Welcome Emails – Some Dos and Don’ts

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I’ve got a rather unhealthy obsession with welcome emails at the moment. It’s something I have always been curious about but while growing the email gallery my interest has gone to a whole new level. It’s always interesting to see the tone and style that various brands take, sometimes the results are surprising.

Experian CheetahMail conducted research into welcome emails and if you ever had any doubt that you need to do welcome emails and do them right here are 2 facts that may convince you:

1. Welcome emails have much higher open and click rates than other promotional mailings. Open rates were 57.8% compared with a usual rate of 14.6% while clickthroughs were 14.4% compared with just 2.7% for normal promotions.

2. Transactions rates from welcome emails are 9 times higher than usual promotional emails.

This is by no means a full list of points to consider but it should set you on the right track:

1. Say thank you. It sounds simple but it’s often overlooked. Subscribing to a newsletter or brand involves giving over personal information and takes time so remembering your manners can go a long way in a new relationship.

2. Use a “from” name your subscriber will recognise, your brand name is always a good place to start and will make sure that your email gets seen.

3. Add an offer – Welcome emails with free shipping or discounts have a much higher transaction rate.

4. Use HTML – Using a simple HTML design you can keep your emails branded and also track open rates

5. Set expectations on what your subscribers have signed up for. Let them know how often you will email, and what kind of messages they will see. This will keep your response rates high and your abuse rates low.

If your site has a good flow of traffic the sending of emails in real time, coupled with a higher than average email interaction rate that welcome emails get mean that your deliver ability will be increased significantly. I’ve seen too many examples where the welcome emails are overlooked and only added in at a later date to get deliverability to a more acceptable level.

In a case study I carried out for a client who had a 5 email welcome suite showed that their next 4 promotional emails saw a 8% increase in opens a month later than those subscribers who had not received the welcome emails

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