- Published on Wednesday, 19 October 2011 00:00
- Written by Nicola Els
What happens when a customer signs up for a service or purchases a product from your organisation within an ecommerce environment? In many instances they are sent a proof of order or purchase. When signing up for regular newsletter communications, an online confirmation is also sent, followed by an email requesting that the customer confirm their registration. These transactional notifications serve an important purpose, but cannot replace the value of providing a customer with an orientation on what to expect of future interactions with your company.
An email 'welcome' communication series is vital, as it opens a dialogue with your customers and is an opportune time to gather feedback on their preferences. This can be done through surveys, polls and setting up of online preferences, enabling targeted communications that will keep your customers engaged in the future.
More than just a welcome...
Welcome campaigns should be designed according to the complexity of your service offering. As an example; I recently signed up with a popular rewards program for an international airline. After initiating the relationship, I received a 6 part welcome series. The series was sent to me over a 20 day period with each email addressing a different aspect of the service - thus orienting me one step at a time.
If a customer has registered for a service that includes multiple communication types from your organisation like an eBill, transactional mail, newsletters, special offers etc, inform your customer about these communications and when they can typically expect to receive them.
Failing to address these important areas is a lost opportunity at a time when a customer's engagement with your brand is at a peak – it is now that they are more likely to open and click-through.
Basic rules to remember when introducing a welcome campaign to your customer communication lifecycle:
- Use a clear, branded 'from' address
- Demonstrate how to add your 'from' address to the safe sender's list
- Include the word 'welcome' in the subject line
- Get the information needed to personalise the salutation - it's a fact that personalised welcome emails are more effective
- Send your welcome mail as soon after registration / interaction with your company as possible - the more time left between the initial customer contact and the welcome mail, the lower the open and click through rates
- Use this opportunity to engage with your customer through other channels e.g. following company on social media, downloading mobile applications etc
Without a warm welcome and a friendly tour of your home, your new guests may feel lost and not stay very long – in fact, they will probably find the back door and make a quick exit. Don't let the same thing happen to your new customers.