Philosophers, psychologists and researchers have asked the question for years - What makes us happy?

The ultimate answer to happiness might not be the email. However, as an email sender, you can do your part to make sure your contacts are happy to sign up and receive your mail. Here are some ideas about how to do just that.

1. Follow up new subscribers with double opt-in

If someone signs up to receive your mail, whether it's via an online form or a business card they handed over, you need to follow up. You need to do this for two main reasons. One reason is to ensure that you're following laws that protect people from receiving mail they don't want, ensure that you have explicit consent to send emails to them. The second reason is that it makes email subscribers feel like they matter, and they do.

2. Send welcome emails

Welcome! Isn't it nice to feel embraced by your new community, group or information hub? Show your new subscriber around, help them get familiar with your content, opportunities and what they can expect from you. Send them a welcome email, and if you have a complicated product, invite them to an onboarding session. This will benefit both of you.

3. Allow contacts to set preferences

Now comes the fun part - offer your subscribers a chance to personalize. Do you like the layout this way or that? How often do they want to receive mail from you? Finding out more about what your subscribers want is a way to meet their needs and find out more about what is working and what doesn't work in terms of success for you as a sender.

4. Deliver value, not just emails

Did you know that three minutes of every hour U.S. Internet users spend online is spent reading or writing an email? That is an example of offering up some information that your email subscribers might find helpful, useful or informative. Your content is the heart and soul of your email and ultimately it's what will keep your contacts feeling happy to receive your mail. Research, write and get creative with your content. Provide true value that your contacts will look forward to receiving.

5. Make it worth to subscribe

Make the subscribers feel more exclusive! A special offer or opportunity for your subscribers is like getting to be part of an elite club. You might offer something within a time frame or on a certain day of the week, either way, keep it special by letting your subscribers know that it's just for them. Even offering subscribers the same sales, but earlier than on other channels, will make them feel much better.

Serene

I write and edit for Elastic Email's blog and support documentation. When I'm not at work I'm probably busy making something organized or more efficient, a small obsession.

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