tl;dr Let newsletter writers set up automated retention emails (if condition X is met, send out predefined email Y)
First, I have to say I’m really impressed how Ghost has evolved recently as a tool for newsletter writers. So many great additions, not least with Ghost 4.0
As a longtime newsletter writer, I’ve learned how important it is to communicate clearly and proactively with your members, beyond the actual newsletter. For me, that includes:
An automated, but custom written welcome email to each new subscriber to set expectations, do housekeeping, and generally make them feel welcome
A check-in email after the first few issues to ask for feedback, make them aware of some of the highlights from the archive, and tell them why upgrading to the premium version might be worth it
For paying members, a friendly reminder that their subscription is about to renew soon (also a great time to say thank you and remind them of some of the best issues).
A last thank you when someone cancels their paid subscription (and a last effort to get them to change their mind)
It would be great if Ghost natively implemented something like this. It’s so crucial for member retention. (Obviously, a welcome email alone would be a great start, I’ve seen that mentioned here and there already, but I wanted to put it in a bigger context)
Ghost has welcome pages that allow you to welcome to new members without needing to bounce back and forth between your website and their inbox.
Here’s how it works:
Someone enters their email address on your site
They receive a sign up confirmation email in their inbox
They click the link in the confirmation email and are automatically redirected to the welcome page on your site, where you can set expectations and make them feel welcome.
The sign up confirmation emails are important to ensure you don’t get a ton of spam members. These confirmation emails aren’t “welcome emails” but transactional emails that use transactional email infrastructure to ensure highest possible delivery rates.
When a new subscriber clicks the link in the transactional email, they have to be redirected somewhere — so for a smooth onboarding journey, it makes sense to have them automatically land on a custom welcome page as a logged-in member. From there they can stick around and browse more content from the archive. A common technique for welcome pages is to link to some of your most popular past issues or articles.
As for retention emails, thanks for sharing your use cases so clearly :)
FWIW it is possible to integrate with any ESP that has email automation functionality.