Welcome Messages — the email sent after recipients opt-in and give you permission to send them emails — provide a great opportunity to communicate your marketing message to a highly-engaged audience. According to MarketingSherpa studies, open and click-through rates are highest during the first month of new email opt-ins, with Welcome Messages topping the list of the most frequently opened emails. These rates typically continue to decrease before leveling off after three months. So it’s especially important to establish a strong online relationship with your subscribers from the start with a Welcome Message that will help keep them coming back for more.
Here are some useful tips for maximizing the return on your Welcome Emails:
- Make a Great First Impression
Too often businesses and organizations send plain text welcome messages that are not consistent in look and tone with the rest of their email campaign. This is the beginning of your online relationship so take the opportunity to not only make a great first impression, but also build brand identity. You can do this with an HTML-formatted message that includes your logo and similar graphics that will be used in future correspondence.
- Strike While the Iron Is Hot
Make your response automatic and immediate. A prompt reply communicates good customer service and shows your subscribers that you value their interest and participation.
- Tout the Benefits
Reminding your subscribers about what they’ll be getting from their online relationship with you will help build their anticipation in receiving — and opening — your emails. It’s also important to let them know how often you’ll be sending emails so they know what to expect.
- Keep It Personal
Make your new subscribers feel special by personalizing their Welcome Email with information you’ve already collected in the sign-up process, such as their name. And avoid having an automated tone: Thank them with sincerity and sign the email with a person’s name.
- Plan Ahead with a Call-To Action
What is the goal of your email campaign? Whether it’s to sell products and services or get people to read information at your Web site, include a call-to-action and link where new subscribers can respond right away.
- Reward Them
Consider including a reward for your new subscribers. It could be a discount, access to information exclusive for subscribers, or even the chance to enter a drawing for a prize. This reward could also be used as an incentive encouraging subscribers to take the next step and respond to your call-to-action.
- Add a Survey
Ask your subscribers something about themselves. Looking ahead, the more you know about your customers and clients, the more you can personalize and segment future communications. MarketingSherpa studies indicate segmentation leads to as much as a 72% lift in response.
- Don’t Get Caught in the Spam Filter
Remind subscribers to add the address your communications will be sent from to their address book. You should also provide the opportunity to unsubscribe for recipients who may realize they really aren’t interested in what you’re offering. It’s better to have them unsubscribe right away, rather than to be marked as spam later.
- Continually Test Your Effectiveness
Make sure your Welcome Message is the best it can be by tracking its success. Are your recipients opening the email? Are they responding to your call-to-action? Are they visiting your Web site and opening future emails? Testing can help you determine the best ways to maximize the effectiveness of your Welcome Message — a vital tool in your relationship-building and online marketing efforts.