When was the last time you moved to a new neighborhood? Did your new neighbors or the local Welcome Wagon greet you with a wicker basket full of locally baked goods, takeout menus from nearby restaurants and a handful of coupons from local businesses? The classic welcome basket has always been seen as a friendly gesture extended by neighborhood regulars to invite new members into the community.
But when a new customer subscribes to your email newsletter for the first time, you can’t very well show up at their door and thank them for subscribing. Instead, your welcome email acts as your virtual first impression. As Easy SMPT reports, 81 percent of B2C marketers send welcome emails, and for good reason. In addition to just being a nice thing to do, welcome emails yield 320 percent more revenue per email than other promotional emails, plus an 86 percent increase in unique open rate and a 336 percent increase in transaction rate.
However, your welcome email can’t just say “Thanks for subscribing!” if you want to impress your new customers and build customer loyalty (and revenue). Your welcome email needs to be optimized from start to finish, from subject line to email copy. Here’s how to do it.
Often, your customers use the email’s subject line to decide if they even want to open your email. Some words have been proven to increase open rates and click-through rates, such as:
On the other hand, stay away from the words “save,” “report” and “webinar,” which may hurt your opens and click-throughs.
Customers heavily prefer to have welcome emails sent in real-time; it feels personalized and sincere, compared to a bulk welcome email sent in batches at predetermined times. Another bonus? Real-time welcome emails see ten times the transaction rate of welcome emails sent in batches.
Steer clear of generic, ‘noreply’ email addresses, which prevent your new customers from personally engaging with your business. Instead, use email addresses such as [first name]@company.com to build customer engagement and loyalty.
Writing email copy is often trickier than one would think. Walk the line between creating persuasive copy and avoiding spam trigger words that can place your welcome email in a junk folder. Words that you may never have pegged for spam triggers can surprise you. Make sure to avoid the following words:
- And of course, excessive CAPITAL LETTERS and exclamation points!!!!!
Instead, focus on making your copy more persuasive. For example, using the word “because” has been proven to increase compliance with a request (for example, to add your email to their address book) from 60 percent to 94 percent.
The word “you” is a smart way to personalize email copy and encourage the reader to involve themselves in your story. Similarly, the word “imagine” can make readers imagine using a product or service, which then increases their desire to purchase.
You may be tempted to include a special offer in your welcome email, and for good reason: Research shows that incentivizing purchases with discounts and special offers in your welcome email leads to 2.6 times higher transaction rates. However, note that revenue per email is actually slightly lower for emails including offers, so weigh the pros and cons before deciding whether or not to include a special offer in your welcome email.
Final Best Practices
You don’t get a second chance at a first impression. Your welcome email is an important opportunity to show your customers a gesture of goodwill and build the foundation of a long-lasting (and profitable) relationship. Take the time to optimize your welcome emails and your company will reap the benefits.