Email provides a unique opportunity to reach a proprietary audience on your own terms and on your own cadence. To maximize and ultimately increase traffic from email, publishers must expand their conceptions of what it can be. 

For some, email has become a valuable standalone product. In order to make that happen, publishers must give the email experience the same attention they would any other paid product, even if no money is changing hands. After all, email requires the reader to hand over something very valuable: direct access to their time and attention via their inbox.

To return the favor, look to retailers. Retail marketers understand the impact of a welcome series, setting expectations while building the foundation for a long-term relationship with customers. Publishers can deploy similar strategies to create connections with readers, build loyalty and increase traffic from email. Here are three tactics to think about:

Use a Start Strong to Increase Traffic from Email

A great welcome series starts with a single great email. Your welcome email for subscribers doesn’t have to be fancy, as long as it gives new readers useful information about your brand. Make sure to thank them for signing up for your list, and explain what makes you unique and distinctive from your competitors. You might also want to send them links to the top stories of the day, one easy way to increase traffic from email.

To take things up a notch, consider sending a welcome sequence. Business Insider has a particularly robust onboarding experience that includes subscription confirmation, trending articles and more ways to engage.

Personalize Your Welcome Series

Tailoring your welcome series to each new reader is a more advanced tactic, but it’s highly recommended and a surefire way to increase traffic with email. Welcome emails present a prime opportunity to personalize content based on readers’ interests. Say your publication focuses on living a green lifestyle. If a new reader signs up after reading articles on organic gardening, the onboarding should reflect this. Highlight stories related to gardening, mixing in some of the most popular reads.

Brands should continue to tailor content to each reader’s preferences by highlighting stories of interest to them in future emails. This can not only drive traffic, but encourage repeat visits and pageviews.

Include a Call-to-Action

When developing your welcome emails, be sure to incorporate calls-to-action that encourage valuable behaviors from readers. For instance, let’s say company research indicates that readers who download your mobile app are twice as valuable as those who don’t. In that case, you can encourage new readers to download the app in your welcome series.

To increase the chance that your reader will take the desired action, adding an incentive is a good idea. In this case, there was no need; this email was part of The Washington Post‘s onboarding for paid subscribers. Learning more about the Reading List feature helps readers make the most out of their subscriptions and personalize the experience to boot.

A strong onboarding is just the beginning. Download our guide for publishers, Increasing Traffic From Email, to learn about personalization, expanding engagement, and more.