Build Yourself An Award Winning Welcome Program

Last month I was delighted to learn that one of my clients, Sony, won the gold award at the MarketingSherpa Email Summit in Miami for best automated series. The winning campaign was a serialized message stream developed to welcome, educate, and engage individuals who had just joined the Sony Rewards loyalty program. We executed the new strategy though a simple test plan to quantify the impact of the new messaging, and were quite pleased by the results.

The new messages, a series of three, sent over the course of seven days, enjoyed significant increases in click-through rates over the control group, and drove an exponential lift in site visits and online engagement. Sony has taken the learnings from this test and extended them through similar serialized message streams targeting other segments.

If you’re not currently leveraging a multi-message or serialized welcome strategy, I strongly suggest you develop a plan to test one. The bottom line is that new members of your list have unique needs and are likely to be up to five times more responsive to the messages they receive during their first few weeks as subscribers. It simply makes good business sense to address these needs and ensure that messaging critical to your core business objectives makes its way to the inbox during this time when recipients are most likely to respond to it.

Where do I start?

  • We began the process of developing our new welcome program by reviewing the eec Welcome Email Checklist, a terrific resource that I highly suggest you download. It covers virtually all of the key issues and articulates best practices that we followed when developing our award winning campaign.
  • Once you’ve devised a new welcome strategy, test it appropriately – hold out control groups to receive existing messaging [or none at all], and identify specific success metrics that tie directly to core business objectives.
  • After analyzing test results and optimizing existing messaging appropriately, explore extending the program with additional messages sent during various stages of your customer [or prospect’s] life-cycle.
  • If you have any welcome message success stories, please share here, look me up on twitter [@neinstein] or email me.

    – Nicholas Einstein
    Datran Media