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6 steps to welcome new subscribers using email automation

Digital Marketing, Email Marketing

Retrieving new email addresses is very time consuming. And most of the time you’ll notice that a big part of these addresses don’t show any activity. A pitty, right?! There is a way to activate those addresses after they sign up, right after when they’ve shown an interest in you or your product/service: just create a welcoming program.

There are 6 simple steps in how to create an effective email welcoming program.

Step 1. Choose an ESP that can send automated emails

A good ESP (Email Service Provider) allows you to setup a workflow. Basically this means that you can send some automated emails based on a trigger: date of signing up, birthday, city,… . An example of a good ESP is <<Mailchimp>> or <<Flexmail>>.
A workflow consist out of a series of emails, connected by a logical sequence. Most common is a sequence based on the amount of days between the previous and next email.

Step 2. Define the amount of mails and the timing

Depending which business you’re in, you’ll need to adapt the frequency in order to be successful or not. It can vary, going from 3 to 7 emails. Also the time between 2 mails can depend.
When customers sign up to receive periodical newsletter, it’s important to contact them even before they get that first news item. It’s also a perfect timing for sending out some call to actions (download whitepaper, subscribe to the webinar, request a demo,…). That way you enhance the you connection with your client immediately after he/she has shown a profound interest.
Define your target group and which timing is best for this email welcoming program. Remember that your goal is to reduce unsubscribes and maximise conversion on your website. As you know your business best, you’re the person best fit to define that amount and frequency.
Very important though is that your first welcome mail is sent during the first 24 hours.

Step 3. Define the content of your email welcome automation

For starters, just say thanks. People react to the fact that you show gratitude. Confirm that they made the right choice subscribing to your newsletter. If you’re sending out periodical newsletter, make sure to announce what your readers can expect.
A strategy defining which content you’ll be sending using automated email marketing sequel is key for success. Are you sending a promotional push or an engagement mail? We advice to vary so your mails keep on surprising and stay fun to receive. If not readers can get bored and unsubscribe. You could first send a promotion for a product or service, than a mail that asks engagement (ex. Share knowledge) and after a reminder to that promotion. That way your readers won’t have the sensation you’re only thinking about pushing that promotion and hitting a better conversion.

Step 4. Create the design and content

Best way to keep on surprising your audience is by using some different designs throughout the serie email automation mails. We want them to stay interested and fascinated.
It’s hard to predict which design and/or content will work best with your audience? That’s why A/B testing has a significant added value. After having them run simultaneously for some time, you’ll get a very good insight on what work with your readers and what doesn’t.
Advanced users could also take it up a notch by letting the following mail depend on the click behaviour of your reader.

Step 5. Insert the email automation serie in your email platform

The moment of truth! Let’s put all those preparations you made to practice. It’s time to setup your email welcome program with the defined automated email sequence and its content. Now it’s just a matter of inserting all content and set the email automation flow. What are the specific characteristics a certain reader needs to posses in order to get that specific automated email.
This method differs from tool to tool.

Step 6. Monitor the results

But you’re not there yet. It’s not all about design and like or not. What matters is the result. Do your subscribers keep on reading your mails? What’s the opening rate? Do the click on your call to actions? How many do unsubscribe, and what is the main reason they do so?
Make a habit of logging in every 2 weeks to check on how the automated email sequence is running. Every qualitative ESP (Email Service Provider) has a reporting tool integrated in their platform so you can monitor the results.

Define your goals up front, check them with the results and modify where necessary.

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