Email How-To Tip

Q: How can I provide subscription incentives for my subscribers?

Subscription incentives are commonly used to promote email lists and to attract new subscribers. By offering people a tangible benefit for subscribing to your list, for example exclusive gifts or downloads that are not available to non-subscribers, you can make your list more attractive to your target audience. This tech tip shows an example of how you can provide incentives for your subscribers using the built-in welcome message in LISTSERV Maestro.

The Music Teacher

Tina, a musician and music teacher, frequently publishes videos where she plays classical piano pieces and describes certain beginner-level practice routines. This activity gains her many followers on her video hosting platform.

In her most viewed beginner-level practice routine video, she talks about the sheet music in PDF format and offers a download link in the video description, also mentioning upfront that people must register in order to gain access to the download file.

To do this, Tina decides to set up an email list and implement this registration-based download of the annotated sheet music as an incentive for subscribers.

Preparing the Signup Experience

From the perspective of the viewer of Tina's practice routine videos, the process to gain access to the subscription incentive starts with signing up to a subscriber list. To comply with legal regulations such as the EU GDPR, Tina decides to add a subscription consent field to her list and to include the following text for the subscription terms in LISTSERV Maestro:

With this preparation, the signup process looks like this:

The Double-Opt-In Confirmation Email

The default LISTSERV Maestro list subscription confirmation email looks like this:

To make the confirmation stand out stronger from the content, Tina decides to use a button widget instead of the default text link. So she clicks on the "Code" button and provides the following text for the confirmation email:

By clicking on the "Button/Link Widget" button, the <widget-button> tag is added to the source code. She then enters {{maestro:confirmLink}} as the value of the "href" attribute of the widget tag.

With this change, the confirmation email now looks like this:

The Welcome Email

By default, clicking the confirmation link (or button, per the customizations that Tina made) is the last activity that a person performs to become a confirmed subscriber. The welcome email is an optional, additional message that can be sent to new subscribers, so Tina decides to customize it to provide new confirmed subscribers with the sheet music that she promised in the description text of her instructional video.

Just like with the subscription confirmation mail, Tina wants to have a strongly visible button to download the sheet music, so she customizes the HTML of the welcome email like this:

To supply the "href" attribute for the button, Tina clicks on the "Manage the Hosted Attachments" link in the right-hand side panel to open the following dialog:

Using the "Add Attachment" button, she uploads the PDF file containing her sheet music, followed by the "OK" button.

By positioning the text cursor on the value of the "href" attribute in the source code and clicking on the link associated with "sheetMusic.pdf", the widget button is now linked to the hosted attachment.

The draft preview now looks like this:

Satisfied with the draft content, Tina deploys the message to activate it for the public.

This welcome email will now be automatically sent to each new subscriber who clicks the button in the confirmation email, thus extending the signup process with one additional step, which provides the subscription incentive. Since Tina has selected "Personal Tracking" in her delivery preferences, subscribers who click the download button can be identified personally, which allows for follow-up mailings of many kinds.

Beyond the Welcome Email

For Tina, the automatic interaction with her subscribers does not stop at the welcome email. Knowing that the welcome email messages are sent with fully trackable links, she defines a series of follow-up mail jobs that offer additional sheet music downloads and other resources for subscribers who have exceeded the beginner level.

In addition to the free incentives to become a new subscriber and to remain subscribed, Tina then creates a final follow-up mail job that is sent to only those subscribers who downloaded all of her free subscription incentives, offering her one-on-one training lessons for a fee with a special discount just for subscribers, effectively creating an automated drip marketing campaign.

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