The Best Customers Are One Greeting Away
When a customer creates an account or signs up for your newsletter, they are saying, “Hello, I’m interested, tell me more.” Good manners aside, you’d be crazy not to respond to with a welcome email (or 3) in a timely fashion. With the right welcome email strategy, you can turn opt-in visitors into brand loyalists.
What is a welcome email series? A set of pre-written messages that are scheduled to be sent to anyone who opts-in.
What do welcome emails do? They engage potential customers with useful content at the most critical time in your new relationship.
What do we mean by timely? One study found that 74% of consumers expect an email within 15 minutes of when they subscribe.
So, how do you send a series of engaging, useful, and timely emails to everyone who signs up? You do it automatically with simple marketing software! But first, consider:
Why You Need a Welcome Email Strategy
By opting-in, customers give you permission to message them.
Wes Rangel, Director of Business Development at DotcomWeavers says, “For most industries, only half of your competitors have a welcome email strategy. If you implement a good one, you will stand out.”
Here are 7 reasons why you should give new customers a warm welcome:
- Make a great first impression: Your welcome email is like a digital handshake – it’s the start of a relationship.
- Provide immediate value: A welcome email sets the tone for future interactions and demonstrates that your company is a valuable resource.
- Save time: It’s easy. The work is done in advance, once, and everything else is handled automatically.
- Generate buzz: Welcome emails get potential customers excited about what is to come via helpful content and special first-time offers.
- Win customers: Strike when the iron’s hot, right? The recipient wants—and gets—something. During this initial romance period, subscribers are more likely to make a purchase.
- Easy personalization: Your email lists can be divided into different groups and you can customize your welcome emails to meet the needs of each (per location, gender, interests, etc.).
- Stronger engagement: Subscribers pay more attention to welcome emails. You’ll see your open and click-through rates escalate significantly.
Now, are you ready to win more customer loyalty? In the rest of this article we’ll discuss how to:
- Define the goals of your welcome email strategy
- Create the welcome email content to achieve your goals
- Set up your automated welcome email series
What are the Goals of Your Welcome Email Strategy?
Your industry, brand, and audience should determine the tenor of your welcome emails. While you should make your welcome email message your own, there are a few key points all welcome emails should address:
- Make recipients feel welcome
- Acquaint recipients with your brand, products, services, and content
- Be useful and engaging
- Give recipients an incentive (or 2) that will win their business
Do these points remind you of anything? If the basic structure of a first date comes to mind, then you’ve got it. Sell yourself – nicely and honestly.
Of course, goals will vary by company. You may want people to download an app, visit your social media profiles, or give you additional information. We’ll show you how to do all that – just make sure you know your goals.
Now, let’s look at a 3-part welcome email strategy to get you started.
A 1, 2, 3 Approach to Your Welcome Emails
Before we dive in, just remember: this isn’t rocket science. Welcome emails should be fun to create (for you) and receive (for your potential customers).
For eCommerce businesses, we recommend sending opt-in users a series of 3 emails over the course of a week.
We’ll go into detail below, but if you are short on time, a good email welcome strategy could look like this:
Email 1: Sent immediately after registration. It says, “thank you”, tells the recipient what to expect, and whitelists your email address. If you promised a discount code for opting-in, make sure you give it to them.
Email 2: Sent 72 hours later. Be helpful. Deliver your best piece of content, or get users to your most popular page. Help users get started on your website.
Email 3: Sent 7 days later. Offer an exclusive “members only” deal, such as free shipping, and introduce some featured products.
Keep your goals in mind. Instead of an offer in email 3, you might choose to invite recipients to follow you on social media. Whatever you ask for, make it worth their time and effort!
Welcome Email #1: Hello!
Remember what we said about being timely? Have your system send this first email out immediately. This email thanks the person and lets them know their signup was successful. It’s also your first impression email. It should:
- Give an awesome welcome message, complete with branded imagery.
- Include the user’s name in the greeting.
- Be short and simple. You’re being friendly and establishing a rapport.
- Provide content that matches your opt-in promise.
- Let them know what’s coming next.
- Include an unsubscribe link. It’s just polite.
Here’s a great first welcome email example from Kate Spade:
Welcome Email #2: Did You Know?
You opened a curiosity loop in your first email. Keep your promise and close it in the second.
- Lead them toward the content you really want them to see.
- Share some social media proof of other customers loving your brand.
- For eCommerce, this is a fine time to send an offer.
For a great example of a soft-sell (so soft you can barely see it), check out this email from InVision:
Welcome Email #3: Get Inspired!
Maybe your latest opt-in user has made a purchase or maybe they’re still warming up to your brand. In part 3 of your welcome email strategy, you deliver unexpected value to build trust. It just might help them convert.
- Offer something – like a blog post or free ebook – that is both useful and will endear recipients to your brand.
- Show off your top-selling products and talk about how they match user values.
- Support your claims with success stories and testimonials.
- Make another offer. If you gave a discount code already, try free shipping or a buy-one-get-one offer.
As you get farther down the welcome email series, remember to follow your analytics to see what’s working and what isn’t. Adjust your welcome email strategy until something (and someone) clicks!
Other Welcome Email Ideas
Remember, this 1, 2, 3 approach is just a place to start. Depending on your business, you may want to adjust the sequence or content. If you don’t sell products but want visitors to download your app, adjust your welcome email strategy accordingly. The same goes for asking new users to follow your social media. Here are a few more ideas to consider:
- Download my app. If you’ve got an engaging app, this email demonstrates the purpose and value of it (and gives an incentive to download).
- Follow my social media. Show them an example post, tell them what you have to offer, and encourage them to like, follow and love.
- Recruit Talent. If you’re hiring, there’s nothing wrong with including a small section in a welcome email – you never know who you’ll find!
- Spread the word. If your new subscribers are excited about your brand, ask them to tell their friends (and make it worth their while).
- Ask questions. Find out what your subscribers’ biggest concerns/wants/issues This will help you solve them and build trust!
And there it is. To solve your problems, all you need to do is find creative ways to help solve your customers’ problems!
We’re almost done. By now, you know more about welcome email strategy than most of your competition – and it’s going to pay off. Let’s see how to put your new strategy into action.
Setting Up Your Automated Welcome Emails
Most content management platforms have built-in email automation software or useful plugins/add-ons to help you. They can help you deliver a personalized feel with minimal effort.
Now is the perfect time to set up your welcome email strategy. For a small investment of time, you’ll earn more repeat customers and build excitement over your brand – automatically.
Welcome to next-level email marketing.