Issue #004

Do this when onboarding new subscribers - part 1

I'd like to share with you today a super simple idea that will help you better understand your audience, increase engagement, and generate more sales the next time you pitch them on a product/service.

Let's dive in!

Ask people why they joined your list

No one really wants to get more email.

Nor does anyone wake up wondering what new and exciting email lists they can join today (well, maybe there are some weirdos out there who think this way... 🤓)

People opt-in to an email list for aspirational reasons.

They hope that the content they get sent to them outweighs the time it'll take to read, along with the additional "inbox overhead" that comes with agreeing to receive more email.

So with that in mind, wouldn't it make sense to simply ask people why they joined your list?

Something like this:

My goal here, which I'm building into my onboarding sequence, is to directly associate what they need most with what you'll send them.

Someone who is looking for advice on how to build an audience faster will be put through a welcome sequence that's a bit more focused on lead generation than someone primarily looking for software reviews.

Truthfully, I'm still working on writing these welcome sequences for Create & Sell, but today I just modified my new subscriber segmentation survey (see above) with this question.

My plan is to just let future subscribers answer this question, and when I start to see the breakout of who-wants-what I'll get to work creating a unique onboarding experience, prioritized by whatever segments get the highest response rates.

Here's a real-world example of this in action.

This is something I set up a while ago for a past client, and since then they've seen much better new subscriber engagement (about 24% higher than before this was set up, and engagement here is a combination of opens and clicks) – which has had a permanent effect on mitigating unsubscribes and increasing overall customer value.

Micro case study: MyGolfSpy

When someone joins the MyGolfSpy email list, they're sent a welcome email that contains a few trigger links:

Depending on how they answer, they're delivered a personalized onboarding sequence:

When you use trigger links, not everyone will answer.

In fact, only about 30% of new subscribers take the time to self segment after reading MyGolfSpy's welcome email. And, based on data from others (like Smart Passive Income, who do something similar), this is pretty typical.

This is why I tend to recommend asking these questions either on the initial form itself, or – ideally – on the confirmation page you send people to. I'm getting a 93% segmentation rate on Create & Sell's confirmation page, and a 71% uptake on RightMessage's. Others who have done this report a similar response rate.

How should you personalize your welcome sequence for those who don't answer?

Once you've identified the majority segment, treat that as the default for those who are unsegmented.

High impact, low effort

What's great is this didn't really take much time at all to set up.

The majority of the content someone receives when they're being onboarded for MyGolfSpy doesn't change depending on how they answered the "why" question.

I mostly swapped out subject lines (high impact) and bullet points of email list features (medium impact.)

However, the overall impact – much higher engagement and increased down-funnel sales – has been well worth the few hours it took to set up, especially since this is a permanent upgrade.

After all, it shouldn't come as a surprise that if someone says "I want reviews!" that they're going to be more likely to open emails about... reviews 😀

More relevance = more opens/reads = more overall engagement = more sales

How to get started

I have a video that I'd like to share with you.

It's about how to collect the raw data you need to come up with the 3-5 "why are you here" reasons that you're going to want to start capturing.

Once you have this list of answers, you'll then be able to roll it out to your subscribers – both existing and future.

Clocking in at just shy of 15 minutes, in the video I walk through how to reach out to your existing audience and collect the data you'll then methodically convert into a set list of questions that you can personalize welcome sequences with.

(Oh, and obligatory "don't forget to smash that 'Subscribe' button". Now that I'm settled into my new house and the studio is almost finished, I'll be releasing more email marketing videos on YouTube 🎉)