It’s the holiday season. Chances are your website is getting more attention than usual and being exposed to new eyeballs…eyeballs belonging to people who just might decide to become new subscribers too.
Take advantage of this opportunity, despite the busy-ness of the season, to engage those new subscribers right away using triggered email. Don’t wait until the post-holiday time when everything slows down. Act now to engage those new subscribers and get this relationship off to a fruitful start!
1. Think of that new subscriber like someone you’ve just met
Let’s take a different approach to those new subscribers joining your email marketing lists. Rather than thinking of them as additional email addresses only, think about them in terms of a real life relationship that’s brand new. How would you go about building a relationship with someone you’ve only just met? You’d take it slow. You’d be on your best behaviour. You’d ask them questions and get to know them better while also telling them more about yourself. You’d be prompt in returning phone calls, texts or Facebook messages. This is how you’d lay the groundwork you can build a relationship on.
That’s the same approach to take with your new subscribers. And to help you do so, we’ve got some good advice for you, my friend, to make your triggered emails work even harder for you!
2. Send a welcome email
Your first surefire way to get off to a good start with new subscribers is to send them a triggered email right away, welcoming them to your list: Yes, send a welcome email. It seems like such a simple thing that you might suspect it’s not necessary. It’s necessary. This isn’t just talk. Welcome emails work! And, hey, they expect to hear from you. Statistics say over 74% of consumers expect a welcome email when they subscribe.
For proof that welcomes work, only consider the higher opens and click through rates generated by these emails. In fact, they tend to generate more revenue per email too, when compared to regular email marketing messages.
The average open rate for welcome emails is 50%, which is 86% more effective than email newsletters and waaaaaay higher than you’re likely getting as open rates for your regular triggered email marketing.
And with those higher open rates, it’s probably no surprise that welcome emails drive 320% more revenue when compared to regular promotional emails.
Besides which, welcome emails are proven to engage. Research shows people who read at least one welcome message from a brand later read more than 40% of the messages they received from that brand during the following 180 days. There’s just something about taking that first step to get this new relationship off to a good start…
Note, however, that your welcome email must be delivered promptly to maximize the effect—and by promptly I mean in real time. The sooner they are delivered, the higher the open rate and the higher the click through rate and revenue, up to 10 times higher when compared to welcome emails sent in batches.
3. Up your game with a welcome series
So if a welcome email is the most important first step in engaging your new subscribers right away, what’s next? Consider a welcome series. This can be two, three or more triggered emails sent as a series that help to further that initial engagement, perhaps by telling the new subscriber more about your brand, or asking them to provide more information about their preferences.
We know that the timing on that first welcome email needs to be a.s.a.p., real time, now. What about the timing of any follow-up emails that make up your welcome series? To answer that question, you’ll need to test and see what works for your audience.
Here’s another reason to do a series instead of just one email: If you can segment from the very start based on the context around the new subscription, you can provide better, more targeted messaging right away. For example, maybe someone is a new subscriber because they are a new customer: They just bought from you for the first time. Or maybe they became a new subscriber via your Facebook page.
You could also use responses to start engaging. If some people respond well to email sent more frequently, they could very well be more engaged than the others. Consider segmenting them to different email marketing lists with a welcome series that has a faster cadence, so they are migrated into a regular email list sooner.
By now, you’re convinced of the importance of the welcome email for engaging new subscribers right away…right? So what else can you do?
4. Pay attention to the From name and subject line
This welcome email will be the first triggered email they’ll receive from you. Do everything you can to give it a familiarity right from the start so it gets noticed, not ignored. Make sure the From name and subject line both strive to be obvious that the email is from your brand and that it has relevance to the subscriber.
Try to avoid From names like Sales@, postmaster@ or a person’s name. (And obviously do not use donotreply@!) You’ll probably have the best results with your company or brand name, but test to be sure.
As far as your subject line, one that mentions the new subscription with words like, “Thank you for subscribing…” or “Welcome to…” is a good and safe start, but testing will tell you what works best for your brand.
That real-time delivery of the welcome email will also help because your email will show up in their inbox while they are still thinking about your brand!
5. Carefully craft that first message
OK, you’re doing a welcome series. Your From name and subject lines are spot on… What else can you do? Use that first triggered email to remind them that they subscribed (and why) and what they’ll get. Reiterate the benefits and the frequency with which they’ll hear from you. Be on brand. It’s all about setting and meeting expectations. You made promises that got them to sign up. Let them know you’ll deliver on those promises.
This is also the time to offer an incentive as a thank you. Perhaps it’s 10% off their first order or something similar. A gift like that goes a long way toward engaging new subscribers!
Since this is a new beginning for you and your subscriber, start to learn more about them. You’ll win kudos for showing an interest and you’ll get data you can use for better, targeted marketing later on. If you have a preference center, invite them to use and tell you more about themselves. (If you don’t have a preference center, consider one.)
You don’t have to have a preference center to do this, however. You can simply offer a choice of links and then you’ll know what appealed to them most, information you can use to refine your messaging and marketing. Let’s say a food retailer has a welcome email, for example. They could ask, “Which of these topics interests you most?” then have a link to recipes, another to kitchen gadgets, etc. The links that get clicked can tell the retailer plenty about how to target future messaging!
After the initial engagement
Now all of this is right out of the gate, as you take those first steps to engage your new subscriber and start to build a relationship with them through these triggered emails. Next, you have to keep the momentum going so they stay engaged, with great content and an appropriate frequency. Also remember to listen to preferences, through what your new subscribers do or don’t do, say or don’t say…if they don’t tell you point blank.
Above all, watch for signs that these new subscribers are losing interest. Maybe they open fewer emails, or don’t interact with your emails at all. Have a plan for these “inactives,” including how long they go without interacting to be considered inactive. Move those inactives to a different list and start a re-activation campaign per your plan. And try to figure out what happened and why they lost interest…so you can do a better job of keeping new subscribers engaged in the future.
Maropost Marketing Cloud‘s email builder feature allows you to create astonishing emails which will increase engagement and result in higher ROI.