5. December 2013–
In email marketing, there is no better time to contact the potential customer then immediately after their newsletter subscription. Why? Because, through their permission, the subscriber has signalled a clear interest in your brand and products – and is awaiting your first email.
Welcome emails can be one of the most promising opportunities in the email channel to bring prospective customers closer to your product or service in an easy manner. Nevertheless, these type of welcome campaigns are still only used by a relatively small number of companies. Here Andreas Endter, consultant at Berlin-based email marketing service provider Optivo, outlines eight tips on how to create a successful welcoming email campaign…
The first weeks following the newsletter subscription are ideal for presenting your brand as well as starting a dialogue with your prospective customers. The welcoming series can be simply set up once with an email broadcasting software. After this, the individual campaign emails will be regularly sent according to predefined settings. We recommend implementing a multistep welcome series over a period of up to 30 days. Afterwards, contact with subscribers should shift to regularly scheduled communication.
Welcoming emails should be sent promptly and in an automated manner – immediately following the newsletter subscription confirmation. If you’re looking for a more personalised communication style, the first welcome email could be slightly delayed in order to convey the impression of a personal response – as opposed to an automated email. A staggered dispatch is also justified if you don’t want to send three emails within a short timeframe (double opt-in, confirmation, welcome).
New subscribers should get an idea of the look and feel of your future newsletters in the welcome emails. Ensure easy recognition by using a catchy and understandable sender name. Furthermore, you should start using the dispatch address that will be used in the following regularly scheduled communication.
An attractive design of the upper area of welcome emails is particularly important for memorable branding. Also, an email header with a prominently positioned logo, logical/recurring structure as well as uniform colour scheme play a part in ensuring easy recognition.
The use of active words at the beginning of welcome email subject lines, such as “Welcome” or “Thank you”, have proven to be effective. They provide an immediate impression of friendliness and help generate interest.
The welcome emails should ideally show up the same (and correct) way by every internet service provider and webmailer as well as on every end-user device. A professional email broadcasting software provides many possibilities for you to test this. Should you require even more detailed depiction testing, I would recommend using Litmus or Return Path.
Right from the beginning, you should determine what content will be made available in the future and the frequency of emails. If your subscribers are expecting to receive exclusive offers, these should also be communicated clearly in advanced. Your welcome emails should always serve to confirm the subscriber’s decision to register for the newsletter and confirm their positive attitude towards the company and its products. However, an option to revoke the subscription at any time is essential at this stage. A note informing that all data is kept securely and used responsibly should also be included.
6. Added Value
Amaze your new contacts with useful information and great offers. We’d recommend you start right away with vouchers, top/bestseller lists, management of profile options via a preference centre as well as links to social networks. Information on service and support, customer programmes, ordering options and conditions of delivery are other things that could be of interest. Also useful are video tutorials and website tours on how to navigate the website.
The clearer the better. Your recipients should be able to answer the question of “What should I do?” immediately after opening the first welcome email. This is followed by the question of “What now?” which is answered through a string of specific calls to action. The next question posed is usually “What use is it to me?” which must be responded to by direct communication of advantages. The answers must be carefully formulated and be relevant to offers and services. In cases where there are many topics, a multistep email series with small bite-sized information is preferable to that of a single welcome email with a block of text including everything.
Even with welcome emails, there’s no getting around regular testing of the campaign. Changes should always first be tested on smaller recipient groups. Furthermore, the following rule of thumb should be kept in mind: What worked today may – under certain circumstances – not work in six to nine months from now. To help you get it right, an advanced email broadcasting software can help with testing and analysing options.
Image credits: featured image – flickr user Incase.