You had them at “hello” — Now what?

HummingbirdYou worked for weeks, (allowing for resistance and perfectionism, maybe months,) to create the perfect lead magnet or talk to build your list. Like a Ruby-throated Hummingbird who builds her nest from bark, leaf strands and silk fibers, you pulled in just the right elements, valuable ideas, and action-oriented suggestions.

And just like the Hummingbird whose nest is decorated on the outside with lichen for camouflage and lined on the inside with hair or feathers for insulation, it is beautiful, on-brand, and made to last.

Congratulations, they said “yes,” and you have a new subscriber.

What happens next is crucial to your keeping said new, interested party engaged for the long haul.

I’m going to assume you have a thank you page behind your opt-in. (If you want to see an example of one I’m using right now, it’s here.)

If you are not, or if you are relying on an automatic pop-up page provided by your autoresponder with no branding and nothing but “Thanks, you’re on the list,” it’s time to step it up.

It’s the least you can do and it’s an opportunity to:

  • Further introduce this new lead to your brand and your brand voice or style
  • Invite them to find you on social media and keep the engagement going
  • Offer them something of value that’s similar—not a paid offer
  • Include a 2 – 3 question survey to learn more about their interests
  • WOW them

The basic point of a thank you page is to politely acknowledge the person for their yes and let them know what to expect. If it’s a download and you want them to confirm their email before sending it to them, explain the steps.

If you want to give them the download right there, make sure it’s an obvious button or link.

And now the fun begins.

If you’ve asked them to confirm their email address, do that and make it easy for them. Have a button or point out a very clear link so they don’t have to dig. This email can have character, your brand voice, an image — just don’t take away from the one thing you want them to do: confirm their email address so you can send them the goods they requested. And build a relationship.

To confirm or not to confirm is a bigger discussion than I can take on in this note, but you will get plenty of pros and cons from the almighty G-word.

If the first email they receive is not a “confirm your email” type, then here’s your best bet:

The Welcome and here’s what to expect email

This email is a must, but how you write it is rooted in your brand and brand voice. If you are whimsical you can be casual, sprinkle fairy dust liberally throughout, and include a gif or fun image. More serious B2B types will want to reflect that, but regardless of what business you are in please spend some time on this and have it reflect your style.

Recently I signed up for 3 new lists to see how they were doing their first date emails. Two of them gave me access to the download I’d requested and told me what would happen next.

The third included a well-designed image of his workbook, some suggestions for using it, and a request for me to Reply to this email and share the #1 thing you want to learn more about when it comes to brand messaging or copywriting for your business. This will help make sure the content I create is relevant to you and what you need the most help with.”

Asking people to write something is less likely to get a response than putting a poll inside the email. In this case he could have asked; Which one of these 3 things do you struggle with the most, Content, email marketing, sales copy? It’s easy to click a radio button.

Only do that if you really do have different lists for different interests. Nothing is more frustrating than being asked your opinion then being ignored, right?

One of the people who does the welcome email really well is Chanteuse Marie. She has 2 freebies. One is a super fun quiz — eerily accurate. The other is an insider look at the funnels of the successful marketers that she shares as screen shots in sequence if you sign up for “FunnelFix.” A unique point of entry, far better than a “10 best list” and she updates regularly; built in-engagement for those who want to get better at email marketing.

The welcome email gives you an opportunity to set expectations. What kinds of things will you send me and how often are the two questions you want to answer.

According to 9Clouds.com welcome emails have a 10% higher read rate than other marketing emails.”

This first email is like the feathering part of nest making. You are making it comfortable for the person to be there. Done well the new lead can begin the journey to know, like, and trust.

What else you put in your welcome email is your choice, but please don’t overload it with information and asks. It’s fine to remind them to make sure they whitelist your email addy, move you into primary if they are Gmail users, etc. After that maybe “connect with us on social media” or “Come hang out with other fancy nest builders in the Hummingbird Hive, our private Facebook group where we…”

Success in marketing hinges on the rule of 1. One message, for one audience, with one call to action. Otherwise people get overwhelmed and that means less engagement, even though it might seem that offering them more would lead to more.

Be thoughtful, be you, help them feel they made a good choice. Best practices will always give you an advantage whether building a nest or a business.

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