There's no magic elixir when it comes to acquiring customers via email. But skin care provider Naturopathica found radiant success among new subscribers by taking a step some marketers consider themselves too busy to take: acknowledging them. The spa supplier recently won the Best Fashion or Beauty Email Message Campaign award at the 2014 Internet Advertising Competition Awards for its welcome series email campaign--proving that (marketing) beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Naturopathica launched its first welcome email series back in June 2013 to increase account creation, customer acquisition, and list growth. The campaign, run using tools from digital marketing solutions provider Listrak, consisted of three emails. Naturopathica sent the first email immediately after consumers subscribed to its emails via a modal window on its homepage. This initial message thanked consumers for enrolling in the brand's email program and offered them a discount. The second email was sent out three days later and dove deeper into the brand's story. It also featured a note from Naturopathica's founder. Finally, the skin care provider sent its third email five days after a consumer subscribed; the messaging provided greater detail about its products, including consumer sentiment and clinical trial information.
The email trilogy generated the highest engagement rates Naturopathica has seen to date, including a more than 48% open rate, a more than 10% click-through rate, and a more than 24% conversion rate. Suzie Morgan, Naturopathica's marketing associate for digital content and creative, says that the brand wanted to experiment with welcome emails as a way to stay connected to consumers after they left its site. “It's the only touchpoint that we could have after a customer visits our website.... We thought it would be useful, helpful, and personal,” she says. “It's a standard that brands have a welcome series, and we wanted to jump on that.”
Since launching the campaign, Naturopathica has toyed with other ways it could optimize its welcome campaigns. For example, the brand is testing different discount offers, Morgan says. Leslie Kubicki, account manager for Listrak, adds that Naturopathica is planning on acquiring email addresses through Facebook.
However, Naturopathica didn't glean its success without a few wrinkles. Coming up with the right content for each email was the brand's greatest challenge, Morgan notes. “We didn't want it to be a generic welcome series [because] you get a lot of them,” she says. “We wanted it to be a little bit more personal.”
Other marketers can apply a formula like Naturopathica's for their welcome series. Here are Listrak's four tips to creating successful welcome email campaigns.
1) Don't assume consumers know you
Consumers who make a purchase or spend 30 minutes on site don't necessarily understand a brand as a whole, notes Kaye Peloquin, client relationship manager at Listrak. Welcome emails can provide a natural way to educate consumers when they're most engaged, she says.
2) Refrain from sending additional marketing messages
Instead of bombarding new subscribers with marketing materials on top of welcome messages, marketers should only send out welcome emails during onboarding. This allows new customers to familiarize themselves with the brand before entering the marketing funnel, Peloquin advises.
“That time period allows them to get an email, digest it a little bit, and then reach out in a few more days and not feel too ‘inundated,'" she says. “This welcome series mimics what we would tell any good sales manager in a store or retailer and that is, 'Read them, tell them about us, and then show them our product.'”
3) Make emails dynamic
When it comes to welcome emails, less is more, Peloquin says. Although marketers should keep their word count to a minimum, they should bulk up their engagement opportunities with links to their brand's channels. “Make sure that a welcome series is a portal to your site and not an entity on its own,” she says. “It shouldn't just be copy. There should be lots of links...to your site.”
4) Don't fixate on the number
There's no magic bullet in terms of how many welcome emails a company should send. Peloquin encourages marketers to track which emails and content consumers click and don't click through to better gauge their thresholds. “Watch that email series” she says, “and really watch what the customer is telling you.”