Growing stature of inbound marketing
Inbound marketing is considered one of the most effective forms of marketing today. It tries to inform, educate and subtly entice leads to convert and move to the next level in a sales funnel without coming across as pushy and desperate. Unlike outbound marketing, it is not intrusive and the convenience of the target gets the highest priority. Prospects can pick and choose their time of engagement with a brand.
Moreover, inbound marketing usually gives information or guides the prospect to the right channel of communication or conversion when the prospect himself is seeking out the brand. That makes the connection all the more effective and the pitch becomes timely. The customer also doesn’t need to be prodded and coaxed endlessly.
Importance of welcome emails
Welcome emails are sent to a lead which is still warm and has just converted and is often willing to graduate to a higher level of engagement. A welcome email is extremely important because it assures the lead that you care about the business prospect that he is bringing and you and your business will always be there to serve him or his interests. The tone of the email should be extremely warm and welcoming.
The email should make him feel special. It should also assuage any fear or doubts that he may have because most leads go through a phase of self-doubt after they have moved a step lower into the sales funnel and need to be reassured repeatedly. This is also the time when you can request him to convert in other ways like following you on the social media or subscribing to your blog posts.
The main function of a welcome email is to break the ice and confirm the subscriber of his subscription for a certain service. Until a welcome email is sent across, the lead is not sure what to expect or whether he has taken the right decision. This email would reinforce his belief in the brand and the care and benefits he expects to receive.
Make sure to give him a definite timeframe within which he would receive the welcome email. If you are too late, the initial emails that you had exchanged may slip too deep into his spam email box and also you may soon be out of his mind. If you want top priority in his mind, you will have to act with flair and alacrity.
Welcome emails also have a fairly high click and open rate, which is significant since most promotional emails receive a cold shoulder and have a very low click and open rate. But, remember that you should not overload the welcome email with too much or unnecessary information thinking that you are doing him a great service. On the contrary, it will create a very poor first impression. Don’t talk of sales just yet. Rather try to push his attention towards your social community if you have any and try to make him a part of the social signals and interactions. Once you have managed to draw him to your community, you can be a little more assured of his trust and support. It also indicates that he is serious about your brand and that you stand a good chance of pulling him down deeper into the sales funnel.
Welcome emails give you an opportunity to personalise the communication and add a human face. You may also incentivize the prospect so that he converts. Along with a thank you message, a small gift like a free, downloadable e-book or a free subscription to your blog, etc. can be sent as tokens of appreciation and past experiences show that these help to create strong bonds with the prospective customers.
How to design a perfect template for your welcome emails?
Since welcome emails are extremely important from your business perspective and also to make your inbound marketing effort more effective, your emails should consist of some elements that would grab the receiver’s attention and also forcefully urge him to engage willingly citing the benefits. The following are some of the most important elements of a successful welcome email.
- A powerful, captivating subject line: A subject line is one of the most important components of any email. It becomes even more important for a welcome email when the click rate is expected to be high. You have to explain the crux of the email in just 4 or 5 words and make the person click it. Don’t give out everything though in the subject and make the reader think that he has received all the information he needed and hence there was no need to go into the body of the email. Don’t use a stale and clichéd subject line though and there is no need to make it very obvious. However, use a motif that makes it easy for the receiver to identify your brand and understand the purpose.
- Talk about the benefits of the email subscription immediately: As soon as you enter the body and have greeted the lead, you can go into the perquisites of the subscription. Tell him about the different options of engagement and what each brings to the table and how the proposed conversion can enrich the recipient’s life. Also, tell him the benefits of receiving your emails on a regular basis. Like, tell him, that because of the email subscription, he will be one of the first to receive special discounts or offers. He can also get his queries answered quickly. Also, tell him that he would be an automatic entrant into contests organised by your company. The number of benefits could be many and you need to touch upon as many without boring him.
- Include call to actions: You will have to include powerful call to actions. Use the right colour, theme, language, design (buttons/ boxes, etc.) and place it above the fold. If necessary put the CTA at the top and the bottom. Don’t overload with too many CTAs which end up confusing him. Although going into sales is not always advisable, depending on the stage of conversion, you may also make a good sales pitch and offer a customised and highly personalised deal which you think would be hard to decline. This strategy works well for e-commerce websites. If he has already made a purchase, based on his search history, purchase history which you will receive by installing cookies into his device, send him a list of similar or related products which he may be interested in. Also, inform him about a special discount that is available currently.
- Tell your email recipients about the next course of action: You may use the opportunity of sending a welcome email to not only greet and thank a customer and also offer him CTAs but also tell him what would be his options, rights, privileges and how he may move lower into the sales funnel. Tell him about your after sales service and how he can contact an executive if he needs any assistance. If you are an insurer or a lender, you may like to give him the list of stores in his vicinity where he can get prompt service. Give him the addresses and if possible also downloadable route maps.
- Use a personal voice and have a face: It helps to have an employee’s name or your own name in the name field of the email. This makes the email trustworthy and many prospects feel safer going ahead with these communications. Don’t make the email too formal but also remember that he is, after all, a prospective client and don’t use provocative language and steer clear of controversial topics.
- Ask for a reply and also request the recipient to remove your email id from the spam folder: One good way to ask for engagement is by asking the receiver of your email to write back to you with any query or even if there is no query ask to them say hi and share more details that will help you to serve them better. Also, urge them to endorse your email address as genuine and remove it from the junk mail box. This will ensure that each of your emails gets marked as legitimate and get displayed in the inbox of the recipient.
- Make your emails high responsive: Since most of your customers use mobiles and laptops or PCs, your emails have to be visible on all the devices clearly. If you are using heavy images or other graphics, test multiple times for smart phones and tabs and see that they are fitting into the screens perfectly.
- Send a gift: Although this has already been discussed above, it is being reiterated here with the intention of driving home the point of the importance of incentives. Everyone likes freebies and gifts. So, a nice way to welcome a prospect onboard is by offering something in exchange for his loyalty and attention.
- Add an unsubscribe button: An unsubscribe button or link should always be included in your welcome email because you don’t want your lead to feel that all his rights are not being protected. He shouldn’t feel stifled in any way. An unsubscribe link gives him the option to unsubscribe and increases his trust in your brand.
A welcome email can pave the way for your future interactions and set the tone. Be honest with your prospect right from the outset. It must make him feel comfortable. Don’t be too aggressive with your offers and deals but also don’t hesitate if you see a clear chance. Don’t lose sight of your ultimate aim too. Be patient if you don’t receive a reply the first time and send him follow-up emails from time to time to get the top slot in his mind.