What Happens After the Welcome? New Study Provides Insight.

Posted by Bonnie Malone on

In our newest research study, The Email Subscriber Experience 2008-2013, several practices were re-evaluated from a previous study published in 2008.  One of those practices was the welcome message.  In the original study, it was found that 60% of marketers failed to send a welcome message to new subscribers.  In 2013, however, only 20% of marketers lacked a welcome message as part of their email program strategy.  That’s good news – in fact great news – as it indicates that marketers have made a concerted effort to set expectations with new subscribers and start the subscriber-marketer relationship off on a good note.  (And, to ensure your welcome message is all it can be, check out the recommendations I outlined in this previous post.)

But what happens after the welcome message?  Do your subscribers start receiving campaigns from the regular mailstream right away? After a week? Within a month?  (Or do you even know the timing of new subscriber emails?)  This isn’t something we often talk about, but timing of subsequent emails matter.  In fact, the same study reports that new subscribers indicate emails as “This is Spam” twice as often for mailstreams that take more than 2 weeks to begin compared to mailstreams that start within a week of sign up. 

In addition to the flow of those first messages, the content of the emails received after the welcome message is also key.  All subscribers want to feel special – but this is especially true of new subscribers.  At the start of a relationship, new subscribers want to know that they matter.  Marketers who recognize this emotional driver integrate messaging that reflects the value they can bring to the relationship.  In particular, the study notes that a first-message-after-welcome special offer email was delivered to the inbox more often, resulted in ~10% higher read rates and had complaint rates that were ~17% lower.

Fascinated? Download the full study here.

Then, take a look at your own welcome strategy.  What small changes can you make that may drive big change for your program?


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About Bonnie Malone

Bonnie is passionate about excellent customer experience. With a background in marketing, merchandise buying, and retail management, she helps companies stay relevant amid the changing digital landscape. Bonnie leads the knowledge and consulting teams at Return Path, the global leader in email deliverability. She is an active Email Experience Council committee member, featured speaker for events, and writes monthly for the Return Path blog and TotalRetail.

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