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4 Ways to Perfect Your Welcome Series

Title reading: 4 Ways to Perfect Your Welcome Series
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Welcome Messaging Is Crucial

Onboarding and welcome messaging see higher engagement and revenue potential than any other category of branded communications, giving marketers a unique opportunity to capture their customers' full attention.

As a result, it’s absolutely critical to perfect your welcome series and use it to reinforce brand value, build trust, and fuel lasting loyalty. These 4 strategies will give you simple, effective techniques to do just that.

Tip #1: Be Customer-Centric, Not Time-Centric

One of the biggest challenges facing welcome campaigns is their dependence on regimented send cadences. While the initial messages are often triggered by an action—such as account creation or making a purchase—the follow-up communications are deployed at a set interval, designed to ease the workload on marketers. 

This is the opposite of a customer-centric approach. When a one-size-fits-all frequency is sent to all of your onboarding customers, the messages quickly become irrelevant to a large slice of recipients as they all interact at differing paces. In short, a time-based approach turns a welcome series into a missed opportunity. Instead, marketers need to frame their cadences and targeted content around customers’ recent actions. This can be achieved by sending real-time triggers or by having the messaging update at the moment of open.

Tip #2: Real Time, Real Engagement

For relevant onboarding messaging, marketers need to know what high value actions customers have and have not taken. While a customer may be 30 days into their journey, that doesn’t mean they’ve already gone paperless and downloaded the branded app. On the flip side, a digitally engaged customer may have instantly set up their account and be ready for more complex benefit reinforcements within the loyalty program. 

For utmost relevance, marketers need to ask themselves what the right message for customers looks like at the time of open. The secret to making this happen? Real-time data personalization. No matter the industry or campaign series—whether you’re a retailer wanting up-to-date inventory and pricing or a financial services marketer wanting to spread awareness about credit card benefits—looping in this level of accuracy and relevance is paramount to successful messaging.

Loyalty email from Tide with data visualization

Take Tide, for example. Upon signing up with a new bank, Tide displays to members five account set-up steps that are key to driving engaged customer behavior. Each time a member completes a task, a data-visualization progress tracker automatically updates to display how far they’ve progressed and what steps they’ve yet to complete. Tide saw an impressive 69% increase in click-through rates with this dynamic, real-time email.

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Tip #3: Take the Modular Approach

Customer-centric messaging that’s powered by real-time data personalization? Check. But marketers must also define what this would actually look like across an entire welcome series, and how to build it out at scale. 

While this level of personalization is pain-staking and virtually impossible to scale using traditional email building, a modular approach truly changes the game.

Modular approach

By creating a templated email design along a robust module library, marketers can easily prompt a variety of next-best actions, no matter where the customer is in the journey at any given time. 

Additionally, marketers can get more bang for their buck when it comes to creative assets. When modules and automated, real-time personalization are combined, the two work in perfect harmony. The same creative can be reused, but with updated layers of information that are relevant to the customer at the moment of open.

Tip #4: Incentivize Customer Action

With the right automated personalization tools, marketers can keep up with where customers have been and scale personalized messaging that shows them what’s next. But that’s not all marketers have on their plates. They’re also tasked with motivating customers’ next actions, which is where incentivization plays come in handy.

While initial welcome discounts are a fool-proof way of getting customers to engage, relying on that method alone is unsustainable. Marketers need to get creative with how they can add a little extra “thank you” to their onboarding messaging to solidify lasting loyalty. 

Afterpay mastered this approach with their 60-Day Challenge, a welcome campaign that gave customers a sweepstakes entry if they completed 5 onboarding tasks. After each task was completed, customers could visually see their progress in their real-time emails and mobile banners.

Afterpay gif

Ulta Beauty Rewards is another expert in driving loyalty, especially through their rewards program. For new members, all they have to do to snag some extra points is vote for their favorite trend in the live poll. This is a double win for the beauty brand—not only do they drive engagement from customers, they succeed in collecting precious zero-party data to inform their retargeting emails.

Ulta Beauty Loyalty poll

Welcome to Sky-High Engagement

With these data-driven approaches in place, you’ll be able to make the most of your welcome series and motivate lasting customer engagement and loyalty. Discover how you can implement these data-first techniques into all of your campaigns with The Data-Driven Marketer eBook.

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