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Roll out the welcome mat for potential brand ambassadors

The Importance Of A Welcome Email And What Makes A Good One

They say that first impressions count! Be it a first date, a job interview or a welcome email …

It’s no secret that today, consumers have more choices than ever before. Choices about where to shop and how to shop, what to read and where to read it. It’s also no secret that in the current digital economy, success is not guaranteed by delivering the best product or lowest price. Both matter, but the savvy digital consumer is also looking for the best service and the experience that goes with that. And the savvy email marketer is looking to turn this consumer into a brand ambassador.

Walt Disney once said “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends”.

Building a loyal relationship with a consumer needs to start right at the beginning. A welcome email helps sets the tone right up front. It shows customers who you are as a brand and what they can expect from you in the future. The welcome email is your first impression, it’s your time to shine.

Why send a welcome email?

There is no doubt that welcome emails help spread warm and fuzzy feelings and while we cannot deny the importance of that, we are also trying excite potential brand ambassadors. According to a Smart Insights 2018 study , triggered communications, like welcome emails, have an almost 20% higher open rate than sales or newsletter type emails. This is because they tend to be more immediate and therefore more relevant to the consumer in that moment. So the better question is, why would you not send a welcome email?

Elements that make up a good welcome email

1. Introduce yourself

Remember this is your ‘first date’, state the obvious – no fact is too small, no detail unimportant. This is the perfect time to introduce the consumer to the quirks and characteristics of your brand. Put your personality out there and set the tone for your future email interactions.

This is also the place to be open and honest about what the customer can expect from you and your emails in the future.

2. Say 'Thank-you'

We have already spoken about the choices a consumer makes to interact with your brand. Chances are they have shopped around, done some research and picked you. Everybody likes to be acknowledged, so say ‘thank you’.

Some brands choose to thank their new customers with a voucher or discount on their first purchase, which is a great gesture and certainly helps drive sales. A ‘thank you’ can also take the form of important information or tips and hints on what to do next. All companies should strive to give their customers an omni-channel experience and email can be a great way to highlight this and even introduce other channels to them. Easy access to an app download that helps facilitate future shopping, for example, can be provided in the welcome email.

3. Gather information

The power of email marketing is being able to send customers personalized and relevant information. Big data and AI tools will enable us to know more about our consumers than ever before, however this data takes time to harvest, and skills to interpret.

Sometimes we can learn a lot just by asking. For example, including a preference form in your welcome email, provides the ability to gather information about new customers right away, so you can start sending those relevant communications almost immediately.

4. Build trust

With the news about Facebook data sharing and almost daily data leaks – consumers have every right to be concerned about sharing information online. Your welcome email must set consumers’ minds at ease by explaining what their information will be used for and (more importantly) what it will not be used for. Explaining to customers that they can unsubscribe at any time may feel counterproductive in a welcome email, but it can go a long way in convincing recipients that your brand is safe and trusted.

5. Make it memorable

You would not wear sweatpants or chipped nail polish to a job interview, so why would you send a plain text welcome email? Welcome emails, like all your emails, should pay careful attention to the design, providing a user friendly, mobile or desktop experience. Include interactive and engaging elements like gifs or videos.

The email should be clear, easy to read and easily understood. It should make use of relevant imagery and ultimately give customers what they need to start building a loyal relationship with your brand.

Roll out the welcome mat by following these tips and, like Walt Disney, your customers will not only keep opening your emails, but they will also share your content with their friends and help you build and improve your loyal customer base.

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Dori-Jo Bonner

Dori-Jo Bonner

Account Strategist - Striata Marketing Solutions at Striata, South Africa

Dori-Jo studied a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing Communications. She joined Striata in 2009 as an Account Executive and has taken every opportunity to expand her skills and experience in digital communication. In her current position as Account Strategist at Striata, Dori-Jo is responsible for researching and proposing solutions that add strategic value to our client’s marketing efforts by significantly improving the customer experience. Her years of running email marketing operations and execution means she is also a sought-after advisor to Striata’s email marketing production teams.

Read more of Dori-Jo's blog posts here or connect with her on the following social channels: