This is a guest post by Niclas Sjölander, Marketing Assistant at Triggerbee.
There is only one channel used by ALL your customers. (No, it’s not facebook, linkedin, or instagram …) With over 4 billion users, it’s not only larger than all social networks, but it also has a higher conversion rate. What channel are we talking about? Email, of course! And one of the most important emails you can send is the welcome email. For real.
The welcome email has an 84 % higher opening rate than current campaign emails or newsletters, and 42 % more people read ALL the content in the welcome email. So, you think it should be a matter of course to have a good welcome email… or? The truth is that only 48 % of all E-retailers in Sweden actually send out a welcome email. And even fewer personalize its content (only 16.3% personalize the subject line as an example).
A good welcome email is incredibly important.
We know, no one will save it as evening reading – that’s not the goal either – but a warm welcome can still make a big difference. It is, after all, the first impression from your company’s “personal” side. Check out for yourself. Compare this welcome email:
Which would you like to get yourself? You probably agree that the second email is more welcoming (even if you are not actively thinking about it). Below are some tips on how you can best design a welcome email that both welcomes and engages. And as you will soon discover, the welcome email is the key to getting your promotional emails to end up in the mythical priority inbox (instead of under the “promotions” tab, among all your competitors) …
1. Capture Email Addresses (Properly)
It all starts on your website. Regardless of whether you capture new e-mail addresses through a popup or at checkout in connection with a purchase, it’s important that you set the right expectations already when registering.
Here are some tips on how to structure your first offer:
- Headline: Your headline must be effective and call for action. Instead of “Subscribe to the newsletter”, try combining it with an offer. Or insert some social proof and mention how many subscribers you already have, like this: “Do as 42,577 others – subscribe to the newsletter for fantastic offers!”
- Offer: Be clear about what your offer means. If you have great deals, what does that mean? Discounts? Preview? Preference for sale? Summarize in detail!
- CTA: Your CTA (button) should say what you as a user want to achieve. If you offer a discount code, write “Unlock discount code” on the button instead of “Subscribe”. Most people who see your offer would rather have the discount than the newsletter – so focus the button text on the most desirable part of your offer.
- NBA (Next Best Action): If there’s one thing people dislike, it’s ambiguity. Therefore, you need to tell what will happen next, after a user has clicked the button. Where will the discount code appear? Do they need to do anything before they can access the discount code?
2. Welcome, repeat, and guide on
Your welcome email is the email that is read by most people. It’s hardly comparable to the number who read your current campaign emails.
The welcome email is also your first “real” contact with a new subscriber. Therefore, it’s definitely worth spending a little extra time on the design.
From the first paragraph to the last, it should clearly show who you are and why you are sending out your newsletter.
Guidelines for the welcome email:
Sender name: Use your company name or the name of a person in your company. Make sure the sender is something that your subscribers can relate to and recognize later on.
Welcome: Introduce your business a little quickly, welcome your new subscriber and tell them what the main purpose of your newsletter is. Repeat your offer from the site, and what kind of content your new subscriber can expect to receive.
Exceed expectations: The BEST thing you can do in your welcome email is to exceed what is expected. Do you offer a 10% discount on the first purchase? Surprise with 5% extra! Or why not give a discount check of SEK 150 that is valid for a limited time in the future.
Guide further: Always end the email with instructions on how your new subscriber can deepen their relationship with you. Link to your social media, free services, popular resources, or tools.
Bonus: Encourage your subscribers to respond to your welcome email, and tell them why they want to subscribe. Your sender address will have a better “reputation” and your emails will be classified as “important” in most inboxes. This gives you an advantage because you have a greater chance of ending up in the important inbox instead of under a category tab like “Promotions” (where most people end up).
How to set expectations in a welcome email
Your welcome email should convey that you are there for them and not the other way around. You should show in the best way that you will be attentive and responsive. Don’t talk about yourself or your business. Replace all “I, we, ours, us” with “you, yours”. The more you talk about yourself and your business, the less special your subscribers feel.
It’s important to put a personal touch on your emails early, so that your subscribers quickly recognize each upcoming email. Put a lot of emphasis on showing the value that your readers can expect and how often they can expect to hear from you, and of course make sure that these are guidelines you actually follow.
To make your welcome email complete, use an “engagement magnet”, something that entices your subscribers to get a little extra involved. This may mean giving you an offer, a gift, or some helpful tips. To also give the email a further boost or twist to it, you can also ask a question that arouses curiosity.
Ask new subscribers to respond to your email
The best thing you can do in your welcome email is to ask your subscribers to answer a question – through email. Why? All spam filters register which emails are opened, flagged, saved, moved, or answered. The emails you only open occasionally are eventually filtered out, or placed in a separate tab as in Gmail (most commonly “promotions”). However, if you can get your subscribers to respond to your welcome email, then your sender address will automatically end up in the priority inbox. And the more people who respond… yes, the better email reputation you get from Gmail, Apple and Hotmail.
There is almost NO ONE who thinks of urging a subscriber to respond to emails. If you then need to give away an extra discount (for example, increase the welcome discount from 10% to 15%) just to get new subscribers to respond, it may be worth it. For your deliverability and opening frequency will go up, up, up …
Be a source of inspiration
Don’t forget that you are the source of your reader’s inspiration. As an e-trader, this is a matter of course. Make use of what would inspire your readers. For example, you can use quotes from influencers, name your award-winning products, or help your customers accomplish something. Don’t forget to constantly offer to help. It’s easy to forget when you have a digital business model. And something you have probably already figured out by now…
… send the welcome email immediately when your new subscriber registers.