I have been experimenting with welcome emails on a web application I have been working on and the effect has been great. The idea is to have a very personal, friendly and welcoming email message that you send to all your users who sign up. I first experienced this when signing up for DivvyShot (now part of Facebook) and got an email from the founder, Sam Odeo. The email was short and very personal (and included his phone number at the bottom!):
Hi Nihaar Gupta,
First off: excuse me if I got your name wrong. I’m just guessing based on your email address.
I’m glad to see that you signed up for Divvyshot. I wanted to get your feedback about our site. Have suggestions? If you think you know what we should build next please add it to http://divvyshot.uservoice.com/. Did something break for you? We take problems with Divvyshot seriously. Please contact me directly with a description of what happened: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You might also be interested in some cool stuff we’re working on:
- Drag-and-drop support: Did you know that Divvyshot is the first photo sharing company to support HTML5 drag-and-drop uploading? If you have Firefox 3.6 I’d recommend checking out this video: http://vimeo.com/9536311.
- iPhone App: Now you can take your Divvyshot photo library with you! You can even transfer thousands of photos by shaking two phones together. Learn more at http://vimeo.com/7193701.
- Windows Client: Want to sync your Divvyshot photo library with your computer? Sign up to test our Windows client here.
Sam Odio, Founder
This little email had a long lasting impact on me, as it added a human element to my interaction with the product and built my confidence in it. I adopted a similar approach gently asking for feedback on the site. The result has been almost 20% of the users that do sign up end up replying back to the email with very insightful and encouraging comments. Some have led to longer lasting discussions as well. Certainly a great way to start meaningful conversations with your users.