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How to welcome new subscribers

The importance of welcoming new subscribers

Here's a fun fact: The average open rate for welcome emails is a whopping 50%, making them 86% more effective than email newsletters. In fact, lots of studies show that welcome emails are performing well above other types of bulk emails when it comes to opens and click-throughs.

Targeting subscribers when they're most engaged (they just signed up!) has been known to increase long-term engagement with a brand by 33%, and welcome emails have transaction rates ringing the register 9 times more than other transactional emails.

In short, welcome emails are winners. Yet only 57.5% of companies surveyed are sending a welcome email.

Not quite sure what to say in your welcome email? Here are 3 easy ideas to get you going:

  • Send a coupon: Gussy, an online shop, sends a welcome email offering 15% off any online purchase, and it's seeing a 79% open rate and 21% click-through rate.
  • Get that opt-in confirmation: Our personalization tool allows for you to add a confirmation link in your message to help ensure your list is squeaky clean.
  • Share links to your social sites: Your welcome email is the perfect place to link to your other channels. It's a perfect place to begin to integrate your email and social marketing.

Best of all, you can set up your welcome email to send automatically, right when a new subscriber signs up.

How to create an effective welcome series

There are lots of good things about new subscribers: They're more engaged, they haven't seen your content before and they're statistically more likely to click and open your emails. And, hey, they give you that warm-fuzzy feeling that your email program is working.

Trouble is, the story you're telling your long-time subscribers in your main marketing emails may not make sense to them yet. Think of it this way. When someone walks into your store, do you immediately ask for their credit card number?

Nope. First, you craft an experience that creates connection and warmth -- a helpful associate, a gorgeous product display, a cool video tutorial. The email equivalent is a welcome series. It puts you in control of how your subscribers are introduced to your brand. It creates trust and helps you establish a relationship with your customer. First impressions are crucial, and sometimes, a single welcome email isn't enough to set the stage. (Although, as our Brainiac guide tells you, it's a really good idea.)

You need a welcome series. But it doesn't have to be overwhelming! Here's your step-by-step guide to creating a welcome series.

1. Decide the key messages for new subscribers

A common mistake to avoid: Don't start with the number of emails and then decide what goes in each one. Start with what you need to say, and then determine how many emails it'll take to say it.

If someone is new to your email list, what do they need to know about your brand?

If you sell a product or service, it might be this:
+ How our product or service works
+ How we're different from our competitors
+ People rave about us
+ A special offer

If you're a nonprofit, it might be this:
+ Our history and mission
+ Stories of impact we've made
+ Exclusive perks for donors/members
+ A calendar of this year's events featuring Instagram photos

2. Create a framework for those messages

Next up: Set the number and schedule of welcome emails. The key messages you outlined in step 1 will be a big factor.

You might send 4-6 messages every few days, so it feels random. For more structure, try a daily tip or weekly top 5 countdown.

The length of your sales cycle matters, too. If people are most likely to buy in the first 48 hours, you may want to front-load your series. If your sales cycle is longer, make sure you're creating touch points over the course of a few weeks.

3. Decide whether to keep new subscribers off your main list until the series is complete

The next email on your list may mention campaigns or promotions your newest subscribers aren't ready for yet. You can create a segment to find those on your list who joined in the last, say, 14 days so they don't receive your main emails.

4. Create and set up the emails

What gets scheduled gets done. Depending on the scope you've laid out, set aside the time to create your emails. Chances are, you can repackage existing content and save some time.

When you've created them, hop here for the steps to put our automation feature to work.

5. Enjoy a donut

You earned it. Also, monitor your results on the Response page to see what's working and adjust what isn't.

If you love the idea of a welcome series but don't love the idea of finding the time to do it, we can help: Put our experts to work for you with our Professional Services.

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