How To

August 20th, 2012

How a Great Series of Welcome Emails Can Win and Keep Customers

When customers first sign up for email lists, they are likely enthusiastic about a product or service and seeking to build a relationship with the company.

This is the crucial window of time when marketers need to convince them that the service is worth their time and attention.

Leveraging the welcome emails and getting new subscribers on board initially is key to running successful marketing and sales campaigns, writes ClickZ’s Jeanne Jennings. She describes this as a “drip campaign.”

“Named for drip irrigation, the idea is to slowly present and build on your message over time, rather than doing a one-time ‘soaking’ and hoping for the best,” she says. “We’re not talking about sending the same message over and over again (that would be a ‘resend’) – we’re talking about a series of different messages that each work on their own but that create synergy when two or more are viewed by the same person.”

The best strategy is to present new subscribers with content and ads in order to get them hooked and promote sales.

“The best welcome series are a mix of editorial (read: non-promotional) and promotional content.,” says Jennings. “Think of it as the ‘magazine’ model; you buy a magazine for the articles, but within that there is advertising that gets you to buy.” Instead of focusing on the logistics of the welcome series, content should be the main focus.

Backing up Jennings’ findings about the importance of the welcome email is Skyline Technologies, which concluded that the normal open rate of these messages is 50 to 60 percent. HubSpot Blog’s Corey Eridon suggests adding links to confirm that the subscriber did indeed sign up, a thank you, a request to be marked as a safe sender, and information about future emails.

In addition, companies should give subscribers a voice, and send out a survey about what type of content they would like to receive. A call to action to join the Facebook fan page or check out the company blog should also be included.

As ClickZ’s Matthew Hayes points out, “Post-acquisition represents your most critical time. New subscribers are more likely to respond to email and present a huge opportunity for engagement, data collection, and conversion.”

Image courtesy of rambergmedia.com/flickr


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