April 30, 2024

Automate the Welcome Emails: Building Strong Relationships from the Beginning

Dasha Korsik

Content Team Lead


What is email marketing automation?

Dasha Korsik

Content Team Lead


What is email marketing automation?

When going into a brick-and-mortar store, usually you’ll be promptly greeted and asked if you need any help. It’s the first impression, and businesses are trying to make it count. But what about the online space? Your email subscribers give their email addresses to you, and your response should be a welcome email. Welcome emails can be very tactical and beneficial – it’s a perfect opportunity to greet your prospects and customers and make a strong first impression.

Welcome Message

What is the most typical greeting in a store? You’ve probably guessed it right – it’s the “Can I help you with something?”. And, most often, the reply from the store visitors is “No, thanks. Just looking”. There indeed are better ways to greet the customers in-store than using this cliché question.

Similarly, the welcome email can contain a better message than just say “welcome”. Therefore, plan your content well to start the conversations properly and, remember, email marketing automation is here to help.

Automation in Content

Automation can take many forms – one of them is dynamic content. The success of dynamic content performance depends on the quality of data you capture and keep in your database. And that data will allow you to develop personalised and engaging content.

Suppose you are a sales assistant in a store, and you see a familiar customer entering. In this case, you’d most likely greet them using their first or last name, for instance, “Hello, Sarah! How are you today?”. Your welcome email can use a similar tactic. You can add different merge fields to create personalised content, such as personalised salutation. This way, if you have the data, you will be able to dynamically display the first name or the last name (or a combination of first and last names).

Try to Go Beyond a Personalised Salutation

Analyse what other data you can use to create more personal emails. For example, known location data can help designers develop different visuals for the welcome email. Automation will dynamically display the correct image. If you’re a global company, your visuals can relate to the subscribers’ country. If you’re operating in a single country, your graphics can show different regions or cities.

This tactic will encourage your subscribers to feel like they belong. They might recognise the places. These are the first steps in making an excellent first impression and starting to build relationships with your prospects and customers.

Acknowledge the Subscribers’ Actions

What do you think is one of the most common reasons customers leave brick-and-mortar stores without purchasing? It’s commonly believed that’s because of the “perceived indifference”. And that very much relates to a silent customer service team or simply a team too busy to acknowledge the person entering a store or looking for help. That number of lost potential customers could be much lower if they were greeted on time.

The welcome email timing matters too. As consumers, we are getting increasingly more internet and online shopping savvy. But our expectations are getting higher too. Therefore, if we submit a form to give our email to a business, we almost expect a real-time welcome email – an acknowledgement of that action.

Timing Matters

So it’s a fact: it’s not just how you acknowledge your subscribers but also when you do that matters. The welcome email needs to be a real-time deployment (or as close to one as it can possibly be). Manually sending a weekly or daily welcome email to a batch of subscribers just isn’t going to work anymore. Nor it should be something you have to do!

Email marketing automation has developed a lot throughout the years. You can set various conditions and use multiple triggers to make your welcome emails unique to each of your customers. And deploy them in real-time, just after the action has happened.

It doesn’t matter where your subscribers are coming from – an e-commerce store or a website subscription form. Integrations are possible – create seamless data flow and ensure the best possible user experience. Email marketing and automation providers can help you easily create professional email templates, manage customer segments, and connect and integrate with CRM, e-commerce or other platforms. Building automated email journeys is actually not as complicated as it may sound – if you’ve got all the right ingredients to make it work. Email Service Providers are here to accommodate this.

Creating Workflows: Data and Content

How To Build Email Flow: map out campaign workflow, gather resources, determine triggers, determine conditions, set email frequency, launch automated email workflow, measure performance

To create an automated welcome email flow, you’ll need data (of course), content, defined triggers and set conditions. No surprise that data might be coming from different sources. Some customers might be opting in via a checkout flow, others through your blog opt-in box. Maybe you’ve also got subscription opportunities through social media channels.

Should your welcome email have the same content for all these subscribers? Perhaps creating different versions of your welcome email to greet these subscribers would work better? You should also determine if a single welcome email is enough or whether a series of emails should be sent out to start the customer or subscriber onboarding process.

Mapping Your Welcome Email Flow

Once you have planned your content and created the email templates, you can start mapping your flow. Define your triggers: these could be anything from a submitted form, a manual mailing list addition or membership change or even contacts being created via an API. Triggers will start the automation flow – in other words, it will trigger it.

Let’s say you’ve defined your triggers. Now it is time to determine if you need any conditions to make the welcome email workflow successful. For example, your flow can check if the customer had a transaction previously at your e-commerce store. You may build a different welcome email version for new subscribers who actually purchased in the past.

The flow could then be set like this:

  • Trigger: a new subscriber has been added via a form
  • Condition: this contact has a recorded transaction within 1 year
  • Deployment: use a specified welcome email template for transacted subscribers; deploy immediately.

The more data you have, the more precise and customised your welcome flow automation can get. Here’s another example – someone has downloaded a lead magnet, let’s say, a whitepaper. Depending on where you are, your data privacy laws and regulations might not allow you to start sending marketing emails without a specific marketing opt-in. That said, in this case, let’s say that this person has agreed to receive marketing emails.

The welcome email flow for this contact is a perfect segue to start the customer purchasing journey. Thus, the welcome email could greet the subscriber and give downloading access to the whitepaper. Afterwards, the conditions of your automated flow could check if the whitepaper has been successfully downloaded.

You can add a delay or wait condition, for instance, 2 days. In this example, we think that 2 days is enough time to read the downloaded whitepaper. So, after two days, our automated flow will send a second email to this subscriber. This email could be offering other helpful information related to the previously downloaded eBook. As you can see, the welcome email gives a great starting point to develop the conversations with your customers further.

Numerous Possibilities to Create Unique Journeys

As you can see, with the help of Email Service Providers, your subscribers can get an engaging and relevant welcome email or receive a series of beneficial emails. To make these emails successful (and achieve your goals), you should dedicate time for thorough planning.

As mentioned above, make sure you identify the required triggers. However, also think about future actions and future emails. How can your welcome email start an onboarding process? How can it begin the purchasing journey of your new subscriber? Your welcome email is like the greeting in the store – do you just say hello, or do you attempt to continue the conversation that could lead to a sale.

Conclusion: Use Marketing Automation Technology and Properly Greet Your Email Subscribers

Welcoming your new subscribers nowadays is not simply a “nice-to-have” feature. In this day of age, it’s almost a requirement. It’s beneficial to the subscribers and the brands. Your subscribers are expecting an acknowledgement of their opt-in – a real-time email that’s welcoming them to your business. And from a business perspective, a welcome email can help start building relationships, earning trust, positioning the brand as a leader. Not having a welcome email journey set up is a missed opportunity to connect with your customers or leads.

Don’t forget that it can help guide your subscribers towards all other email marketing funnels and journeys. Therefore, it’s time to minimise the manual work involved in deploying the welcome emails: allow automation to help you achieve your business goals.