Moving From the Single Welcome Email to a Welcome Series

Dec 20, 2017

Article ImageIt’s hard to separate your brand’s signal from the noise during any time of the year, but this is especially true during the hectic holiday months. In addition, easy online access to products and services has made today’s customers more demanding, with higher expectations of personalized attention.

To accommodate the growing reliance on email–in the U.S. alone, email users are projected to reach 254.7 million by 2020–and to stand out from the crowd, businesses need to get creative with email marketing strategies.

Finding ways to boost your email click rate is key to generating more leads and increasing sales. To get your emails read this year, there are a few ways retailers can optimize their email strategies to, not only increase click rates, but conversion rates as well. It all starts with striking a good initial impression and cultivating the relationship from there in a series of welcome emails that tell a new customer or subscriber everything they need to know about your brand.

Welcome, Welcome, Welcome

Just like interviewing for a job or applying for admission to a school, recruiters and guidance counselors will tell you that the first impression you make is a critical one. For a brand, the first email you send a potential customer functions similar to that initial interview: it sets the tone for all future communications and is critical in conveying the best aspects about your brand.

Brands that only send one welcome email, however, miss a big opportunity to establish voice and further highlight the benefits of products or services for potential customers. Instead of pigeonholing the welcome email to a single initial email, consider expanding to a welcome series that carefully delivers curated and sequenced content that unfolds a brand's story for its subscribers and converts newcomers into loyal customers.

Series as Performance

Welcome series emails are typically kicked off in the first 30 days of a subscriber joining, followed up with correspondence once a week, or once every three days, as the most common cadence.

A recent report investigating the impacts of a welcome series included descriptions of products, and services, loyalty enrollment and benefits, invitations to download brand apps, highlights of social media connections, branded credit cards and online and in-store offers and locations. When queuing up a series, real-time triggers produce the best results. A few ideas to promote higher open and click rates include: 

  • Offers - The right time to include an offer in a welcome series is a much debated topic. It is often a call to action that converts best in a third or fourth welcome email. The reason being, new customers are interested enough off the bat since any communication is new. This sharply declines with subsequent emails and as a customer’s interest wanes, an offer is one the best ways to counter declining customer interest.
  • Personalization - What’s the most interesting subject line you’ve read recently? Emails with personalized subject lines yield higher open rates, and similar to offers, personalization showcases a way to combat interest fatigue, particularly for the third and fourth emails in a series.
  • Animation - Animation is a great way to add some fun to your emails and improve customer engagement. From Giphys to stop-motion video, a little movement can go a long way in producing higher click-to-open rates and higher transaction-to-click rates. 

Future Takeaways

The benefits of a strong welcome series don’t end when the series ends.

A great welcome performance confirms the need for multiple, targeted contacts with your subscriber base within the first 30 days. And interactions from this performance are indicative of long-term value. In fact, takeaways from an initial welcome series can be extrapolated out for other promotional mailings for a brand. Whether the holidays or another time of year, identifying ways to support your email click rate is vital to a successful email marketing strategy.

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