Question: Why do people sign up to brands’ mailing lists?
Is it because they never want to see or hear from that brand again? Because they don’t want to be pestered with its news and updates, latest collections and blog content?
We don’t think so.
The reason people choose to enter their email address into a popup box asking them to do so is because they like the look of the ecommerce site they are browsing and want to learn more.
Which is why it’s such a disappointment when a brand doesn’t get in contact following a new sign up to say that very first “hello”.
Most people like to receive welcome emails. Why? Because they make them feel part of something—they mark the start of a new friendship, as it were.
Research from Return Path shows that those who read at least one welcome email read over 40 per cent of messages from the sending brand during the following 180 days. Our own research suggests that subscribed customers have a higher lifetime value to your brand.
We took a look at how to approach your welcome email series and the different elements you should look to include. By adopting a test-and-learn approach to these elements and seeing which ones drive the most customer engagement, you can then built a welcome series that turns subscribers into customers.
Exclusivity is part of the allure of fashion. Being the first to hear about something or being the only one of your friends to own that item – whatever it is, it makes customers feel special. So in welcoming your customers to your brand, you should make them feel part of a special group.
Wolf & Badger do this by pointing out that you’ll be the first to hear about sales, and other exclusive events. Couple that with the image, which is a bold brand expression and you feel like you’re part of this club.
Remember that this sets the tone for your brand’s email presence, which needs to be an extension of your on-site and social presence, so be sure to include a bold brand image.
In the increasingly competitive online retail space, finding a brand differentiator is essential. According to Global Web Index, 41.8% of consumers want brands to be socially responsible, so the welcome emails are a good time to remind your new subscribers of your social credentials.
Finisterre is a brand focused on “sustainability as standard”, and with its welcome email subscribers are reminded of Finisterre’s brand values immediately. Combined once again with a bold brand image, this introduces the brand and immediately engages the viewer with a compelling reason to shop.
If your subscribers are not customers yet, it could be that they need a little bit of style inspiration. What better place to find that inspiration than on your social channels?
Coupled with the fact that by getting subscribers to become Instagram followers and other channels gives you the chance to reach them elsewhere, channeling your new subscribers to your social channels seems like a no-brainer.
Olivela have extended this idea even further by showcasing user-generated content (UGC), which is even more compelling than brand-led content. And to entice readers further, Olivela say that if users tag them, good things will happen. If that’s not intriguing, I don’t know what is!
If you have a physical presence, and if you can connect offline and online experiences to create a fuller picture of your customers, then you should absolutely be encouraging customers to visit your stores.
Even if not, as we are emerging from the height of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s good to remind people that they can visit you in store. Some customers who are desperate to shop in-store need just the slightest push, but for the rest offering exclusive in-store experiences can be a good way to build on your relationship.
Wolf & Badger is one brand who highlight this in its welcome series. It’s not the very first thing new subscribers will see, but it’s an essential part of the brand experience.
We appreciate that discounts can be a dirty word, and that they’re not always the answer to every problem. However, if that’s something you do for new customers, then of course you want to shout about it. But you can be clever about it.
Hunter offer a discount for signing up to their emails, but the intelligent thing is how they follow up. Here is the initial email new subscribers might receive:
As part of this initial email, there is a code for the discount, which new subscribers can use. But if they don’t, a little while later, they will receive an email that looks a little like this:
Both times, with the strong brand image of Hunter’s iconic boots. By applying this kind of logic to your welcome series, you can start to build different flows based on different levels of interaction. Had a recipient used the discount code, they would have received a different email and begun a whole new journey as a customer.
Taking this logic to another step, if users had clicked on one particular product range, say Men’s clothing rather than Women’s clothing, then the follow-up email should focus on that.
The welcome series is a good way to start finding out more about customer preferences and nudging them along. You may only have an email address to start with, but soon you can build a sketch of each customer based on how they interact with your emails.
Using your welcome emails effectively
That’s the most important lesson to take away from these welcome emails – you want your subscribers to get to know you as a brand, but you also want to get to know them as a person. Using discounts or other incentives, you can persuade people to pass over this kind of data which allows you to target your email content more successfully, creating mini-segments.
Then you can learn what makes your customers convert. Is it the sustainable messaging, is it the in-store experience, or is just a simple discount? Adopting this test-and-learn approach is essential to turning this into a winning, and automated, channel for you.
To learn more about how Ometria can help you with your welcome email automation, please request a demo here.