Posts Tagged ‘welcome’

Whiskey & More has a brilliant welcome email. It’s on brand, concise, humorous, tells you everything you need to know, sets the right expectations, and it does it all in about 60 words.

Why this email is particularly brilliant is that they state that they won’t inundate your inbox with emails,  because they are ‘too busy sussing out great deals on whiskey’.

Which surprisingly, contrary to pushing people away, is actually comforting for the subscriber because it sets expectations up front that they don’t need to be afraid of them flooding their inbox, and drives home the concept that these guys are focussed on what they do best and as a subscriber that makes me feel even more confident in them and their products and services.

It makes me look forward to the very infrequent emails I will be receiving, because supposedly they will be packed with some fairly impressive whiskey deals, and really from a whiskey company that is what you sign up for right?

Whiskey&More

Click on the image to see the full version of the email

 

Every day you face a multi fold challenge in finding the time, the budget and the staffing resources to apply best practice email marketing practices. The big question is how to send hundreds, or thousands of emails, and still manage to ensure they are timely and relevant, and provide the ROI you are looking for?

The answer is to automate! Automated, or triggered, emails are the highest performing type of emails. How do they work exactly? Unlike traditional broadcast emails, such as the monthly email newsletter, these emails involve setting up criteria that when met, a message is automatically sent. They are usually always action based,  which means the driving force behind these emails are around the subscribers behaviours, interests, demographics and buying behaviour.

So incorporating such individual criteria into your triggered emails gives you benefits such as:

Increased relevance – the emails directly reflect the interests or actions of the subscriber, making them inherently relevant and timely for that individual. By providing extra value on an individual level you drive up engagement and open rates because your customers start to look forward to your emails for the valuable content.

Increased frequency
- they are triggered every time someone takes an action they are more frequent than your once a week newsletter, and as the subscriber may not enjoy getting the newsletter every day, they will be happy to receive an email relating to their recent purchase, and their upcoming birthday, two days in a row, because it’s personalised to them and means more.

Increased ROI, and more time for your staff, because everything is automated!

So really it’s not surprising that these automated emails, which are so perfectly timely and relevant, have the highest engagement rates, and they deliver a much better ROI than your usual emails.  And did you know birthday emails have even higher engagement rates than all other types of triggered emails – making triggered birthday emails the most effective of all.

So what sort of triggered/ automated emails should you be sending? We list the TOP 5 below with links to blog posts on each which include all the key information you need to know:


Welcome/on-boarding emails

Cart Abandonment emails

Re-engagement Emails

Reminders or re-order emails

Birthday emails

Want more?

Triggered emails are the workhorse of your email marketing

Why event driven email is awesome

 

Back in 2008 we saidWelcome emails have a huge advantage in that they are the most opened of all emails you’ll ever send

Back n 2010, we saidThe email you send to welcome a new subscriber or customer is always the most read email you will ever send

Back in 2011, we saidThe welcome email is the most important email you send because for many of your subscribers, it’s their first email experience with your brand, and perhaps their first interaction with your company

In 2012, we saidEmail provides the highest ROI of any digital marketing channel, and that welcome emails provide the highest ROI of all

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

We have been writing about welcome emails for years. It’s always good to recap so we thought we would bring all our welcome posts together and all the best and worst welcome email examples we have collected and give you a grand line up of welcome emails. We have gathered more examples of welcome emails for you to look at, comment on, learn from and copy for your own welcome email program. 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.

Example 1: We Heart It is a new site like Pinterest, that allows you to find and collate images and share them. I just signed up the other day and they sent me this nice welcome email. It is a clean, simple email that covers what it needs to, introduces you to the site and provides some key links for the subscriber, including links to download their app.

Example 2: Polyvore is a fashion site where you can create outfits, collate items that you like, mix and match products and share it with others while offering brands insight into their customers. Their welcome email, like WeHeartIt, is a clean, simple email that covers what it needs to, introduces you to the site and provides some key links for the subscriber, including links to download their app.

Example 3: KNOW from Positively Wellington Tourism is a top quality e-newsletter that features all the latest events, places, people and news that is going on in Wellington. The KNOW welcome email itself is simple yet smart. It  clearly and concisely sets the expectations to the subscriber the frequency of communication, the type of content, reminds you of the email address you registered with, it links to key content on their site, they invite you to connect with them on all their social networks, it even allows you to invite friends. 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. We can’t find a thing wrong with this email, can you? (Disclosure: KNOW is a client of our agency, Jericho)

Example 4: Anthropologie is an office favourite here at Jericho. We love the gentle design and the clever copy in the Anthropologie emails. The Welcome describes the frequency and content of the emails, and they invite you to help the emails arrive by adding them to your address book.

Example 5: Alice is the shopping site where you can buy all your non-perishables, leaving you free to get your fresh supplies from your local markets. The Alice 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 6: Old Navy  If a Welcome offer for your first purchase is what you are after, Old Navy is here to help with 20% off your first purchase. In their welcome email they link to their family of brands, to their Social Media profiles, and offer T&C’s for the promo. Could improve: There is no description of email frequency or content, and there is no way to share the email to your social networks which means missing out on the newly engaged readers propensity to share right when they are most excited to meet you.

Example 7: Rachel Zoe  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 all about the email registration. It is unthinkable how many websites we 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 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… This Welcome email does a number of things right. It welcomes warmly. She sets expectation of frequency, and content. She covers the housekeeping with how to get the email delivered to you and tell your friends, and a nice obvious unsubscribe too.

Example 8: The Whiskey Shop email is a basic looking email with a value-add which incentivises the registration, The Whisky Shop from Auckland nails a great Welcome on a low budget.


Example 9: Underground Skate has a basic email that covers what it needs to and major subscriber engagement – works so well because of the style, and copy. In fact their copy is so good we have previously done a whole blog post on it which you can read here.

 

Example 10: Outstanding in the wrong way this welcome email misses the mark in almost every way. Dull, unengaging and confusing. It was also sent in the middle of the night long after I had subscribed. This is a major Government department 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, however it is let down by this welcome email. 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 send examples of emails you have received, good or bad, email us!

Marketing Sherpa recently released the 2013 Marketing Benchmark report. It’s the latest and most comprehensive collection of email marketing research stats and insights in market.  We bought it and whilst we can’t reproduce it for you due to copyright reasons, we are happy to share some of the findings.  You can also get an excerpt of it here.

As Marketing Sherpa says, “email is a venerable tactic that is often dismissed as being too rudimentary for today’s focus on real-time information. Yet, email continues to endure, and even thrive, under such scrutiny, continually proving its worth through better delivery practices, more advanced design, and strategic integration with other channels”

A few of the key insights from the report are:

60% of organisations using email reported that email marketing is producing a positive return on their investment (ROI)

83% report they are involved with tracking, reporting and analysing their email metrics – yay – no ‘set and forgets’ around here! And the metrics that organisations track the most? Clickthrough rate and open rate are the most popular by far, both sitting at around 90% – the next most measured metric is unsubscribe rate at 75%.

It appears that content is still king – the most effective tactic of all is content and in particular for B2B marketers, whitepapers and other premium content was considered the most effective of all. As we have said before, it is still not worth sending an email unless there is content worth reading, sharing or discussing. And this is shown as a key goal as 67% report that the top goal for the next 12 months is to deliver highly relevant content.

And for the biggest question of all – which is the best day to send? Well the results are in! Tuesday (At 26%) and Wednesday (At 23%) were, by far, considered the most effective days to send overall.  We find that this depends on the business you are in to some degree – read our earlier analysis here.  Further, retail email with a mobile friendly design is showing good results when sent on a Saturday or Sunday.  We see that while the open rates may be slightly lower, the click through and action rates can be very strong indeed.

Despite the rise of ‘mobile’, 58% of people are still not designing emails to render differently on mobile, let alone mobile specific versions of their emails.  However that same 58% recognises the pervasiveness of smartphones and tablets and they expect that mobile will dramatically affect or change their email marketing program in the next 12 months.   And with the continuing rise of the use of mobile as our primary device, it is not surprising to hear most say that they realise all their email designs and strategies need to be revamped for mobile compatibility.

But mobile isn’t everything – Social Media is only 1% behind mobile at 57% as the next most important aspect, and most recognise social media as a primary communications tool and is becoming one of the main ways they interact and engage with their audience.

82% believe their list is growing slowly or not all.  Data ages, people change and your list shrinks.  Without a process for active planning for acquisition and a continual focus on growing your list, your list will shrink and the quality will deteriorate. Keep in mind that both paid search and co-registration programs performed poorly in comparison to other list growth tactics such as offering exclusive content or using the good old website registration page.

And in terms of improving your email deliverability? This area is lacking somewhat. 60% of you provide an easy unsubscribe process, (But that’s still 30% of you who don’t) And only 50% of you remove bounces, and worse still only 40% report they regularly clean their lists. There is some work to be done here!

What about triggered emails? This powerful area of email marketing often brings the greatest results however it is sorely underutilised. Just 50% of respondents report they deploy welcome emails. That is 50% of people who don’t! And most other types of triggered email activity are only being used by 19% – 35% of respondents. Overall, surveyed marketers did not appear to commonly re-engage subscribers, as just 15% indicated their organisations sent win-back emails, and just 9% sent shopping cart abandonment reminders. That leaves a lot of room for improvement.

One of the biggest things that may be stopping people achieving all their email marketing goals is the fact that 54% report inadequate staffing resources, expertise or time, as noted in this comment: “Our greatest challenge is time. We have been doing email campaigning for about 18 months, so we are still learning. We have a robust database but lack time and resources to mine it like we could.”

One other area of concern that came out of this report was a lack of capability to properly segment and target recipients, as little more than half of respondents indicated they could segment their lists by email engagement behaviour (55%) or purchase history (53%), and just 38% said the same about user-declared personal preferences. Even fewer (28%) could segment based on user device habits. “This is telling, as it shows a distinct gap between marketer actions, and the wants and needs of subscribers”

So what’s the bottom line? “Email remains a marketer’s most effective tool in terms of content reach. But, even the widest-cast net won’t produce results if your readers aren’t compelled by your content, or, even worse, aren’t receiving it at all. Proper list growth and management, alongside engaging, consistently delivered content, are the keys to maximizing email effectiveness.”


Even though it’s likely you are still focusing on your Christmas ‘recovery’ and easing back to work, it’s never too early to think about your 2013 email marketing program.

For some this year might be about reviewing your budget and allocating more resources towards your email communications program in order to set in place the best of the basics.  If you are already more established and ‘mature’  in your approach to email then you are continually reviewing your email communications program and are evaluating it to see how you can enhance what you’re doing.

Either way if you really want to power up your email marketing, below are some of the biggest shifts and trends at the moment that you should now seriously be thinking about how you could make this work better for you.

1. From mobile optimised to mobile first
Given that most email opens now happen on mobile devices, simply optimising your email message for mobile devices is becoming more of an outdated notion. On the other hand – while optimising designs for mobile is now crucial, don’t forget that context is just as important. And a mobile first approach means that landing pages and your Web site are also designed to convert mobile readers of your email.

2. From dry to juicy
Things have changed in the way customers expect to communicate with companies and what they want from them. Gone is the notion of editing content to within an inch of its life to take out any human presence and get it past the lawyers. It’s now about taking a different approach that involves sending content that educates, informs, engages and entertains. This doesn’t mean you abandon your professional corporate speak for the ‘LOL’-speak, however it’s about balance – customers just want to know they are dealing with humans that care.

3. From 1-1001 to 1-1
Batch and Blasts (where everyone gets everything) should have died out along with the Spice Girls. So it is really time to shift to automating more parts of your email program, where the subscribers themselves determine the frequency and cadence of the emails they receive through their own purchases, check-ins, behaviour and interests. It is those smart cookies that use the data they have to deliver real-time emails with truly dynamic and personal content.

4. From welcome message to boarding program
There is a shift away from firing out a ‘welcome’ message and then dumping subscribers into your main communication feed, to gently warming them up with a series of on-boarding messages that are tailored toward new recipients.

5. From one-off to email series
Did you know cart abandonment follow up emails get the highest engagement rate of all emails? Followed by birthday series emails.  Reports show a three-part birthday or cart-abandonment series always significantly outperform a single email. We have heard of people getting average conversion rates of 22%, 15% and 24% with a three-part cart-abandonment re-marketing series. How much money would it have lost if it had stopped after the first message?

Worth thinking about…. Email or call us if you want to talk strategy and email communications planning for 2013, we are elbow deep into work with many clients already and in the coming months they will be very pleased we did!

 

Seeing as the most searched for topic on our blog is ‘welcome emails’ you might also want to read our ‘welcome 101 master class post,  and then you can view email welcome examples in our top-rated post on ‘8 outstanding welcome email examples’ to get you started.

In this post, we’ve broken down the word “Welcome” as an acronym to provide a little inspiration in bite size chunks on the topic of welcome emails.  We picked the words below to highlight what we think are some of the more important components of a good welcome email strategy. Now, you might have your own words for some of these, and that’s fine. In fact, we’d love for you to add your suggestions in the comments!

W – Why
Why are you sending the email? What are you welcoming them for? This will determine the style of the email, when you need to send the email, and what you require your subscribers to do once they receive the email.

E – Engaging
This is potentially the first email they will have ever received from you – make it great! Make it so wonderfully enticing your recipients open it, and make sure it represents your brand, so that when they get your emails in the future they will know it’s you and they will open it.

L –Love your subscribers
Show them the love! Don’t just send an email saying ‘Thanks for signing up’ – where’s the joy in that? If they have just subscribed, or just signed up to something with you, or just purchased something in store, tell them you appreciate it, say thanks, offer them something.

C – Clickthroughs
Is there a call to action required from this welcome email? (You will get this from the questions in the ‘WHY’ section) Would you like recipients to clickthrough to a voucher, or your website for example? Have a good call to action that makes this obvious.

O – Opens
Good design and good copy is key. Make it relevant, timely, attention grabbing and appealing. That way you will ensure new customers or new subscribers will open your welcome email and get the information they need from you instead of mistaking it for more junk and deleting it and missing that vital new customer 50% off voucher!

M – Mandatory
We say mandatory because we believe welcome emails are that important and that effective. And if you don’t already have a welcome email campaign set up, contact design@jericho.co.nz and our design team can put some concepts together for you.

E – Ever and Ever
First impressions count right? If you want this recipient to keep coming back and showing you the love for ever and ever impress them off the bat and you’re more likely to hold on to them as a subscriber.

S – Series
Plural ‘welcomes’ to us means ‘welcome series’! Welcome series are great for when people visit your website, and generally they have limited time to get the gist of what it is you are great at.  So you use a welcome series to extend the education period. For example you could say ‘Sign up to our monthly news updates and we will welcome you with 5 ways to get the most from us’ then, you can use triggers in SmartMail PRO to deploy a series of emails at set times– perhaps weekly, or twice in the first week then one a fortnight.  Or even better, use the series as your sign up incentive – you could say “Sign up for our newsletter and we will send you our ‘3 ways to save money when you shop.’” How enticing is that?

 

You are welcome!

You know you’ve done too much email marketing if…

From the  2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report

  • you don’t end friendships or love affairs…you “opt-out” of them
  • you can’t read any text wider than about 600 pixels
  • you can think of 17 different ways to describe something as free without actually using the word “free”
  • the shopping list you give your spouse has all the important items squeezed into the top left-hand corner of the piece of paper
  • you look for the unsubscribe link in direct mail
  • you reject birthday cards that don’t have the postal address of the sender printed on the reverse of the envelope
  • your signature on checks includes your job title, address, phone number, fax number and website address
  • you delete people from your address book if they fail to return your phone calls three times in a row
  • when people accept your dinner invitations, you send out another invitation asking if they’re sure
  • the photos in your wedding album don’t have labels…they have alt tags
  • you send everyone two Christmas cards…one text-only, the other with images and colors

The team at Jericho hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year break,  and we welcome you back to the world of email marketing.

The “welcome” email may be the most important email you send. Why?

Because for many of your subscribers, it’s their first email experience with your brand, and for some it might even be their first interaction with your company. 

We all know first impressions count, so this is your best chance to create a good  first impression with your new subscriber. So don’t treat it like a simple confirmation email and fire back something bland and generic. And the worst thing you can do is send no welcome email at all.

If you don’t send one, it means you have lost an opportunity to engage with a potential customer,  and lost an opportunity to send a really great personalized introduction into your company. Beyond the welcome email, you don’t know what a new subscriber’s first email experience with your brand will be. It could be a notification, or a price hike. And what sort of first impression is that.

Here is how not to do it – the image below shows that more than 20% of the UK’s top retailers send no emails in the first 30 days – that is no way to win over new subscribers!

Instead, create a welcome email, or even a series, that gets new subscribers on board and engaged. This enhances the perception of your brand and the value of your email program. It’s also the best time to inform subscribers of what they can do on your website, who to contact for queries, allow them to update their preferences and details via your preference centre, and you can provides immediate value through content such as free white papers or loyalty incentives.

I have an example of one such welcome email that came into my inbox the other day. I was scouting around Marketing Prof’s website and signed up to their regular emails. Within moments of signing up, I had a welcome email in my inbox. It was well laid out, professional looking, reflected their brand, was welcoming, had informative content, and best of all had a list of quick links to more information and valuable resources, and it had their contact details at the bottom.

I couldn’t have asked for more – so below is a screenshot of the email just for you:

Your welcome email really is the best opportunity to engage subscribers, and there is also research that suggests welcome emails generate the best open rates – when done well – and can leave your subscribers and new customers with a lasting good impression of your company or brand, and sets the stage for any future email communications.

 Here are 4 ways that you may waste the golden opportunity presented by sending a welcome email:

1. Not sending a welcome email message at all
2. Taking longer than 24 hours to send your welcome email message
3. Not setting expectations for future email messages
4. Not having a call to action in your email message

Now, here are 5 ways you can immediately enhance your welcome email:

1. Set the stage for future email communication
2. Have a call to action in your welcome email
3. Have links to useful content, your webpage, etc.
4. Provide added value such as video’s or white papers
5. A welcoming and professional email that reflects your brand or company

So go and give your welcome email (Or the whole series) some love. Compare your email to the best practices mentioned above and look for ways to improve the way you communicate your brand, company and your value to subscribers.

For more on email Welcomes – see our most popular post of all time – 8 Outstanding welcome email examples