A warm welcome can make all the difference. Picture the following two scenarios:
Scenario 1: You walk into Store A. The store assistant gives you a welcoming smile and greets you at the entrance.
Scenario 2: You walk into Store B. The store assistant completely ignores you.
Which one are you more likely to purchase from?
Offline, we stick to etiquette. We welcome people into our stores, and we say ‘Thank You’ to our customers. It’s common courtesy. But common courtesy is just as important online as it is offline.
A welcome email can help you achieve that. Sending a welcome email when someone signs up to your email list is the nice thing to do. Not only is it the nice thing to do, but it’s the smart thing to do to help you achieve that first sale.
What a Welcome Email Can Do For Your Online Store
Email is one of the best channels to use for marketing your online store. Email marketing continues to outperform other online marketing channels in generating sales.
If email is the king of marketing, the welcome email is the crown that led him to the throne.
A welcome email is the first point of interaction with your customer after they’ve visited your store. It’s the first impression you make. It’s your best shot at building a beautiful relationship with your potential customers and loyal followers.
According to the director of Epsilon’s strategic and analytic consulting group, welcome emails have one of the highest opening rates among marketing emails: a whopping 50-60%. What’s more, sending out a welcome email means that recipients will engage 33% more with your brand in the long run, compared to those who don’t receive one.
Omnisend has compiled some statistics in regards to sending welcome emails:
- Welcome emails have an average open rate of 45.7%, compared to 18.8% for your average promo email
- A welcome email generates a click rate of almost 10%, compared to 3.8% for your average promo email
- In terms of sales conversions, the welcome email is also in the lead with a 1% conversion rate, compared to 0.17% for promo emails
- The average revenue per email is 61 cents, compared to 10 cents for promo emails.
Welcome email: 1, Promo Email: 0.
How to Put Together an Effective Welcome Email
Let’s start with the most important mantra for your welcome email: help, don’t sell. Make your subscribers feel valued. Make them feel welcomed and appreciated. Make them feel that to you, they are more than just a credit card number.
So no matter which type of welcome email you decide on for your ecommerce store, keep that little mantra in mind.
The Difference Between Confirmation and Welcome Emails
Nowadays, many email subscription tools require a double opt-in from subscribers to ensure that they really want to be on the email list they’ve just signed up to. A confirmation email is usually short, simply confirming your subscription, and consists of text only. This is not a welcome email.
A welcome email is a marketing tool that you can leverage to start a conversation with your subscribers and build long term relationships. Welcome emails use marketing language to re-iterate the benefits of signing up in the first place, set expectations about what the email correspondence is going to look like, and provide valuable content for subscribers. The content should include nice images and well-written copy to engage the reader and incentivise them to take action.
Set Your Goals
Before composing your welcome email, make sure you know what you want to achieve by sending one. Looking at the trends, there are three different goals you can set out to achieve by sending welcome emails:
1. Nail Your First Impression
A welcome email is the first point of contact after people have signed up to your email list. This is your chance to make a dazzling entrance and provide recipients with any value propositions you promised in exchange for their email address.
2. Motivate Your Subscribers To Take Action
As with every marketing tool, you want people to react to your content. A welcome email is no different. Optimise it with a strong call to action to incentivise subscribers to take action.
3. Start the Conversation To Build Engagement
A welcome email doesn’t have to be, and in fact shouldn’t be, a hard sell. Use it as a conversation starter after people have signed up to your email list, and provide valuable content from the very beginning. This way you’ll be able to build long term engagement the right way.
Optimising Your Subject Line
The first thing people see in your welcome email is the subject line. It’s likely that your message is listed amongst many other marketing messages, so make sure your subject line stands out. An enticing piece of copy that incentivises subscribers to actively click on your email can get you there.
Subject lines with a length of 40-50 characters perform best. In these 40-50 characters you should give people an idea of what’s in the email, especially if it’s special discounts and offers. Or, you can take the opposite approach: create suspense by only giving away a little teaser, without revealing too much information or being misleading.
Drafting an Effective Welcome Email
The Bare Skeleton
When it comes to the content of your welcome email, there are a few things you should include:
1. The ‘Thank You’
This is why you are getting in contact in the first place. A welcome email is the first point of contact you have with new subscribers, and sets the tone for future contact. The Thank You note and welcome text should reflect your brand personality - whether this is simple and professional, or sassy and conversational.
2. Expectation management
Make sure your subscribers are aware of how often you’ll send out emails, and what kind of content they’ll be receiving. Here, you should reinforce the benefits of signing up to your email list so that people look forward to your next email.
3. Share relevant information
This is the main body of your welcome email and should be drafted with your original goal in mind. Provide information that is valuable to your readers, such as special offers or exclusive deals.
4. Include eye-catching photos that highlight your products
The reason people sign up to your email list is so that they can learn more about your business and your products. It’s ok to show off a little! The best way to do this is by using striking images that make your products shine.
5. Finish on a strong call to action
End your email with clear instructions on what you want your readers to do. Make your CTA stand out from the rest of the email through contrasting colours. Focus on one clear call to action, otherwise you risk your email appearing cluttered. In this instance, your readers may become distracted which could result in them taking no action at all.
6. Avoid landing in the Spam folder
Email providers such as Google try to provide the best possible user experience, which means that they filter which emails go into your inbox, and which ones are banished to the spam folder. In order to make it into someone’s inbox, avoid over-using sales-based language, using all caps or too many exclamation marks. Last but not least, avoid using misleading claims!
Many automated email services require this information and will be automatically included in the email.
Filling in the Main Body
Your welcome emails should have one specific focus, depending on what you are trying to achieve. Here are some examples of welcome email themes and how brands have effectively made them come to life:
Storytelling: Communicating Brand Values
Nomad successfully uses their welcome email to remind subscribers what’s so great about their brand and products. They are telling the story of how they developed as a business and instantly create rapport with their readers by communicating their brand values.
The first thing that stands out in Ugmonk’s welcome email is their well written expectation management. They do a great job at telling their subscribers exactly what they can expect from their emails. And Ugmonk takes their welcome email up a notch by including a short brand video.
Read more about why videos are a great way to create engagement and drive conversions here.
Make Your Subscribers Feel Special whilst Showcasing your Products and Driving Sales
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: help, don’t sell. Welcome emails are not about hard selling, but about creating value for your subscribers. One way to make sure you can hit your sales goals whilst creating value for your subscribers is by providing special discounts and offers. Use your welcome email to deliver the discount code you promised in exchange for the subscriber’s email address, and make your subscribers feel special by sharing exclusive information with them.
Modcloth does a great job at showcasing their products without coming across as too sales-y. How do they do it? By sharing secret information with their subscribers. Only by being an email subscriber would you know that new arrivals drop on the online store at 12pm daily. As a result, email subscribers have the privilege of being the first customers to get a glimpse at new collections.
Speaking of exclusivity and special treatment: Ann Taylor provides their subscribers with a very special welcome. Not only are you now a member of ‘The List’, but you also receive a hefty 25% discount off your first shop. That’s what we call a strong CTA!
A Simple Hello and Some Valuable Content
Sometimes, simple is best. Sending out a ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank You’ is straightforward yet effective. Take Tiffany as an example. Their jewellery is all about timeless elegance without all the clutter and fanfare, and their welcome email reflects that.
GoPro’s welcome email also stands out from the crowd, as they avoid any content related to their products. Instead, they are saying a quick ‘Hello’ and immediately refer their readers to content that is valuable and of interest.
When The Timing’s Right
Last but not least, it is important to pay attention to the timing of your welcome email. Research shows that emails sent within 10 minutes of signing up perform best. In fact, it was found that real-time welcome emails drive up to 10x better results than emails sent a few hours later or the next day.
How To Send an Automated Welcome Email With MailChimp
MailChimp is a great tool for all your email marketing needs, including designing and sending out effective welcome emails. For an introduction on how MailChimp works, click here.
Using MailChimp, it’s possible to send out automated emails, no matter which account you’re on. This means your emails are automatically sent to the contact list of your choice when trigger and sending criteria are met. You can find a step-by-step guide on how to set up an automated welcome email with MailChimp here.
Get in touch
Welcoming new subscribers to your email list and Shopify store can easily become one of your most successful marketing strategies. Get in touch with the Elkfox team and we can can help you find tactics to become an email marketing superstar!
*Image via ban.do