Email Marketing is like dating. All types of relationships and communication in the world depends on trust. The same principle applies to email marketing.
Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.
– Stephen Covey
When you have a date, you likely know the person you are meeting and what they look like. Would you knock on a stranger’s door, and expect them to immediately go on a date with you? No, of course, you would not.
Similarly, in email marketing, you need permission to start communication.
Make your sign-up process easy for website visitors. When a user subscribes to your email list and agrees to receive emails from you, it’s like saying, “Yes, I’ll go on a date with you”.
Now you have a subscriber, congrats! But what next? You have to make a good first impression and build a more trusting relationship.
“The first impression is the lasting impression.”
The same principle applies to email. Building business relationships starts with building trust from the very first email- your welcome email.
Your welcome message should then encourage subscribers to take the next step.
Let’s assess some facts:
- Welcome emails generate 4x times the total open rates and 5x times the click rates compared to bulk emails.
- Welcome emails have 320% more revenue per email than other promotional emails.
- Welcome emails have transaction rates that are 9x times higher than bulk mailing.
The welcome message is the first conversation between a business and a new subscriber. You must create an effective, actionable, and engaging welcome message which encourages subscribers to take action.
Here are 11 Practical Tips to Optimize Your Welcome Emails
1. Immediately send a welcome email
Don’t make new subscribers wait for your first welcome email.
As soon as someone registers, send an immediate welcome message thanking them for opting-in to your list. Set expectations and ask them to take the next step.
Take a look at this example, from Scribd
2. Include your brand name in the ‘from’ field
From name encourages people to engage with an email. ALWAYS put your brand name as a ‘from’ name.
When a subscriber receives an email, she looks at the from field to see which brand sent the message.
3. Include the word ‘welcome’ in the subject line
You should mention the word ‘welcome’ in the subject line to make the email stand out in the subscriber’s inbox.
Here’s some inspiration
4. Make your welcome email personal
If you collected your subscriber’s name or other information then you should greet her by name.
Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. Also, personalize the email greeting with the subscriber’s name.
Hubspot Academy delivers a great example.
5. Include a perk or special gift
You should include a free gift or offer in the welcome email. A subscriber wants to know what’s in it for me. A special gift encourages subscribers to take further action.
Welcome emails with offers tend to have higher transaction rates and revenue per email than those without.
Beachbody, a fitness company offers a $10 welcome voucher to new members.
Knock Knock offers a 20% off welcome coupon.
6. Educate your subscribers
A welcome email is the best way to educate your subscribers about your company, and your product or services. Let your new subscribers know what to expect from you.
Storytelling is the best way to educate a new subscriber. Keep the copy short, and easy to digest.
See how Udemy, an online learning platform, educates their new subscribers.
7. Tell them what to do next
Tell subscribers how to get started and make the process very clear. You should include lists, bullets, or visuals in your welcome email to give subscribers clear instructions how to use your product or service.
See how Animoto guides subscribers through creating a video.
Disqus also provides a guide with their welcome email.
8. Create a welcome series
Sometimes a single welcome email isn’t enough to establish a relationship with subscribers.
A welcome series is the great way to educate new subscribers, highlight your product features or benefits, and set expectations.
Here is a welcome series from Visme, a content tool.
Subject Line: Welcome to Visme – Your Account Details
Subject Line: Why should you use Visme?
Subject Line: Feedback on your Visme account and offer code
9. Have a clear call-to-action
If you want to optimize your welcome emails you need a clear call-to-action. An effective CTA helps to encourage your subscribers and increase conversions. Make sure your CTA is clear and that it stands out.
You should use a button rather than hyperlinked text. Avoid words like ‘click here’. Use phrases such as ‘Shop Now’, ‘Start Free Trial’ and ‘Buy Now’.
NatureBox, a snack company, does a great job with their CTA button.
Bonobos makes their CTA button stand out with whitespace.
10. Link to social media
Tap into the power of social media. Put social buttons for your active platforms in your welcome email and ask subscribers to follow you. Social linking can boost your campaign performance.
Take a look at this email from UrbanDaddy.
GILT asks for follows on social media at the bottom of their emails.
11. Provide them a preference center
Another way to optimize your welcome emails is to provide your subscribers with a preference center. You can reduce your unsubscribes and provide an alternative. Offer subscribers a preference center or subscription center to make it easy for them to set their preferences at any time.
This allows them to update email address, change the email frequency, change the content type and even unsubscribe.
Bonobos does a good job with their preference center.
Now it’s your turn – Tell us about your welcome emails. What tips would you like to add to this list? Share your thoughts in the comments section.