You have only seven seconds to make a first impression. This is why we try to look our best when meeting someone new, or why brands create amazing customer experiences. So why should your email marketing program be treated any different? The answer is, it shouldn’t.

Look at your email strategy like dating. When a subscriber says, “Yes, I want emails from you” (or, “Yes, I’ll go on a date with you”) the next step is the first date. Or as we call it, the “welcome message.” Sending a welcome message shows the subscriber that you’re “into them” and eager to make a good impression. So don’t be that guy (or girl) — the one that doesn’t even show up.

Ciceron has conducted “The First Impressions Email Marketing Study,” an independent research project set up to analyze the experience a new email subscriber has with a brand. Ciceron selected 70 companies in varying industries and assessed the first 21 days of their email program experience.