Today we are going back to the start of the process, and looking at the point of subscription. Your sign up page on your website (or even offline) can answer a lot of questions in the minds of potential subscribers.
It's all about setting expectations, so that when that first email arrives, your subscriber is happy, not surprised or angry.
Sometimes you can cover a lot of this with a simple paragraph, like:
"Xylophone Zygote is a monthly email of tips and hints for increasing your score at Scrabble. You can read a sample issue online. We will never sell or give away your email address"
Obviously, you won't always have room for all those things, and often it won't make sense to have them all. If your list is for members of your community, you may already have a lot of trust built up.
Even then, you could certainly include all this information in your welcome email.
At the other extreme, your list might be based on entries to a competition on TV, or people at a tradeshow signing up at your booth. Those people are far more likely to forget what they signed up for, and mark it incorrectly as spam. The more detail they absorb about what to expect, the better their reaction will be.
The basic rule is the shorter the relationship you have with that person, the more information you need to provide. We'd love to hear your thoughts: What influences your decision to sign up for an email newsletter?
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