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Giving Subscribers the Welcome Treatment

By Jeff Neil
Posted Saturday, January 15, 2005

I know that you have friends. You know, friends in the real world that you actually visit in their homes. Do any of them have one of those cute "welcome" signs hanging by the door?

Have you even noticed? Chances are there is a welcome sign. But you really never see it. We all have friends that have `em. But they are so common that we just don`t notice.

What about those big colorful "welcome" mats? Bet you see them when you arrive. They`re big and cheerful. Right there so you can wipe your feet. Sure, they`re really there to keep the floor clean. But don`t those mats give you that warm and fuzzy feeling?

If you publish an ezine it`s really just an extension of your home. Your online home. And when you get a new subscriber you send a welcome letter to your new "friend".

Do you send them a small sign or do you roll out the mat?

First impressions are important. Even more so online. The average person subscribes to far more ezines than they can really read....So impress them fast with your welcome.

Greet your new reader with some thought and enthusiasm.

Welcome to XYZ ezine, here`s your freebie, buy this and you`ll get rich.....ain`t going to cut it. Take the time to tell you new friend why you`re so special. What`s in it for them.

And then prove it.

Include a sample issue with your welcome email. Let them see what they`re in for, and who you really are. Dazzle them with your brilliance and they`ll actually be looking for your issue.

But set it up to your advantage.

Did you bribe them with a freebie? Then make your reader work for it. They`ll get it. They will be looking for it. So why not have them do some reading to find it?

If you offer a freebie before you get a chance to show them your offer, you`ve just wasted your time. Your offer is your ezine, your work of art. Don`t let `em get away without checking it out.

Going back to the real world, invite your friends over for pizza and beer. Suggest watching the football game in front of your big screen TV.

( Sorry ladies it`s the only idea I could come up with.....)

You betcha! They`ll be right over. Now put the beer, the pizza, and the big screen TV outside in the yard.

Do you think they`ll come inside to visit you, or stay outside and watch the game? My vote is for the game.

It`s no different online. If you offered a free gift to subscribe, they want the free gift. What your ezine is about is secondary. So place your "gift" inside your sample issue. Or below it. Make them read it and help them like it.

What about making some money with your welcome?

Some of the experts will tell you to go for the sale in your welcome letter. Do you really want to do that? People may want to buy. But they don`t like to be sold.

Back to the real world again, my uncle is a car salesman. And like 99% of everyone else, I need to have wheels. Now my uncle is really a great guy. Took me fishing and hunting when I was a boy, let me hang out with the mechanics in the garage.... And I enjoy going to visit him.

But if he tried to sell me some used car every time I went to his house there`s no way I`d go to see him.

Same thing online. So be sneaky. Sell without selling. In your ezine you probably have ads in every issue. Who says those ads can`t be for *your* products?

Yes, some people subscribe to your ezine just to get your bribe if you offer one. But some people are looking for good information.

Do you provide it? If you do chances are you`ll be getting subscribers for your free information. They are looking for answers. So give them the directions. A targeted ad pointing to a product that directly relates to your ezine theme.

You`ll be sending targeted traffic to a related product, making some bucks, and not making your reader feel like they`ve been sold.

Agreed, we`re only talking about a welcome letter here. But through your ezine you are building relationships, and friendships. At least you should be. So start out on the right foot. Set the stage with an impressive welcome letter and keep your new reader waiting for more.

© 2001-2002, Jeff Neil, All Rights Reserved.

You may publish this article in your ezine and/or web site as long as this resource box is left intact.

About the Author
Article written by Jeff Neil, your Sunday Morning Columnist. Editor`s Column is for the Ezine Editor. Helping you get more subscribers, more readers, and more profit. Visit at: (http://www.editorscolumn.com/) Subscribe at: mailto:EditorsColumn@infogeneratorpro.com