Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Whether it’s an opt-in at checkout, through an in-store kiosk or your website registration form, when a customer gives you her email address and thinks enough of your company/brand/products to say, “yes – send me your email promotions,” it’s your duty as a smart retail marketer to send her a message, welcoming her to the family. Consider it your company’s “thank you” note. When done well (as we’re going to outline here), it should serve as both a reader reference material and a marketing tool.
As the old saying goes, you only get one chance to make a good impression. The Welcome Email is your best opportunity to make a good impression with a new subscriber, to set the tone for the communications you will soon be sending and, more importantly, to get them to take a desired action.
Your Welcome Email is likely to be the most highly anticipated and highly viewed email campaign you will send (sad, but true) so take advantage of this heightened awareness. Seize the opportunity and maximize your subscribers’ engagement by optimizing your retail welcome email with these 8 easy tips:
1. Make reader information your primary focus
If your site requires and ID and password, make this your main message and ask subscribers to keep this email for future reference. This is particularly important for loyalty programs that assign a unique member code.
2. Set expectations
Showcase links to previous versions of your newsletter or a graphic of what subscribers can expect to see in their inbox. Be sure to highlight the anticipated frequency of the program – and stick to it. Including an “Add to Address Book” message is a simple way to increase the deliverability of your future communications. You might also choose to highlight this in the body of your email content when referencing the value they will be receiving.
3. Be benefit oriented and reinforce why they signed up in the first place
Remind subscribers why they gave their email address. Did they subscriber to receive special deals, sneak peeks of new products or exclusive coupons? Put your value proposition front and center.
4. Point shoppers back to your site
You can anticipate that your Welcome Email will have better than average open rates – now motivate your subscriber to click (and buy) with links that intrigue and point shoppers to your site. Mirror your website navigation in the email header or cross-sell other programs and promotions, such as an invitation to join a loyalty club.
Drive incremental revenue by offering a coupon encouraging customers to start shopping today. A unique barcode and short expiration date help keep coupon abuse under control and makes it easier for brick-and-mortar locations to track email-driven traffic. If a new subscriber doesn't purchase right away, consider a follow-up anniversary message to spur this activity while they are still fresh.
5. Make it personal
If you collected a subscriber’s first name or know their loyalty club membership ID, use it in your Welcome Email. Do you have a well-known figure, CEO or athlete on your staff? Consider using a letter format and end with a real person’s name and signature. Get super relevant and deliver dynamic content based on where you collected their email address (e.g. Thanks for signing up our store) and preferences you collected at sign up. If Subscriber A likes hiking…Send the latest selection of boots and socks from the site.
6. Say Thank You!
Remember, this person just gave your company permission to market to them. Thank him/her.
7. Remember CAN-SPAM
Just like the rest of your email marketing, be sure to include your company’s physical mailing address and insert an unsubscribe link. Use your standard marketing email footer with an emphasis on updating profile and preference information.
8. Create an advocate for your brand.
Your subscriber has a network of friends, try to tap into it for social sharing and potential list growth. Cross-reference your social marketing activity and give them something to post to Facebook or Twitter. Forward to a friend is also a great way for them to let their friends know about your program.