Creating Effective Welcome Emails for Your Ecommerce Brand
by Brittany Currie
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With careful thought and planning, your welcome series has the potential to be the most engaging and profitable aspect in your email marketing toolbox. At the signup, new subscribers are already engaged with your brand, so here’s your big chance to make a warm, personal, and memorable first impression and turn them into loyal customers for years to come.
Are you making the most of this incredible opportunity?
Conventional welcome email best practices recommend that “showcasing your brand’s authenticity and unique attributes” is a safe bet when creating a welcome series. This is sound advice, except for the fact that you risk sending the exact same kind of cold, impersonal welcome series messages as everyone else. Not really authentic then, is it?
Therefore, it’s time to get personal.
According to Epsilon, 90% of today’s shoppers prefer a personalized approach, with 80% saying that they’d be more likely to make a purchase with a brand that reached out to them personally. Creating personal experiences has thus become the new standard in online retail—are you listening to your customers’ wishes and expectations?
Now might be the time for a rethink on how your welcome series is presented. How can you deliver fresh and engaging messages to new subscribers looking for a personal experience? What can you do to make your brand stand out and capture that real revenue-driving potential?
This article will present some proven ideas and tactics to sharpen up your welcome series, and for even more info you can check out some of the best welcome email examples.
1. Identify Your Key Messages
Most brands follow a set formula when creating a welcome series, it looks something like this:
Again, a sound and sensible sequence, but it’s not exactly imaginative is it? Rather than following a set pattern, think about what it is that you want to say, and then work out how many emails you’ll need to get your message across. Focus on a new subscriber’s possible needs by asking yourself the following questions:
Why did your new subscriber visit your site?
Were they shopping for a particular item? If so, what further information/inspiration do they need to make a purchase?
Do you have a unique and compelling brand story that your new subscribers just need to hear? (If you don’t, that’s perfectly fine, just focus on product-oriented information instead)
What are your differentiating features over your competition? How can these be communicated prominently in your welcome series messages?
How can you best use the information you collect from new subscribers? Do you have the right tools to immediately start turning data into personalized, actionable emails that match their needs and expectations?
This example from Vente-Privee offers a range of incentives and benefits while giving handy information about sales and vouchers.
Adding value to your messaging, like in the above example, is always a great way to make a first impression. Sure, a good reward or incentive is always welcome, but there are many other ways to ‘strike while the iron is hot’ and really pique a new subscriber’s interest while you have their attention. Things you could consider adding in your welcome series include:
A generous incentive on the first-time purchase
Recommended products based on personal preferences
A no-hassle return policy
Guides on how best to use your product
User-generated social proof (reviews, testimonials, videos)
Your compelling brand story told with visuals and short text
User-generated content and the social proof that it brings is particularly key—people love the reassurance that others are engaging with and enjoying your brand and what it has to offer.
For example, selecting your very best reviews and social media posts/videos can influence new subscribers to make a purchase and promote a ‘community feel’ around your brand that they might want to be a part of.
The above checklist will immediately make your new subscriber feel valued, address their queries and concerns, and give them a powerful incentive to make their first purchase. But there is still more that you can do to make your welcome series even more personal and relevant, and this comes down to knowing their preferences and intentions.
2. Pinpoint Customer Intent To Personalize Messaging
To create a truly relevant welcome series, you need to send messages that precisely match your customers’ intentions.
Marketers need to be clever to figure this out. Why did they visit our site in the first place? What exactly were they looking for? What kind of messages can we provide to help them toward making a purchase?
There are ways to answer these questions, and you can use the results to make a personalized experience in your welcome series. The key is in capturing the right information during your signup process, which can be achieved by:.
Politely asking during the signup. In the example below, the retailer offers a generous discount in return for basic information. A short, non-intrusive request for gender and interests is an easy one for the subscriber to fill out, without making them feel uncomfortable about giving too much personal info. However, this knowledge alone is enough for marketers to craft highly relevant welcome messages, including vital aspects like accurate product recommendations.
Use forms that capture intent from browsing habits. Retailers are able to tag specific shoppers based on the product categories that they browse on, which give strong indications as to their interests and desires. This data can also be used to provide relevant and accurate messaging, for example by providing special offers on previously browsed items.
3. Consider Adding More Channels To Reach Your Subscribers
Sometimes subscribers will open your first email and simply ignore the rest of your series. Aside from optimizing your content as described above, there is little else you can do to avoid this from happening. Unless that is, you have other ways to reach out and deliver a gentle reminder.
Utilizing the power of text messages or subtle push notifications provides increased flexibility and much greater personalization to your welcome series. SMS in particular is emerging as a preferred method of communication for marketers and consumers alike. With incredible engagement rates (97% of text messages are read in the first four minutes of receipt), adding SMS into your welcome series workflow is a great way to reach out to your newcomers in a personal, yet informal way, and keep them engaged at key times in the purchase process. Check out some quick SMS stats below:
Sending single-email welcome messages or a generic welcome series is no longer good enough. Now is the time to create engaging, personalized experiences that bring your competitive differentiators to the fore, creating real value to the customer by addressing individual needs at the right times.
If you reach out to customers on their preferred channels and provide them with relevant and engaging content, you are sure to turn new subscribers into happy, loyal customers!
Karolina is a writer, content marketer and email enthusiast at Omnisend. When she’s not writing articles, you can find her in the woods challenging herself in hiking boots or off-roading her bike.
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A Georgia Southern University graduate, Brittany joined Visiture in 2015 and manages Visiture's extensive internal marketing endeavors. Interests include: true crime podcasts, *watching sports, and her two pups, Lulu the Pug and Laurence the Greyhound.
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