Email marketing is still one of the most successful forms of communicating with your customers.

The algorithms never change; you don't have to boost the post or otherwise spend to extend your reach--you have complete control over the content and the timing.

You still have to make it compelling, which is why your initial email is so important. When someone first subscribes to your email list, you want to make sure you welcome them in a way that they'll remember. You want to set yourself above your competitors.

Pack Hacker, a relatively new start-up in Detroit, provides a good example of a welcome email that hits all the right notes. Let's look at what they did.

First, they used a catchy subject line, "This may sound weird, but we have to ask..." It's informal, slightly funny, and it makes readers want to find out more.

Second, the introductory paragraphs indicates it is from Tom, the founder of the company. Note the use of the first name; it establishes a camaraderie with new customers and lets them know they'll receive personal attention--from the CEO, no less.

They follow that up with a brief description of what customers can expect from their web site and marketing email.

Third, they request two short 'asks.' Rather than the standard 'do not reply to this automated email,' Pack Hacker indicates that they want to hear from their subscribers. This further establishes a relationship between business and customer. Also worth noting, is that one of the acceptable responses is just to say hello (and still, the CEO is keeping things informal by using his first name.)

He follows that up with a promise to read each and every email, regardless of whether he responds to them. That works on two fronts: it tells subscribers how important they are, and it also gives him an out. They won't necessarily expect a response, and will be more pleased if they do.

Finally, the email concludes with a promise of things to come and a full signature from the founder, Tom Whalin. He still keeps the email informal, however, by not including his titles.

The welcome email goes on to inform subscribers why they've received it, and includes a clearly identified 'unsubscribe' list that they won't have to hunt for, if they no longer want to receive them.

All in all, it's a short, engaging piece that sets the tone for emails to come.

What do you think? Do you like this approach? Let us know in the comments!