Dotdigital blog

First impressions matter most – Why do a welcome program?

Welcome programs are automated emails sent to new subscribers, customers, and contacts. They’re triggered when an individual signs up to your email marketing or new contacts are uploaded to your CRM. As a result, your welcome program is usually the first interaction you have with a new customer, making them a crucial part of the customer journey. 

Your first impressions matter the most. It has the power to make or break your new relationship with a customer.

A welcome program should showcase your brand while engaging customers. A friendly hello and thank you for subscribing connects you to subscribers while a well-planned CTA will encourage them to interact with your email. Your emails should be clear, informative and actionable.

Why do a welcome program?

In our benchmarking report, Hitting the Mark, we found that 90% of ecommerce brands were sending welcome emails. However, looking more widely at email marketing as a whole, only 57% of brands welcome newly subscribed users.

So, if you’re not completely sold on why welcome programs are essential to your email marketing, here are some killer stats to convince you.

  • Welcome emails are 86% more effective than standard email marketing, averaging open rates of 50%.
  • Click rates are 5x higher for welcome emails at 14% compared to just 2% for standard campaigns.
  • Welcome programs generate up to 320% more revenue than other promotional emails. Including an offer in your welcome email can boost your revenue by a further 30%.
  • Contacts who receive a welcome program are 33% more engaged with your brand.

With 74% of people expecting welcome programs to land immediately after subscribing, meeting these demands will offer you no end of benefits.

What to include in your welcome program?

You now know exactly why welcome programs are so important. Now you just have to get creating. To get the results you want out of your welcome emails, you should thoroughly plan the content you want to include.

1. Always say thank you

A simple thank you reassures subscribers that they’ve made a good decision. It immediately makes the reader feel appreciated, that you understand that together you’re about to embark on a new relationship.

Keep it simple with something like, “Thanks for signing up!” or “Welcome to the family” which lets the reader feel valued. As though they are now a part of something, more than just receiving email marketing.

2. Greet them like a friend

Personalization is a powerful, eye-catching, and engaging tactic guaranteed to drive conversions. Be sure to collect enough information at the point of sign up to make this possible.

The perfect sign-up form should be short and sweet. What’s your top priority? Name, date of birth, mobile number? Identify what is most important to you and be sure to put it to use in your welcome program.

By quickly establishing that you will use their data to provide a personalized experience, customers will be more inclined to share with you in the future.

3. Introduce yourself

You’ve already welcomed your new subscriber to the community, now you need to tell them how and why you’re different from your competitors.

Email marketing allows you to speak directly to your customers, diving deeper than you can on your website. It’s time to let your personality shine and give readers a reason to stick around.

4. Get to know them

New subscribers are at their most engaged when they’re just signed-up, so this is the perfect time to get to know them. Encourage customers to customize their journey by telling you what they want.

Preference centers are one of a marketer’s most powerful tool. It houses all the important, need-to-know information about your customers. Including a call to action to driving subscribers to submit their preferences will give you the information you need to deliver personalized and relevant content throughout the rest of their journey with you.

5. Connect on more channels

Email is just the beginning of the journey, so make sure new customers know about all the other ways they can connect with your brand. Introducing new channels such as social media, WhatsApp, and SMS at this early stage encourages subscribers to embark on an omnichannel experience.

Omnichannel marketing has a number of significant advantages, but the main one is that customers will feel they can contact you wherever they are, whenever they want, on a channel convenient to them.

6. Have clear actions

Every email you send needs to have one main call to action that you want customers to complete, and your welcome program should be exactly the same. Know exactly what action you want readers to complete and make it as clear and obvious as possible.

There is no need for your welcome program to be complicated or cluttered. Keep it super simple and your results will soar.

7. Make it part of the journey

The perfect welcome program is a three-part series:

  1. Thank you and welcome to the community – if you offer a sign-up bonus, this is when you send it
  2. Tell us what you want – collect preferences to deliver relevant and personalized offers and content
  3. A little bit about us – let new subscribers discover the personality of your brand and what sets you apart from the rest

But, you also need to remember that this is just the beginning of the journey. Your welcome program needs to look and feel like the rest of your marketing. Consistency is key for continuous customer engagement.

How to create a welcome program

Whether you’re starting from scratch or giving your program a re-vamp, everything you need to know can be found in our email essentials cheatsheet: how to create a welcome program.

Download today and kickstart your customers’ experiences.

How to create a welcome program download CTA
Back to top

Recommended reading