Archive for December, 2010

I had an email forwarded to me today that is right in some ways but misses the mark in the most important way – personalisation.  While I may indeed be ‘Dear’ to you, if your data isn’t all that, it’s much safer to use Hello or Happy Christmas as the greeting.  ‘Dear’ is what my nana calls me and it needs my name here to work. Counting on their audience to buy over $200 million in ticket sales for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2011 means that you want to be nicer to me.  Not to mention using the eDM that for pass along, share to social, or an actual call to action – go on, make the RWC more exciting than ever right  now! Just saying.

Following on from our last post on the art of the Welcome, we’ve gathered some examples here for you to look at, comment on, learn from and copy for your own welcome email program.

Also check other posts here like “You are not alone – 2 campaigns we love, and why” and one from right back in 2008 “Welcome Warmly“.  In all, there are 22 months of blog posts here at Jericho’s GetSmart Blog to help your email marketing performance.

Welcome messages are so important. A survey published in MarketingSherpa’s Best Practices in Email Marketing Handbook found that:
– 54% of respondents stated that they open and read transactional messages “very often or always.”
– Only 21% of respondents reported opening and reading other opt-in email with the same frequency.
Out-take: The Welcome email is 150% more likely to be opened and read than your email newsletter.

We have underlined key areas of each Welcome email, and each thumbnail links to a larger version of the email image.  Also each company name below links to their website.  (As we have said before one of the best ways to improve your email marketing is to spy!)

Whether it’s the first time someone registers for your e-newsletter, the first time they walk into your showroom, or their first online purchase, first impressions can make a huge difference to whether the prospect is ‘in’ or ‘out’ of your ongoing eDM program – and with lifetime value measurements, your ongoing revenue!

Example 1: A basic email that covers what it needs to and major subscriber engagement – works so well because of the style, and copy, really.  I’ve written about that before, so I’ll just link to that – Welcome to US.

Example 2: Another basic looking email with a value-add which incentivised the registration, The Whisky Shop from Auckland nails a great Welcome on a low budget.

Example 3: – I wish we had this in New Zealand.  The shopping site where you can buy all your non-perishables, leaving you free to get your fresh supplies from your local markets.  The Welcome email includes clear calls to action to get started – the best place to do this is in the welcome email.  Could improve: They mention emails they will send that are related to your activity, but no mention of what else they will send or how frequently.

Example 4: An office favourite here, our design and production teams love the gentle designs and copy in the Anthropologie emails.  The Welcome describes the frequency and content of the emails, benefits first is always good.  They also invite you to help the emails arrive with an action of your own – add to your address book.

Example 5: An Welcome offer for your first purchase might be just what you are after.  If so, Old Navy is here to help with 20% off your first purchase.  They link to their family of brands, to their Social Media profiles, and offer T&C’s for the promo – BUT – no description of email frequency or content, and no way to share the email to our social network – missing out on the newly engaged readers propensity ot share right when they are most excited to meet you - a useful trick that is overlooked here.

Example 6: KNOW from Positively Wellington Tourism is a top quality e-newsletter that you should subscribe to.  The KNOW Welcome email is on the money in every way.  They set up the anticipation of frequency, describe the content type, remind you of the email address you used to register, invite you to follow and fan them, and link to key content areas with site-matching nav tabs - PLUS they invite you to share the email to your social networksinvite a friend to subscribe too, and they even link back to the subscribe page in case you forward this email – allowing a clear path to subscribe if the friend you forwarded it to wants to sign up too.    I can’t find a thing wrong with email, can you?  (Disclosure: KNOW is a client of our agency, Jericho).

Example 7: The Rachel Zoe website earns a special mention before we even examine the Welcome email.   That’s because as you’ll see if you visit the site, the home page is totally about the email registration.  It is unthinkable how many websites I find that force you to search to sign up for email.  The best email marketers (including the GAP family of sites) use the priority real estate of their home page to sell you to the sign up.  If you make money sending email (and you do if you do it right) then your number one goal should be to get the email address of your site visitor.  Sure you want them to look around, but if you get the email address you get the chance to make your case time and time again…  Next blog post = tricks to great subscription forms!  This Welcome email does a number of things right.  It welcomes warmly (she is ‘beyond excited’ to have you aboard).  She sets expectation of frequency, and content.  She covers the housekeeping with how to get the email delivered to you (‘imagine the disaster…’!), and tell your friends, and a nice obvious unsusbcribe too.

Example 8: Outstanding in the wrong way this welcome email misses the mark in almost every way.   Dull,  unengaging, confusing.  It was also sent in the small hours of the morning hours after I had subscribed.   This is a major Government department (the NZ equivalent of the IRS) and although we expect them to be a bit behind there is simply no excuse for emails like this leaving the building.  The newsletter it prefaces is a useful and important communication, let down by this welcome.  Check out the reply email address.  Not only am I unlikely to retain this email for future reference, as am I commanded to do, I am actually a little bit frightened of it!

We would like this to continue to grow into the best resource for welcome email examples on the blogosphere.  You can help!  Comment on these ones, and please send examples of emails you have recieved, good or bad, to us at

Writing great content about emarketing takes time, and the more people who read it the better, so please help us to grow – and read our other posts – we have lots of original articles here.  Link to our blog, tell your friends about the GetSmart blog and use the SHARE links below to post to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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The email you send to welcome a new subscriber or customer is always the most read email you will ever send.

You will never send an email that is read more eagerly than the welcome email.

The welcome email is the most powerful chance you have to achieve every marketers goal of ‘customer engagement’.  Yes, I am being slightly monotone and repetitive – I’m aiming for a hypnosis effect so it gets in!

Because this email is so very important, it is the time when you should concentrate on these key aims:

  • Set the tone of your ‘voice’
  • Establish the terms and boundaries of your ongoing relationship
  • Brief your newbie so they can anticipate your next move(s)
  • Instill confidence and build credibility
  • Take the newbie by the hand and ease them over towards your end goal
  • Request no more than one action, but draw attention to other possibilities in the future

I’m going to look at each of these parts of the Welcome Email, and then I’ll post some examples of welcome emails that get it right.

Set the tone of your ‘voice’

Use the genuine voice of your company, some personality is preferable.  Don’t be too folksy though, this welcome is setting the tone of how your emails, your website, your call centre, and your bricks’n'mortar presence should sound.  In fact I think you should forget about ‘single view of the customer’ until you have established a single ‘tone’ of your organisation.

Establish the terms and boundaries of your ongoing relationship

Make it clear what they have registered for, and how you will use that permission.  Plain english works well here. One of the most comforting things is a phrase such as ‘we will never, ever, share your details with anyone else, or use them for any other purpose other than what you have asked for’.

Brief your newbie so they can anticipate your next move(s)

Seth Godim said it best 10 years ago: ‘Great email is personal, relevant and anticipated’.  Anticipation is key.  No one wants a rude surprise.  Every single email is greeted with a thought process that goes something like this ‘who are you, and why are you sending me this’.   Setting up the terms, and the anticiaption means that the path is clear for you to deliver the goods, and grow that permission, to paraphrase Seth again ‘from stranger, to friend, to customer, to advocate’.

Instill confidence and build credibility

If you are good at something, now is the time to quietly reinforce that. Link to testimonials and awards, use language which makes it clear they have done the deal with just the right kind of people.

Take the newbie by the hand and ease them over towards your end goal

You might like to reinforce what it is that you aim for, in line with your overarching goals for this person.  Do you want them to buy something? Offer a time limited coupon or offer.  Do you want them to advocate for you?  Give them the tools to share to their social networks or refer a friend.  And so on.

Request no more than one action, but draw attention to other possibilities in the future

If you need them to do something, remember this is DM!  Ask for it and make the action, simple, obvious and easy.  If you just want them to look around your website, or sit tight and wait for the next stage of your program, then make it clear that they can do that and entice them with some ‘easy’ steps they can take to view your content, for example.

We have written other posts on Welcome emails in the past, you will find other ideas here:

Underground tips for us – Hall of Fame (a great welcome email example)

Welcome warmly…! (basic tips)

The 1st of 3 Best No-Brainer Ways To Improve Your Email Newsletters (all about spying!)

If you have a brilliant Welcome program then please share it with us with a comment, or if you would like them, our team are ready and waiting to guide you to make the most of the incredible potential that the Welcome email offers you.

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