Your Email Welcome Message Can Be Your Most Effective Sales Tool

Welcome Messages for B2C Work!
Every email marketer worth his salt knows that the best time to develop a relationship with a prospect or client is when they have shown an interest or placed an order. However according to a recent study of online retailers only 1% send a welcome series. Even more mind shattering is that 51% don’t send a single welcome email upon engagement.

This is truly a missed opportunity to engage an audience because welcome messages have the highest open rates of all email campaigns.

A welcome series is an automated series of emails that are sent automatically, to a new subscriber, based on a behavior (signed up on web site, purchased an item, etc…) and at a predetermined frequency (daily, weekly, etc…). It’s an extremely efficient and effective communications that is well received by the reader and will provide you a return.

Reaching your audiences when they’re most likely to respond is crucial to building customer lifetime value and an automated welcome series provides tremendous opportunities to nurture relationships, build brand loyalty, and prompt sales.  What’s more, subscribers have come to expect them.

Welcome Emails – What You Need to Know
Some welcomes are sent directly after email sign up. Others take a few days or more. It is good email marketing etiquette to send a Welcome before sending any other marketing email.

Here are some statistics and facts about the Welcome emails from the top 45 retailers:

  • 30 mentioned the name of the sender in the Subject Line. (67%)
  • 13 mentioned a specific offer in the Subject Line (15% Off, Free Shipping etc.) (29%)
  • 4 mentioned both the name of the sender AND a specific offer in the Subject Line. (9%)
  • 4 mentioned a non-specific offer in the Subject Line (here is a welcome gift, special offer, special gift etc.) (9%)
  • The shortest Subject Line is Hello!
  • The longest Subject Line is Welcome to Harry & David. SAVE 10% NOW… and thanks for subscribing!

Here is what the welcome messages look like:
031samsclub

020athleta

023eddiebauer

027harryanddavid

The Outdoor retailer REI runs a multi part Email Welcome Series.  This includes a welcome, preference update, credit card signup, outlet, benefits plus more.

Here are some examples in the sequence:

Member Mail #1: Welcome
01rei

Member Mail #2: Email Preferences (Current Subscriber)
02rei

Member Mail #3: The Dividend
05rei

Member Mail #4: Educational Opportunities
09rei

7 tips on Building Your Own Engaging Welcome Messages

1. Differentiate the messages. The welcome series should stand out and stand alone. Don’t dilute the messages by sending your promotional campaigns at the same time.

2. Segment the audience. Target messaging based on the subscription point of entry. If a buyer opts in to your list during the checkout process, your welcome series could include member benefits, return policies, preference inquiries, and surveys. For those subscribers who joined your list without making a purchase, the series could include special offers, product reviews, and video testimonials to encourage a first sale.

3. Determine the right number of messages. Whether you send two, three, or more messages depends entirely on your audience, sales process, and campaign goals. There isn’t a right number; the key is testing to find what works best for you.

4. Set the right cadence of messages. The first message should be sent immediately upon subscription and clearly state it is the first of however many messages are in the series. It should also inform subscribers when to expect the other messages. After that, the rest of the welcome messages could be sent daily, weekly, or at whatever interval seems to work best for your audience.

5. Set specific goals. The overall goal of your welcome series should be to engage your subscribers and build brand advocates. But each specific message in the series should have its own particular goal while they work together to build your brand message.

6. Automate. Use a behaviorally triggered email solution to automate the messages. That way, you’ll guarantee that the messages are timely and effective. Each email can be set up in advance and deployed automatically, saving you time and resources.

7. Use clear subject lines. Stand out in over-crowded inboxes by including the term “welcome message” along with the number in the series.

Follow these 7 tips to harness the full potential of your automated welcome series and engage your audience in relevant, interactive dialogues at a time when they are most receptive to it.

Do you have an example of an email welcome message or series that has worked well for you? Tell me in the comments!

Stay tuned for the welcome series for B2B marketing.

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