Make Long Term, Loyal Customers

According to the annual cart abandonment (SCA) study by Listrak, of the top 1000 retailers, 58.1% send at least one welcome email following the acquisition of an email address. Although best practices dictate that a series of emails performs better than a single welcome email, the largest number of top 1000 retailers, 31%, send just one message.

For retailers, engaging and validating new subscribers immediately, when they’re most interested in the brand, is an important step in helping to ensure that they become long-term, loyal customers, and the way to achieve this is by implementing an email Welcome Series program.

Of the 581 top 1000 retailers who send welcome messages, more than half – 53.4% – send just one, 18.8% send a two-message series and just 14% send a series of three welcome emails.

Number Of Top 1000 Retailers Who Send Welcome Emails

Number of Emails

Number of Retailers

At least 1 welcome email


1 welcome email only


At least 2 welcome messages


2-message welcome series


3-message welcome


Source: Listrak, April 2016



Messages From Top 1000 Retailers Who Send Welcome Emails

Number of Emails

Percent of Retailers

At least 1 welcome email


3-message welcome series


2-message welcome series


At least 2 welcome messages


1 welcome email only


Source: Listrak, April 2016

Many retailers use discounts as an incentive not only for shoppers to subscribe to their email lists, but also to make a first sale as soon as possible following subscription. In many cases, a coupon code is delivered in the first welcome email and may or may not be featured in any subsequent welcome emails in the series if the subscriber has not yet converted.

Of the top 1000 retailers who send welcome emails, 40.8% include a discount in the first email; of those who send a second welcome message, 35.4% feature a discount in it; and of the top retailers who send a third welcome series message, 57.6% feature a discount in it.

Of all of the discounts offered in any of the welcome series emails, the largest percentage off is 50%, which is featured in first, second and third welcome series emails. Of retailers offering an incentive, 15.2% in the first email, 10.23% in the second email and 24.1% in the third welcome message feature an offer involving shipping, whether it be free or discounted.

Discount Usage In Top 1000 Retailer Welcome Series Emails

  • 58% Welcome message 3
  • 41% Welcome message 1
  • 35% Welcome message 2

Top retailers should consider a welcome series because they work. The Welcome Series campaigns of 343 Listrak retail clients representing an array of verticals, from January 1 through December 31, 2015, and the numbers prove that not only do welcome emails have impressive open rates and click to open rates (openers who click through to the retailer’s website), but they also drive revenue. In fact, retailers made on average $1.07 per welcome email sent, notes the report.

There are many purposes for implementing a Welcome Series, says the report, including verifying email addresses, educating new subscribers about your brand and getting them engaged with your brand by following you on social media. The average conversion rate of the 50 top performing Welcome Series campaigns is 24.9%, more than 125% higher than the global average.

What they have in common is that they comprise a series, rather than a single email. The average number of emails among top performing welcome campaigns is 2.5. And although an equal number of the top performing welcome campaigns are either one or two emails (18% each), 64% feature a series of three messages. In addition, the first welcome message is sent quickly after the email is acquired.

Timing Of First Welcome Email After Subscription

  • Immediately 50%
  • One Minute 44%
  • Two Minutes 2%
  • Five Minutes 4%

Subscribers are especially engaged with and interested in a retailer’s brand when signing up, and many want instant access to the promotion code promised in the Email. 86% of first welcome emails in top performing campaigns include discounts, more than double the percentage of top 1000 retailers who do. The most popular discount in the first welcome email is 10% off (30%), followed by 15% off (18%). The study data shows that while 92.5% of all first sales from new subscribers come within the first week of opting in, 45% of them occur the very same day.

Discounts Featured In First Welcome Emails

% of Offers



Gift with purchase


Free shipping


Free gift




Dollars off a purchase amount


5% off


20% off


10% off


15% off

Source: Listrak, April 2016

Of the retailers with top performing welcome campaigns who send a second message, only 29.3% feature a discount in it – fewer than one third the percentage who do so in the first welcome message. In the second welcome email, 10% off is by far the most popular discount:

Concluding the look at the use of discounts in top performing welcome campaigns, it is interesting to note that of the 10% that do not feature an offer at all, 100% only send a single email. In other words, every top performing Welcome Series of emails features a discount in at least one message.

For more information from Listrak, please visit here.


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