engage subscribers from the start

5 Ways to Engage Your Email Subscribers from the Start


As email marketers, we understand that our messages are not always the apple of a subscriber’s eye. There’s a lot of competition out there. A lot. In fact, Radicati estimates that by the end of 2019, more than 246 billion emails will be sent every day – roughly 129 million business emails and 117 billion consumer emails.

With all those messages bombarding inboxes, how can you make yours stand out?

Try thinking of your email like a job interview or a blind date – first impressions count. Make sure your subscriber is engaged from the start and earn their interest from that very first email.

Here’s how:

1. Optimize Your Email Preheader Text and Subject Line

If you need to impress a subscriber with your first email, the subject line and preheader are a great place to start. Engage the user from the moment they see your email in the inbox.

There’s plenty of debate around what makes a great subject line—personalization, length, emojis—so testing your way through a few options is a good place to start.

What is perhaps more important, though, is making your subject line and your preheader text work together to form an engaging message. Preheader text is an opportunity to give more context to your subject line and encourage the subscriber to open the email. Here’s a good example from MeUndies, which uses the preheader to give more information about their #GivingTuesday efforts:

MeUndies email preheader

With Email on Acid’s new Campaign Precheck tool, you can preview your subject line and preheader text on 15 of the most popular email clients, so you can nail that first impression, increase open rates and boost email ROI.

2. Show Your Gratitude

As email marketers, we love email, but most people are actively working to de-clutter their inboxes. So, when someone signs up to receive your emails, you should be thankful! The user has taken a step to engage with your brand and he or she wants to hear more. And, in some cases, that new subscriber has moved closer to becoming a customer.

That’s why we love welcome emails that show gratitude to the subscriber. Showing your appreciation may be that little something extra that keeps the user engaged.

3. Use a Recognizable Send Name

When your email appears in the inbox, will the subscriber know who it is from? Sending from a “no reply” address is impersonal and won’t engage the user. It’s saying up front, “we can email you, but please don’t email us.”

This is another place where testing can come in handy. Try sending from your company name (“Email on Acid”) and see how it compares to sending from an individual (“John at Email on Acid”). Either way, the subscriber will understand who sent the email.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject – why do you need to send from a “no reply”? Consider setting up an address that the subscriber can reply to, whether it’s to give feedback or ask a question.

4. Show off Your Brand Voice and Philosophy

What makes your company great? Why is your product unique? Answering these questions from the very beginning will keep your subscribers engaged. And don’t forget about your brand’s voice – it should be loud and clear in that first email. Ensure your readers know who you are and what you’re all about.

Luggage company Away does a great job with their welcome email, which shows gratitude, highlights their brand philosophy, and explains why their product is unique.

Away welcome email

5. Give the Subscriber a Jump Start

Want to engage email subscribers from the very beginning? Give them something to do. Try pushing them to a get started guide or a demo of your product. Or think about offering a discount for signing up. If you have a robust resource library, you could suggest checking out one of your most popular guides or infographics.

Not only does this push subscribers to click, it tells them that your emails have some value and they should continue to engage in the future.

Here’s a great example from MailChimp. When we signed up, we were encouraged to jump into the platform. Plus, they included resources to help us along the way.

MailChimp welcome email

What Works for You?

How do you engage email subscribers from the start? Do you have advice to share? Leave us a comment below or reach out on Facebook or Twitter – we’d love to hear your ideas!

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Author: Melanie Graham

Born and raised in New England, Melanie has a background as a writer, editor and journalist. After roaming the U.S. as an expert vagabond, she’s landed in Denver as Email on Acid’s content manager. She’s a music nerd at heart who loves spending time at the piano.

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