Welcome to Wherever You Are

By OctaneGo, July 13, 2011 | Tips & Resources

You see a pretty girl and walk up to her to ask her for her number. And she gives it to you like that; you can’t believe how simple it was. What would be the first thing that you would say? (Think later after you have read the blog :p). Email marketing works in a very very similar way. What does a girl wanting to give her number to you signify? Well, she is obviously interested and WANTS to talk to you. In the same vein, a subscriber who opted in for your newsletter is telling you, “Hey, so now that you have my number, why don’t you tell me more about yourself!” You need to have a very well thought out reply if you want to keep the conversation going. And the same applies to your welcome email.

Normally most of the emails sent out by a marketer are ‘push’ emails. They’ve told you “please talk to me at some point…” and then you as a marketer choose how and when you would like to respond. But on the flipside, a ‘welcome’ emailis a ‘pull’ email where your reader is saying, “please talk to me… now!”

Let us start by discussing what are we referring to when we talk about a “Welcome Email”. It can basically be of two types

1 – Welcome to our company
Or
2 – Welcome to our newsletter.

The difference between the two? You should send out the former when someone visits your site and fills up a form. While the latter is meant to be sent out following an opt in.

What’s the big deal about ONE welcome email?
Yes, this question might come to your mind too like it did to ours too. The most important point regarding a welcome email is that it is the FIRST conversation that you shall have with a customer or a customer to be. And this one is almost guaranteed to be read, especially since the customer himself opted in (if that is the case and we hope it is).

What should my welcome email contain?
First things first, WELCOME and THANK YOU for signing up :). Use this opportunity to sell your company, products and services. We don’t mean directly bombard the customer with product offers, catalogs, etc. Instead show them what your company does and how well it does it. Also you should make them aware about your privacy policy and unsubscribe links. Information that will help the customer draw a more detailed picture of what you offer and a reason to contact you and further the relationship should be included as well. Throw in a freebie if you can; it could by anything- a coupon code if you are into retail, a trial offer for a service, etc. Who doesn’t love a welcome drink when one checks in, right?

Targeting & Segmentation
We hope you are familiar with these terms, if not, just relate them to their dictionary meanings and we shall be on the same page. Now, if the signup is from a prospect, include something to help them become a customer instead. On the other hand, if an existing customer signs up, send him something specific to his point in the lifecycle with your company. But be sure to pace your communication, you don’t want to tell them everything you wish to at this instant itself. Slow down and take it easy, remember you are in it for the long term. Don’t let your myopic vision get the better of you, save the better for later and let the conversion results speak for themselves.

If your customers are neatly segmented, segment your welcome email as well.An even better idea would be touse the welcome email itself to segment. Filling signup forms with multiple options can work against you and might also reduce the number of signups. No one likes to be asked too many questions in one go. Use a simple sign-up form for the first email.

How to make it more effective?
1. As this is the first email that you will send, it will reach all the people you are proud to have on your hard earned subscription list. So be sure that you tweak andoptimize it for all the readers that your are targeting. Figure out beforehand what it is was supposed to achieve and how will you go about tracking the same.

2. It’s time to check the numbers and check the delivery, open and click through rates Keep a constant eye on them. Are they going up or down? Don’t start worrying if the numbers go south, just re-read step 1 and the other two steps below.

3. Its experiment time. Put in some more effort to see whether all the effort you are putting into your neatly designed mailers is paying off or not. Make two lists, one that consists of people who receive your emails and their spending activity and the other of ones who don’t receive your emails but still spend on your company’s product or service. Compare the two and see how you fare. That shall tell you a lot about how effective the mailer really is and whether it needs changes or not.

4. Monitor the time at which you send out these welcome emailers. Ideally and usually, most welcome emails are instantly sent out before you even know it. Does sending out one instantly have a better response than sending one after a gap of say an hour? Compare and see the numbers for yourself.

And who said it HAS to be just one welcome email? You could set up a staged welcome program too. Combine offers and ‘softer’ info about your business to convert customers without them feeling hard-sold. What’s in your welcome email? Go back, take a good look and come back to this blog to see if you need to change or tinker around with it. Do you track it? Tell us in the comments below! We would love to hear from you.

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