The welcome email is the most engaged with, it generates over 60% open rates and can have the highest conversion rates compared to the rest of your email campaigns. It is the single most important email nurture series to get right as it is the start of the relationship between you and the consumer. Get this right and you’re on the right path to building a loyal engaged customer.

This email marketing best practice has been discussed for over a decade, but unfortunately is one of the most neglected by marketers.

Amid COVID-19 there have been many changes to the way businesses interact with consumers and how consumers behave on a micro level.

The pandemic has also seen an increase in consumers heading online, resulting in a surge in newsletter or account sign-ups across many businesses. These are individuals that will not know the new ways in which you conduct yourself, audiences that need to have expectations set from the start of the relationship.

To avoid frustration, confusion and a poor customer experience all these need to be communicated to old and new audiences in a way that is easy to understand.

There has never been a better time to update and give your welcome email or series a re-invigoration. Here’s 6 reasons why you should do this today as part of your recovery planning.


Your customer experience has changed

Due to social distancing rules and new guidelines given by the government for businesses re-opening, every single brand will have a new way of doing business with their customer.

From a retailer only allowing a limited number of people into the store at any one time, to a tourist location requiring advance pre-booking of parking spaces, like it or not, this is the new normal for now.  These changes need to be communicated clearly to avoid confusion and frustration when the consumer experiences your brand. There isn’t a better time to articulate this than when the audience is most engaged – during welcome.


You’re a retailer and your returns policy has changed

Many retailers are forced to adjust return policies. With some increasing the time allowed to return a product, to others not accepting them in-store and setting up drop off kiosks. Add all these to the fact that increased online shopping often leads to increased returns, retailers not only need to focus on cost-effective solutions that are friction free for the shopper but they need to ensure these are well communicated before the consumer enters into buying. It is this type of upfront communication that sets the bar of trust between you and your potential customer. The welcome nurture series is a great time to speak to the customer about this.


Your tone of voice has changed

The pandemic has meant that many brands have had to change their tone of voice. An addition of humanity and empathy may be far off your original tone. What was funny before may come across as irrelevant and out of touch. Many brands have adapted their campaigns accordingly but have forgotten about changing this to their triggered campaigns including the welcome.


Your imagery is not relevant any more

It’s simple. Some of your imagery just isn’t relevant right now. If you are using imagery of products in high demand and low supply you have the potential to frustrate your audience. If you are using imagery that might now be judged as inconsiderate during these times you risk alienating an audience before you even start the relationship.

A picture tells a thousand words. Make sure you get your narrative right from the beginning.


You only send 1 email

Many businesses still only send 1 welcome email. Often it is a thank you for signing up and maybe a money off voucher for the first purchase. But as we have discussed in the previous 4 points, we have a lot to say. This would be overkill and most of it won’t be read or understood if bundled into a single email. So therefore a sequential series over a short period of time would be much more successful. Remember it is the start of the relationship – the better you nurture it today, the increased chance of loyalty in the future.


Because it is excellent practice

As with any automated campaign, you should be checking and optimising regularly. Setting up and leaving to run ad infinitum is not recommended at any time regardless of the current pandemic. As well as the above you should also asking the following questions of your welcome emails:-

  • The subject line – Does this need updating?
  • Products or Services included – are they up to date?
  • Do you have the most up to date business details?
  • Is the offer still valid?
  • Does the unsubscribe button still work?