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Saying ”Welcome” to any visitor at your doorstep makes them feel more comfortable. Saying “Welcome” with an email after someone signs up for your mailing list is a great to accomplish the same positive reaction online.
A welcome email is one of these most effective tactics for customer engagement and retention. 74% of subscribers expect a welcome email upon subscribing and the positive user experience garnered from a welcome email can play an important role in encouraging them to purchase.
A well-crafted welcome email can help your brand in the following ways:
- Significantly reduce the time between subscription and the first purchase
- Increase lifetime value of subscribers
- Boost performance metrics in other emails
- Raise conversion rates
- Set the foundation for and improve brand affinity and loyalty
Welcome emails have on average 4 times higher open rate and 5 times more click-through rate compared to a standard email marketing campaign.
Here are 5 steps and associated tips to creating a welcome email that can delight as well as convert your subscribers.
Want to level-up your welcome emails for 2018? Don’t miss our webinar with Bronto: Maximize Your Welcome Series in 2018.
Step #1: Say Thanks
An email address is the passport to a digital domain. Whenever a prospect shares their email address or subscribes, they are taking the first step to building a relationship with your brand.
Thank them for taking this step. Confirm the signup process was a success. And reinforce that their decision to subscribe was wise with messaging about the benefits of joining your list.
Michael’s greets new subscriber with a big Thank you message followed by assurance that the subscriber will “love their inbox.” (Source)
TIP: Use an animated GIF or embed a video as the hero image in your email. This sequence of images moving across the screen can attract attention faster than a static image.
Step #2: Fulfill Your Promise
What is your hook for getting people to sign up for your mailing list? A discount? A free ebook? A free trial?
Whatever that incentive is, make sure you deliver it in your (first) welcome email. Deliver on what you promised as soon as possible.
Fonts.com offered free fonts for signing up and their welcome email fulfills that promise by providing the link. (Source)
TIP: You can decide to deliver your incentive on the “Thank You” page post-subscription. If that’s the case, use your welcome email to reinforce that delivery.
Step #3: Allow Yourself to Introduce… Yourself
Although they signed up, subscribers may not be completely aware of your products, services, or even your brand in general. Moreover, you likely lack vital information (beyond an email address) to help you build relevant messaging consistent with collected data.
Your welcome email can be the perfect vehicle to further introduce your brand to your subscribers as well as get to know your subscribers better. You don’t need to overstuff your email—try one of these two approaches:
3a Introduce your brand products and services:
Educate your subscribers about your brand. Have your welcome email answer these questions:
- What is your product?
- How does it work?
- How are your products different from your competitors?
You can also include testimonials to leverage word of mouth.
This email by HireClub speaks to the reason behind creation of the brand and offers a step-by-step guide on how to use their product. (Source)
Amazon’s welcome email for their Echo product (Hi Alexa!) features a series of instructions that their users can test out. (Source)
3b. Learn more about your subscribers
Per MarketingSherpa, personalized subject lines lift open rates by 29.3%. But in order to be able to personalize your emails, you need relevant customer data.
Using your welcome email to prompt subscribers to give you more data—complete their profile, for example—can be very effective. This is a great way to leverage the enhanced open rates enjoyed by welcome emails to gather more data.
In this email by Paul Smith, the powerful hero image draws attention to the desired request for more information. (Source)
TIP: You can potentially include an integrated form inside your email. This simplifies the process by one step, reducing friction. The drawback, however, is that integrated forms only work in a limited number of email clients and can be flagged as a security threat by some filters.
Step #4: Ask for Whitelisting
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and corporate firewalls rely on sender reputation for cross-checking domains to determine whether to filter emails into inboxes, spam folders, or block them altogether. Emails coming from a “bad” domain tend to be blocked.
One way to improve your sender reputation is to have subscribers add your mailing address/domain to their “safe senders” list or whitelist. The more whitelistings you get, the better chance you have to earn a positive sender reputation and get more of your emails through filters.
Leveraging your welcome email to ask for whitelisting can be very effective, as you’ll see in the Hubspot example below.
TIP: Establish expectations in your welcome email for the types and frequency of emails you’ll be sending to your subscribers. Sticking to these expectations in your email marketing program should help reduce unsubscribes and spam complaints.
Step #5: Send a Series
One welcome email may not be enough to effectively convey your welcome messaging. Having multiple emails in a series can eliminate the risk of sending too much information too soon.
TIP: For your welcome series, create a separate workflow for new subscribers. This way, new subscribers will not receive “regular” mailings until they are “properly” welcomed.
Saks Fifth Avenue has a welcome email series that spreads their message across 3 different emails and their newsletter is only sent to new subscribers once they receive all 3 emails.
Your welcome emails should establish a solid foundation upon which to grow your relationships with your subscribers and customers. And a subscriber greeted well is more likely to convert into a happy customer who (hopefully) loves your brand.
Share your tips for crafting great welcome emails in the comments below.
To learn more about creating an amazing welcome series, join our webinar: Maximize Your Welcome Series in 2018.
Scott is the VP of Marketing at InboxArmy, a full-service email marketing agency. He has been living and breathing email marketing since 2007. Scott brings a unique perspective to email marketing that combines best practices with real-world-tested strategy and tactics. Check out Scott’s email marketing tutorials & articles on Inbox Army’s Email Marketing Blog.