According to data from Epsilon, triggered email messages average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than traditional bulk messages.
Now that you’ve seen those stats, you know it’s time to set up that welcome emails series. You’ve been meaning to get to it, but it’s seemed too overwhelming. Good news, these five steps will help you get started!
Step 1. Decide the key messages for new subscribers
A common mistake to avoid: starting with the number of emails in the series and then deciding what goes in each one. Instead, 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, your series might look like this:
- How our product or service works
- How we’re different from our competitors
- People rave about us (testimonials)
- A special offer
If you’re a nonprofit, it might be this:
- Our history and mission
- Stories of impact we’ve made
- A calendar of the year’s events
- Exclusive perks for donors/members
Step 2. Create a framework for those messages
Use the key messages you outlined in step 1 to set the number and schedule of the welcome emails.
You might send 4-6 emails over the course of a few days, so it feels random. Or for more structure, try sending an email every three days or weekly on the same day of the week. It may take some testing to find out what works best for your particular audience.
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.
Step 3. Decide whether to keep new subscribers off of your main list until the series is complete
The next email for your main list may mention campaigns or promotions your newest subscribers aren’t ready for yet. If you don’t want them to receive that mailing, you can segment out everyone on your list who joined in the last, say, 14 days so they don’t receive your main marketing emails. There are several ways to do this depending on how your list is structured.
Step 4. Create and set up the emails
Now it’s time for the fun part: creating and scheduling the actual emails that will be a part of your series. Chances are, you can repackage some of your best existing content to save some time since these are new subscribers who aren’t as familiar with your brand.
Once you’ve created the emails, you’ll want to set up the appropriate trigger for each email in the series. If you’ve set up a weekly series, then you’ll schedule the first email to trigger immediately when someone joins your list, the second email to trigger one week from the date that they joined, the third email two weeks from the date they joined and so on.
Step 5. Take a coffee break
Give yourself kudos for creating a wonderful welcome series. Also, monitor your results to see what’s working and adjust what isn’t. Pay particular attention to the timing, subject lines and calls to action. They’re quick and easy to test and can make a huge difference in your results once you get them right.
Next we’ll take a look at how to use your welcome series to nurture leads into not only becoming customers, but also big fans of your brand.