Activation Emails: How to Make a Positive First Impression
Congratulations! You’ve got a new subscriber – someone who took the time to enroll on your website. At a minimum, they’ve given you some contact information and permission to communicate with them. They may also have given you details about their preferences and probably a variety of demographic details that you will use for segmentation and targeting.
The very next thing you do with email is critical in creating the tone for your online relationship with this new subscriber. So, rather than simply adding their name to the next regularly scheduled product/service emails, take this opportunity to create a truly positive first impression: it’s time to confirm and activate the subscriber. This focused approach to news subscribers is, what we at ThinData call an activation email.
Key Components of Activation Email
Activation emails achieve several purposes in your efforts to create a strong first impression. And, as such, you need to include several key components in your activation emails including the following:
Key Component: Include a sincere "thank you" message.
Purpose: Demonstrates your appreciation for the new subscriber.
Key Components: Include a description of the content, frequency and timing of emails subscribers can expect to receive, a clear instruction to add the "from address" to their address book/safe list and a link prompting subscribers to confirm and activate their subscription (i.e. double opt-in).
Purpose: Sets clear expectations of forthcoming messages, which can dramatically reduce incidences of subscribers deleting/mislabeling messages as spam.
Key Component: Activation emails should be sent within 48 hours of the initial subscription.
Purpose: Demonstrates a commitment to responsiveness.
Key Component: Include the subscriber’s name, details about the subscription process such as when the subscription was initiated and the point of registration (e.g. specific website, specific product/offer, specific point-of-sale location, etc.). If additional data is known about the subscriber – e.g. gathered through a loyalty program or contained in a CRM system – use this information to further customize the content of the activation email.
Purpose: Demonstrates a commitment to ensuring email is relevant and personalized.
Activation emails also adhere to the most current Best Practices established by the Messaging Anti-Abuse Work Group (MAAWG) (pdf). These best practices recommend that when collecting subscriber information, email senders should always:
- Seek out and verify consent/permission; and
- Validate email addresses
Finally, an activation email provides another opportunity to highlight product information and/or provide rewards for subscribing. At the end of the day, there is only one opportunity to make a strong and positive first impression – and a well-considered, well-timed, targeted activation email plays a vital role.