A welcome email is the most important email you will ever send. Probably the email with the highest open, click and conversion rates too. Not that strange, a welcome email arrives when the subscriber is literally asking for it. So it is a great opportunity for an email marketer to engage new subscribers and drive action.
A guest post by Jordie van Rijn.
Why welcome emails are pretty darn great:
- They have the highest open and click trough rates of any email
- Easy to set up and automate (no work)
- Get extra conversions, relieve customer support and be remembered
But also: They can amaze, show personality and set the stage for later emails!
Welcome emails are one of the easiest event driven emails or drip campaigns to set up. And maybe you have heard some best practices about setting expectations and presenting a great offer. But let me give you some creative examples of things you could do in a welcome email. Some examples you’ve never really thought about which can amaze your audience:
1. Giftwrap the right and golden content
Over delivering is a great way to create good online karma. And it’s not as difficult as you might think.
A lot of companies have a blog or have created content before, which after a while gets buried and doesn’t get the attention it deserves. So let’s change that: Package the content (like in a pdf) and link it from the welcome message. I do it myself when people subscribe to my newsletter. At this moment I link to some articles about mobile email and offer a whitepaper about building your email marketing list.
There are two options in using golden content:
- Use it as an incentive to drive more sign ups (promote it before sign-up)
- Use the gift to amaze people and positively surprise them (don’t promote it before sign-up)
To make it even better, check which interests they ticked during sign up and customize your golden content package to fit with those preferences.
2. Buy them a cup of coffee around the corner
With a zipcode you can pinpoint the location of your new subscriber. And that is helpful. A location will allow you to show their local store, local offers, open hours, events, news or your local account manager.
Think about the real estate business. Wouldn’t it be perfect to show the right local realtor in the welcome or offer a link to the area they are interested in?
Most businesses know it’s not easy getting people to visit their store (online or offline). Do you have a “bricks and clicks” business? The welcome email is a chance to invite them to a store and a cup of coffee around the corner. Which corner? Use the location info you collected.
3. Give something to give away
What is better than receiving a free gift? Receiving a free gift AND giving it to someone else too. Chances are that your new subscriber or client knows people that are also interested in your service. So instead of giving a coupon or a discount, give two -- one for the subscriber and another one to give away. Sounds like an easy thing to do and it is.
4. Storyboard your message with the team
If you are a business with a face, why not introduce the people behind your brand. The people that make the magic happen. Clients, your team and the high school teacher that inspired you to become what you are. Actually telling a real story can be a refreshing way to make otherwise “boring facts” become compelling.
Offer free shipping? There is a story behind the care and efficiency you have to make that happen. A client that received a certain product just in time because of overnight shipping can make a great story for sharing. As long as it’s not overselling or reaching too far. Pick you primary message to bring across, get creative and make it interesting.
But of course making your emails interesting isn’t exclusive to welcome emails!
5. Go multi and invite them to join
There are several ways to promote your newsletter. On your site, advertise or use social media. But you can also use your email newsletter to promote your other channels. A new subscriber can also become a Facebook fan or connect with you on Linkedin (B2B vs B2C).
(editor's note: GetResponse makes social sharing easy!)
Conventional marketing wisdom says that for someone to buy from you, they need to have seen your message at least 5 times. The welcome email is a chance to show what you are doing on those channels too. If you are heavily interacting via Facebook and post daily updates: here is your chance to let them join the conversation.
Extra bonus tip
Don’t let the welcome moment pass
For example, we released three industry reports and after monitoring travel, automotive and financials, it showed that a lot of email marketers still don’t seize the opportunity to do a proper welcome. Sometimes a new subscriber has to wait a month (or even more) to get their first email message.
That is too long, way too long.
It’s often overlooked that the subscriber is waiting and expecting to get some communication within a certain time frame. Otherwise they might not even remember if they signed up with you, and the opportunity to amaze them has passed. Don’t wait! Welcome people when they sign up with an amazing welcome message!
Leave us a comment with your tips for amazing welcome emails!
Jordie van Rijn is an independent email marketing consultant with his company eMailMonday. He specializes in email marketing and event-driven campaigns, helping brands to get the most from their email marketing efforts. You can find him on twitter too: @jvanrijn