Here’s a guest post on a topic we’ve never talked about in this blog before: your welcome emails! Who knew they were so important? ~ Elena Verlee
86% more readers would open this article’s title…
…if it were in a welcome email.
Everybody loves a big warm welcome, whether in real life or on the Internet. This also applies to every new subscriber you gain. Unfortunately, mailing lists have gotten a bit of a bad rep lately, with subscribers feeling like they’re not treated as people but just numbers. I feel the same way sometimes.
As a result, I have decided to put an end to making your subscribers feel like just another number. This article will show you how your welcome email can help decrease your unsubscribes and increase sales.
Did you know welcome emails perform 86% better than newsletters?
Well it’s true!
On average, around 50% of your subscribers will open your welcome email, making it 86% more effective than your regular newsletter. Not only do they have four times the open rate, but welcome emails also have 5 times the click through rate!
Instead of having a generic “Thanks for signing up” reply, you strike while the iron’s hot.
But what to write?
1. Instruct – give people some ideas
If, after signing up to your newsletter, the subscriber’s next logical step is to set up a complete profile on your site, suggest that they do that. Have a link redirecting them to their profile page and tell them the benefits of signing up.
2. Sell – an opportune time for a return on investment
If your business has an online or offline store, your welcome email can encourage them to purchase. For example, providing an introductory special offer or free delivery on their first purchase can sometimes spell the difference between landing yourself a new customer or losing a hot lead.
3. Inform – talk whilst they’re listening
Clearly mention the most important features of your product or website, or provide detailed information regarding the services you offer in your welcome email. This will give them a much clearer understanding of what to expect in future emails.
4. Be personal – show them you care
Maybe it’s too early to start selling, you may not have a big active online presence or a next action to offer, then what?
Give them a huge virtual hug – that’s what!
Just write a few sentences welcoming them to your newsletter, how much you value them, and add humour where you feel appropriate. Don’t forget to use the subscriber’s name; even in today’s impersonal world people still like to feel you’re writing to them specifically.
5. Socialise – encourage them to meet up regularly
Chances are, you have an active social media presence on at least one platform, so tell them in your welcome email, and motivate them to take action. Let them know what they can expect by following you, whether it’s support, special offers, news – give them a reason to follow you.
The more mediums they know about, the greater chance you have to make a sale.
6. Use a welcome email drip – for a flood of returns!
A welcome email doesn’t have to be a single email. You can use a series of welcome emails to warm up a prospect. I like using this method when a prospect is not ready to be sold to right away, but with a little bit of nurturing they will be. Did you know retailers who send welcome emails as a series receive a 13% better return than those who send a single email!
The first email could be a personal one, stating what they should expect in the follow-up email (a gift or voucher), ensuring they will keep an eye out for your next email. Your second follow-up email could be a free digital product, or a question asking what they would prefer as a gift for signing up such as free delivery or a voucher code.
At this point in the drip you have created has built trust and provided value right off the bat. A welcome email drip promotes engagement as it trains your subscriber to open future emails when they land in their inbox, as well as reinforcing your brand image and creating meaningful relationships. Want more welcome drip ideas? Check out these 21 welcome email ideas.
Welcome in a new era
The welcome email is often overlooked yet statistics show that’s where email marketers should focus on most. A welcome email can achieve several things at once and increase the lifetime of your subscribers to avoid early fatigue which results in them unsubscribing.
Start welcoming your subscribers today! Consider rethinking your welcome email and skyrocket your opens to distances NASA never thought possible. We’d love to hear how you get on in the comments below.
Eoin Oliver works for email marketing agency Square Balloon. Eoin is a leading authority on email marketing and listed as a MailChimp Expert. So far Eoin has built over 300 templates for a variety of clients, and spends much of his time advising people how to get a return on their investment.
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies, which she's also using for her own bling flip flop company.
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