In the entire lifespan of your subscribers, there’s just one moment where they’re absolutely thrilled to be hearing from you – and that’s when they first subscribe. The first email campaign you send to a new subscriber is going to be the most crucial campaign in your ability to hold onto that subscriber. After all, it’s perhaps even easier for them to unsubscribe as it was for them to jump on board, to begin with. For that reason alone, it’s worth it that you not only make a good first impression but that you also make it clear they’re valued – that you make them feel like they’re “in” your world.

Humanize it

Sending thanks is about more than just the obligatory note. It’s about the first step in cultivating the relationship. Part of your automation campaign to newbie subscribers should include a personal note from you speaking directly with the new subscriber. Think of it as the “letter from the editor” at the start of every magazine. Except keep it about half the length of the typical editorial letters and make it more pressing. You can make it more pressing by weaving in an overview of what’s been done so far but also look at the landscape ahead so there’s something to look forward to. If possible, always add a picture of yourself. It helps humanize you and the brand, and that helps with subscriber retention.

Part of that thanks you should also talk about them, the subscriber. What is their role moving forward and why are they needed? Why do you value them? This is going to be a little tougher with some industries rather than others. Retail is one of those industries. Yet you can use this opportunity to show value in being a subscriber. Say you offer subscribers access to trunk sales or newest finds and want their feedback. This makes subscribers feel rewarded for being part of your brand and also gives you vital consumer feedback you can talk about…in something like a thank you campaign.

Gratitude is Always in the Gift

Once you’ve roped in the subscriber and make them feel warm and fuzzy, the next thing you do is direct them to something of value. They’ve signed up, but what have they signed up for exactly? No matter what industry you’re in, this is really key. You’ve got to give your subscriber something of value off the bat. This something is the equivalent of a gift you’d give in cultures around the world, all of which see the exchange as a social act that seals a bond between two sides. In the digital marketing world – and in society nowadays – gift giving is a completely lost art but it is so important in bonding with your new subscriber.

Not only do you need to give something of value, you need to show them what’s so awesome about being in your world. You use this gift to lead them to a landing page, a call to action, an ebook – whatever you’ve got – to get them something they can use, share or reference.

So to recap, first is the personal message of gratitude that weaves in why your subscriber is valuable. Once that foundation has been set, next you direct them to the action you want them to take that also needs to be something of value to the subscriber. In many cases, this is going to be a shareable or downloadable item to which the subscriber otherwise might not have access.