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Making the Most of Your Welcome: 5 Email Ideas for Your Onboarding Series

by: Amy Martin (@IBMforMarketing)
22 August 2016

Having a welcome email for new email subscribers is pretty standard these days, but are you taking full advantage of your first conversation with new recipients?

Creating a welcome series allows you to extend the conversation over multiple messages, which means you don’t have to lead with an offer and then immediately drop new contacts into regular promotional messages. Instead, take this time to truly welcome new subscribers by introducing them to your brand. Share information about your company and helpful facts they may not be aware of. You’ve got their attention – use it!

Another advantage of a multipart approach is that rather than trying to cram a lot of information into one email, you can spread it out over several types of messages over time. While including a message with a special offer for signing up is a smart tactic, consider incorporating the following five types of emails in your welcome stream as well:

1) Behind the Scenes

Have video content that shows the inner workings of your production or development? Share it with your new subscribers. For example, if you’re a nonprofit, explain how recipients’ donations work toward the greater good. Giving new contacts extra information about what goes on behind the scenes not only educates, but it helps build loyalty and understanding of your mission.

2) Brand Awareness

Is there something interesting about your brand? For instance, does the CEO or founder have a special story? Share those little-known details with your new subscribers.  Explain how the brand got started and speak to the special story behind your company.

3) Blog Content Promotion

Have a blog? Share content on the web? Point your new subscribers to the blog to introduce them to content that may not be shared via your email program. A “best of”-type email sharing the past year’s Top 5 posts will pique their interest and entice them to explore other aspects of your blog and learn more about your brand.

4) Preference Collection

If you only collect name and email address at opt-in, consider sending an email linking to your preference center to collect additional information and make future messages more relevant – just make sure you use it! To increase clicks, clearly communicate the value proposition for new subscribers.

You can also gather implied preferences based on the types of links subscribers start clicking in your emails and on your website. Implement Web tracking so you’re able to see these trends and use these preferences to provide relevant content.

5) Social Media Invitation

Are you active in the social arena? Facebook, Instagram and Twitter? YouTube, Pinterest and Snapchat?  Use an email in your welcome series to highlight this activity and encourage new subscribers to interact with your brand. Share links, user names and codes where new subscribers can find and interact directly with your brand. 

Creating a welcome series with any number of the emails above will help strengthen relationships right from the start. As a best practice, keep each message in the stream to a single topic so the recipient isn’t overloaded with information. Take a day or two between messages, based on how frequently you’re sending, and consider holding recipients from traditional marketing “buy now”-type messages until after they’ve completed the welcome series.  Build that relationship before selling to them.

Get More Email Marketing Tips:

1) Ebook: “2016 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study

2) Blog: “5 Tips for Re-Engaging Inactive Customers

3) Ebook: “15 Post-Purchase Emails That Build Loyalty and Drive Revenue


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