PUT YOUR WELCOME EMAIL TO WORK
It might just help you avoid the dreaded PROMOTIONS tab
Un-opened and un-clicked emails look “bad” to the mysterious inbox servers in the email world, which is why your emails might skip the INBOX and end up in the “promotions” tab in Gmail, or even worse - the spam folder.
If your open rates are dipping down near 10%, it just shows those servers that emails from your domain aren’t engaging, or might not be wanted, so “eh, no need to put it right into someone’s inbox!”
This is sort of like an algorithm in the social media world, but there’s some easy fixes, and it doesn’t involve making videos of you dancing and pointing at words.
BEHOLD, THE WELCOME EMAIL
There’s a few things you can put into your welcome email when someone signs up to your email list, and that’s asking for the subscriber to add your email to their contacts.
“I hate making guarantees about anything in life, but getting your email whitelisted all but ensures you will always end up in a primary tab,” says Thanks for Unsubscribing.
I also like asking for a reply to the welcome email, which is worth a lot in the “staying out of the promotions tab” game.
“It's amazing for boosting your deliverability and email domain reputation. ISP's treat responses as the "gold standard" for engagement,” 100 Celsius
I do this for my Metal Bandcamp Gift Club newsletter:
Yes, it’d be nice if this was included in the sign up process, but this is an email list for people who buy music for people they don’t know on their birthdays, so it’s a unique audience!
What could you ask your subscribers when they sign up?
Producers: which album is their favorite that you’ve worked on?
Photographers: have they ever bought prints before?
Band: have you seen us live, and if so, where?
Writer: what’s the best review you read this year?
Store: what’s the last show you went to?
Tattoo artist: tell me about your first tattoo!
Again, these prompts are to get a reply, so keep them aligned with what you’re doing. And reply to these folks! Treat them like DMs on social media. They took the time to reply to your email, so take a minute and send a quick reply. You never know where it may lead (maybe a few more sales, jobs, shows, etc).
“Engagement metrics for welcome emails are eye-popping. On average, marketers enjoy 4x the open rate and 5x the click rate when using automated welcome emails over standard marketing emails. When someone subscribes to your newsletter, they expect to receive a welcome newsletter immediately. They’ll even visit their inboxes just to find it,” MailerLite
Consider using your Welcome Email to point your subscribers to the stuff you want them to see:
A link to your store, maybe with a discount code
Your website, or the tour dates section
Your Patreon - some of your biggest fans might not even know you have one!
Your Bandcamp / Spotify / Apple Music pages
Your latest video on YouTube
That click tells the “space cloud email algorithms” that your subscribers are engaged with your emails, helping you land each email in their inbox every time.
And honestly - not all your fans know about your store, your upcoming tour, your Bandcamp page. There’s nothing wrong with simple text links, casually letting people know all the stuff you got going on.
IT’S PROBABLY NOT YOU
You can do everything “right,” and emails still aren’t getting opened.
Inflation, war, unrest, climate change - everything is happening all the time, and not every email will get opened, not every pre-order campaign will be a hit. Don’t take it personally. Adjust and tweak, and send another email next week.
Got a question about email marketing? Setting up an email list?
Hit reply or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learned something new? Inspired? Buy me a coffee!