help, as you can use them to guide the customer through the sales cycle while meeting all of their expectations and never seeming like you’re giving it the hard sell.

Personalization is key when trying to catch a subscriber’s attention – you need to show them content that they feel is relevant to them. This not only gets them reading the first email, so that when your later emails pop up in their inbox, they are willing to give it a go.

Offering value, in the form of a free white paper or a discount on products or services, is always a good way to cement your brand in a subscriber’s mind as someone worth paying attention to. They may open later emails ‘just in case’ there’s a similar offer inside – if you can deliver even only sporadically, you should be able to hold their interest. You can even personalize your offer, by allowing a recipient to choose their reward from provided options.

You should also try to be distinctive and unique in your approach – don’t try to copy anyone else. If you have a strong brand image and a clear approach and strategy for the campaign, your message is far more likely to shine through in your marketing emails.

Lastly, make your first email as professional as possible. Mistakes, typos, broken links and poor quality images can make a bad impression that you’ll never be able to rectify, even if you sent hundreds of perfectly executed emails further down the line.

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