One of the easiest ways to dip your toe into the world of marketing automation is by implementing a welcome series email campaign when someone subscribes to your mailing list. They’re also highly successful: welcome emails tend to have the highest open rates of all types of marketing emails, and subscribers who receive a welcome email increase their long-term engagement with a brand by 33 percent (Epsilon Email Institute). In this blog post, we’ll unpack how to create a successful welcome series campaign that will convert newsletter subscribers into consistent customers.

Crafting the Email: Welcoming New Subscribers

The purpose of a welcome series campaign is just that: make your new subscribers feel welcomed and loved. In doing so, you are confirming the user’s decision to subscribe and setting a precedent from the get-go that your brand is customer centric. With that foundation, here are some practical tips to keep in mind when writing the first email in your welcome series:

  1. Avoid the sales pitch. Selling isn’t the point of a welcome email. You’re trying to build a lasting relationship here, not just make a one-off sale.
  2. Provide information that helps your new subscriber engage with your company. This could include a clear explanation of your service or product offering, or how often they should expect to hear from you.
  3. Keep it short, sweet and simple. The subject line should be compelling and clear, and the body text should be straightforward and formatted for easy reading. Definitely avoid overusing different typefaces, font sizes and colors.
  4. Be consistent in your branding, so the subscriber recognizes your brand in future emails.  
  5. Make it personal. Most marketing automation tools enable you to personalize the subject line or greeting with the subscriber’s first name. That said, don’t force it. There’s nothing turns customers off faster than painfully obvious customization.

Ongoing Engagement: Welcome Emails 2, 3 and 4

Once your new subscriber is engaged, use the subsequent emails in your welcome series to encourage specific actions. As a small business owner, your ultimate goal is to sell your product or service, but many customers will need multiple touches over time before they’re ready to buy. By encouraging your customers to take one specific action in each of your welcome series emails, you can help leads move along your sales pipeline. Here are some of our favorites:

  1. Follow Us: Promote your social media channels and invite subscribers to follow you. Connecting with them on multiple platforms provides your business with more opportunities to tell your brand’s story and get to know your customers.
  2. Get A Free ____: Offer a free 30-minute consultation call or other small giveaway, like a webinar, white paper or e-book. This works especially well if your business sells a service. On the phone, you’ll have an opportunity to learn a potential customer’s pain points and explain how your service can help meet their needs. In addition, content helps to demonstrate your approach and reinforce your expertise.
  3. Shop With A Unique Discount: Offering a discount can inspire your subscribers to take the leap and make a purchase, especially if your business sells products. Once they find out how incredible your product is, they’ll keep coming back for more. More on this in future posts. Stay tuned!

Monitoring Performance

As with all marketing automation, it is essential to monitor and analyze the data behind each campaign. If you see ton of unsubscribes after the second email in your welcome series, there’s clearly something that readers are taking issue with. Keep an eye on these metrics, most of which marketing automation platforms report for you:

  1. Clickthrough Rate (CTR): The percentage of recipients who clicked on one or more links contained in an email. This helps you to understand which information readers are more interested  in digging deeper on.
  2. Conversion Rate: The percentage of recipients who clicked a link in an email that led to them completing a desired action, such as downloading a white paper or following your Twitter account. Monitoring your conversion rates will help you determine which calls to action your future readers are more likely to respond to.
  3. Bounce Rate: The percentage of emails that were not successfully delivered to the recipient’s inbox. You’ll want to delete email addresses from your mailing list that consistently bounce, otherwise your email will be flagged as spam by most email providers.

Have you been the recipient of a welcome series that you loved? We’d love to hear about it! Stay tuned for more email campaign ideas that you can utilize to engage your customers.