You’ve probably heard your whole life that first impressions are lasting impressions. It doesn’t matter if it’s for a date, job interview, or big corporate presentation. Your audience is likely going to make a decision about you before you even say anything.
It works the same way in email marketing, although you have a slightly longer window to make your first impression. Psychologists say it takes about a tenth of a second for something to form a face-to-face opinion of you. You likely have a few seconds over email for someone to decide what they think about you.
The best way to spark a positive opinion about your brand is to wow the user with your email welcome series. These contacts probably know a little bit about you since they filled out your online sign-up form, but the welcome email is the first real interaction you’ll have with them.
This article will explain the essential elements you need to include in your welcome series. Plus, we’ll show you examples from a handful of brands who have an effective welcome strategy in place.
Welcome email campaigns are vital to the long-term success of your email marketing strategy. Not only do welcome emails generally have some of the best engagement rates for all marketing emails, but they are an incredible tool to help persuade new leads to engage with your brand. Customers who receive welcome emails show 33% more long-term brand engagement.
Every effective welcome series has these essential elements as part of its strategy.
Nearly 75% of people expect to receive a welcome email once they subscribe. The sooner you send that email, the more likely they are to open because it’s fresh on their mind.
Set up your automated workflows so that people who fill out an online sign-up form are immediately entered into your welcome campaign and sent an email.
Welcome emails tend to get about a 50% open rate. But just because your new contacts are expecting a welcome email doesn’t mean they’ll open it.
You can help ensure a high open rate for your welcome emails with a compelling or catchy subject line. You could either write something that clearly explains this is a welcome email or you could be more creative. Just be careful not to be too creative, or it might end up hurting your performance if it’s unclear what the email is about and makes people hesitate to open it at all.
The main purpose of your welcome email should be to explain to your new leads the benefit of opening and reading your emails. You need to clearly outline what they can expect from you so they aren’t surprised and will want to open your future messages.
You could also include information or a CTA to learn more about your company. If you’re a retailer, it’s also alright to push some promotional value in your welcome emails, but it should be secondary.
Your formatting isn’t necessarily as important for your welcome email, but the images you select are. If you’re going to use pictures or graphics in your welcome email, make sure they’re engaging and appear above the fold.
It’s essential to consider the impact of your email’s CSS code on the image load performance. Depending on how your emails are coded, your images might not show up for some email providers.
Nothing will provide a terrible first impression worse than a feature image that won’t load.
How do you take all of these elements and build a winning welcome email campaign? Check out examples from these six brands with on-point strategies.
The first thing you notice about this welcome email is the welcoming header and compelling images at the top. The brand uses copy that’s clear and consistent with its mission of helping others and provides a reason to compel customers to shop. Toms does not provide a CTA to learn more about the company, but the email copy does a sufficient job of accomplishing that. In addition to CTAs urging customers to make another purchase, this email also allows people to sign up for a rewards program and find nearby retailers.
Source: California Pizza Kitchen
The California Pizza Kitchen does a great job with its welcome email for a variety of reasons. Right off the top, the feature image is a gif. This simple feature draws attention and helps increase clicks by 42%.
The copy in this email clearly and concisely describes the benefits of membership in the CPK Rewards program, including free entrances, and free birthday offers. Plus, the email effectively explains the different levels of rewards and what is required to qualify for the next status.
This email does not include any promotional CTAs but does give you an option to log in to view your account and encourages readers to download the program’s mobile app.
Source: Really Good Emails
Here is proof that you don’t need to go overboard with design elements to create an effective welcome email. WBEZ, the NPR station in Chicago, has a welcome letter that is heavily text formatted and clearly outlines what types of emails this subscriber will be receiving in the future.
The email pushes subscribers to download the radio station’s mobile app. The single CTA appears as a button and two hyperlinks in the email text.
Finally, the welcome email includes a signature from the Director of Member Experience. This subtle touch makes the email seem like it’s come from a real person and adds a more personal feel.
Retailer Loeffler Randall turns a promotional-based welcome email into a powerful tool that can be used to increase revenue. The email includes a discount code at the top for new members and a CTA to shop new arrivals.
Secondly, the email provides subscribers the opportunity to learn more about the company with behind the scenes features and early access to new products and sales. It also pushes the subscriber to sign up for the loyalty program.
There’s one subtle little feature in this email that caught our eye. At the bottom of the email near the social icons, there’s a small text CTA to forward this email to a friend. Adding this simple sharing option is a great way for this brand to encourage its followers to become ambassadors and promote for them, expanding their reach and awareness.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, peer-to-peer recommendations are some of the most effective content that consumers consider when deciding whether to make a purchase. By allowing subscribers to share this welcome email with their friends, they are basically endorsing the brand and adding a level of trust that can have a major long-term impact on revenue and sales.
Video is an effective way to increase engagement with your audience. On landing pages, videos can boost conversions by up to 80%. Love the Little Things provides family photos and videography services, so it makes sense that it would use video in its welcome email.
This email video takes the place of text providing information about the company. It gives subscribers an interactive way to learn more about the brand while allowing the company to showcase its services.
Source: Really Good Emails
Havenly is another brand that proves you don’t need a long welcome email to get your point across. The email starts with a short note with more information about the company and a CTA to get started.
We liked this email for the small area underneath the main CTA, which shows the various publications that feature the brand. Testimonials can come across self-serving at times, and this area is subtle but does a great job of increasing credibility.
Your welcome email is arguably the most important email you’ll send to your leads. It’s the first opportunity they’ll have to see what you’re about, and it sets the stage for what they can expect to receive from you in the future.
Follow these best practices to create a welcome email that will delight your leads and improve their long-term engagement with your brand.
Work with a set timeline
Create exceptional subject lines
Explain what your audience can expect
The best welcome emails are sent immediately after subscribers sign up and include useful and clear information that helps them learn more about how your brand can benefit them.If you’re ready to create a welcome email series that impresses your customers, then we’re ready to help you. Sign up for a free demo today and see how easy it is to create a campaign that will leave a lasting first impression.