The power of a welcome email to build brand loyalty

You’ve done it: your products, your publication, and/or your services have inspired a prospect to sign up for your email list. This is a glorious moment! In a marketing world that’s vying for shrinking space in coveted inboxes, someone has invited you into their daily routine, which is no small feat.

Unfortunately, too many businesses consider their work finished here, instead of viewing this as a pivotal opportunity to increase web traffic and improve engagement, even increase conversion.

Immediately following their sign-up while your brand is still top of mind, your prospect is excited and enthusiastic about your company, and far more likely to read your email and engage. Welcome email campaigns typically have the highest open rates of any other marketing email, from 50 to 60%. Take advantage of that excitement in your welcome email and open a dialogue between yourself and the prospect in order to build brand loyalty.

The welcome email is your prospect’s first impression of what it means to be a part of your community. Instead of sending a rote, boring message, take this opportunity to cement your relationship with the prospect.

After all, this is their first taste of what it means to be on your subscriber list and sending a dull message can dampen a prospect’s initial excitement. By sending an engaging, actionable welcome email, you set the tone for all the emails to come which, with a strong first impression, will hopefully mean many.

Here are six ways you can use your welcome email to build brand loyalty from day 1:

1. Direct subscribers to your best content

First things first: ensure your newest subscribers are glad they signed up.

The welcome email is the perfect opportunity to showcase all the high-quality content someone can expect to receive as part of your subscription list.

By directing your subscriber to your best content (whether you judge this to be your most popular content or the content that drives the most conversion on your site), you will prove your emails have a high value and increase the likelihood that they’ll open and engage with your emails in the future. J

ust be sure your links work, meaning they lead where you say they lead, and they’re clearly marked to encourage people to click on them. The welcome email is a chance to highlight the unique work that set your brand apart from the competition and cement yourself as a leader in your field.

Though it isn’t a welcome email, this update from Reddit proves a great example of how to direct your newest subscribers to all your most interesting, click-worthy content:

Source: Milled

If you can wow them with this first email, they’ll be far more likely to pay attention to your next emails, thus increasing your opens and your click-throughs. A strong welcome email can get your subscriber hooked on everything you have to offer and leave them wanting more, building anticipation for your next email.

Remember, at the end of the day, your subscribers want to know what’s in it for them to showcase the benefits of being on your mailing list right from the start.

2. Inspire readers to take an action

It’s important to take full advantage of your welcome email and your subscriber’s enthusiasm by including something actionable in your message.

What is the next step you want your new subscriber to take? Maybe you want them to download content or complete a profile or purchase a bestseller from your store. Whatever it is, you want to make the action as easy for your subscriber as possible in order to convert subscribers into paying customers.

For instance, if you’re trying to direct new subscribers to make a purchase, offering a promo code just for them will give them the incentive to buy. Make sure the promo code is highly visible and easy to use in order to see the greatest results.

Source: Milled

Whatever you want subscribers to do, it’s important your welcome email clearly directs your new subscriber to take that step with an easy to spot, easy to follow CTA. Welcome emails lead to more than three times the revenue of other emails, so you don’t want to miss the chance to bring in revenue and create loyal customers.

3. Ask subscribers to add you to their contacts list

You can do everything right in your welcome email and there’s still a chance your subscriber might forget about your emails before the next one rolls around. That’s why it’s important that you encourage them to add your contact to a safe senders list or drag your email into the “Primary” tab if they use Gmail. Director your subscriber to take this action immediately after signing up reduces the chance they’ll miss your next email if it gets sent to a different tab or filtered into spam.

You want to do everything in your power to ensure your next email makes it in front of their eyes so don’t be shy asking subscribers to move your email into their contact list. You want to ensure your email is one of the 28% of messages sent worldwide make it to an inbox. Being direct and to the point will yield strong results, especially when you use clear verbiage that indicates what the subscriber gains by following your suggestion. Try something like:

  • Add us to your Contacts to never miss a sale
  • Add us to your Contacts and be the first to know what’s next in marketing

  • Drag this email into your Primary tab to stay up to date

It’s important to send the welcome email from the same sender as all the other emails subscribers will be receiving from you.

For instance, if you plan on sending emails from “[email protected]” then don’t send your welcome email from “[email protected].” If they’re going to add someone to their Contacts, you want to be sure it’s the right email address.

Also, by the time that next email rolls around, you want your subscribers to recognize the sender. If they don’t, they might mistake your email as spam and delete it without opening, decreasing your engagement and hurting your sender score.

4. Maintain your brand identity

Your website and your content have inspired someone to subscribe, so obviously whatever you’re doing there works, so don’t try to mix things up on the welcome email (or any email for that matter). You know what they say: if it ain’t broke. You want to keep your logos, your colors, and your content consistent across all your channels.

Branding matters. It’s what differentiates you from your competitors in the customer’s eye and connects with your customer emotionally. Your brand has specific values that resonate with people and that’s why customers turn to you instead of another company, regardless of whether you’re selling something, publishing articles, or anything else.

This welcome email from Thread does a little bit of everything and does it well. It includes a message from the founders, a clear CTA that directs new subscribers through their process, and even a bit of their brand story. Even so, the minimalism and text stay true to the brand’s aesthetic:

Source: Really Good Emails

The welcome email is also a great time to tell your brand story. If you have a powerful mission statement, showcase it at the first opportunity to really make an impression. It’ll differentiate you from the competition and lead to strong conversion rates, even without going for the hard sell.

5. Write a personal message

Increase brand loyalty by emphasizing the connection with your newest subscribers through personalization. People love feeling special and including a personalized message is a great way to tell your prospects you value them.

Source: Really Good Emails

But remember: personalization isn’t just adding a customer’s name in the email subject line.

In the age of data, including dynamic, personalized content is a must. According to Experian, emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened and marketers have found a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns. 760% is worth a few extra moments from your day, don’t you think?

Adding a short and sweet message from an important person on your team allows you to tailor the welcome message to highlight whatever your company does really, really well and focus on your brand’s strengths.

For instance, including a message from a founder tells your new subscriber they’re important while a message from the head of your support department says customers don’t need to feel intimidated because you’re in this together.

There are other ways to emphasize what makes your company special in your welcome email, too. If your best quality is how easy to use your product is, consider using the 1-2-3 method to show users how to get started.

Check out how the brand Ibotta makes next steps impossible to miss:

Source: Really Good Emails

6. Opt for a preference center

Since segmented email campaigns can lead to a 760% increase in email revenue as mentioned above, you’ll want to segment, and then segment your segments.

This might seem like a lot of extra work for you, but including a preference center in your welcome email lets your subscribers self-segment. Let them tell you exactly what content they want to receive and how often they’d like to receive it; all you have to do is listen to them.

And people expect you to do just that: according to a study by Janrain, 74% of online customers are frustrated when they receive content that has nothing to do with their interests.

This example from Archant proves you can ask subscribers to re-engage in a way that's kind and true to brand:

Source: Really Good Emails

It might seem counter-intuitive, but it’s important to include the option to unsubscribe even in your welcome email. Including the unsubscribe right from the get-go might even help some subscribers feel better since they can opt out whenever. It takes some of the pressure off the commitment and doesn’t feel so overwhelming.

Wrap up

The welcome email is the perfect time to cement your relationship with a subscriber. They’ve seen what you had to offer and liked it enough to give you permission to add them to your list. Putting a little extra thought into how you interact with them while their excitement is guaranteed to be high will pay off dividends in the future by converting subscribers into loyal followers of your brand.

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