One of the top email marketing questions on Quora is about what type of email campaigns should be sent to new subscribers. You shouldn’t be thinking of one-off email campaigns to send to subscribers. Instead, you should have ready-to-go email marketing campaigns that are automatically sent out to every new subscriber. This means beyond setting up that trigger email, you can cross this question off the list until you revisit it in a year to update that email campaign.

So the real question is, what sort of automation campaigns should new subscribers be receiving?

The answer is a branded email campaign.  Communicating your brand is going to be absolutely critical in a new subscriber automation email. You’re essentially sending an email campaign to someone who has opted in but in often cases is opting in to see what you’re really about. Someone who opts into an email campaign has actually set foot in your house and taken a seat at your table. A first-time email campaign opt-in means they’re stepping closer to your home and taking a peek through the window. That first email they get from you is what they’re going to be seeing when they look into your home.

So the next question is what brand points should be communicated?

Brand points need to really reflect your brand and what makes your voice and vision unique. But to break it down it really comes down to these three identifiers:


The first is structure. Structure is another word for template, but it’s about more than just the frame of your email campaign. A structure means that the design and information layout needs to follow the thought process that visitors experience when they’re on your site. This means that you’re your stand-alone email campaign, which can always be converted to a URL, should look like it’s jumped off your website as a landing page. A lot of companies miss the mark on this. The graphics don’t mirror the site and the tone is totally different as well. This isn’t branding. Branding means consistency. These mistakes most often happen because of a design failure. Companies invest months in a website design but don’t put that same thought into an email design or even in creating custom email graphics – all things that are part of the structure of any campaign.

Key Language & Phrasing

The next thing to consider is key language and phrasing, which should be spread throughout the campaign. Everything from the tagline to the linked articles or key features with bolded headlines should reflect the key ideas that your brand drives. This might seem easy because it’s often the case that your first campaign to new subscribers is a short intro message and a set of linked articles with strong graphics – but what you choose to share needs to tell a story. You have to really think about what you’re going to share here and whether it drives the value your company and brand have to offer. Some tough calls will need to be made here.


The last is authority. Relaying brand authority is a lot simpler than it sounds, but it’s also often overlooked. Authority is about trust and letting your new subscriber know they can rely on you. For retailers, this means letting consumers know that your online purchases will be made safely. For data-driven companies that rely on a service or information dissemination, it’s about letting subscribers know others trust you. These are pieces of information that can be included in the footer. In fact, it’s a key conversion heuristics principle: calming anxiety in a prospect in order to encourage conversion. For email marketing campaigns that not only means fewer unsubscribes; it also means increased conversion possibilities.


by Shireen Qudosi

Shireen Qudosi is Benchmark Email's Online Marketing Specialist and Small Business Advocate. An Orange County based writer, Shireen specializes in online marketing and public relations. She has written for over 75 publications and has launched nine successful new media campaigns to date. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Denver Post, the Oklahoman and Green Air Radio, among others.