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March 14, 2018

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Turn Your “Welcome” Email into Revenue!

3 Highly Effective Best Practice Tactics That Will Help Increase Your Open Rates and Drive Revenue

 

Remember the good old days of first generation AOL email? A long awaited reward after agonizing through the dial-up process, the words “You’ve got mail” meant running to your computer full of excitement to see who’d dropped you an electronic note. Fast forward to 2017, is there even a single person in existence today who’s thinking to themselves, “gosh, I’m really not getting enough emails!” Just imagining what that automated AOL voice would sound like today is laughable. The words “You’ve Got Mail” would be interrupting Spotify playlists practically every other minute. The horror!

 

 

While email marketing is still one of the most effective means of communication, it is, unfortunately, harder than ever for us to compete for consumers’ attention in their inbox. Early on marketers spoiled email marketing with floods of spam. And now, the average person is getting a shocking 150 emails a day. Now how does that make you feel? Where’s that excitement? We went from “You Got Mail” to “I hate email” in no time flat. These days, by the time I’m done with my work email for the day, I don’t even want to look at my personal emails.

 

This is why, as a marketer, your welcome email is one of the most important elements in your email marketing program as, if done well, it will help you set the stage for your entire email marketing relationship with your customers going forward. According to BlueHornet, the average open rate for welcome emails is 50% which is 86% more effective than email newsletters. But here’s the most encouraging news: people who read at least one welcome message will read more than 40% of their messages from the sending brand in the following 180 days. 

 

 

"People who read at least one welcome message will read more than 40% of their messages from the sending brand in the following 180 days." - click to tweet

 

 

Not convinced? Consider these stats that shine a light on why you need to invest time in your welcome emails (research from BlueHornet):

  • 74% of consumers expect a welcome email when they subscribe.

  • Welcome emails, on average, have a 4x open rate and 5x click-through rate when compared to standard marketing emails.

  • Subscribers who read at least one welcome email read 40 percent more content from the sender over the next 180 days.

Image source: BlueHornet - A Digital Guide to Sending Wow-Factor Welcome Emails

 

 

Tactic 1)

Set expectations for your email subscribers by:

  • Stating the frequency of the emails. 43% of subscribers would like for businesses to email them less frequently. The preferred frequency will be different depending on your consumer base, what kind of product or service you provide, and the type of information you’re sharing (see tactic 2 for more details.) You need to determine (via a survey to your customers) what that sweet spot is for your brand specifically.

 

"43% of subscribers would like for businesses to email them less frequently." click to tweet

 

  • Establishing a consistent email design. Not only should your emails have a consistent look and feel when it comes to their graphical design, but following a similar formula when it comes to messaging – whether it be the subject line or body copy – will play a large part in helping readers to recognize your email right away. This is important for a few reasons:

    1. Familiarity is comfortable. Consumers need to know what they can expect in order to build trust. They want to know that upon clicking, they’re not going to be faced with a spammy mess of an email like the countless others they encounter on a daily basis.

    2. Brand recognition builds credibility. Once you’ve established a strong email design, readers will start recognizing your emails instantly. That recognition enriches your brand’s credibility because you’re standing out from all the other email noise. Your company name and overall message is starting to pop into their heads each time they see your email fly into their mailbox, which means you’ll be top of mind when your specialty comes up in other areas of their life as well.

    3. Consistency is just plain professional. You wouldn’t have a website that uses a drastically different color scheme, font type, and story progression from page to page, so why would you switch up the look and feel of each of your emails? Some of the most successful companies have a general formula when it comes to their email design, and there’s a reason.   

Image source: BlueHornet - A Digital Guide to Sending Wow-Factor Welcome Emails

 

 

Tactic 2)

Guide them through the benefits of your entire email marketing program and what they can expect to get out of it right from the first email by:

  • Including a road map for your customers on what they can expect to see in the upcoming emails from you. What type of content will you provide? How will this add value to their lives? All in all, why should they keep an eye out for your future emails? Think of your welcome email series as a show on Netflix. You decide to give episode one a try, and by the end you’re hooked (or at least willing to give episode two a go to see if you’re actually interested.) Before you know it you’ve skipped a couple of meals and ended up watching 9 years’ worth of television in just 2 days. Your goal is to have the same basic effect on your email readers: hook them on the first one so they keep coming back for more. You can accomplish this by providing them with truly valuable content that helps walk them through their entire purchase journey, from A to Z.
     

  • Addressing obstacles to ownership: In your welcome emails provide tips, ideas, research and/or suggestions that will help your customers overcome their biggest barriers to purchase. This requires really knowing your customers and what their major pain points are. If you are not already aware of these, you can easily survey your customers, even within the first email if you’d like. This will prompt engagement which will help consumers to buy into what you have to say, since they know they can expect messaging specific to their needs. It doesn’t hurt to make them feel heard and understood either, which surveys help to do.

 

Once you have a grasp on their biggest barriers to purchase, you can then provide content that feels custom to their purchase journey. Start small, especially in your welcome email, by offering high level information that would be relatable to most anyone, then gradually dive deeper as your email series goes on. This will ease your customers into things and give them the confidence they need to keep following along the path you’re setting for them, ultimately leading to sales engagement.

 

 Image source: BlueHornet - A Digital Guide to Sending Wow-Factor Welcome Emails

 

 

Tactic 3)

Include case studies and social proof of how your products helps increase the quality of life for your current customers.

  • It’s sad but true – your prospects don’t trust you. Humans are naturally social creatures, looking to others to decide on our next steps. Not to mention, with the ability to access their peers’ thoughts and opinions in just a few clicks, consumers are smarter than ever. The best assets your marketing team can have are happy customers. Build relationships with your brand evangelists and lean on them to help create compelling content, such as case studies or video testimonials. Beyond that, happy customers make the best references during the purchase process. Hearing that your solution is great from you is expected, but hearing it from a peer is impressive.

 

"Humans are naturally social creatures, looking to others to decide on our next steps." - click to tweet

 

Highlight one of these customer featured pieces somewhere within your welcome email to make a big impact on your readers. Include a quote or snippet from the asset within the email’s body copy and then link your CTA to a landing page on your website. (Note: customer content is high value to your audience, so we recommend gating the piece behind a form on the landing page, prompting visitors to fill in their profile information so you know exactly who is engaging most heavily, and therefore who to reach out to first and what the conversation should look like.) Knowing they have more content like this to look forward to in emails yet to come will keep your readers excited (yes, that’s right, excited!) when the time comes for your next email to pop into their inbox.

 

 

Armida Markarova is the Founder & Chief Strategy Officer at Marketing Strategy Hub, a marketing consultancy firm that offers marketing education (workshops, seminars, webinars and coaching), strategic marketing plan development and project based services to help you turn your marketing dollars into business outcomes that matter.

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