Why are email welcome series so important for eCommerce?
Many brands struggle with perfecting a welcome series – and some never get started at all!
A few important stats you CAN’T ignore:
- Ezra Firestone, CEO of Smart Marketer and widely-known eCom expert, estimates that 30-40% of your generated revenue should still come from email 1
- 74% of customers expect a welcome email when they sign up 2
- Welcome emails generate 4x more opens. Generate 5x more clicks. And boast a 50% open rate — making them 86% more effective than standard newsletters 3
- Welcome emails also generate 3x more transactions and revenue per email over regular promo emails. On average, they generate 320% more revenue per email basis than other promo emails 3
You can see why this should be one of your biggest priorities with your brand.
Unfortunately, it takes the back burner far too often.
It’s because most people just don’t know where to start.
That’s why today, I’m giving you 9 tips to get your email welcome series launched.
Tip 1: Deliver on your opt in promise
Our first tip isn’t even about the welcome email, what gives?!
Your opt-in is what gets on the list in the first place.
What kind of opt-in is best?
It needs to be a high buying intent type of opt-in:
- A discount (best) on the first purchase
- A free gift with purchase
We’re giving the prospective buyer a little treat to be an email subscriber.
But make sure what you deliver as promised on your opt-in within the sequence! It should be top and center on your first welcome email.
I’ve seen some brands not even give a discount code in that first email, while having promised it!
Opt-ins are how you should be capturing up to 15% of your incoming traffic.
You want to make sure you make a great impression with that very first email from your brand. This helps establish trust from the get-go.
Note: If you are set for a double opt-in. Make sure not to deliver your discount WITHIN the pop-up. As visitors will get your discount immediately. Without even having the pleasure of being on your email list. 🙂
This can limit the growth of your list and gives away your margin for nothing.
On the topic of opt-ins…
Tip 2: Create urgency with your opt in with an end date
Don’t be afraid to light a little fire under window shoppers.
Discounts shouldn’t live forever.
There’s a reason all coupons have an expiration date.
Anyone with a to-do list knows that tomorrow is a very busy and productive day.
Your prospective buyers are no different.
You have to give that extra push.
This urgency and scarcity adds to why buying your product should be at the top of their to-do list.
Let them know that the discount will expire and test give a countdown timer.
What’s the benefit by adding in this visual countdown timer?
Buyers can visually see the time they have rather than just a plain, boring “Expires in 30 days” warning.
Also, don’t feel like your countdown timers have to be fear and panic inducing.
There are plenty of options out there to customize them to fit your brand.
Tip 3: Email welcome series have no real set limit
Relationships are rarely built after even 5-6 interactions.
Same with your emails.
You wouldn’t try to cram every experience into those first few interactions.
There is a tempo, a rhythm, a pace.
You gotta play it cool and build it in time.
There’s no cap on the amount of emails in a good welcome series.
So take it slow.
And why do people tend to cram their emails?
Tip 4: Have 1 goal for each email
Don’t give customers a flurry of different call-to-actions.
Example: Stuffing in your opt-in incentive. Combined with a blog post with a message from the founder. Combined with customer testimonial videos. Sheesh!
Information is waaaay more easily digestible when it’s separated into categories.
Your emails are no different.
Develop a clear goal for each email.
But what should your goals be?
Tip 5: Let your brand’s purpose and personality shine through
71% of consumers prefer buying from companies aligned with their values
This is why it’s worth laying out your brand’s values, ethics, and purpose for existing onto the table.
What’s the purpose of your brand?
- Are you just another gadget retail outlet?
- Are you a passionate hobbyist turned professional?
- Are you a retailer with a cause?
There’s no right answer. But your decisions of what your brand should be doing become a lot clearer when you do one thing…
Define and then tout what you are.
And don’t feel like you have to sell immediately.
Make it easy for prospects, but still try to build the relationship first in case they aren’t ready to buy.
Okay, so our subscribers are getting to know us, but what other emails are important?
Tip 6: Conquer common objections in each email
A few questions to ask yourself about your products:
- What’s the biggest misunderstanding about your product?
- How are some groups of people using it differently than others?
- What’s one of the biggest features people overlook?
- What does your product have that no one else does?
These answers are important! Why? They help you better understand objections that your potential customers have about your product.
You’re entering the conversation that’s already playing in their head.
Any winning email can emerge from following a simple formula.
Objection -> Response -> CTA
Let’s say you sell high quality headphones.
But unlike most audiophile-quality, expensive headphones, they’re also waterproof.
And so, you notice that your product is popular in the fitness space.
What’s the possible angle here?
You could create an email targeted at how you can get stellar sound. All the while, you can have the most intense of workouts WITHOUT worrying about damaging your headphones!
You could also highlight your guarantee and/or return policy for extra risk removal.
Then ask them to buy with an embedded product listing to get to your brand’s site.
Using this formula to conquer objections is a sure-fire way to defeat objections where it matters most. Your list of prospective buyers.
This is how you start to create sales on autopilot.
Tip 7: Double down on urgency by reminding of opt in offer expiration
I see that this is frequently missed.
But it’s a great way to remind subscribers to act on one of the reasons they joined your list in the first place.
If you choose to make the coupon expire in a week, 30 days, whatever – make sure you warn them before the expiration.
It gives that final push to turn a subscriber into a buyer by reminding them of the opt-in benefit.
And trust me, reminding them of that discount is the push a subscriber needs.
If they haven’t bought up to that point, it’s likely going to take many more touch points for them to buy.
Tip 8: Your welcome series shouldn’t be the end of the emails they receive
When a subscriber turns into a buyer, they should be removed of the welcome sequence.
But that shouldn’t be the end of the emails they receive.
You should have a post-purchase sequence in place. A sequence with its own goals and call-to-actions.
They should still receive regular campaign emails.
Remember: You gotta send them regular emails to keep their attention and spark continued engagement.
The biggest mistake you can make is thinking this is too simple.
Mail more, sell more.
Tip 9: Test. Test again. And then test some more.
If there was one best way to do anything, the world would be running on time and efficiently.
But that’s not how the world works. And it’s not how humans work.
There’s no one “right answer” on how to do your welcome series or email marketing for that answer.
Trends change. Repetitive exposure to ads can cause them to fatigue. Different demographics and psychographics of audiences respond differently.
Yes, there are “rules” for a starting place, but there are always exceptions.
This is why you have to test and let the data tell a story.
Any self-respecting email service provider (ESP) will have split test capabilities built in.
That means, you can see which email performs best.
Better yet, most have the option to:
- Split test a version to a smaller percentage of your list
- Determine the winning email
- Then send the winner to the remainder of your list.
This is an amazing feature that I would recommend using for any campaign that isn’t too time sensitive.
Some questions to spur your more scientific side:
- Does your audience respond better at certain times?
- If you were to categorize your emails, which ones seem to net you the most profitable sales?
- Are you making sure to test big angles instead of small details?
- Do you seem to get higher sales with less or more image heavy emails?
Using questions like this will help you to think outside the box to find ways to test your messaging.
So there we have it! These are 9 tips to perfect your email welcome series.
Could there be more? Probably. But these are going to give you the biggest impact to get started.
Remember, there’s no template for your brand.
This is the stuff that takes work but pays off big.
And of course…
- If you have trouble figuring out exactly how to do this or
- Just want someone to take it off your plate or
- Want an expert to handle it right the first time
I’m here to help.
Check out my information in the author card below.
And I hope you learned something today