What is a welcome email campaign?

By Ashton Porter | Marketing Strategy

Apr 29

I’ve got a question for you: what happens when new people sign up to your list? Are you kicking off a welcome email campaign / indoctrination series? If not, then keep reading friend, cus I’ve got news for you 🙂

When you invite someone to your home, do you say nothing when they arrive? Just wander off, leaving them to their own devices - unsure of what to do next.

No of course you don’t (at least I hope not). You invite them in, welcome them and start a conversation. 

How do you think they would feel if you didn’t do any of that; awkward, uncomfortable, abandoned? When someone comes through your ‘business’ door, you need to make them feel like they’re in the right place. 

Give them a warm welcome, settle them in, ask what they need to make them comfortable, and show them you’re happy they are here.

welcome email how can I help

If you’re currently doing this - that’s awesome, high fives all round. If you’re not, then you wouldn’t be the only one...

Don’t worry, I’m not going to parade you around your office ringing a bell of shame (yes that’s a Game of Thrones reference - allow it). What I am going to do is share some details about what a welcome campaign is and why you should have one in place.

For those of you thinking “yeah I’ve got an email I send to new peeps when they join my list”, it's still worth a read - just to make sure you’re getting it right.

What is a welcome email campaign?

Simply put, it is a series of emails that welcomes those who are brand new to your business / emailing list.

If they have provided their email in exchange for something (lead magnet, webinar booking etc) then you’ll need to do a full follow up email series, rather than send them a standard welcome. 

This is so you can deliver what you said you would, and nurture them based on what they are consuming. AND THEN you can drip in a tailored welcome that follows all of this seamlessly. 

Another important thing to note is that a new customer welcome email (aka onboarding email) should look a little different, because they're now a customer, not a prospect.

If that’s what you’re looking for check out our blog on What should every onboarding campaign contain?

Your welcome email is part of the long term nurture (LTN) - it kick starts it. And what pray tell does long term nurture achieve? Happy customers with great lifetime value, more sales and better brand advocates. 

Every email in your LTN plan is important, but the welcome email is mega. It can make or break your chances of a good business relationship… First impressions are everything!

Your welcome email must impress

No matter what reason they have for entering your system - your new friend needs to be treated well and made to feel important. Humans steer away from things that don’t make us feel valued. We don’t like to be considered as just another number. We’re ‘special’ - at least we like to think so…

If you have a variety of routes into your list, you might want to consider more than one indoctrination / welcome email campaign. Now I know this creates more work, but trust me when I say it will be worth the effort in the long run. 

You need a welcome campaign because:

  • It clarifies who you are, including your all-important values
  • Shows your prospects how you can better their lives
  • Increases likelihood of conversions down the line
  • Builds trust in your brand and creates likeability
  • Sets the scene for your readership & makes them comfortable

Approaching your welcome campaign strategically, helps better position you for sales opportunities down the line.

What should every great welcome campaign include?

Authenticity & personality

As the saying goes: don’t bullshit a bullshitter. Most people will see through your tricks and place you on the shelf with lousy liars who just want to make a buck. 

I know you’re not that type 🙂

Try hard not to be boring - even if your industry/topics you cover are often rather dry… You want to engage people and excite them for what’s to come!

It’s easy to write like a robot. I do it sometimes - it’s a weird characteristic many of us fall into when writing content. But, that’s not the kind of tone that makes an impact or keeps the reader reading.

We love stories and we love consuming relatable content as told by humans. Just take the time to review your emails, ask for feedback, and don’t be shy to add a bit of sparkle into them.

Segmentation

This is a great opportunity to start segmenting from the get go. Include (UTM) links and actions to help you determine who your new contact is, what are they interested in. 

Make sure to dive into demographics and psychographics. It will really help you in all future communication. Giving them what they want/need and creating a more trusting and valuable relationship. 

Tags are amazing and they keep your campaigns clean and tidy. Tag you’re ‘new subscribers’ as just that - make sure they won't fall into any other email series. 

God forbid they start getting a bunch of sales related content when you're trying to build the foundations of a great business relationship. Miss that important step and you’ll likely see them running for the hills. 

Want to get some more tips on segmentation? Take a look at our blog on The 13 Types Of Customers And How To Behaviourally Segment Them.

Personalisation

It’s important to ask for a first name in every place you have a sign up. If they are providing an email they can provide a name. It doesn’t feel too personal to someone who doesn’t yet know you, and you’re not going to be facing huge risks relating to data protection - though this is still VERY important. 

Let them know you won’t be selling off their email or sharing it outside your company. They’ve exclusively provided it to you, for whatever reason you pitched when they sign up.

NB If you don’t already have a GDPR/Data Protection notice on your sign up forms, you most definitely should. Pop a link to your policies so they can understand what you intend to do - and you’re covered.

Personalisation also relates to relevancy of your content. We love someone who’s a good listener, it makes us feel valued. So ‘listen’ to them. If they sign up to learn about rambling in the countryside, don’t send them information on best cycle spots. You can start to introduce new things later on that might peak their interest, but you shouldn't do that until you give them what they’re after. 

Give them what they came for & add value

Blog / newsletter / lead magnet / information on socks / updates on new headlines / did you promise exclusive discounts? Then you better provide them or they’ll be gone!

They want value from you, if you give them lots of free stuff they will love you. We’re not talking about freebie products and discounts - of course they’ll like that - but that doesn’t really build value

There’s a company that emails me 3 times a week (I’m not going to name names here), but they remain in my junk folder. Yep - I leave them there high and dry and just check in when I’m after something from their online shop. They sell eco products and I love a good shampoo bar.

However, all they send me are sales emails, and usually there's a freebie or discount included. They don’t create any urgency or fear of missing out with the offers, I know that in a few days I’ll have another offer in my inbox. 

Plus, I never purchase any other products from them. Why? Because they aren’t educating me about them… if they sent me great nurture emails, I’d be so much more likely to buy. 

Introduce yourself

Provide clarity on who you are and what you represent. They want to know your values, it will trigger something recognisable. If you are all about being environmentally friendly, let them know. That’s something your ideal customer will relate to. 

Maybe pop some faces in the email, give them some smiley humans behind the brand.

We usually harp on about not making content all about you. This is still true, however, your welcome email is the perfect place to provide info about who you are and what you do. Without being icky.

It’s still a good idea to tie things back to them of course. Show them they are the hero here, you’re just a conduit, thank them for making use of you as a tool for them to be awesome. 

Set the scene

Tell them about the awesome community of people they've just joined, all the great things you have in common. Make them feel part of the ‘in’ crowd. Let them know what being part of your community looks like. 

Make sure you voice that you’re going to keep in touch. Divulge what you’ll be sending them (high value content i.e. blogs and newsletters that educate and inform). And how often you’ll be sending stuff.

If you’re clear from the get go, they will be prepared for your emails and you’ll be less likely to rub them up the wrong way.

We’ve got a bunch more information about what to include in your welcome email / indoctrination series - take a look at this blog: What Should Every Welcome or Indoctrination Email Series Contain?

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What shouldn’t be included in welcome email campaigns

Don’t be a slimeball and put people off before they even get started. 

A welcome campaign isn’t about selling. 

Going full force with information about your products/services and why they should buy is going to grind some gears.

First off, how do you know they are even ready? Are you fully aware of their position in the customer journey? How about their awareness level - do they even know they have a problem that you’re suddenly offering a whizbang solution for?

You don’t know this. You don’t know it because this is literally the first point of communication with them. You’ve not had a chance to analyse how and what they interact with, and segment accordingly. So how can you sell them what they really want or need? 

Hold your horses on the sales spiel. When it comes time, you’ll be far better suited to providing a targeted approach, backed by trust and understanding from the potential customer.

Bigging up how awesome you are. Just you, your amazing company and all your achievements. Yuck!

That's a yuck welcome email

You can use some social proof, but do it in a way that backs up expertise, without blowing your trumpet so hard it deafens them to the valuable content.

If you provide stuff that doesn’t resonate, they won’t engage and they’ll likely unsubscribe...

Remember it’s all about providing content they care about. Cater to them, not to some ideal that doesn’t exist. If you’ve done your homework you’ll have an idea of who your audience is. Plus, they’ve come from somewhere - track that properly and already you’ve got a bit of info on them.

Finally, don’t ask for too much. Focus on giving. Hit hard with the value from the get go and you’ll be in a great place to build this relationship.

Number and frequency of your welcome emails

I know I’m not the only one who has been hit with a colossal welcome series before. I’m talking an email every day during the week after signing up, sometimes more than one a day.

Perhaps this company was a bit over excited to greet me, perhaps they just had so much incredible high value content they just couldn’t wait to share. But wow did I feel bombarded, and actually it came across and kind of needy.

Don’t be desperate. 3-5 emails in your welcome series is plenty, and you do not want to send them all at once!

Welcome email template - what to include in your initial welcome message

Here’s an example of a super friendly and welcoming initial email. It was sent to our lovely Prime Ninja, Kenda, when she joined an art group.

We all love this first welcome email, here’s why:

  • It’s friendly, warm and welcoming from the get go - including a smiley pic hits the nail on the head
  • Her goal is all about Kenda (the reader) - she’s clearly not here to make a quick buck
  • She shares her beliefs and interests - the ideal customer will resonate with these
  • The outcomes are feeling related, rather than practical (you’re speaking to humans with issues!)
  • Her only real ask is to join the Facebook group, that’s not scary, it sounds great (check the social proof)
  • There’s a bunch of links to more useful content - I bet she tracks the clicks and segments 😉
  • She closes really well. The expectations of what she’ll be sending Kenda are clear, it comes across as something to look forward to rather than dread. Plus she’s offered a choice, to unsubscribe if it doesn’t feel right (great way to weed out those who just ain’t interested one bit).

Next steps after sending your welcome email campaign

Check your engagement rates!

We know that 75% of all subscribers can be considered ‘dead’. They aren’t engaging with emails and because of that they are creating low open rates, badly affecting sending reputation and risking the chance of falling into spam traps and getting blacklisted. 

You do not want these people in your list. 

Drop them an email asking them to confirm they want to remain on your list and receive your high value content. Perhaps you’ve not hit the right notes so far - maybe you’re not giving them the information they want, or you’re giving them too much or too little… 

Just ask them. Don’t be afraid to say, “hey friend - you matter to us… what would you like to get from us from now on?”

If you get no response, strip them out. Put them in a ‘non-engagers’ list and stop sending them stuff - they just ain’t interested buddy.

For those lovelies who are engaging with your welcome emails: Continue to send long term nurture emails and provide relevant, high value content directly to their inboxes. 

Enough of this awesome stuff and you’ll soon be able to hit them up with a fab sales pitch. If they haven’t made their own way to purchase already.

You can find out more about the Long Term Nurture emails here: What is a Long term Nurture email campaign?

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How to build your own ninja-level welcome email campaign

First you need to think strategy. Get clear on your audience personas, their awareness levels, where they are signing up from and what your customer journey looks like.

We can help with that if you’re a little stuck - book a free Marketing Therapy Session with us and we’ll discuss next steps to get you on the right track.

If you just want to dive in and start putting things into place, consider joining our Marketing Automation Academy. We teach people how to manage each element of their marketing strategy, from attracting new customers, to engaging with them (including the welcome series), to how to sell correctly, and continue to wow your customer base. 

You learn why we need to do things a certain way, how to do them for your business and get support with implementing them as you go.

We help you to become an expert! It’s only £37 per month with easy cancellation when you’ve squeezed the academy for all it’s worth. Find out more using the link below.

Marketing Automation Academy

Start welcoming your new contacts the right way.

Learn how to create an impactful welcome email series for your audience in our academy.

Further resources

Problems With Your Welcome Campaign

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