First impressions matter. So when you ask a customer or lead for their email address, you need to make sure you start your relationship off on the right foot.
So how best to ensure a consistently amazing first experience with your brand’s email marketing?
Enter the ‘Welcome Series’.
Is an automated welcome worth it?
The first question any sensible business owner will ask is: ‘Why bother?’
It’s important to ensure a solid return on any investment. You don’t want to waste your marketing budget on the ‘nice-to-haves’ – a simple doormat for your brand’s entrance – when that money could be working hard for you elsewhere.
So, if you do have any niggling doubts (which you should), allow me to dispel them:
- 74.4% of people expect a welcome message when they subscribe to your mailing list – which, in turn, gives Welcome emails an open rate of 50%! Once someone has subscribed to a brand’s email list – especially in ecommerce – they often leave the website and wait to continue their journey with your brand in their inbox. Don’t disappoint them!
- Welcome emails, on average, generate 320% more revenue than any other promotional email. If there’s a single email automation you’re going to implement, it’ll be tough to decide between this and an Abandoned Cart saver series!
- And not only that – but they subscribers who have received welcome emails stick around longer too. In fact, there’s a 33% increase in long term engagement.
A Welcome Series sets you up for a much better relationship with your client as they progress through their customer journey. Done right, these emails set subscriber expectations of what’s to come, encourage them to connect with your brand on other channels, and pull them back to your store to purchase not just once, but time and time again.
Before creating your Welcome Series
So how do we make our Welcome Series amazing?
Many email marketers will set up an autoresponder to thank the new subscriber for joining their mailing list. These are often quite simple: a plain text email with some simple ‘thank you and welcome’ messaging, and maybe a coupon code if they’ve used a discount offer to incentivise subscription. By all means, this is a great start! But welcome emails can include much more – and you don’t just have to stop at one.
All welcome strategies will be different. There’s no cookie-cutter template that works perfectly for any and all businesses. So before you draw up a blueprint, you’ll need to ask yourself a few questions:
- How long is your sales cycle? Is your usual turn-around 24-72 hours? You might want to make your email series short, sweet, and rapid-fire – or just send a single, highly-converting email campaign. On the other hand, maybe your conversions generally take a few weeks? If you’re a B2B service, or your product range is quite expensive, you might want to set up your welcome series to act more like a steady drip of touch points and follow up, slowly working towards a sale.
- How are you different to the competition? The welcome series is the perfect place to show off what makes you stand out in the market. Chances are, if you’ve earned a new subscriber, they’re currently researching products like yours. You’ll need to shape your messaging and design to show your unique offerings – so ensure you have this clearly mapped out in advance.
- Where are your new subscribers coming from? By analysing how your new subscribers are signing up, you can ensure your welcome emails are as relevant (and therefore effective) as possible. Do you have a series of pop-ups across your website? Do you have a subscription banner, with most of your website traffic coming from social media? Or are most of your subscribers already purchasers? It could even be worth creating different, context-sensitive email series.
- What actions do you hope your customers take after receiving your email(s)? Planning your email strategy based on the actions you’re hoping to achieve is the only path towards real success. If you’re hoping to convert them towards a first purchase, you’ll need clear, concise call to actions driving them back to your shop. If you’re looking to educate them on the brand in a ‘slow burn’ sale, you’ll want to direct them to your social pages, and write some compelling story-driven copy.
How should your first Welcome Series look?
Now that you’ve given these four questions a think – it’s time to design your strategy.
Protip: design the strategy, number of emails, and timing based on the outcomes you want to achieve and the messaging you want to convey – not the other way around!
Put together a document with your three or four main goals that you’d like to achieve. Decide what sort of messaging will be important for new subscribers, too. Let them know what to expect now they’re a part of your mailing list. Now decide how many emails all this will take, and space these out depending on your sales cycle.
Depending on your brand, you might want to hire a designer or email marketing agency to design these for you. Other, more personable brands might even have more success with a plain text email series (depending on how good your strategy is). It all depends on your brand and product.
We’d love to help you design the perfect Welcome Series for your ecommerce business. If you’re in the mood for a chat with one of our strategists, we’d love to see what we can do for your business. Get in touch today!