Optimize Your Welcome Program
By Julie Graham / January 20, 2015

A vital component in your email marketing efforts is an effective Welcome Program.

While an effective Welcome Program doesn’t always have an immediate impact on revenue, it helps establish successful relationships early, and can drive higher lifetime value over the course of the relationship. To expand on great campaigns ideas for 2015, here are the key components to designing an effective Welcome Program.

Send a message confirming subscription right away: Immediacy is key to confirm the subscription. Thank customers for signing up and fulfill any incentives used to entice their subscription.

Implement a Welcome Series: Notice how we said ‘Welcome Program’ and not ‘Welcome Message’. Develop a true onboarding funnel using a series of messages to introduce subscribers to your brand, prime them for engagement and develop a long-term relationship.

Level set expectations: Use the Welcome Series to reiterate and clarify exactly what you’ll be sending them, when they will hear from you and how often. Provide a link to your preference center to allow subscribers to customize their content and cadence mix. This will go a long way in reducing complaints and inactivity – especially for those marketers who send frequently and have a diversified distribution calendar.

Remind subscribers where they came from: When customers engage in a multi-channel environment, it’s important to recognize their preference per where they signed up. Demonstrate your understanding by tailoring your messaging accordingly to establish a solid relationship at the onset.

Request additional information: Limit the barriers to subscription by reducing the number of data points on your sign-up forms, and use your welcome funnel to expand on your subscribers profiles. Leverage Progressive Profiling to implicitly and explicitly gain additional data points to leverage down the road.

Educate subscribers: Take advantage of this introductory period to inform subscribers about special benefits, loyalty programs and social initiatives.

Optimize for mobile: With mobile email consumption continuing to grow, ensure that your templates are designed responsively for mobile friendly rendering.
Send your first newsletter/promotional message in a timely fashion: Avoid a long lag between sign-up and first non-welcome series message delivery.

Test performance: Be sure to test performance to optimize cadence, content and call-to-action. In addition to standard response metrics, include KPIs like Time to First Purchase, Average Order Value, and Life Time Value in your evaluation.

The post subscription period is a highly engaged timeframe, so take advantage of it by implementing a well-designed program that lays the groundwork for a solid long-term relationship. The BlueHornet Client Services team is here to assist you with program development, creative design, system implementation and analysis, so contact your Account Manager with any questions or needs. Happy New Year!

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