5 steps to building trust using ‘welcome’ emails to new subscribers

Once you have that cherished address, don’t just begin the inbox bombardment. Gain faith and cultivate affinity—and extract vital additional information—through finesse. Here’s how.

Willkommen, bienvenido, maligayang pagdating, benvenuto, yōkoso .

A “welcome” email is a smart tactic for customer engagement and retention. Seventy-four percent of subscribers expect a welcome email upon subscribing, and that positive experience can play an important role in encouraging users to buy something.

A well-crafted welcome email can:

  • Significantly reduce the time between subscription and the first purchase
  • Increase lifetime value of subscribers
  • Boost performance metrics in other emails
  • Raise conversion rates
  • Set the foundation for and improve brand affinity and loyalty

Welcome emails have, on average, a four times higher open rate and a five-times higher click-through rate than a standard email marketing campaign.

Here are five steps and associated tips to creating a welcome email to convert subscribers:

Step 1: Say thanks.

An email address is the passport to a digital domain. Whenever prospects share their email address or subscribes, they are taking the first step toward building a relationship with your brand.

Thank them for taking this step. Confirm that the signup process was a success, and detail the benefits of joining your list.

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Michael’s greets new subscribers with a big “thank you” message, followed by an assurance that the subscriber will love their inbox. (Source)

Tip: Use a GIF or embed a video as the hero image in your email. This sequence of images moving across the screen can attract attention faster than a static image.

Step 2: Fulfill your promise.

What is your hook for getting people to sign up for your mailing list? A discount? A free e-book? A free trial? Deliver it right away in your welcome email.

Fonts.com offers free fonts for signing up, and its welcome email provides the link. (Source)

Tip: You can decide to deliver your incentive on the “Thank You” page post-subscription. If that’s the case, use your welcome email to reinforce that delivery.

Step 3: Introduce yourself.

New subscribers might not be completely aware of your products, your services or your brand in general. Moreover, you need vital information (beyond an email address) to help you build relevant messaging consistent with collected data.

You don’t have to overstuff your email; try one of these two approaches:

3a. Introduce your brand products and services :

Educate your subscribers about your brand. Have your welcome email answer these questions:

  • What is your product?
  • How does it work?
  • How are your products different from your competitors?

You can also include testimonials.

This email by HireClub explains the brand’s creation and offers a step-by-step guide on using its product. (Source)

Amazon’s welcome email for its Echo product features instructions for their users to test. (Source)

3b. Learn more about your subscribers

Per MarketingSherpa, personalized subject lines improve open rates by 29.3 percent, but to personalize emails, you need relevant customer data.

Prompt subscribers to give you more info—by completing their profile, for example.

In this email by Paul Smith, the powerful hero image helps elicit more information. (Source)

Tip : An integrated form inside your email quickens the process. The drawback is that integrated forms work with only a limited number of email clients and could be flagged as a security threat by some filters.

Step 4: Ask for whitelisting.

Internet service providers and corporate firewalls rely on sender reputation for cross-checking domains to determine whether to filter emails into inboxes or spam folders, or to block them altogether. Emails coming from a “bad” domain get blocked.

Have subscribers add your mailing address/domain to their whitelist—the “safe senders” list. The more whitelistings you get, the better chance you have to get your emails through filters.

Tip : Establish expectations in your welcome email for the types and frequency of emails you’ll be sending. Sticking to these expectations should help reduce unsubscribes and spam complaints.

Step 5: Send a series.

One welcome email might not be enough. Sending a series of emails can eliminate the risk of sending too much information all at once.

Tip : For your welcome series, create a separate workflow for new subscribers so they don’t receive regular mailings until they are properly welcomed. For example, Saks Fifth Avenue has a welcome email series of three emails; its newsletter goes to new subscribers only after they receive all three introductory emails. (Source)

Kristen Dunleavy is Movable Ink’s senior content marketing manager. A version of this post first appeared on the Movable Ink blog.


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