If you have a steady stream of new people opting-in to your email list, it’s a solid sign that your brand is maintaining relevance. But, a growing email list doesn’t necessarily equal a healthy email list. You’ve got to keep people engaged after they walk in the door.
One of the best times to engage a subscriber is right after they’ve joined your list. According to a study by Experian, welcome emails get more than three times more opens, clicks and revenue per email compared to regular promotional email campaigns. Return Path reports that when a recipient receives a welcome email, they’re much more likely to continue engaging with the brand - they found that 50% of recipients who opened welcome emails read subsequent messages.
To take the worry out of having to introduce your brand to new subscribers, you can automate a welcome series. Though a single welcome email is a good start, a series has more potential to keep subscribers engaged long term. Think of it like getting to know someone - it takes a little bit of time and effort!
With some quick planning (an hour, max), you can automate a smooth running welcome series that will 1) introduce subscribers to your brand 2) set expectations for your email marketing and 3) set the habit of engaging with your emails, right off the bat.
Follow these steps to get your welcome series started:
Step 1: Figure out what’s important to your customers
Depending on your brand and the story you have to tell, your welcome series could be anywhere from 3 to 5 or more emails over a period of time.
By thinking about the story you want to tell before deciding how many emails you’ll send, you can make sure you don’t miss any important information. Think hard about what draws your current customers to your brand.
Some things to think about including in your series:
- How your brand came to be
- Any key differentiators that make you stand out
- Customer feedback or user-generated content
- Introduction to your loyalty program
- A promotion or discount code
Tip: Don’t try to force anything that doesn’t make sense for you in your welcome series - keep it true to your brand!
Step 2: Outline your series
Now that you know what content to include, you can figure out how many emails you need to send, and what the time delay between each one should be.
Do you want the emails to feel random and personalized? Set the delays to reflect that. If your brand is more structured, sending an email from your welcome series every 7 days may make more sense.
Consider your sales cycle too - if you have a clothing brand where people are highly likely to purchase within the first 48 hours, you might want to send your series more quickly, with a discount code being one of your first steps. If you’re selling more high cost, luxury items where the purchase decision takes longer, set your cadence accordingly.
Step 3: Set up the campaign
Time for the fun part: creating your templates and structuring the campaign within your email service provider!
Of course, you’ll want to keep the styling of your templates consistent with your brand and other emails that you send, while adding some visual interest to make each email stand out. Need template inspiration? Check out this post: 4 Key Automated Email Campaigns to Add to Your Ecommerce Customer Journey.
Step 4: Consider your other email campaigns
While new subscribers are signing up for your list and receiving your welcome series, it’s likely that you’re also sending marketing emails to your whole list. Take time to consider whether you want new subscribers to receive your regular promotions while they’re receiving your welcome series. Depending on your brand, it could make sense to exclude brand new subscribers from your other campaigns.
Step 5: Analyze results
Once your first batch of new subscribers receives your welcome series, check in to see how it’s performing. Assess open rates, click throughs, and revenue generated. Is one email in your series outperforming the rest? Do emails sent close together affect your open rates?
Figure out which steps are working and which can be improved, and use those learnings to iterate towards a more effective welcome series for future subscribers!