In the age of “clicks and bricks,” the digital experience for customers needs to be as polished as their experience would be in store. Imagine that the welcome email is the first time your customer walks into your store. What do you want them to see? What do you want them to feel? These are elements that must be considered when crafting an effective welcome series. Welcome emails introduce your brand to customers and establish a first impression.
Consider the following to develop a welcome series that truly is, well, welcoming.
Make it Personal
The extent to which you can personalize emails depends heavily upon the data being collected. At the very least, basic information such as first and last names gives you the power to send customized emails to your subscribers that resonate on a deeper level. What better way to introduce someone to your email program than to call them by their name? Also, consider acknowledging how your customer joined your email program. Did they make a purchase and opt in? Did they signup via your website? Adding layers to individualize your subscriber goes a long way in separating your brand from the rest.
Right-Size the Number of Touches
A good rule of thumb when developing a welcome series is to think about how often you’d normally send emails to your customers. If you send a weekly newsletter, then a single welcome email should suffice. But if you plan on sending three emails during a week, it’d be wise to make sure the welcome series has three touches as well. Essentially the welcome series should set expectations for how often you plan to send emails to your subscribers within a given week. Setting expectations up front is always a great way to start a relationship.
Time It Perfectly
In most cases, it’s a best practice to deploy welcome emails as soon as a new subscriber confirms their subscription. The main reason is to provide confirmation to the subscriber that they’ve successfully signed up for the program. Another reason is that it provides a sense of instant gratification for your customers, which will definitely earn your brand brownie points.
Think about what you can offer your customers for subscribing to your email program. A small discount can increase the probability that a customer will open your emails in the future. Many restaurants offer a free appetizer. Retailers often offer a percentage discount or free shipping. Then there’s the company emails that may not be associated with any particular product. These present an opportunity to think creatively about the information that will provided over the course of the subscription. Are you dishing the most up-to-date news? If so, position your messaging so that it communicates the valuable information you’re giving subscribers for free.
As long as you keep these four basic elements in mind when building your welcome emails, you should end up with an engaging series that amicably greets users, gives them a reason to stick around with subscriber-exclusive offers and lays a solid foundation for future touches.