Email Marketing Is Not Dead – Why Welcome Emails Are A Big Opportunity You May Be Missing

Do people really open welcome emails? Aren’t they bombarded with so many emails these days that they only read a small portion of what they receive?

People may be receiving a lot of emails, but they’re still reading a lot of emails, too. The Wall Street Journal found that corporate workers checked their emails 74 times per day!

The welcome email commands more respect than the average email, it seems. Epsilon’s strategic and analytic consulting group found that in 2016, email open rates were averaging about 30%.

However, welcome emails often boast open rates of 50 or 60%. That’s huge! Half or two-thirds of your new subscribers will wade through their flooded inbox and take a chance on your welcome email.

Furthermore, Epsilon found that when they sent a new subscriber a welcome email, that subscriber then increased their long-term engagement by 33%.

So not only do welcome emails have very high open rates, but just the act of sending one improves your chances that new people on your list will continue to consume your content.

It’s your first and best chance to engage with prospective customers and prove that you have high-quality, useful resources to offer them.

Now that you’ve decided to take advantage of the powerful opportunity a welcome email provides, what exactly should your email include, and when should you send it?

Legitimate Sign-Ups

Use a double opt-in method to ensure that whoever signed up really did want to get your emails. Popular email marketing solutions like MailChimp and Constant Contact will automatically set this up for you.

Follow general best practices such as:

  • Using accurate subject lines
  • Making it clear how subscribers can opt out
  • Asking people to add you to their contacts list (that way your emails go straight to their inbox instead of the trash or promotions tab)
  • Telling people how often to expect emails from you

If you haven’t reviewed Federal CAN-SPAM Guidelines, now would be a good time to do that. Uncle Sam will penalize you severely if too many people start reporting your emails as spam.

Now, let’s get to strategy!

Timing

Send the welcome email as quickly as possible after a subscriber opts in to your mailing list. Waiting even 24 hours isn’t a good idea. People get tons of email and they will forget about you.
You want to immediately establish a connection with your new subscriber while they’re still intrigued.


Image Source: Teachable

Tone

I’m sure you already know that the tone of this first email should be friendly and welcoming. You should definitely include the words ‘thank you’ front and center.

Just how informal or professional your language should be, though, depends on the nature of your business.

Look to your website and your buyer personas for guidance.

Do you strike a more courteous, professional tone because you cater to larger businesses or offer an advanced software solution? Or is your customer a small business owner who would appreciate a more down-to-earth, personal feel?

In general, your welcome email is an opportunity to humanize your brand.

Make sure your prospect knows that there’s a real team of humans at the other end. You’re excited to get to know them; you can help solve their problems.

The e-commerce experts at Shopify shared 13 of the best welcome email templates on the web.


Image Source: Shopify

Links and Content

Speaking of solving problems … that’s exactly what you should do for your new prospect in this email! This part is so important I’m going to put it in bold.

Your welcome email should include a link to a very high-value piece of content that is appropriate for the stage of the sales funnel that this new subscriber is in.

If the subscriber joined your mailing list to get a specific, targeted resource like a white paper or a mini-training, put a bold, obvious link right away in the email to let them know how they can get access.


Image Source: Pinpointe Marketing Blog

Then take it to the next level. Surprise them with a related bonus, like an extra training or quick-start guide that will give them even more value.

If they joined your list through a general sign-up form, you might not be sure exactly where they are in the sales funnel. In this case, offer links to a few of your highest performing blog posts or webpages that appeal to wide audience.  

Have I hammered this point home yet? Provide a ton of value in your welcome email.

This is where you build trust and set the stage to ensure that every new subscriber will be excitedly watching for your next email.

Images

If you took a look at those 13 welcome email templates I mentioned earlier, you’ll notice that nearly all of them use a big, bright, eye-catching image.

Derek Halpern of Social Triggers shared how and when to use images to increase conversion rates.

I’m going to break it down here: if you have a good reason to use an image, such as to showcase your product or point a user’s attention to a specific area, then use an image. Otherwise, stick to text only.

Email Marketing Providers

I’ll review a few of the most popular email providers, but there are a lot of providers out there, so do your research.

MailChimp is an easy-to-use tool that will get you up and running quickly. It’s free to start, and how much you pay per month is based on the number of subscribers on your list. It’s been around for a while, which means that it integrates easily with most of the powerhouse CRMS and software solutions out there.

Constant Contact may be an even easier system than MailChimp, since they provide phone, email, chat and Twitter support. They also are likely to integrate with whatever CRM you’re using. You can start with a 60-day free trial and then pay $20 per month for their basic plan.

Drip is designed to make it easy to quickly segment your subscribers into different lists and set up highly customized workflows. If you have lots of autoresponder series, or if you want to do some advanced list segmentation, Drip might be for you. You can try Drip for free up to 100 subscribers, and then move up to $41 per month for their basic package.

If you’re focused more on online marketing and automation, take a look at ActiveCampaign.

If you’re seeking an all-in-one solution to combine sales and marketing efforts, including social media, Marketo would be an excellent choice.

For more options, FitSmallBusiness provided an excellent review of the current leading email marketing software.

Now you have no excuse! Remember that your first try at a welcome email doesn’t have to be perfect. You can improve it over time.

The most important step is to set up an email that kindly welcomes visitors to your list, and shows them immediately how much value and support you are going to provide them with going forward.

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