By now you’ve probably read all (or most of) the stats on email marketing and you’ve decided that it’s a good investment. You’ve implemented various ways to build your email list, and now you’re just waiting for subscribers to sign up so that you can start wowing them with your cool products or your amazing service.
But here’s another fact to add to the lot that are swirling around in your head about email marketing:
Compared to other emails, welcome emails have four times the open rate and five times the click rate!
That’s right..Of all the emails you might send in the future, the one that has the most potential to engage your subscribers is the very first one you send – not the special offers you spent months planning and budgeting for, not the ebook you slaved over and not the amazing content you’ve been fretting over since you started designing your email campaign!
Whether they’re brand new prospects who don’t know you, or customers who have already bought, downloaded, or used your product your welcome email could be the difference between keeping your new subscribers engaged and selling to them in the future, or being banished to the spam folder forever.
And even if you’ve been running email campaigns forever, one of the best ways to improve your overall customer engagement is to tweak your welcome email. Sometimes you need to introduce changes into your set strategy depending on the fluctuations of the market. Email marketing in 2016 might be very different from what was before so it’s crucial to stay up to date! So, what makes a great welcome email? Well, there are a lot of things actually. But to help you get started with creating a welcome email that stands out and excites new subscribers – here’s a quick guide:
Think about the initial greeting
Your website, social media or advertising was the first impression – your welcome email is the first one on one conversation and getting it right is essential for building a long term relationship! You’ve done the hardest part, and that is find a way into a new subscribers inbox.
But now you need to think about exactly how much you want to get out of that initial email. Whatever your answer to the following questions, remember that you need to reinforce your brand!
- Do you just want to introduce yourself?
- Do you want to thank someone for signing up and explain what they can expect from you in the future?
- Are you offering new subscribers a reward of any kind?
- Do you just want to show them what you have to offer?
- Is there some way that you can personalize this email?
- When is the best time to send your welcome email?
Think about what new subscribers NEED to know
No matter what sort of website, service or product you’re offering, when someone signs up to receive emails you have to assume that they haven’t had much interaction with your company, your website or this particular service.
So think about the types of questions that complete newbies might have and then how to address them. Would a 1-2-3 formula work best, or should you rather link to a more in depth guide to getting started? Consider whether an explainer video is a better option and then whether to risk embedding it in your email, or staying safe and using a simple text link.
Think about your CTA
As we’ve already mentioned your welcome email has a higher open and click rate than any of the other emails you might send in future. So think about the main goal of your entire email campaign and then plan how your welcome email can help achieve that goal.
Depending on what you’re actually offering and your overall goal, your call to action could be anything and you could have multiple CTA’s in one email. But the most important thing is that you want to be friendly and not intimidate your new subscriber. Remember – sometimes less is more!
Think about the design
Any email you send to a subscriber, whether new or old, needs to reinforce your brand. If you’re formal on your website but your emails are chatty, subscribers will get confused. If your emails use bright, bold colours but you use muted colours for everything else – people will get confused!
You don’t want to overwhelm people with an email that is too busy. But neither do you want it to be so drab and boring that they regret signing up for your newsletters. Don’t discount the value of using images and CTA buttons, but don’t think plain text emails are a waste of time either!
Think about optimizing your emails
Whether you’re sending your very first email to a new subscriber, or you’re emailing a long time subscriber for the hundredth time you need to make sure that your email is optimized to increase open rates and grow conversions.
That means your subject line needs to be inviting, and so does your preview text. Unless you’ve opted for a plain text email (which is kind of cheating!), you need to make sure that your email template will look good and work properly no matter what inbox it ends up in!
Think about expanding your reach
You’ve managed to find your way into one person’s inbox, and that is great because now they’re part of your network. But they also have a network – and next to email marketing, word of mouth marketing is the best there is!
So think about how to invite your new subscriber to follow you on social media, then post content that they’ll want to share with their friends and followers. Consider asking them to refer you to a friend, colleague or business associate – but make sure it’s quick and easy for them to do so!
Think about avoiding the spam folder
No matter how great your email campaign is, if you keep ending up in the spam folder all that effort is going to waste. So consider segmenting your email lists and invite new subscribers to set up their email preferences so you can be sure they’re only getting content they want, when they want it.
Even though this is a welcome email, you need to include an unsubscribe button or link because, well – that’s the law! You also want to avoid the spam folder in the future, so ask your new subscriber to add you to their safe senders or email whitelist.
Your welcome email is the most powerful weapon in your email marketing toolbox, and if you decide to make special effort on any part of your email campaign then this is where to focus it. A welcome email can include all the elements listed above, or it can combine just a few of them. The most important thing is that it is engaging and doesn’t send the person receiving it searching for the ‘block this sender’ button that email service providers so thoughtfully provide!