By Richard Austin @Silverpop
What motives lie behind someone visiting your website and signing up for email?
Let’s look at one example: A prospective customer has searched online, “Facebooked” friends for recommendations and ended up visiting your site. He hasn’t purchased yet, but he’s signed up for your email programme.
Consider the real-life equivalent — a man walks into your store and browses through several different items, but doesn’t buy anything. On his way out, he asks if you can send him further information about the products he was looking at.
Would you watch him walk away, or take some time to tell him why he should buy from you, educate him on the great product range you offer, present a few customer favourites and highlight your no-quibble returns policy?
This, in essence, is a welcome campaign.
And if you were thinking that in the example above you’d ask about exactly what he was interested in or how much he had to spend, then you’ve just thrown a preference centre into the mix.
So, if you’d be proactive in the real world, why not in the digital one? Given that open rates can fall by 25 percent a few weeks after sign-up if no initial welcome message is sent, the importance of a welcome campaign is clear.
So what makes a great welcome programme?
Let’s start with what consumers expect businesses to know, according to the Email Experience Council:
- The types of products or services they like (64 percent)
- The types of offers they like (61 percent)
- Whether they’re a new or returning customer (54 percent)
- Their communication preferences (47 percent)
In addition, according to eConsultancy’s UK Email Marketing Statistics report, the majority of consumers (52 percent) sign up for email to receive discounts or other “money off” promotions.
With those findings in mind, a good welcome campaign should include:
- A discount or money-off voucher
- Reference to product or service preferences
- Confirmation of communication preferences
By referencing recent purchase data and the source of the opt-in, you can add another layer of sophistication. For example, you might identify those who have signed up via the check-out process, and recognize this buyer behavior by tailoring the content around the product/service purchased, including any relevant cross-sell content. (continue @Silverpop)