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scaring your readersYou know that old saying “you only get to make a first impression once”?

That is still true in the online world.  The first impression your website and welcome email make are indelible in the mind of your prospects.

How many times have you clicked on a link that took you to an aesthetically horrible website and immediately left, regardless of how great the content was?

Your content could be amazing, but without that strong first impression, it is unlikely that people are going to stay and find out.  The same is true of your welcome email.  If your welcome email or series comes across as spammy, what does a new subscriber do?  Open, cringe, delete, and unsubscribe!

The best way to avoid this is to take a look at your welcome email with fresh eyes.

Examine your welcome email and/or series from the perspective of a new subscriber that knows little to nothing about your business.  What impression is this material making?  Is that the impression you want to make?

Sounds easy right?  Well, we all know that isn’t always the case when we’re committed to the material.  Ask someone else to look at it for you and tell them to be completely honest, brutally honest if necessary!  A friend or a paid collaborator can look at the email or series in a way that you may not be able to.  The feedback they give may hurt, but it's better to hear the truth, than have all your list building efforts wasted.

Here are some things that can help to determine if your first impression needs some work:

Unsubscribe rates – Are you getting a lot of unsubscribes right after the welcome email goes out?  Or somewhere in the middle of your welcome campaign?  Add a step to your unsubscribe process that asks people why they’re unsubscribing.  This may help you pinpoint the issue a little faster.

Open rates – How many people are actually opening your welcome email?  How many people are opening your ongoing messages?  You may have a completely different problem if people aren’t opening your emails at all than if they’re opening and immediately unsubscribing.  Without the information, it is hard to identify what the issue is – your subject lines, your list description, your content, who knows?

Take the time to test your websites, welcome emails, and content to make sure they are all functioning properly.  Ask for feedback from others to see what you may be missing.  You’ll be glad you did!