Are retailers taking advantage of their welcome emails?

David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional
5 min read

80% of retailers have a welcome programme set up. So, is having the opportunity to push a contact message to your subscriber (prospect) valuable or not?

Holistic Marketing recently analysed 80 retailers signup processes and what amazed me probably the most was how 87% of retailers have their subscribe below the fold, invisible to all or any, apart from those people who are determined to work hard and discover it.

Yet, 80% of retailers have a welcome programme set up. So, is having the opportunity to push a contact message to your subscriber (prospect) valuable or not? Any difficulty . the web site team says no, and the e-mail teams say yes.

The problem, I really believe is because of a disconnect between two teams and what they’re rewarded on. The e-mail marketer fully understands the worthiness of a subscriber, and even the worthiness of a ‘new’ subscriber, who’s eagerly opening, clicking and converting, yet they don’t ‘own’ the subscribe form on the site.

However, email marketers tend to be more often than not rewarded for growing their list, which they’re not in charge of. As the website team, who own the proper execution placement, aren’t rewarded on list growth and therefore, deprioritize the signup placement, and stick it in the footer of the web site. It’s a paradox which has always frustrated me.

So, predicated on this also to further our report (connect to report) analysis, we examined the retailer’s welcome emails to see if they’re taking advantage of this opportunity.

Here are 6 of our findings (including recommendations)

1. 80% of retailers sent a greetings email after subscribing

On one hand, we’re glad to note that nearly all retailers are following up a subscription with a greetings email. However – why isn’t everybody else?

As mentioned previously, welcome emails are embraced as a company best practice among email marketers. Listed below are just two reasons to send a note immediately to new subscribers. They remind subscribers they gave permission to send commercial emails with their email addresses and so are the entry way to being in the subscriber’s inbox – a foot in the entranceway therefore.

But welcome emails can perform a lot more for both subscribers and the brands themselves. Listed below are just three:

  • Remind subscribers concerning the email programme’s benefits.
  • Send the subscriber back again to the website to get, state preferences or provide other data the brand may use to personalize messages. (See finding No. 3 below.)
  • Set the tone and expectations for the e-mail relationship.

Most email platforms, from basic to advanced, could be create to send a customized greetings email automatically upon opt-in or confirmation. So, there is no excuse.

Ben Sherman’s welcome message is branded, restates the e-mail programme’s benefits and delivers the promised incentive. The “Shop Now” proactive approach prods the client to do something immediately.

Ben Sherman greetings email

2. 85% of welcome emails have an agreeable tone, while 15% communicate a perfunctory message

First impressions are so important in retail communications, especially the initial message you submit your email programme! Just over this past year, we noted that only 48% of the retailers had an agreeable tone within their welcome email, which means this is an extremely nice improvement.

A plain-text, perfunctory message – “You’re now subscribed to get XYZ email promotions” – is preferable to no welcome at all, but only barely so. Plus, it’s forgettable. And, to savvy subscribers, it might even look just a little spammy.text email

Create a far more lasting impression and an improved email experience having an attractively designed message that uses your branded template, colours and imagery, and content that welcomes your newcomer in to the fold. Because it’s an automated email, doesn’t mean it must look and sound as if a robot wrote it.

3. Only 70% of welcome emails add a proactive approach to send the subscriber back again to the web site to shop

Again, it has increased in the last year from 35% to 70% – so excellent news! However, that is another opportunity that 30% of retailers are missing. The greetings email should do a lot more than say “Welcome!”

One of its key purposes would be to motivate the client to return to the web site to do something – often to get, but whatever action your brand needs customers to try launch or solidify a relationship will be appropriate.

That range from creating a merchant account, redeeming a promotion, providing data by means of preferences or contact information which you can use to personalize future messages.

Unlike the Ben Sherman email above, this message provides customer no reason to come back to the web site to look, buy, create a merchant account or even to take other actions.

No CTA greetings email

4. 76% of welcome emails reiterated or stated the advantages of subscribing

That’s among the tasks of the greetings email – to remind subscribers what they just did and just why they achieved it. We want to see more retailers list benefits before the greetings email, though. This can have to change given what’s needed of GDPR, which demands a dynamic, informed opt-in. This email from Wallis bundles up the huge benefits to subscribing utilising the incredibly engaging ‘rule of 3’.

Wallis greetings email

5. 14% of welcome emails asked one to update your preferences

One of the purposes of the GDPR would be to put the energy back to the hands of the buyer. You can certainly do this by supplying a preference centre and hopefully also collect additional information of the subscriber in this technique, to be able to personalize their experience. Banana Republic has offered this ability in this lovely customer-centric email. It’s about the subscriberBanana Republic

6. Only 29% had some emails made to nurture the subscriber to their first purchase

Picking up in one of the prior recommendations – namely, to utilize this greetings email as a car to encourage the initial purchase. Why don’t more retailers (indeed businesses generally) develop a programme make it possible for this to occur? Why do we leave it to chance, rather than guiding and enabling them?

While we’re at it, if this is actually the objective of the programme, let’s name the programme following the objective and call it a 1st Purchase Programme. This can help us to remain focused on the true reason for this programme and enable us to optimize it accordingly.

I had litigant whose conversion rate from sign up for purchase was 30% within the initial 1 month. It didn’t reach this rate by leaving it to chance. We labored on the programme diligently and tested it to ensure not merely were we achieving our objective, but we were helping the subscriber to attain theirs – in the end, that’s why they subscribed to start with – right?

Net-a-Porter have leveraged the Rule of 3 and created some 3 emails because of their 1st Purchase Programme. It’s very charming, engaging and effective.

Net-a-Porter email


  • Set up or upgrade your welcome email utilizing a branded template that appears like your regular emails.
  • Use an agreeable, welcoming tone in your messages to create them more memorable.
  • Rename your welcome email to reflect your true objective for the message, like a “First Purchase Programme” in your workflow to target content on moving clients to create their first purchases.
David Linder

David Linder

MSc in Marketing from the University of Salford. Facebook Certified Planning Professional Facebook Certified Buying Professional

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