If your business is like most, you know it’s less costly to keep and nurture an existing customer than to go out and find a new one.
As more customer acquisition and retention moves to digital channels, it’s important to take care to nurture customers digitally, just as you would in person.
A good place to start is with your email campaigns. A welcome message improves customer experience and can lead to better response rates, more referrals and higher customer retention. No wonder nearly two-thirds of businesses employ a welcome message, according to MarketingSherpa’s 2012 email marketing benchmark report.
An effective welcome message can do many things. Here are 3 that you can incorporate today to improve your email program.
1. Set Expectations
Ever had that experience where you start getting marketing emails from a company out of the blue?
You may or may not remember signing up for them in the first place, and you sure didn’t expect them to start arriving now and with this kind of content. Even if the content is decent, it’s unexpected, which often translates to unwelcome.
A welcome message can properly set customer expectations by explaining:
- What customers will receive from you by email.
- How often they can expect to hear from you.
- Who your emails will come from (name/address) and what they will look like.
2. Answer Common Questions
How often do you find yourself answering the same questions, especially to newer customers?
These touchpoints are great for building your authority and earning the trust of your customers, so why limit yourself to having them only with customers who come forward and overtly ask those questions?
A welcome message can answer FAQs in a proactive manner, while encouraging customers whose questions remain unanswered to contact you (you are easy to contact, right?).
3. Reward Your Customers With a Bonus
Your first email to new subscribers sets the tone for the experience they’re going to have with the rest of the emails you send them.
If you send a message that provides value and makes subscribers happy, they’ll be more likely to read and take action on your other messages.
Setting expectations and answering questions are a great foundation for making subscribers happy, but adding a little something extra can really lock in a solid first experience with your email program.
This bonus could take many forms. Two common ones are:
- Discount or coupon codes to be used on their next purchase.
- A free report, whitepaper or other content they will find useful.
How Do You Roll Out The Welcome Mat?
What do you send to customers when they join your email list?
I’d love to hear your ideas and results. Please share them in the comments.
About The Author
As Director of Education Marketing for AWeber, the leading provider of small business email marketing tools, Justin Premick teaches businesses how to build profitable customer relationships. Visit the AWeber blog for more of Justin’s email marketing tips.