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When the user signs up for an account, as is common, there's a prompt for them to select whether or not they want to receive email regarding news about the app (changes, events, etc). Obviously its beneficial to be able to stay in touch with your users via their inbox, but you don't want to send them something that they ignore / don't appreciate.

I also want to expose the user to our "Premium" membership, so I had the idea of taking out two birds with one stone per se, and say something along the lines of:

"We want to keep you "in the know". If you subscribe to our mailing list, you'll receive a free month of Premium as a token of our appreciation."

Would this approach be a viable one, without negative effects?

Im not asking whether they would sign up, only whether or not it would come across as desperate or pushy, or have any negative effect on the user's perspective. Perhaps it would come off as unprofessional or odd, that's why I ask.

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We want to keep you "in the know". If you subscribe to our mailing list, you'll receive a free month of Premium as a token of our appreciation.

This approach may be harmless, however, there's no "sizzle", and there's no "burn". It's me-centered (company), not you-center (customer). E.g., "We want to keep...", and simply "...[our] Premium [membership] as a token of our appreciation." A company-focused approach doesn't inspire imagination and therefore falls flat, and a customer-focused approach motivates and helps people determine usefulness.

Keeping UX in mind, user relevancy is an essential part of a positive experience.

Selling the "sizzle and not the steak" is a well established psychological marketing principle that leverages this principle---what I smell, what I taste, the energy I get, the satisfaction I feel; rather than the cut of the meat, how well you cooked it, where it came from...at least as a primary motivation,

However it's becoming increasingly important to be transparent about the "burn". "What is this going to cost me?" "Do I have time?" "Can I afford it?" "Do I have to compromise my values?"

Consider something like...

If you give us (on average) an extra 30 seconds of your time right now to consider and subscribe to our monthly email list, about a 5 minute read, keeping you informed about [blah, blah, blah], you'll receive a free month of [blah, blah, blah] as a part of our Premium membership specially designed for members who [blah, blah, blah].

...burn, burn, burn---sizzle sizzle, sizzle.

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It's been 3 years and 4 months since the OP asked this question, but anyway, I have a thought to share.

I would think that you wouldn't be giving away a free month of premium features without having anything from that user. Some websites ask for credit card information which won't be billed until the user decides to go on with the premium subscription, some websites offer free documents etc. I also think that you can send a reminder that the user's premium features will end after one week or two days etc, and in that specific mail, ask the user if he/she wants still be on the mailing list after the premium ended, User will have the chance to unsubscribe the mailing list after he/she receives the first copy of the e-mail via the "unsubscribe me" link.

Or a better one, you give the premium features starting right after registration, with sending a separate notification email after the "welcome" email, emphasing the lines "you've been granted a free premium subscription for one month" as the main message, without relating it to the mailing list. On the other side, ask for the user to join the mailing list on the registration phase with the checkbox checked initially. This way, the interaction with the user will be more silent, and you can do both what you want. This way the user won't think twice when doing anything.

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    Well, I consider it being good practice (of not annoying users) to have all these "newsletter" checkboxes OFF initially. Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 7:46
  • Yes, it was 9 months ago when I wrote this answer, But I can't understand what I meant with the second paragraph's second half :) Now with the GDPR or anything else that affects to the user's privacy, it's better to ask the user like OP was doing in the question.
    – Taha Paksu
    Commented Jan 22, 2020 at 9:19

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