Why growing welcome program revenue needs to be a priority.
As a Marketer, you are always looking to engage your customers and grow revenue and retention. You have many touch points and channels to leverage. Growing welcome program revenue can be one of those low-hanging fruit programs. One of the first actions your customers will undertake with you is to subscribe to your email list. They may be at the top of the funnel, considering making a purchase and doing some research. They may be aware of your brand and consider it a viable option to meet their needs. Or they may already be a customer, having purchased via an offline channel. These are people that have excitement for your brand and engaging online. Induce purchase more quickly with a limited time welcome offer.
How do I begin a welcome program?
1) Outline the goals and objectives of your welcome program.
You need to know where you are going when you start any project, and your welcome program is no different. Before you begin, be sure to outline the goals and objectives of your welcome program. Are you looking to drive first online purchase? Are you trying to obtain more information so that you can better segment and service your customers in the future? Do you want to educate them about other products and services you offer? Do you want to show them different ways to use your product to induce more demand and more frequent or larger quantity purchases?
2) Consider how you will measure success.
Based on your goals and objectives, be sure you can measure your results appropriately to know if you have succeeded. Too many companies move straight to implementation without thinking about how they will measure results. This is particularly important when it comes to measuring results by segment or as part of testing. It makes successful implementation more challenging and time-consuming if you have make changes to incorporate a last minute need for reporting/analysis that you could have included in your requirements up-front with some forethought. You also increase the chances for errors.
3) Determine how you will segment your campaign.
When you consider your goals and objectives, you may decide there are certain segments you wish to track. Do you wish to treat large potential customers different from smaller ones? Are you effectively segmenting prospective customers from existing customers? Do you have other large segments of customers that might fit into a welcome campaign, like recently reactivated subscribers?
You may wish to segregate your new subscribers from the rest of your email program until they have worked though the welcome progression. Of course, the wise Marketer will test different approaches, applying the best approach and constantly retesting against different creative, messaging, offers or lists to get more welcome program revenue.
4) Map out your process.
Do not make process a secondary consideration. Take the time to consider the customer’s need and build a process that meets that need first. Then ensure you are capturing the data you need to better meet your customer’s need today and into the future. Do not neglect your needs to better operate your business, too.
One key when building your process is to get that first email into your customer’s inbox as quickly as possible from the initial sign-up or trigger. You want to reinforce the customer’s decision to subscribe to your program, and get them used to seeing email from you.
Consider the IP address
Do you need to send this email from the same IP address as your other campaigns, or should you bundle this as part of a transactional IP? If you have a lot of volume from new subscribers, sending from the same IP address as your other campaigns can help to improve overall IP address deliverability as engagement with Welcome campaigns tends to be significantly higher than other non-triggered campaigns. However, if you already have deliverability issues on a regular basis, then sending from a transactional IP is a better way to go to ensure these messages get into your subscribers inboxes. Talk to your email service provider to select the best option for your program.
Ensure the From and subject lines make sense for your brand and campaign.
Another overlooked process component is the “From” and subject line. Please do not use a name of someone the average person would not recognize in the “From” line. Maybe Microsoft could get away with a “From” name of “Bill Gates” or the Cleveland Cavaliers with “LeBron James” (and believe me, the celebrity should have widespread international recognition and not be just the owners or Marketing-VPs own perception of themselves); instead use the name of the brand that the subscriber is seeking to learn more about, like “Banana Republic” or “Toyota Prius.” You can even add a modifier like “eNews” or “Information” or “Offers”, depending upon the Segment or type of content that is being sought. Bottom line, make it appropriate and descriptive.
As for the subject line, keep it short and sweet and include the brand name. Repetition of the brand in the subject line and From lines is good and helps your brand stand out in the inbox for those readers who scan both. Some readers will be From line dominant and others subject line dominant, so by repeating the brand in both, you have a better chance of standing out with either segment. Include some variant of Welcome in the subject line tied to your brand, like “Welcome from Banana Republic”. And if you are tying an offer to the subscription, then include a mention in the subject line. Just be careful of those marketing words that may cause an ISP to consider your email SPAM. You should always test into your most beneficial subject lines at the onset of the campaign, and continue to test variants over time.
5) Provide value-added content to grow welcome program revenue.
There are number of ways to provide value. You can provide special benefits to your email subscribers as an inducement to sign up. These special or gated offers can increase revenue from new subscribers by as much as 3X, while also increasing the speed at which your email subscription list books its first revenue for your company. Providing valuable information about how to order is also beneficial, especially for more complex products that require it. In addition you can communicate the many ways your customer can interact with your brand and gain the most value out of their relationship with you.
Use multi-part campaigns to get customers used to seeing your emails. Interesting and valuable emails train them to interact with your brand. Furthermore, driving greater engagement improves the deliverability of all your emails with ISPs.
Let’s discuss growing welcome program revenue.
A Welcome Campaign is a beneficial component to any marketing strategy, helping you to generate revenue and keep your customers engaged. As always, I welcome your comments below. Let me know your thoughts and successes/learnings with regard to your welcome program, or others you have seen. And if you want to talk to me about growing welcome program revenue, contact me here.
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