A good first impression is so important. We’ve all grown up with the quote “You only have one chance to make a first impression” drummed into our heads from an early age.
And with good cause, within the first 7 seconds of meeting someone the first impression is set and it then becomes difficult to change if that impression was negative.
The same is true in the digital world, this is when an effective welcome journey campaign can make all the difference in building a strong relationship with a customer.
In fact, email is uncannily similar to a first impression in terms of speed of decision making. Most customers, who open an email, will spend only 8 seconds “reading” the content.
But the good news is that 74% of customers expect to receive a welcome email immediately after subscribing. This is a golden opportunity; a subscriber waiting and willing to open an email from you. Heaven!
And the stats back it up with hive.co reporting open rates as high as 91.43%, click through rates of 26.90% and read rates 42% higher than the average email.
Alongside an abandon basket programme, a welcome journey campaign is a must for your marketing automation strategy!
And it is a journey
You have a captive audience, wanting to hear all about what you can offer them – so a series of emails as part of a welcome journey is far more effective than sending a single email thanking them for signing up.
At RedEye, we’ve found that a series of three emails in a welcome journey offers the most value to both customer and brand.
Each email in the journey should be informative, clear and have a specific action. If you put too many actions into the one welcome email, you’ll end up missing out.
Your overall objective for a welcome journey should be that of a value exchange with the customer. They have shown intent on using your brand, you must nurture this intent into a long lasting relationship.
The first message has to be unique
A generic welcome email will not cut it. For effective journey’s, the first email will need to acknowledge how they signed up in the first place.
Did they sign-up during the checkout process during their first purchase, did they sign up only using their email address from a newsletter overlay box or did they register but not purchase?
Each of these unique entrances needs a personalised message in return. For example, how to make a poor first impression is sending a welcome email offering 5% off your first purchase when your first interaction was already making a first purchase. It has happened to me and it’s not a nice feeling!
Bonus tip, ensure your tech stack is fully aligned in regard to welcome journeys.
Again, I’ve had experiences where I’ve signed up to a website and received a (very badly formatted) registration system generated email about my account set-up from the CMS platform, an out-of-date (branded) welcome email from one ESP provider and then the correct welcome email from another marketing automation provider – all within the space of 30 minutes.
It’s fair to say that brand did not leave a good first impression but one that has stayed with me for years!
Make it more than just a warm welcome
Welcome journeys offer you the luxury of engaging customers when they’ll be most receptive. If the customer has made their first purchase, you can prove you ‘get them’ via customer-driven personalisation, which in turn, will give a great first impression.
For example, if they purchased a waterproof coat, why not serve a lifestyle hero image of people wearing that coat in the wet countryside with a welcome line referring the product name.
If you have any content marketing on the topic of care for and re-waterproofing coats then now is the time to include that article into this welcome email.
For these customers, your first welcome email’s objective is to solidify your relationship, promoting your brand, your expert knowledge, values and what you stand for.
Highlighting add-on services and offers your brand offers that may go under the radar on first visit to the website are a useful addition here too.
There will never be a better time than now to ask for preferences
However, if someone has only provided their email address, now is the time to encourage that first purchase and collect some more information about them to populate your single customer view.
Many brands like to offer a discount for providing an email address in the first email as part of an acquisition strategy. However, try mixing it up with A/B testing.
Offering a discount in the second email once a customer has completed a preference centre as the incentive to provide more personal details can result in longer term benefits.
Using this preference centre data to effectively personalise and segment your new prospect in regular campaigns will result in higher engagement rates and ultimately conversion.
I occasionally purchase hiking gear from a brand who’s main focus is mountain biking. Now I receive lots of irrelevant product emails about biking which makes me consider unsubscribing.
If during their welcome journey emails they’d profiled my preferences and kept their emails campaigns on the topic I’m interested in then I would have a stronger relationship with the brand than I currently do and would potentially have purchased more from them via email.
Encourage your customer to interact with your brand
If your brand has apps, social media presence, VIP style subscriptions offers then the final email in the welcome journey is ideal to encourage downloads, follows and sign ups.
And if you’re in the lucky position of having many of your customers already purchased during the welcome journey then there’s no harm in injecting some cross-sell or up-sell products into the mix with a bonus fourth welcome journey email.
Now That’s What I Call Marketing Automation
The all-important Welcome Journey features as Track 1 in our latest guide; Now That’s What I Call Marketing Automation which showcases some of the best uses of marketing automation which includes these other campaigns…
⭕ Re engagement emails
⭕ Contextually driven personalisation
⭕ Customer driven personalisation
⭕ Back in stock emails
⭕ Replenishment emails
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