If you think getting new subscribers onboard is challenging, think again. Crafting a perfect welcome email to keep your subscribers engaged and committed to you is an equally difficult task and can leave you at your wit’s end at times.
Let’s begin by understanding how important a welcome mail really is.
According to Invescpro, studies show that welcome emails get read by 50% of your subscribers and generate clicks five times higher than standard marketing emails. These are low hanging fruits that you don’t want to miss out on.
It might be a good idea to take a leaf out of the hospitality sector’s book who take their ‘welcoming’ very seriously. A good customer service, like the ones we see in the hospitality sector, impacts consumer behavior and goes a long way in retaining clients.
Imagine going to a new renowned store around the block. You walk into the store full of curiosity. You wait for the doorman to flash his smile and welcome you, but he ignores you. Disregarding his behavior, you walk past him. Once inside, you wait in anticipation to be serenaded by salesmen, but none of the staff members seem to notice you. Worse still, even your questions go unanswered. That’s when you’ve had enough. Its time for a walkout.
Now, let’s apply this to your subscribers as well. They may or may not acknowledge that first email you send, but around 74% expect a rousing welcome.
The best part about welcome emails is that the customer’s curiosity about you is at an all-time high. Therefore, it is better to craft your welcome emails with extra care rather than sending an automated response. It’s no surprise that 75 out the top 100 internet retailers in the US send welcome emails.
A welcome email can have three emails sent to the subscriber between 3-5 days after subscription. It’s a good practice to immediately send a thank you note on subscription. That’s the least you can do for your new customers!
All text Welcomes
Your test begins even before your welcome emails land in your subscriber’s inbox. Welcome emails have the lowest inbox placement rate at 84% according to an extensive survey by Return Path. Emails get dumped into the spam or promotions folder because of its large image size. Pure text welcome emails are slowly gaining ground, but the challenge with them lies in grabbing subscriber eyeballs merely through words. We have two great examples of all text emails on how to get it right.
1. The Daily Edited
- It’s refreshing when campaigns try to be honest. The sentence, “We won’t send you anything unless we have something important or fun to say” connects as it acknowledges the pesky nature of marketing emails.
- The short email along with a reader-friendly font also ensures customer engagement.
- And, of course, freebies.
2. Farnam Street
- Hearing one’s name is always music to their ears. Farnam Street cleverly personalizes its welcome email by employing this practice.
- High on social approval: The CEOs and everyone out there is our subscriber.
- Adding testimonials: “Daniel Pink…called our newsletter a must read.”
- The customer knows what to expect right at the outset –“Let me tell you what you can expect over the next few days…””…you’re going to get 3 emails…”
A simple ‘Thank You’ never goes out of vogue. Gratitude is an important marketing tool that humanizes you and forges a strong emotional connection with the subscriber. It’s no surprise then that a survey by TD Banks showed that 44% of customers appreciated a nice or an unexpected gesture. We look at two examples below that have created a great way of saying thank you in their first email.
3. Otter Nation
- A big warm ‘Thank You’ pop-up.
- Subtle branding with a catchphrase and a catchline: “We’ve Got Technology Covered.”
- A picture in this case definitely speaks a thousand words as minimal use of words and images work.
- Clever branding content: By stereotyping the British, this welcome email not only breaks the ice but also manages to brand itself and stand out.
- Smart phrases that lend the subscriber a feeling of being an active participant: “Thanks…for making the first move.”
- Freebies interlaced with witty sentences ensuring that follow-through takes place: “Our offers are magically applied every time you click on our emails.”
Telling stories and hearing them have been a critical part of evolution. SAP report on Digital Emotional Inquiry stressed the importance of striking an emotional chord, especially in the digital age where people are hard-pressed for time, money, and patience. This is no child’s play and requires meticulous planning and forethought. There is so much to tell within a limited space and time. Telling a compelling emotional story with your brand makes people return to you again and again. It shows that you care about your subscriber as a person.
Most importantly, emotions also trigger decision making as advocated by Professor of neuroscience at the University of Southern California, Antonio Damaio in his book Descartes Error. Including the customer in your story is a sure shot way to convert them. We have two examples of emails laden with emotion.
5. Not on the high street
- Catchy emotional phrases that exuberate positivity:
“Hello, beautiful!”“Where have you been all our life?”
“Choose to see the good stuff.”
- Different fonts and italics that make an impact.
- Instead of taking precious email space to wordy passages, a video aptly explains the brand.
- The clutter-free, cute icons are unmistakable.
- Use of tear-jerking phrases:
“We’re so glad that you said ‘Yes’.”“For You, From Us”
- Charts a clear course of action: “We’re going to send DIY tips and tricks, invites to in-store events, and exclusive deals and coupons.”
- Extra large font size for catchphrases that immediately strike an emotional chord, including freebies:
“You said Yes!”“What do you love to make?”
- Tells an emotional story behind the brand: “We started Huckberry in 2011 for guys like us, those who live in the city, but live for adventure.”
- Personalizing to gain emotional affinity:- “Adventure with us on Instagram.”
- Phrases giving off a sense of activity:
“Start the adventure – Explore.”“See you out there”.
- A short product catalog which tries to pack in as much information as possible in the welcome mail.
(Image reference for Huckberry)
Giveaways, freebies, and discounts are great ways to keep users happy. About 64% of the top 100 US retailers use this strategy, according to a survey by Return Path. The really good campaigners subtly make a case for their brand teasing the users to return. The science behind this is called the Principle of Reciprocity, which is the basic human need to give something back in return when something is received. The most simple and basic application of this principle is a ‘thank you’.
Dr. Robert Cialdini in his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion shared a case study where waiters who gave a free mint to their diners got 3% more tip. If the waiter offered two free mints, their tips increased by 14%. If the waiter left one mint along with the bill and returned with a second mint, the tip rose by 23%. In short, freebies and surprise gifts work!
Three cases below illustrate this:
8. Caribou Coffee
- A straight up introduction on what the user stands to gain freebies.
- Bold fonts rightly highlight the giveaways.
- Precise pointers, good use of images, and a pleasing color scheme.
9. Soundest Boutique
- A simple, self-explanatory mail that is sure to make anyone reading it smile.
- Such discount or gift coupons can be part of the follow-up welcome emails where introductions and pleasantries have already been exchanged.
- An interactive gift icon that keeps curiosity levels elevated.
- Clean fonts, eye-catching image.
- Relies on leveraging the herd mentality: “You are ahead of the pack, but you can jump ahead even further.”
- A network marketing gimmick to add subscribers which makes the newly joined feel special; a win-win for all.
Wear your brand on your sleeve
Who hasn’t envied that secret exclusive chic club in school? Or maybe admired those adventurous groups posting their ‘cool’ pictures on Facebook? We all want to belong to such select groups.
Sharing beliefs or statements that align with your brand in the welcome mail gives a sense of exclusivity to the customer. It fulfills the basic human need for belonging. This strategy could sometimes be counter-productive and repel a few. On the brighter side, it could also help in streamlining your business strategy and attract ideal clients.
- Choice of words that suggest belongingness – “Welcome to Our Tribe.”, “#Bemorehuman”
- Empathizing actionable behavior:
“Do you always step up to a challenge?”“Push through little pain and work hard every day because you believe in yourself? Us too.”
- Striking images complementing the action-oriented words.
- Choice of words that emanates exclusivity:
- Bold font for maximum impact.
- Self-explanatory icons explaining the benefits of signing up.
- Makes the user feel unique with its choice of words:
“Here’s to you, the rebel.”“We like our emails like we like our tequila; ultra-premium, twisted, and served in moderation.”
- A brand story that weaves its product into it:
“We all know that videos are best paired with a glass of tequila.”
- A hook line that leaves the customer wanting more:
“Can’t wait for the next serving? We’re not patient either.”
- A haunting image that lingers.
Whitelisting is a process of asking your subscribers to add you to their mailing list. It ensures you don’t land up in the spam or the junk folder. Some email marketing firms help companies design their whitelisting tools to improve their relationship with internet service providers.
- Phrases that indicate the company wants to earn quick approval from the user:“We’re eager to sweep you off your feet.”“We can skip the mushy stuff and start delivering great stuff to your inbox ASAP.”
- A smart whitelisting approach by not asking out directly:“Let’s make it official.”
- Concise imagery of what to expect from the mails.
Interesting call for action
We found an example that shows how a creative call-for-action oriented towards the customer is sure to lead to a long lasting customer relationship. A call-to-action informs the subscriber on possible actions that can be undertaken. A streamlined and creative call-for-action goes a long way in building trust and ensuring conversion into a loyal subscriber. Some plain vanilla ways to do this is through surveys and asking to be followed on social media sites. You can also think out-of-the-box and not try to sound too pushy like Total Training (below).
15. Total Training
- Specific points for a call to action that will benefit the user as well as the company:
“Show up early, bring a friend: It’s Double the Fun!”“…Join our private Facebook page.”
- Focus on the subscriber:
“It’s all about you…”
“…we are here for you 100%.”
- Neat designs and just a couple of powerful images.
Whichever approach you take to craft your welcome emails, remember it’s a perfect opportunity to forge a bond with your customer and inform them about yourself.
Figuring out your brand personality is the first step in this direction. What makes your company unique? Identifying your brand traits be it excitement, sophistication, toughness or classy will help in designing those emails or other marketing strategies. Setting the right tone in line with your welcome email reflects your brand personality. A great design team adds visually appealing creatives tend to connect with your audience.
If all this sounds daunting, it’s okay to seek help to craft your emails from experts and get those email campaigns going.
Make the most of that first impression because unlike the real world, ‘digital marketing welcomes’ happen only once in a lifetime.