11 Tips to More Effective Welcome Emails
Remember the last time you entered a department store and were hailed with a warm greeting by a store associate? Certainly that created a positive influence on your feeling toward the store.
The same is true in email marketing. Not only do welcome emails give you the opportunity to offer a warm handshake, but also allow you to make a good first impression, which has an influence on the future engagement of your campaign.
In fact, onboarding emails have nearly four times higher open rates, and over five times higher clickthrough rates than ordinary promotional emails, helping you drive goals such as clicks, sales, engagement, conversation, etc.
Here's a list of tips for creating great onboarding emails — and some examples of retailers already doing it well.
1. Offer your best content. The welcome email is your chance to nail a great first impression. Provide content that informs or offers value to help your subscribers get a taste of the value that you have to offer — and get to know you. You also can hook them, build trust and be perceived as an authority.
2. Special offers increase sales. Consumers love discounts or deals that save them money. They also seem to be on an impulsive buying frenzy with welcome emails. According to Experian, welcome emails, on average, have nearly 900 percent better transaction rates than promotional emails.
3. Get them to reply. Subscribers who receive a welcome email engage more in the long run. You can deepen the engagement from the beginning by starting a conversation with them. Solicit them to reply with a question — e.g., tell you who they are, the problems they're facing, what they like or dislike, and so on.
By doing this, you'll also get to know them better, and be off to a good start to crafting more relevant content and offers to them going forward.
4. Take them in the right direction. Sure, you want to make the best use of your welcome email and show as many products as possible. However, that doesn't mean you should jam everything and overwhelm your subscribers, leading them to inaction.
Often, the "less is more" mantra applies to welcome emails. More importantly, you want to prioritize and determine what actions you want your first-time subscribers to take in the next step.
5. Keep it fun and entertaining. Think of ways to add a dash of fun and entertainment to your messages, and even make subscribers laugh, too.
6. Consider list segmentation. If you're serious about personalization, you can segment your list upon subscription to create targeted groups based on interest, demographics, location, etc.
7. Continue the dialogue on social media. Take advantage of the high clickthrough rate of welcome emails to promote your social media presence. This enables you to humanize your business and build relationships with your subscribers on a more personal level.
9. Consider using an email welcome series. The list of messages you want to pass on to your new subscribers, or the steps you want them to take, might be too many to fit into a single email. That's where welcome email series come in handy.
As you've probably guessed, these are a sequence of emails, ideally, not more than three. The first email in the series should be sent out immediately upon sign-up, with subsequent emails sent at certain day intervals afterwards.
10. Grab attention with GIFs. Email marketers are increasingly using animated GIFs for call-to-action texts or other vital messages. GIFs can be attention grabbing and catch the eye in your subscribers’ inboxes. The only drawback to using GIFs is not all email clients support the file format, displaying only the first frame as if it was a regular image file.
11. Create anticipation. Let the cat out of the bag and tell your subscribers what's on the way in their inbox. Remind them why they signed up by highlighting the benefits of being a subscriber, and showcase deals or values that are exclusive to subscribers to keep them excited.
Many marketers are too busy with other aspects of their email campaigns that they forget to craft a custom welcome email, instead of an automated one that they set and forget. Yet carefully, well-thought-out onboarding emails offer businesses many advantages. By prioritizing your messages and being strategic, you can create a positive first impression for the ongoing success of your campaign.