Ross Kramer recently shared these tips in an article for Multichannel Merchant:

Do you start off on the right foot with new subscribers? A new subscriber is eager to engage with you as soon as she welcomes you into her inbox, and your early interactions with her will set the tone for what you both hope will be a long relationship.

A well-crafted series of welcome emails is crucial in meeting – and hopefully exceeding – her expectations.

When one of our account managers was recently asked by a brand manager at a well-known global cosmetics retailer for welcome email best practices, he gave some advice that might be helpful to you, too. Here are the highlights of his email:

There are a number of questions to ask yourself when building out a welcome series to help determine the types of messages you should send.

First, why would new subscribers want to subscribe to your program? Are they expecting to receive discounts, product updates, how-to tips or perhaps access to special contests or giveaways?

What distinguishes you from your competitors? Do you offer free shipping, no hassle returns or the lowest prices? Or is it the superior quality of your products, your unmatched selection or an exceptional rewards program?

Now, think about what’s unique about your website. Is it your one-click reordering or wish list functionality? Maybe it’s your mobile site or convenient how-to resources.

Next you need to ask yourself what information you’d like to collect from your subscribers so you can deliver relevant, personalized experiences. It may be name, birthday, city and state, gender and/or products of interest.

Then, based on what you know about your particular shoppers, you must ask yourself if it would be best to collect all the information at signup or to build a progressive profile.

Finally, what social media sites do you use? Can new subscribers also find you on Facebook? Pinterest? Twitter? Instagram?

The answers to these questions will be instrumental in creating a successful welcome series. And while every retailer is unique, here’s a quick overview of a series of welcome emails that works for many clients:

Email 1: Welcome the new subscriber to your list, perhaps offer a special discount and remind her of the key benefits she’ll get for subscribing.

Email 2: Why shop with us?  Focus on what makes you different like product quality or selection.

Email 3: Point out your website’s benefits, like simple navigation or an easy-to-use mobile version.

Email 4:  Invite her to like you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, etc.

Email 5: Encourage her to update her email preferences, so you can send her what she wants, when she wants it.

You may choose not to send all of these emails or you may want to combine some into fewer messages. There’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. What always works to optimize your welcome campaign, however, is A/B split testing and careful attention to campaign conversion rates over time, so you can continue to make tweaks as necessary.

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