Critical Elements to Getting Your Welcome Messages Right From the Start, Part 2April 16, 2010 By Ross Kramer
In part 1 of this series on welcome messages, I discussed the benefits of an automated welcome series over a single welcome message. Namely, the ability to build long-term customers and brand advocates, increase subscriber value and campaign return on investment, and reduce subscriber attrition.
I also shared five key elements of a successful email welcome series. They include: setting specific goals; determining the number of messages; setting the right cadence; differentiating a welcome series from other email; and automation. In this final installment I’ll cover five additional elements of a successful welcome series, focusing in on the content of messages.
1. Segment. By using subscriber information such as entry point and preferences, you can target your welcome campaigns to increase relevance and better connect with subscribers on an individual level.
2. Subject lines. Cut through the clutter of the inbox by including the term “welcome message” along with the number in the series to help the messages stand out.
3. Branding. Use a welcome series to reinforce your brand in the "from" line, domain, links, header and footer information. This is an opportunity to build brand awareness and loyalty when customers are interested.
4. Content. Every message in your welcome series needs to be clear to your audience, and therefore should include:
- Number — let subscribers know where they are in the series with a statement like “Message 2 of 3.” That way, they’ll know what to expect.
- Recap/sneak peek — include brief statements like “In the first message you learned about member benefits” and “In the next message you’ll learn about our return policy.” This information keeps subscribers on track.
- Contact info — always include multiple ways for your subscribers to contact you — email, phone, online forms and physical address.
- Incorporate social — your email and social marketing strategies should support and promote each other to enhance subscriber interaction. Include your social links in all of your emails. Give subscribers an easy way to share your emails with friends, family and social networks.
- Header/footer information — including a quick opt-in reminder along with a request to add you to their safe sender list is a best practice to help ensure deliverability.
- Personalize — include the recipient’s first name in the message as a friendly reminder that you know each other.
- Ask for preferences — include a link to your preference center, and give subscribers control of the messages they receive by linking each message to your preference center.
- Special offer — it’s not a necessity, but a discount always makes people feel good about signing up to an email list.
5. Follow CAN-SPAM regulations. Prove that you're a legitimate email marketer by sending CAN-SPAM-compliant messages. Emails must include a one-step unsubscribe method; physical address; nondeceptive subject line, transmission information and heading; and a fully functioning return email address.