The Welcome Email — Make a Positive First Impression

You never have a second chance to make a first impression. From the time someone walks into a store, visits a Web site or talks to a customer service representative, their experience molds their opinion of us. Creating positive experiences is key to driving positive opinions — and positive opinions lead to both valuable and loyal customers.

So how does this idea of making a good first impression and molding and managing customer experiences and opinions translate into the email space? Two words — welcome email. A welcome email should come immediately after sign-up. It’s important to capitalize on a user’s attention and no better time to do that than the present .

The welcome email should thank users for opting in, explain what they can expect from your email program and get them excited to receive the next one. Some advertisers find that asking additional profile questions during this time too is helpful. This is something you should test to determine its viability in your program.

Successful components of a welcome email:

  • Personalization — Starting off your relationship with a personal tone is key to driving great experiences and a good first impression. Utilize as much known information as possible. It may be as simple as “Dear Whitney,” but that can create a conversation that’s much more engaging than not.
  • Benefits of Sign-Up — Highlighting the benefits of your email program and creating a sense of exclusivity can make your customers feel part of a privileged group. Highlight t hese benefits and exclusive offers via bullets or call-out boxes with in your creative to make sure they are noticed.
  • Welcome Offer/Prominent Calls to Action — Providing a special welcome offer can immediately make users feel special. Additionally, it’s important to get the user to make that first purchase — so anything you can do to get them over that first hurdle will pay off in the long run. Include clear and prominent calls to action throughout your email. Don’t go overboard but make sure it’s clear to people who want to make a purchase exactly how to do so.
  • Easy Navigation/Site Introduction — The welcome email can introduce users to your site navigation (via header navigation that is consistent with your site) and also encourage them to click through and explore your site on their own.
  • Utilization of HTML — Many marketers are still using plain text to deploy their welcome message. In my opinion, text feels impersonal and doesn&# 39;t create a good first impression. Try HTML, and use this message to introduce people to your brand’s look, feel and voice.
  • Tapping Into the Subject Line — If possible, include your welcome message and offer into the subject line.
  • Account Confirmation — For some, it makes sense to confirm certain aspects of a user’s account. A welcome email can be a good vehicle for this. You should encourage users to save the email in order to access this account information in the future.

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