Why the Registration Email is Crucial for Startups

startupsAttracting new users is a challenge for many startups given the competition and how fickle people can be about making digital commitments.┬áSo it’s always surprising to see so many startups drop the ball after they convince me to sign up for a new service.

What usually happens is I hear about a service via friends, Twitter or a newsletter. If it passes the sniff test and looks interesting, I’ll register (as long as it doesn’t take too long). Then, I wait for the confirmation email to hit my inbox.

To paraphrase Lyle Lovett’s “Her First Mistake”, the registration email is when startups make their first mistake by sending an email that tells you to complete your registration, or it includes basic info such “Welcome to XYZ”, along with your username and password. Here’s an example:

So, what’s the problem?

Not to pick on Quinzee but this kind of email is uninspiring, uncreative, unexciting, and does nothing to validate or encourage my interest in the service.

Think about it – I’ve signed up for your service (a big hurdle!), and then you fail to keep the excitement going. With the first email, there’s a great opportunity to do more marketing to drive someone to actually use the product. In other words, the fish has been hooked, now you need to pull them in.

So, how should startups approach the post-registration email?

In addition to encouraging someone to confirm their registration, you need to tell them what your service does and the benefits. And then provide suggestions on how to start using the product. Here’s an example from Pheed, a recently launched social network.


This is a better approach because it not only welcomes me to Pheed but provides four tangible tips on how to use it.

Here’s another effective post-registration email from Frank & Oak‘s Hunt Club. First, it instills confidence by declaring the first order is 100% risk free, and then reiterates there is free shipping and 10% cash back on every order.

Bottom line: If someone makes an investment to register for your service, don’t blow the first opportunity to bring them into the fold. That first email sets the tone for the beginning of what should be a long relationship so use it wisely.

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