Welcome Series Dos and Don'ts
Everyone in the English-speaking language has heard the age-old expression “You don’t get a second chance at a first impression”. It is so well known that at this point has become somewhat of a cliché. Despite how much this phrase might make you roll your eyes, if you’re an email marketer, you need to take it to heart and plan your email strategy accordingly. That’s where the “welcome series” factors in.
What is a welcome series?
A welcome series is a pre planned sequence of emails that new subscribers to your email list will receive on a predetermined schedule. Some individuals in the industry refer to this as a “welcome gauntlet” or an “indoctrination series”, but both of those titles give me the creeps, so I am sticking to “welcome series”.
What should you include in your welcome series?
The key term here is relevancy. Since this is of course your first impression with your new subscriber, you want to make sure that you are sending them campaigns that are the best representation of your brand. Introducing them to your blog/newsletter content with the highest amount of engagement is a great place to start. Look back on your past content that drove the highest amount of opens and clicks, make sure the content is still relevant today and make sure to include that in your welcome series. You can also include some of your top performing offers, but make sure there is a healthy balance of content and offers. This leads me to my next point…
Don’t inundate your new subscribers with irrelevant content!
It is very tempting to attempt to monetize your new email subscribers as soon as they click subscribe. This strategy may work in the short term, but in the long term you will lose more subscribers than you are bringing in, leading to the downfall of your email list. If you are adding offers to your welcome series, make sure they are your highest converting offers! Low priced items are a great place to start – they get your subscriber into the habit of purchasing, while not breaking the subscriber’s bank with 1 transaction.
Remember, the end goal is to guide these new subscribers through the entire welcome series with minimal unsubscribes. Once they have gone through the entire welcome series, they should be comfortable with you as a brand and eager to receive more email correspondence!
Your welcome series also serves an important purpose with respect to your mailing reputation and ability to inbox, namely, identifying and culling subscribers who are not interested in your emails. Oftentimes, people sign up and aren’t actually interested in hearing from you on a regular basis, or maybe they entered a fake email. It’s important to test when to “cut” these subscribers who aren’t opening, and a good rule of thumb is after seven emails. Further, with the pending iOS update, it’s more important than ever to focus on driving click activity in order to identify engaged email addresses -- so make sure to write messages that entice subscribers to click. One idea is to give new subscribers a freebie that they have to download from your website!