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How to create the perfect welcome email - latest research

How to create the perfect welcome email - latest research

Posted 29th October, 2019 by Sarah

8 minute read

Actor Will Rogers is credited with the now-famous quote ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’.

Although Rogers was born and died before the Internet, let alone digital marketing, even existed, his quote is particularly pertinent today to the realm of email marketing.

At the start of 2019, marketing company GetReponse released its Email Benchmark Report – a global study on the success of email marketing campaigns across multiple sectors.

To complete the study, GetReponse analysed more than four billion email campaigns sent out by its customers. The emails were sent out across 126 countries and 19 industries.

One of the main findings of the research was that welcome emails produced an average of an 84.22 per cent open rate and a 25.91 per cent click-through rate, across all countries and industries.

In comparison, the average open rate for other emails in Europe was a measly 26.91 per cent.

In sum? Welcome emails count.

So how do you really knock the ball out of the park with your welcome emails? How do you take the Will Rogers approach and make your first impressions count?

Here are a few top tips…

Say thank-you

Psychologist Dacher Keltner spent 20 years researching how people become powerful and concluded that the expression of gratitude is ‘perhaps the most important basis of enduring power’.

In an article in The Guardian Keltner explained: “Expressions of gratitude create strong, collaborative ties and pave the way for greater influence.

“Studies find that individuals who express gratitude to others as groups are forming have stronger ties within the group months later.

“Romantic partners who express gratitude to their partners in casual conversations were more than three times less likely to break up six months later.”

So, thanking your customers for signing up to your newsletter or buying their first products from you should be an essential element of your welcome email.

Using thanks as a sign off has also been proven to be powerful.

A study by Boomerang found that emails that closed with a variation of the word thank-you generated a significantly greater response rate than expressions such as ‘kind regards’ and ‘best’.

Boomerang said: “Closing with an expression of gratitude thus correlated with a whopping 36 per cent relative increase in average response rate compared to signing off another way.”

Show thank-you

To go one step further with your thank-yous, you could consider offering a little perk or incentive in your welcome emails.

A white paper report by Experian marketing found that welcome emails that included an offer tended to have a higher transaction rate and generate more revenue per email than those that did not.

Experian explained: “In particular, real-time welcomes with offers have more than doubled the transaction rates and revenue per mail compared to real-time welcomes with no offers.

“Bulk welcomes with offers show a more modest 9 per cent lift in transaction rates and a 30 per cent lift in revenue per email compared to bulk welcomes with no offer.”

By ‘real-time’, Experian means emails that are triggered by a certain client action.

By ‘batch’, the company means emails that are sent out at scheduled times, eg weekly, and not in response to any action by the customer.

Incentives and offers can take many forms and which one you chose to offer will depend on your company and sector.

Options include:

• Discounts on purchases e.g. 10 per cent off – favoured by brands like Kate Spade

• Free shipping

• Access to a free eBook or podcast

Link to social media sites

Another golden nugget of research from Experian’s white paper found that welcome emails that included prominent links to a company’s social media sites had click-through rates that were six per cent higher than those that did not.

Include images

A study by email automation company Customer.io found that just under half of welcome emails include an image.

Yet, the company suggests that incorporating a photo or graphic into an email can lead to the following benefits:

• Aiding long term memory of the email content

• Better comprehension

• Emotional triggers

• Faster processing

Images can also be used in welcome emails to start telling a business’ story. Especially if you are a small company or start-up, including a photo of your team or founder can really start to engage customers and begin building on customer loyalty.

Set expectations

A recent survey from Technology Advice concluded that the number one reason that customers unsubscribe from newsletters and company emails is because the sender starts emailing too often.

To a certain extent, you can help manage your clients’ expectations on how many emails they will receive from you from the welcome email.

Explain to them how often they can expect to hear from you and what they can expect to hear from you about, and you should find fewer customers becoming disengaged with your updates.

Ration your calls to action

From introducing the company philosophy to explaining how to use your service or products, there’s a lot you might want to say to your customers in a welcome email. However, rein it in, and you’ll reap the benefits.

Studies suggest that the most effective welcome emails include a single, strong call to action, as opposed to several.

In fact, the authors of one study suggest: “Welcome emails with a single, strong, call to action increased click-through rates by 371 per cent and sales by 1,617 per cent”.

As best practice, welcome emails should include no more than three calls to action and emails with more than one call to action should make those CTAs as distinct and clear as possible from each other.

Got a lot of emails to send?

Then you’ll need a reliable, powerful hosting product to support all your sends. At tsoHost we offer a hosting package that’s deliberately tailored to support Microsoft Exchange email services.

Find out more on our hosting pages.

Categories: Small Businesses, Email

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