The ultimate guide to welcome campaigns 2021

Making a good first impression is important.

For brands, this can be done with a slick website, a beautiful storefront, a smiling face at the checkout, or a welcome campaign.

And making a good impression is especially important in the current climate. Where brands are keen to build business back to normal. But are facing challenges such as changing buying behaviour and increased competition.

In this guide we will take you through one of our favourite ways for brands to make a good impression. The welcome campaign.

We will explore what a welcome campaign is, why brands should be using them, types of welcome campaigns, and tips to get the very most out of these emails.

For brands, better starts here.

What is a welcome campaign?

A welcome campaign can refer to a series of emails, or one single email, with the main goal of welcoming and starting a new relationship with a customer, potential customer, or email sign up to a brand.

They are usually sent as soon as a consumer makes a purchase, signs up to a newsletter, or registers for email updates. And they can generate up to 60% in open rates and 14% click through rates. Which is part of the reason they are so popular with marketers.

There are a variety of ways to execute a welcome campaign, which we will cover in this guide. But as well as offering a warm welcome, these emails are also used to explain basic details of a brand, such as delivery times or customer support. To set expectations, such as how often a brand will be in touch. And also to inject a little personality into the brand, such as explaining their history, or talking about their brand values.

So what are the other benefits of sending a welcome campaign? Read on to find out.

6 benefits of welcome campaigns

The benefits of welcome campaigns are vast. As we’ve mentioned, these emails are fantastic for open and click through rates. But there are lots of other reasons why brands should be executing these emails.

Time saving

Because welcome emails are automated, they save brands time from manually connecting with new and potential customers. Which would be a particularly time and resource intensive job.

All brands need is a good AI and automation platform, and welcome emails are quick and simple to get set up. And then can be left to run in the background with little manual intervention.

Brand positioning

A welcome campaign allows brands to control their positioning from the beginning. 

They offer brands the perfect opportunity to unashamedly talk about themselves. Who they are, what they offer, and how they can help the recipient. Setting the positioning of the brand for the future of the relationship.

Build loyalty

Subscribers who receive welcome emails show 33% more long-term brand engagement than those who don’t.

Consumers who are new to a brand are most engaged within 48 hours of subscribing. Brands can capitalise on this with welcome emails, showcasing their brand at the most effective time possible for long term loyalty.

Improve segmentation

Welcome campaigns can be sent with segmentation in mind to help manage data from the very start.

By encouraging recipients to respond to a welcome campaign with further information, such as products or ranges they are interested in, brands can gain a better understanding of who these recipients are. And segment them accordingly for future campaigns and communications.

Increase revenue

Welcome campaigns can either push a new customer to purchasing again or alternatively convert a prospect to their first purchase. Many brands who do welcome campaigns well will use this automated campaign to nudge the reader to make the next best action.

Manage unsubscribes

Welcome campaigns can help separate your ideal customers from your not-so-ideal.

Welcome campaigns introduce recipients to a brand, and if it’s not right for them, they can unsubscribe from future communications. This means that the brand’s email list will be full of engaged, ideal customers. Making for a healthier list, better results, and less effort wasted.

Types of welcome campaigns

To give you a better idea of how these emails can work for you and your brand, here are some examples of popular welcome campaigns.

The classic ‘welcome’ email

The traditional welcome email takes advantage of having such high engagement rates, fitting in as much useful and relevant information about the brand as possible.

This email aims to do it all. Welcome the recipient, position the brand, offer up all the essential details alongside USPs, recommend products, and showcase relevant content.

Whilst these emails are busy, they are perfect to achieve a lot at a time when the recipient is most engaged.

The ‘thank you’ email

The thank you email is a slightly different take on the welcome email.

Particularly useful for new customers, thank you emails tend to be shorter and snappier than a traditional welcome email. They begin with thanking the customer for making a purchase, and then can include relevant links and information regarding that purchase. Such as delivery times and returns information.

As well as this, thank you emails can include some of the elements of a welcome email. Such as social media links, or key USPs of the brand.

While thank you emails aren’t as in depth as welcome emails, they still offer a great introduction to the brand. But may require less information as the customer has already purchased, and is clearly already engaged.

The ‘offer’ email

This email’s main goal is to get the recipient back onto the brand’s website and purchasing.

As the recipient is highly engaged at this stage, sometimes it just takes a little nudge to push them into making a purchase. Providing a discount code at this point is the perfect way to achieve this, and is also great for building a positive relationship with the recipient. 

The ‘get started’ email

This type of welcome campaign is perfect for SaaS businesses who want to get their potential customers up and running as quickly as possible.

Not to be confused with an onboarding email, ‘get started’ emails (and email series) are aimed at encouraging the recipient to make use of a free version of software, or sign up to a paid version.

A similar approach should be taken as with regular welcome emails, including a warm welcome and key information regarding the business. However, this email should also include a run through of the steps the recipient should take to ‘get started’ with the software. Such as how to log in, common Q&As, and how to take their first action.

For SaaS emails, customer support contacts and forums are also particularly important. So should also be included within this first email.

Image Source – Really Good Emails

The ‘welcome series’

Instead of cramming all the useful information into one email, the welcome series aims to spread it out over multiple communications.

The benefit of this is brands can be more thorough with each element they want to promote. Without having to keep it too high level, or risk recipients getting distracted or overwhelmed by the information in one single email.

Welcome series differ from brand to brand. But here is a template that has proven successful with many of the brands we work with.

Introduce your brand

Make that great first impression by introducing your brand well. Consider incorporating some company history, brand values, and social proof to emphasise why your customers love your brand.

And set expectations from the very start, including how often you will get in touch with the recipient and the content you will share.

Showcase your products

Now your recipients know the basics, it’s time to give them the grand tour of what you offer.

This could include your most popular product ranges, related products to their first purchase or browsing history, and showcasing any content or competitions you have.

Offer or promotion

At this stage you’ll want to encourage the recipient to make a purchase. After reading your welcome series so far, they are hopefully engaged with your brand. So it may just take a discount to nudge them into buying.

Get to know the recipient

A welcome series is also a great opportunity to get to know your recipients a little better. Giving you more data to use to increase the personalisation of future campaigns.

This can be done by simply asking the recipient for more details about themselves. You could offer up a preference centre, a short survey, or simply have them select the ranges or products they are most interested in directly within the email.

Connect via other channels

Whilst email is one of the best channels for engagement, your series should finish by offering the recipient more ways to connect with you. This will ensure that you keep in touch with the recipient, and that they maintain awareness of your brand.

This could include your social channels, any community forums you have, and even using geotargeting to link to your closest high street or bricks-and-mortar store.

Top 5 welcome campaign tips

Hopefully by now you have a solid understanding of the benefits of welcome campaigns, and have some ideas for your own.

To help, here are 5 tips that can improve any welcome email.

Timing

Timing is everything when it comes to welcome emails.

When a consumer makes their first purchase or goes to the effort of signing up to email updates, they are highly engaged. Meaning that brands should communicate with them as soon as possible.

We recommend sending welcome emails within the first 24 hours of an action being taken. But sending an email as immediately as possible is ideal. This way the recipient has a smooth journey from taking an action and then receiving your response with no delay.

Subject lines

Once timing is spot on, the next challenge is getting the recipient to notice the email.

That’s where subject lines are key.

To stand out in the crowded inbox, a welcome campaign subject line should ideally be personalised, exude brand personality, and entice the recipient to open.

You can check our guide to subject lines for more tips to perfect yours.

Automation

Without automation, welcome campaigns are impossible to execute at scale.

By using automation, brands can ensure that the welcome email is triggered at the most opportune moment for engagement. And also ensures that marketers don’t have to manually send communications to batches of subscribers.

Automation is also key for welcome sequences. Ensuring that each communication is sent at the appropriate time. And that the right message is sent based on the recipient’s actions.

Personalisation

Personalisation is key to any successful email campaign, including welcome emails.

While a brand may not have gathered lots of information about the recipient just yet, they may well have access to their name, products they have browsed, or their location.

All of this information can be tied into a welcome email with the use of dynamic content. Brands can include a welcome banner using the recipient’s name. Provide details of recommended products based on their browsing history. Or offer up a map to their closest high street store based on their location.

All of these tactics help brands stand out from the crowd. And start the relationship off positively by offering relevant, useful content.

Incentivisation

Incentives are the ideal way to drive engaged recipients from your welcome email to your website.

Once brands have warmed up the recipient with a welcome, key information, and product promotions, an incentive may be just what they need to go on to make a purchase.

An incentive could include a discount code, free shipping, or a freebie when they make their first purchase.

Are you looking to improve your welcome emails?

Then we can help.

We have experience in supporting brands in a wide range of industries to offer the perfect warm welcome to their recipients.

Get in touch with our friendly team of experts to find out more.

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