You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
While it may be a cliché, it’s true. The first interaction the brand has with its new customer sets the tone for the entire customer experience. Companies are looking for ways to build human connections with their customers. The welcome email stands out as one of the best opportunities for relationship building. In fact, welcome emails often have the highest open rates, up to 60% since they are expected by the customer. It makes them feel valued, and a part of your world. In a survey by Blue Hornet, “2013 Consumer Views of Email Marketing”, it was found that 74.4% of customers expect a welcome email when they sign up.
Welcome emails are important. No two ways about it. Read on to learn some tips on how to craft the perfect welcome email.
1. Go creative or go home!!
Your welcome email is an appetizer at the dinner party. It sets the stage for the amazing courses to come! You may choose to keep it with or without fuss and flash, but the perfect appetizer should be just enough to peak your curiosity and taste buds. If the appetizer impresses you, you’ll probably enjoy your dining experience. If it’s not to your taste, you will probably judge everything else based on that bad experience.
It’s something worth your attention. Spend time on it, and include great design, relevant fonts and graphics that gets your customer’s focus right to your products. Instead of writing text heavy emails, try using simple formats which are interactive as well as informative.
Here, Netflix welcomes their customers with a simple introduction, providing a link to their website and giving a basic information about the customer subscription. It makes the recipient feel welcome by getting the message across “Thanks for joining Netflix”.
2. One size doesn’t fit all. Customize your content.
When people subscribe to your email list, give them something customized to their interests. Try including an offer or useful tips or even a whitepaper along with the welcome message. Let’s say you own an e-commerce store and a Mom is browsing for baby products. When she signs up, add an introductory offer. Or if you are a SAAS company, offer an e-book on the information they were looking for. If you customize according to your subscribers’ interests, it makes them feel you are paying attention and has a better chance of setting the stage to a great relationship.
3. Give what they expect
We all know that a simple checkout process on your website is a “must”. Why? Because customers expect the checkout process to be convenient and fast. The simpler it is, it is more likely that the customer will complete the purchase. The customer likes a product, clicks on a couple of buttons and the product is on its way to them.
Goals for email interactions should be no different. The goal from your welcome email might be to introduce the customer to your brand and improve the onboarding process. Your new subscriber may want to know more about your product and services and how you will add value to their lives. Give what you promised and what they need.
Take a look at this welcome email from GoodReads, a company that helps people find and share books. In their welcome email, they educate the subscriber on how to make most of GoodReads.
4. Keep it short and simple
The welcome email(s) should be able to get the point across, be brief and shouldn’t contain information overload that’s confusing and unnecessary. Decide what you want to achieve from the email and just focus on that. Some examples are:
- Shop now
- View Demo
- Follow Social Accounts
- Here’s what you can expect from our emails
- Review purchase online
- Update preferences
Take a look at this short and no fuss email by Trello. Gets users to what they want in a jiffy; we’re guessing the click through rates for this email are pretty good!
5. Include relevant links
Add quick links in the email to simplify and speed-up the purchasing process for your subscriber. If your company has an app, then adding links to that app and highlighting benefits or features of the app makes it more likely to be downloaded.
Also, links to other companies or services associated with your company or service can be mentioned. But, avoid focusing too much on them.
6. Don’t ignore design and your mobile readers
The perfect design for your welcome email is not just the one with attractive and eye-catching images but also one that is responsive so it represents your product or service in a positive way. Ugly design is one of the fastest ways to drive away your customers and lessen trust with your customer. Imagine an e-commerce website using poorly shot pictures of its products with insufficient lighting or unappealing backdrops/surroundings. It is an instant turn off.
So is the case with non-responsive email. This email was not optimized for mobile readers and worst thing is, none of the icons/ text are clickable.
What to avoid:
- Emails with large photos that take ages to load show up as blank emails when opened
- Call to action buttons that are small and click-unfriendly; think about fingers as opposed to mouse clicks
- Cramped up content that’s hard to read – use one or maximum 2 columns in your mobile email layout
7. Focus on the subject line
The customer is most likely to open the email if it has a catchy subject line and begins on an interesting note. The beginning gives an impression of what will follow and a customer is most likely to read till the end if the beginning of the email catches their interest. Remember that only the first 4 or 5 words will appear on mobile devices!
8. Avoid time lags or delays.
Being fashionably late to make a grand entrance is traditionally accepted in a party, but don’t ever try that with your welcome emails. There is no excuse for not delivering these all too important emails on time. This is where choosing the right email delivery service that can deliver your emails speedily to the inbox plays a crucial role. You’ll find this article on how to choose the right ESP helpful.
This report by Experian shows the importance of timing in welcome emails.
9. Do not reply – a strict no
A do-not-reply email sounds downright unfriendly and it can also affect your email deliverability. A no-reply email conveys that conversation is not welcome. And as logical as it seems not to use a no-reply, there are many organizations that continue committing this mistake. Don’t believe me? Do a quick scan of your inbox and you’ll be surprised to find dozens of such emails. Here’s why you must stop using no-reply email addresses right away.
10. Follow email regulations
There are laws about sending emails. Email senders should be aware of them. For instance, in many countries, sending emails with a no-reply address is not allowed. And as per the latest GDPR law in the EU, it’s required that your customer gives an active consent to receive emails from you and is not tricked into receiving emails through pre-checked boxes. A few more rules for email include:
- Making it easy to opt-out of your emails
- A recognizable sender name
- No misleading subject lines
- Adding your postal address in the email to build trust
Learn more about regulations and laws that govern emails such as CAN-SPAM Act and GDPR and steps you should take towards compliance. To improve your email deliverability and inboxing rates, make sure your sending IP/domain is clean and hasn’t been added to any of the 100+ email blocklists.
I hope you find these tips useful and are successful in creating the perfect welcome email 🙂