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A good welcome message is the way to ensure a long and prosperous relationship with your subscribers and here is why..

All too often when I subscribe to emails what I get in return is somewhat robotic and a real turn off. If that is what I can expect from a future relationship then I am likely to click unsubscribe as quickly as possible. It baffles me why we often don’t take the opportunity to send welcome messages that set the tone of our future relationship and promote other ways we can communicate with each other. Sometimes I wonder if it’s because we work in government but then to me it makes that relationship even more important doesn’t it?

This welcome message could quite possibly be the start of your relationship with the subscriber and your organisation. So you want to make sure it is your best work and sets the tone for future communications.

We know that welcome emails typically see a 4 x greater open rate than general ebulletins, up to 80% more engagement and 5 x greater click-through rates. On top of that, 74% of subscribers say they expect to receive a welcome email when they subscribe. If that wasn’t proof enough, everyone who reads their welcome message read approx 40% of the emails they get sent from the organisation in the next 180 days.

Some things to consider :

Introduce your organisation

Your welcome email is the perfect opportunity to introduce your organisation and make a lasting first impression. Let your subscriber know who you are and what you as an organisation delivers or does for them as a resident. Don’t go overboard at this point, they don’t need the whole corporate plan!

Use it as an opportunity to gather relevant information

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If you want to find out more about your subscriber to help you refine future content then add a call to action which drives them back into their account.

Set expectations

Let new subscribers know the types of content they will receive from you in the future and give them the opportunity to leave at this point or join you on other channels such as social media. You want to avoid people continuing this relationship with your organisation if their heart isn’t truly in it.

Consider drip campaigns

Should you be sending your subscribers on a journey from Day 1? Consider a service like foster care for example, we know it takes 15 touch points from some one thinking about becoming a foster carer to going on to formally ‘apply’ with an organisation. We can easily take them on a journey that is segmented based on whether they meet all the criteria such as having a spare room and being over 21 years of age with clear call to actions throughout to drive them to a fostering welcome event or to take the next step into applying. Once built, these campaigns are fully automated so as and when new subscribers join they will go on the same journey as those who subscriber 6 months before.

Other examples include:

  • New residents campaign – Hi Colin, welcome to Dudley – here’s a list of our local GP’s, dentists, pharmacies etc. Then, a few days later – here’s how you join the gym and the library. Then, have you signed up for a MyAccount yet Colin?
  • New starters campaign (internal) – A chance to involve someone who has been appointed but is currently service notice in another role including relevant policies, a welcome from the CEO and a thanks for choosing your organisation as a place to work , information about facilities available onsite, places to hang out and a nice message the day before they start telling them what to do when they arrive.

Ask to socially connect or for referrals

Ask your new subscribers to connect with you on your social networks – most people feel that social and email are in competition with one another but the truth is very much that we want people to take their communications with us where they want it to be and ultimately where they are most comfortable and therefore more likely to engage with the content. Also don’t be afraid to ask them to share the sign up with their friends.

Think about your subject lines

An engaging subject line is important to welcome your new subscribers, so let them know what to expect, give them a reason to open and set the tone for things to come. My previous post on subject lines could give you some inspiration.

Use your subscribers name

If you are collecting your subscribers first name at the point of subscription, consider using their first name to engage them in the first welcome message and personalise the message e.g. Hi Lorna, thanks for subscribing, here is what you can expect to get from us.

Make sure you say thanks

Manners cost nothing so when someone chooses to subscribe to your emails it is important to recognise that. This was a decision they made and therefore saying thanks is an absolute must and something that is often overlooked.

Think about cross promotional footers

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Within your welcome message or drip campaign you can easily display banners, promos or calls-to-action for other online services to help channel shift – these subscribers are online now and have chosen to engage with you so you have a great opportunity to get them to do something else for example, sign up for a My Account, register for paperless bills, sign up for Direct Debits, find our when their bin day is etc.

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Top things you can do this week:

  • Check your current welcome message and see how you would feel if you got that as the first message you ever had from your organisation – would it leave you feeling excited, would it make you sign up to their other social channels or would it leave you searching for the unsubscribe option?
  • Think about the tone you want to set and continue with throughout your relationship and make sure your welcome message aligns to that.
  • Consider which services you provide on email subscription could benefit from a drip campaign or a series of welcome/onboarding emails over the course of a few weeks.
  • Get in touch with me if you want any advice or support.
  • Send me some cool examples ( of your welcome messages and I will share them on our Pinterest page.