We talk a lotaboutpermission here at Campaign Monitor. All of us as designers focus on making sure our emails have clear unsubscribe links and the required company details.
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.
Why should I sign up for this email?
How often will I get emails from you?
When will I get the first one?
How can I get off the list?
What else will you do with my email address?
What will it look like?
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:
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?