Is your subscription confirmation email too basic?
You may be missing out on a great opportunity to reinforce your brandâs value proposition and get subscribers to engage with your brand on a deeper level. In todayâs post, weâll look at a few ideas and tips with plenty examples on how to improve your subscription confirmation email.
The subscription confirmation email explained
Most email service providers require new subscribers to go through a two-step process to sign up for a mailing list. The process, called a double-opt in or confirmed opt-in, is a common one and goes like this: after a reader enters her email address in a signup field on your website, she then receives an email that asks her to confirm her desire to subscribe. For example, the subscription confirmation request message ofÂ Email Design Workshop looks like this.
Asking readers to confirm their subscriptionÂ makes for a cleaner, more engaged subscriber database. Readers who confirm their subscription want to receive your emails; thereâs no chance they signed up by accident. It also reduces spam complaints, and it benefits subscribers because it means no one else can use their email address to sign up without their consent.
Itâs no wonder the double opt-in processÂ has become a best practice for email marketers.
ButâŚ the double opt-in process also has an obvious pitfall: not all initial subscribers will confirm their subscription, and thus wonât make it onto your list. According to Campaign Monitor, up to 20% of initial subscribers will not complete the final confirmation step. The email might get overlooked or accidentally deleted, or readers may not understand the confirmation process. One way to reduce the problem isÂ to sendÂ an automated follow-up and ask them again to confirm their subscription (here is how to do it with MailUp, for example). Still, you can seeÂ why itâs so important that subscription confirmation emails are clear and simple, making it as easy as possible for readers to understand what to do.
Subscription confirmation emails: a missed opportunity
The format of subscription confirmationÂ emails are usually standardized by an email service provider, which means they generally lackÂ personality. In a way, it makes sense: email marketersÂ need readers to click a button, first and foremost, and the decoration, deals, and fanfare can be saved for the welcome email that comes later.
So confirmation emails are usually pretty stark and basic, like this one from Vice:
But lately weâve seenÂ some brands break out of this mold, making simple design choices to ensure their subscription confirmation emails get more attention, work effectively, and maintain the brandâs family feeling.
Make a great first impression with yourÂ subscription confirmation email
Subscription confirmation emails should be simple and streamlined, but they should also reflect your brand. This is your opportunity to make a first impression with readers and confirm their desire to receive emails from you. To do so, we recommend you follow these best practices.
Tip #1: Use a large, easy to findÂ CTA button
Your email service provider should give you the option to include a bulletproof call-to-action button in your subscription confirmation email. Use it! This button should be the key focus of your email. Thatâs why theyâre typicallyÂ large with clear, descriptive text. A button that simply said âConfirmâ wouldnât necessarily make it immediately clear about what the readerâs action means.
If you donât have the option of including a CTA button, link the entire subscription confirmation sentence so itâs eye-catching and easy to click, like in this email. (But be sure to customize your header text â donât just leave the word âGeneralâ sitting there!)
Tip #2: Customize the text
Donât add any extraneous text that would detract from the key message and CTA of the email, but customize the language so itâs on-brand, welcoming, and enthusiastic. Think of this as a mini welcome email. Greet readers. Encourage them to click. Validate their initial decision to sign up for your emails. Hereâs a great example of custom, on-brand, welcoming text from the agencyÂ edenspiekermann:
Tip #3: Be on brand
One of the simplest and most important things you can do to make your subscriptionÂ confirmation email more effective is to include a header with your logo. Take it a step further and customize the HTML background color of your message to a brand color and the style of the CTA button (in addition to customizing the messaging to be in your brand voice). Think about it this way:Â AÂ subscriber may sign up to receive emails and then forget about it, not checking email for a few hours. When he checks his email later and sees a message from you, can he tell right away what it is? On-brand email design is a must. Hereâs a great example from AIGA, the professional design association:
Subscription confirmation emails that make a statement
So many subscription confirmation emails all look the same, but we found some brands who are making a statementâand providing a warm welcome to subscribersâwith these stellar emails.
We got this email from Parabo, the print shop app, and smiled. Instead of the very standard âPlease confirm subscriptionâ header text, we were greeted with a funny, whimsical hello thatâs totally in their brand voice. âWe really want you to want usâ is a clever way to break up the usual mundane greeting, and, guess what? It totally reaffirmed why we thought we wanted to sign up for their emails in the first place. ParaboÂ also includes their logo in the header, and the HTML background color and call-to-action button have been customized to be on-brand pink. The email is simple, it only takes a second to read, but it still makes an impression. Job well done.
Early Bird Books is an email newsletter that highlights deals onÂ ebooks. Their subscription confirmation email hits all the marks: itâs well branded in the header, the CTA button is the star of the show (itâs a bright contrast color against the white background, itâs big, and the text is clear), and the body text is simple but welcoming and enthusiastic. The bird prints along the bottom of the email are a nice touch, too, rounding out the look of this short-and-sweet introductory message.
Weâve written about The Daily GOOD email newsletter before. Itâs always well-designed and well thought-out, so itâs no surprise that the subscription confirmation email has a smart design. Itâs simple, yes, but GOOD does something we havenât seen in any other confirmation emails: theÂ header is an animated GIF.
What a great way to show readers a preview of theÂ beautiful, design-forward thinking from the newsletters to come.
Cook Smarts, a company thatÂ deliversÂ cooking lessons through free recipes, meal plans, videos, and infographics, has a subscription confirmation email that definitely serves up a deliciousÂ welcome. Hereâs whatâs great about it: not only are there beautiful, custom, high quality images that provide a great preview of whatâs to come, but the welcome text tells subscribers exactly what to expect next (a welcome email with freebies) and when to expect it (within the hour). The info is useful for readers, encourages them to confirm their subscription, and tells them something about what to expect from Cook Smarts: great, timely communication. It goes to show how a little bit of thought can go a long way when youâre making an effort to make a strong first impression with potential subscribers.
AÂ subscription confirmation email is your opportunity to make a strong first impression with subscribers. Make it easy for them to confirm their subscription with these design tips:
- MakeÂ a bulletproof CTA button the focus of the email. Use a contrasting color with plenty of padding around it so itâs easy to tap.
- Keep the message short and sweet, but on-brand. Use your brand voice. Have fun!
- TryÂ an HTML background color fromÂ your brand color palette to add depth to the email and make it quickly recognizable.
- Include a GIF or photos that make a statement about your brand and give readers a sense of whatâs to come.
Just a few small tweaks can set you head and shoulders above most email confirmation emails. And ifÂ youâre able to design your own confirmation emails in an editor, try out some of these tips in the BEE editor!
This article was originally posted on the Email Design Workshop blog