The Perfect FIRST Email To Send Your New Opt-In Subscribers

So what do YOU send to your opt-in email list subscribers immediately after they sign up for your newsletter?

I recently signed up for Kelly Exeter’s newsletter. Kelly is an Aussie indie author who wrote Your Best Year Ever: 7 Simple Ways To Shift Your Thinking And Take Charge Of Your Life.

She’s also a really cool pay-it-forward kind of person and got me out of a PDF jam awhile back.

Recently I signed up for Kelly’s e-newsletter, and the day after, I got one of the best follow-up emails I’ve ever seen. (And I’m kind of addicted to persuasion and marketing so I purposely subscribe to an embarrassingly large number of e-newsletters.) So much good stuff. Let me show it to you and then walk you through it.

(By the way, Kelly has no idea I’m totally dissecting her newsletter like this…hopefully she won’t mind. Hi Kelly!)

First, the email came from “Kelly Exeter {A Life Less Frantic}”, not from “newsletter” or “info@” or Kelly’s News”. From a real person. Not sure what I think about the “Life Less Frantic” part, but it does clearly remind me of who the heck Kelly is, in case I don’t remember.

Second, the subject line is “Hey! How good are you?!” Remember, nobody can read your email unless they open your email, and that’s the job of your subject line—get them to open the bloody message. Kelly’s subject line is informal, fun, uses the magic word “you” and elicits curiosity. All good stuff.

Third, the body of the email has very minimal formatting. This is it:

temp Kelly 2

It’s great that it doesn’t look all fancy like a company newsletter. Ditch the formatting and boxes and columns in your own email template. Pretend you are writing to a single friend. (Um, I mean one friend, not one of your friends who happens to be single–that could cause for an awkward first email. “How you doing?”) In an age when so many people will be opening your emails on their smartphones, simple design reads better on phones, too.

OK, let’s break it down further.

“Hey there!” is a fun informal opening. (I might suggest putting their first name into this as well.)

1. She is referencing me joining the day before. This tells me (Kevin, not the average reader) that she is using an autoresponder sequence. We ALL should be using autoresponders. I do on some of my lists and Kelly just reminded me to use them on all my lists. With an autoresponder, first off it makes your job easier because you’ve pre-written a handful, or a dozen or 100+ emails and don’t need to feel that constant deadline every week. But for the reader, it means you can guide them through your best stuff, or persuade them, etc. It’s not like you sign up and just get some random message in the next week that may or may note be relevant. A+ for autoresponders.

2. Kelly just comes right out and addresses the reality. You just signed up for a newsletter—probably just downloaded some lead magnate and don’t know or care much about the newsletter—and she’s hitting it face on. Did you do the right thing?

3. Now Kelly does like advanced Ninja stuff (I thought I saw her at the monthly meeting but it’s hard to tell for sure behind the face masks). She is basically identifying who her tribe is. To put it another way, she has a CRYSTAL CLEAR “avatar” and is making sure you know it. And if you don’t fit, she doesn’t want you anyway.

(This by the way is how you should be crafting your books, too, right? Who IS your book for? If possible, call them out in your book title or sub-title. Oh, your book is about fitness? Great, join the party with a bazillion other books. But if it’s Fitness For Men Over 50, or Fitness For Working Moms, or Fitness For Road Warriors, or Fitness In 7-Minutes (giggle) now you have an audience and your book has a chance.The reason why Kelly’s avatar call-out hit me over the head is because I just released my own book on time management. And you’ll see in my book description and marketing stuff I’m always talking about high achievers who are “overworked and overwhelmed” and similar wording. But Kelly does a way better job than I did. Her book isn’t for slackers. It’s for people who are ALREADY super productive, but ready to jump off a cliff from stress or blow up their marriage. (Um, where was this book for me 20 years ago?)

Do you think it’s weird that I’m highlighting the great work of a competing author? Kelly and I are both selling time and productivity books to a very similar audience. Shouldn’t we be ignoring each other? Or leaving dueling bad reviews? No! There are no competitors in the world, only potential collaborators. The fact that we have a similar audience/tribe/platform is a potential goldmine to both of us. How many people who love cooking only buy one cookbook? How many people who read cozy mysteries, only read from one author? How many people who are into time management are only going to read one time management in their lifetime? Find your competitors and serve each other’s tribe.)

4. OK, then Kelly offers up an article from her blog. It’s not the most recent, it’s an older one. Why didn’t she just wait and let them read her next weekly post? Statistically speaking, it should only be a 3.5 days away if she’s on a weekly schedule. Kelly is feeding the new reader HER BEST STUFF. We can all see intuitively or from Google Analytics what are our most popular posts. What resonates with the tribe? What is the highest quality work you’ve produced? Show your new reader your best stuff, and they’ll keep coming back.

5. Kelly primes the new reader—she’s training them—to look out for her next email. And hey, it’s coming tomorrow (tells me, Kevin, it’s the 2nd email in her autoresponder sequence). Personally, I might have used an “open loop” here. Tease the content or ask a provocative question that will FORCE the reader to open your email tomorrow otherwise their brain will explode from unsatiated curiosity.

Finally, Kelly signs off casually and personally, as a friend would.

I don’t know about you but Kelly Exeter just took me to school. Snap!

Don’t you just wonder what her next email in the sequence will be? Why don’t you sign up yourself by clicking here, browse for a while, and you’ll get the pop-up.