In the digital space, like in the real world, first impressions make all the difference. The first series of emails you send out to a new subscriber set the stage for the rest of the relationship you will have with them whether on social media, email or in-store. Here are some interesting figures on the effectiveness of email campaigns:
Powerful facts. So how do you get the most from your welcome emails when promoting long-term engagement, brand loyalty and repeat business? Here are some tips from my experience of building a 97K subscriber list and working on lots of large client campaigns at Jiggle Digital.
Whilst you definitely do not want to overwhelm a new subscriber, you also do not want to miss the first opportunity to loop them in and engage them meaningfully—and one off email just won’t cut it.
On the contrary, an email series allows you to show subscribers what they can expect from you, let them know how often you will be communicating and offer them incentives to buy. Communicating with your new subscriber regularly over a period of time keeps your brand top of mind.
In terms of the number of emails you should send as part of the welcome series, three should be enough for emails aimed at incentivising subscribers to make a specific purchase. For a more comprehensive “introduction” to your brand, five to eight emails should suffice.
Invest in a copywriter or learn copywriting so you can write compelling copy for your target audience. Great writing can make a huge difference to continued engagement after the first email open.
Effective segmentation is at the heart of any successful email campaign. This is what most businesses don’t do and really need to. Subscribers will enter your mailing list from different sources whether that is by downloading an ebook, signing up for a newsletter, entering a competition or more. For each of these subscribers, the message you need to convey to them will likely be different. You could segment your welcome campaign emails, for example, into new newsletter subscribers who have little knowledge about your brand, first time buyers who have never received an email from you before their purchase and first time buyers who had already received an email from you before their purchase.
Segmenting new subscribers in this way allows you to track their level of engagement for example by the number of opt-outs or inactivity. Subscribers who do not engage as desired can be further segmented to compel them to act.
When it comes to welcome emails, you seriously do not want to miss out on that initial window of opportunity; this is the best time to make that first impression and retain a new subscribers’ interest. Here are some best practices for timing your welcome campaign email series.
Send the first emails immediately after subscription– This highlights the importance of email marketing automation—you need to set up an autoresponser email that is triggered by that initial signup. When a user signs into your email list, their interest level is high and this is the best time to grab their attention and engage them with relevant welcome content.
Get it right with the frequency: Remember that one of the goals of welcome campaigns is to set expectations for communication. You don’t want to be sending emails randomly or create such a great lull in between your series of emails that subscribers forget about you. There is no firm rule on how often you should email new subscribers; you can A/B test this. However, a good rule of thumb is to send welcome series emails at the same frequency as promotional emails sent to regular customers.
Given that their interest levels are high, new subscribers tend to click more. This means your call to action (CTA) in your welcome series emails needs to be visible left, right and centre. Make it adequately bright and large so the new subscriber will not wonder what action to take.
The CTA offers ripe opportunities, for example, to recommend content, give offers and encourage users to connect with you on social media. If you do not make it clear what you want new subscribers to do, engagement levels will likely fall off and you risk losing subscribers’ interest altogether.
Usually just 2 percent of users convert on their initial subscriptions. Retargeting new subscribers opens up opportunities to engage with them beyond email and this could have significant results on conversion rates too.
A welcome email offers you the best chance to ask new subscribers to continue to engage with you on other platforms including social media. Inviting new subscribers to your social media platforms not only opens up opportunities to show them relevant ads depending on where they are on the buying cycle; it is also a chance to loop them into your tribe where they can subsequently engage with like-minded people, to the benefit of your brand.
Finally, retargeting also gives you an opportunity to nudge potential customers back to your website and convert. At the same time, retargeting using welcome email series is a good chance to upsell and cross-sell new subscribers who make that initial purchase.