If you’re using email campaigns to drive customer acquisition, the first ones you send are some of the most important. According to Forbes, the first seven seconds of an in-person interaction are crucial to making a great first impression. In email, the first few messages are equally important to help capture and hold a consumer’s attention and create long-term repeat customers. In our 17 years of working with consumer brands, we’ve noticed a few trends that take welcome emails from good to great, and want to share them with you.
Here are 10 tips to keep in mind to make the most of your next welcome email series:
1. Understand Your Sales Cycle
Before you send any emails, it’s important to ensure you review and understand your sales cycle so you can time emails and craft messages appropriately. For example, if your average sales cycle is several months, daily emails are excessive. On the other hand, if you typically make sales within weeks of initial engagement, multiple messages in the first week would be necessary—and you may include calls-to-action (CTAs) very quickly. Keep your sales cycle in mind when reading the tips below, and don’t be afraid to adjust them accordingly.
2. Set Clear, Measurable Goals
Before you start running ads or writing emails, you need to outline your campaign goals and a plan to get there. Your goals should be reasonable, objective targets that are easily tracked. Open rate (OR) and click-through rate (CTR) can be useful, high-level, front-end indicators of campaign performance, so it’s a good idea to include them in your initial strategy.
3. Emphasize Back-End Metrics
While OR and CTR are useful, remember that these rates are only the first indicators in the process of acquiring customers and should be evaluated in the larger context of sales and revenue.
Whatever your method of acquiring leads and subscribers, make sure to set up corresponding back-end goals for each campaign. These goals can include return on investment, return on ad spend, cost per acquisition, cost per sale, cost per store visit, overall sales growth, or even consumer site engagement. Every company is different, so work within your organization to set the goals and metrics most relevant to your business needs.
4. Say Thank You
When you send your first email, remember to say thank you. Inboxes are crowded, and consumers are getting more marketing messages now than ever. Start the relationship on the right foot.
5. Set Expectations
Tell your subscribers what kind of content they can expect from you and how often. Let them know you’re sending a weekly deal or daily newsletter. This will ideally be communicated in the first email as well to ensure your readers’ expectations are aligned with your content right away, so they’ll stay engaged from the beginning.
6. Provide Value
Your welcome series should give your readers a small taste of what’s to come. This can include a collection of your best content, a short tutorial, or a preview of the week’s deals. Whatever you include, make sure it’s some of your best material, so users want to keep reading.
7. Limit CTAs Up Front
Make sure you start by focusing on what connected you with the subscriber and delivering what was promised, without asking for anything additional in return—in other words, don’t include any unnecessary CTAs right away. Even if you have a short sales cycle, limit promotions in the first email, even if you follow up again the same day with a sales offer.
8. Consider Sending Multiple Emails
One welcome email can be enough, but sometimes it’s necessary to send a few in short succession for the best onboarding experience. If you’re providing a lot of information up front, two or three messages helps spread it out and gives the reader time to absorb. Whatever you do, make sure you’re delivering on the message that made your reader sign up in the first place.
9. Be Ready Before Launch
Make sure you have all the content for your onboarding sequence ready, before running any ads. When a prospect signs up for your list, you have their attention. It is critical that they hear from you right away, so you can capitalize on the opportunity to engage with a prospective customer.
10. Watch Your Results & Optimize
As is true with any email campaign, make sure to keep an eye on your results, and continuously test new offers and creative. There’s always room to improve your front- and back-end metrics, and your welcome series is a great place to start.
These 10 tips can help you improve your next email sequence and drive increased customer acquisition results. If you’d like to learn more about email optimization for opt-in advertising, contact us. Our team specializes in driving custom acquisition programs built to deliver back-end results based on your specific needs.