E-Commerce: Welcome Email Series Best Practices

Posted on January 22, 2019

A well-constructed welcome email series can be a game-changer for any e-commerce business. But in order to have the type of significant impact your brand needs, you must first be aware of the welcome email series best practices. Let’s break those down now.

Why a welcome email series is useful

The majority of e-commerce brands are given a golden opportunity to make a great first impression after capturing an email. In fact, the initial emails you send in a welcome series are likely to have more eyes on them than any you’ll send going forward.

Open rates for welcome emails can reach as high as 60%, according to Chief Marketer. So with a well-crafted message to incentivize conversions and increase customer lifetime value, welcome series emails are a crucial tool for any e-commerce store.

What to remember with a welcome emails series

Deploying a welcome email series is far more than just a strong tactic to achieve high open rates. It’s also an expectation among consumers. According to research from Econsultancy, 74.4% of consumers expect to receive a welcome email. Additionally, 64% expect one within the first 15 minutes of subscribing. And subscribers who receive welcome emails are 33% more likely to engage with a brand longterm.

If you don’t currently have a welcome email series plan in place, you’re leaving money on the table. And that’s true not only in the moment but more importantly in optimizing for customer lifetime value over the long term.

What to say in a welcome emails series

When constructing your welcome email series, remember the importance of providing great visuals. Studies have shown 65% of people are visual learners. Use that to your advantage. Even if it’s not necessarily infographics or photos you’re going for, at least consider bullet points and subheads as useful tools for developing an optimal welcome email series. A combination of these things can go a very long way.

When it comes to the actual written word, add value while being as concise as possible. No one wants to read a novel in a welcome series email, but also don’t neglect to provide the necessary information.

Here’s an example of a four-email welcome series:

  • Email 1: Immediately upon signing up for your store’s email list, a subscriber should be sent an email containing a brief personalized message illustrating the company vision. Don’t be too pushy. Research suggests just 2% of consumers are ready to make a purchase when first being introduced to a brand.
  • Email 2: Once 24 hours has from the first email, send a second featuring your most popular products. Provide detailed, compelling product descriptions and the best imagery you have available.
  • Email 3: After another 24 hours (48 hours after the first email), send a third email with social proof. This should be a sampling of customer reviews and testimonials to further build trust and encourage shopping with your store. If you’ve been featured in industry publications or on TV, reference that as well to further add credibility.
  • Email 4: If the subscriber hasn’t purchased 72 hours after the first email, send a fourth email with a one-time, time-sensitive offer for first-time buyers. For example: “Complete your first order in the next 24 hours and receive 10% off the purchase.”

Notice this sample welcome series didn’t immediately begin with a discount. In this scenario, we used the discount as a special tool to incentivize only buyers who didn’t purchase in the first 72 hours.

Pushing discounts to every subscribe immediately is sometimes appropriate. However, for brands looking to protect pricing integrity, this type of targeted discounting approach is often more appropriate.

A welcome email series provides an advantage

A welcome email series is also an area where your e-commerce store can beat the competition. Research suggests more than 40% of brands fail to send a welcome email within the first two days. And 27% of those don’t send any within the first three weeks. Even among brands that do have some form of a welcome email series in place, less than half reportedly make a good impression.

Considering the expectations of consumers, it’s clear many brands are missing an opportunity for initial success via email. If you have an email welcome series plan centered around personalization, great imagery, incentivizing purchase, and other best practices, the competition’s loss is your gain.

How Engine Mail can help

Among many other aspects of email marketing automation, Engine Mail was created with the welcome email series best practices in mind. The SaaS product was built by e-commerce veterans based on past experiences and the desire to build an easy-to-use email automation system.

Engine understands it’s competing in a world full of complexity and confusion where a large number of email products are overdone. That’s not Engine Mail. We’ve taken what we’ve learned during our years of navigating the e-commerce landscape and created a product that is easy to understand and deploy.

We understand time is your most precious asset. Set up a call with us by clicking here or reaching out via email. In just 15 minutes we will create amazing email flows for you, including an optimal strategy for your welcome email series. Your business will never be the same.