The welcome email is probably the single greatest opportunity that email marketers have to engage subscribers and drive action. They generate superior open rates, arriving ideally at a time of maximum receptivity. And done well, they create a halo effect that boosts subscribers' engagement with subsequent promotional and trigger emails. Given the golden opportunity that welcome emails present marketers, it's unfortunate that so many still let the moment pass -- or bungle the interaction with uninspired messaging.
Especially for subscribers who opt-in -- or fail to opt-out, as is often the case --during the checkout process, the welcome email is the best opportunity for retailers to explain the value that their emails present and to set expectations about what will come next. At a time when permission practices are loosening because of the need to drive list growth and revenue from email, the welcome email is becoming more important every day.
We found plenty of room for improvement. Some retailers didn't make the best first impressions. For instance, 23% retailers took more than 24 hours to deliver their welcome emails, greatly diminishing their effectiveness.
Others didn't take advantage of their welcome emails to set expectations and drive engagement and sales. For example, only 76% explained the benefits of being a subscriber and only 87% included a link to their homepage.
Many retailers also failed to use their welcome email for progressive profiling -- that is, asking subscribers for more information about themselves and their interests to boost the relevancy of future emails. Only 24% of retailers did this, down from 28% in 2006.
Creating welcome series rather than a having a single welcome email is also a growing trend. At least 9% of retailers are currently using a welcome series of two or more emails.
Other key findings from the study include:
To check out the study, click on the link on our home page.