Welcome emails are a key part of your customer engagement strategy. They set the tone for your relationship with new subscribers. A great, welcome email can get a potential customer excited to learn more about you and your business. On the other hand, if your initial email doesn’t resonate, it can be nearly impossible to recover from that.
Statistics show the importance of welcome emails. They earn 4 times more opens than regular email campaigns. It’s also important to note that 74% of people who subscribe to mailing lists expect to receive a welcome email. They’ll likely find it off-putting if you don’t deliver. Of course, you’ll need to do more than send a subscription confirmation to truly get your potential customers onboard. Your welcome email should really kick off an ongoing relationship.
The challenge you face is creating welcome emails that are effective. How do you use welcome emails to nudge new audience members towards conversion? How do you ensure that customers look forward to future emails and that you don’t find your correspondence simply being swiped away.
We’ve listed 12 strategies below that can help…
1. Set Expectations
Will you be sending coupons and exclusive offers? What about company news or invitations to special events? How often will you send emails? Let customers know what to expect from you, and you’ll reduce many of the frustrations that lead people to unsubscribe or send your mail to spam.
The Fruit Guys does this in a very simple, straight forward manner. They tell customers the key focus of their content in a very short introductory email.
Do this step correctly, and you can create a sense of anticipation as well. Your customers will look forward to your informative, relevant content.
2. Share Your Brand Story
Products and services are rarely unique. It’s your company’s values, passion, even your reason for existing that make you unique. Get customers to bond with your brand by sharing your story in your welcome email.
Just remember that you’re writing an email, so keep it short. Share a few key points or an abridged version of your founding story. Link to the in-depth version on your website, or to your social media. That way, you get new audience members intrigued, and encourage them to engage further.
Toms Shoes does this with an email that includes a simple visual. This introduces subscribers to the company’s founding passion for helping those that are in need.
3. Send It Quickly
The moment that someone subscribes to your email list, you have their attention. The only problem is that this attention is fleeting. Take action quickly. Once you receive their subscription confirmation, get your welcome email sent immediately. Use an auto sender for this function to ensure that every subscription receives a welcoming request.
Your customer will be expecting something from you. Wait, and they may only vaguely remember signing up. Your email may be dismissed as just another intrusive email.
4. Let Customers Know How And Where to Connect With You
When it comes to connecting with your audience, the more channels the better. Link to your social media pages in your welcome email, but don’t stop there. It isn’t enough to tell your subscribers where to engage with your brand. You have to tell them why? What are you doing on each of these channels? What’s in it for them?
Ask your customers to follow you on social media in your welcome email. Then, to ensure that your email always lands in the right place, send some brief instructions on adding your email address to their trusted senders' list.
5. If You Promised Something: Deliver It
There’s nothing wrong with using an incentive to entice people to subscribe. In fact, it’s a great technique. The key is to deliver that incentive immediately, and there’s no better place for that than your welcome email.
Avoid stringing your audience members along by delaying their reward, or by creating post subscription conditions. For example, a promise of a free gift for subscribing shouldn’t be further gated by telling customers they must make a purchase first. A promise of a ten dollar savings to first-time subscribers isn’t going to seem very attractive if your audience members are told they can only use that savings in two dollar increments.
Take a look at this welcome email from Jeff Bullas. On his website, Jeff promises subscribers a download of 101 tips for growing their website. That download shows up in his introductory email within minutes.
6. Link to Helpful Resources
Use your welcome email to help your subscribers solve any problems they may have as they begin to engage with you and your products. Include your contact information, and link to your online support pages. You should also consider sharing:
- Links to user forums or discussion groups.
- Customer guides and user manuals.
- Answers to frequently asked questions.
- Tutorials, user tips, and product demonstration videos.
You might even consider creating a getting started guide to share with your new subscribers.
7. Don’t Forget to Say Thank You
This first email is all about setting the tone. Whatever else you accomplish with your email, you should show that you are grateful to your customer for giving you the chance to engage with them further. Customers who feel valued, are more likely to welcome your emails in the future.
Saying thanks is easy to do. Open your email with an expression of gratitude to get things off to a great start.
8. Avoid Spam Triggers
Spam triggers are words and phrases that cause spam filters to kick in. Use these, and your emails are likely to get lost in your customer’s spam folder. You could even find your emails being blocked or graylisted by an entire domain. Always avoid the use of spam triggers in your subject lines. You should also be careful about using them elsewhere in your email, especially in combination with one another. Here’s a brief list of examples:
- Double Your Income
- All Natural
- Free Money
- No Credit Check
- While Supplies Last
You can see a more complete list here.
There are other email characteristics that can cause your email to get relegated to the spam folder. To avoid this remember these tidbits:
- Avoid Flash Animation
- Don’t Use All Caps
- Double Check Your Spelling
- Avoid Exclamation Points in Your Subject Lines
9. Give Your Customers a Plan of Action
Your introductory email is the perfect place to tell your customers what to do next. Should they check out your latest offers, complete their customer profile, or sign up for your loyalty program? Give new subscribers a plan of action so that they continue engaging with your brand further. Check out the way that Starbucks closes out their welcome email to customers.
They give customers suggestions along with a clear pathway to linking their rewards cards, enter in codes, and completing their online profile.
10. Establish Trust
It’s unfortunate, but understandable that many people are very protective over their personal information. This includes their email address. When someone subscribes to your email list, they’re entrusting you with important information. There are things that you can do, right from the start, to build on that trust.
The first is to verify that they want to receive your emails. That’s simple enough. Just link to an unsubscribe page. Then, make that process as simple as possible. Remember, it’s not just a nice thing to do. It’s mandatory for GDPR compliance and other regulations.
Next, sign your emails. Send them from a real email address, not ‘donotreply’ or ‘sales’. We mentioned establishing expectations above. That’s not only to build anticipation for upcoming content. It also shows follow-thru. If you promise an exclusive video for subscribers on the first of each month, for example, be prepared to have that video produced and out the ‘door’ on time.
11. Incorporate Your Branding Through Visuals and Content
Marketing emails aren’t just a sales tool, they’re a branding tool. Your branding is your company’s persona. It’s a unique style, attitude, even aesthetic that sets your business apart from others in the same niche. That should be reflected in your email content, just as it’s reflected in your social media pages and website. Start this in your very first email.
Purple, the mattress company, does just that. If you’ve watched the brand’s tv commercials, or follow them on social media, you know they take a humorous, irreverent approach. Their welcome email takes on the same tone. This gives their customers an understanding of their branding, and what to expect in terms of tone and personality.
Of course, creating on-brand content for your emails can be challenging. It may be worth bringing in the professionals for this. After all, this first email can determine whether or not you can interest a customer in future engagement, or making a purchase. A copywriting service like Trust My Paper can help you compose branded email content that is likely to keep your new subscribers hooked.
12. Use Segmentation To Target Your Welcome Campaigns
Even your first-time subscribers will have characteristics that differentiate themselves from one another. Once subscriber may be entirely new to your brand, another may have already purchased one of your products. New subscribers can also vary according to geography, demographic characteristics, or their reasons for signing up. For example, one segment of new subscribers could be in the exploratory phase, while another is much closer to making a purchase. It only makes sense to use segmentation in your welcome email campaigns.
When customers sign up for your emails, give them a few choices. If you offer multiple product lines, ask them which ones most interest them. Do you attract B2C and B2B customers? Find out which category your subscribers fall into so that you can customize your welcome email accordingly.
Off The Beaten Path takes customers on specially curated, fly-fishing trips. When subscribers sign up, they provide very specific information on their interests and abilities.
This can then be used to send out email content that is specifically customized to each subscriber’s interests and preferences.
A great, introductory email sets the tone for your relationship with a customer moving forward. Use the opportunity to pique interest, help the customer engage with your brand, and build trust. Implement these tips above so that your welcome email helps you to deepen your connection with your customers, and increase the number of conversions that result from your email subscriptions.