The Welcome Series. One of the most underrated but highest performing email series a business can implement. A welcome series is a great way to ensure you are creating lifelong brand enthusiasts from the start. If you’re not currently employing a welcome series, that’s ok. This type of low-hanging fruit can be put into action any time of the year. In this article we’ll take a look at what you need to create a high-performing welcome series.
Let’s Start with the Basics
A good welcome series introduces your new subscribers (or customers) to the brand. Over a series of well-timed, engaging emails, you’re not only trying to sell products or an experience, you’re building trust and a relationship with your new subscribers. The goal with the series is to instill a certain amount of brand affinity in your new friends while also showcasing what sets you apart from your competitors.
Before you hop into creating emails, sit down with your team and brainstorm what makes you uniquely you. Why do people interact with your brand? What makes you different from every other brand? Why would someone want to continue to engage with you? Write down all of your answers and sort them into an order that helps tell the story of your brand. I find post-it notes are a great way to keep this interactive and fun. Once you’ve settled on your top 3-5, congratulations, you’ve just come up with topics for your emails.
Moving on to the Welcome Series
Email 1: Welcome and Origin Story
Timing: Sent immediately after sign-up or purchase
Once a person subscribes or buys from you, they’re expecting to hear from you. Seize on that chance to not only welcome your new subscribers and customers into the fold, but tell them (at a high-level) about you as a company. Perhaps you have a particularly interesting origin story, or maybe you’re a disrupter in the field. Use this opportunity to say “hey, it’s nice to meet you” and “here’s why I think we’re going to be friends.” If your product is one that needs instructions on how to use it, say an online platform, here’s a great opportunity to give them a quick overview of how to get started.
Also, there’s debate on whether offering a discount code in the first email is beneficial. I’m going to let you in on a secret, it depends on your customer base. I recommend doing an A/B test to see how often that particular coupon is used and how often your new customers just come back and purchase without the coupon—it could be that you don’t need the coupon and you’re actually losing money.
Email 2: Perks of Being on the Inside
Timing: Sent 3-5 days later
Email 1 is a light touch, think of it as your introduction. Email 2 is where you tell your new subscribers and customers about the perks of being on the inside. From rewards to key things about your business such as free shipping, VIP access, virtual shoppers, etc., this is your chance to promote your differentiators. Additionally, if you have a large social media presence and an engaging audience, this would be the time to showcase how people can join in on the fun.
Remember, if you have a consumer product, make sure that you think about the timing of your email so subscribers are not receiving a bunch of shipment notifications and welcome emails all that the same time. Be mindful of the experience you’re creating. People will not be happy if they feel like you’re cluttering their already crowded inbox.
Email 3: Get to Know Your Subscribers
Timing: 5 days later
Since you’ve been doing all the talking, it’s time to ask your new subscribers and customers to tell you a little bit more about themselves. Use email 3 as a way to gather preference data and other key information from your subscribers by asking them to update their profile. Remember, it’s important to highlight the reason why you’re asking for this information. For example, you want to be able to send a birthday surprise, or you want to send curated items based on things like style, size, or even skin or hair type.
The key when asking for information is to help your customers see the value in providing you with more info. Be transparent about how you’ll use the data and they’ll be open and honest with you.
Emails 4 – 5: Hit on Your Remaining Differentiators
Timing: 5-ish days from your last email
A lot of welcome series stop after 3 emails, which is perfectly acceptable. If you want to add a few more emails to your series, go for it, but make sure that you’re still providing short, sweet content that will add value to your customers’ lives. This is a great time to remind new customers (or subscribers) who haven’t purchased anything to go ahead and hit that buy button. Important note: make sure you’re segmenting your list to ensure you’re sending the right message to the right group.
Welcome Series Are Worth the Effort
A well-timed, well-executed welcome series can increase your profits, grow your customer base, and increase brand affinity across the board. While a welcome series seems simple in theory, these foundational email campaigns can back a big punch for your business. If you’re interested in learning more about welcome series, check out this blog article by our strategy team or contact us—our team of experts is standing by.