welcome email

AWesome Emails: Rita’s Water Ice

By Rebecca Swayze

They say the fastest way to a man’s heart is his stomach, but around AWeber it’s more like the fastest way to make friends with one of the many ladies in the office. Our love of food has helped us stumble upon excellent email marketing campaigns. This time the awesome emails come from Rita’s water ice. Read on to see how exclusivity, charitable causes and involvement in social media sets Rita’s apart from other water ice chains, and how you can do the same with your campaign.

How a Store Can Keep Email Subscribers Engaged

By Crystal Gouldey

Have you noticed that your subscriber engagement has decreased over time? Are you looking to get your online store more traffic from your email marketing campaign? With just a few changes you may be able to get back on track!

Inform Interiors is owned by Niels Bendtsen, and sells contemporary furniture online and in their Vancouver store. They have a fairly successful email campaign that they have managed with us for a couple years now. Even though their campaign has been a success overall, we couldn’t help but notice some small changes that could lead to even better results.

Read on to learn about how Inform Interiors use AWeber, what changes they made and the results they’ve seen.

Inform Interiors’ Email Campaign At A Glance

A page on the Inform Interiors site invites visitors to join the mailing list for invites to store and/or design events and information on sales and new product launches.

A few stats about their campaign:

  • Their broadcasts average a 51% unique open rate.
  • Their unique click through rate has averaged 18.5% this year, but this has been slowly decreasing over time.
  • The current average from the last few months has been about 13%.

They also note that whenever a broadcast is sent they see an increase in sales.

While overall Inform Interiors was happy with how their campaign was performing, they recognized that there is always room for improvement. We offered some suggestions to help with these areas.

Welcome New Subscribers

At our suggestion, Inform Interiors created a welcome email for their campaign. It allows new subscribers to check out what the past newsletters have looked like, plus it invites the subscriber to follow them on Twitter, Facebook and/or YouTube right away.

Their new welcome message gets an 84% open rate, and an 18% click through rate. Inform Interiors reports that their fans on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube continue to grow because of including the social media links at the bottom of all their messages, which account for 20% of the clicks. They’re also happy with 27% of the clicks going to their products page.

Calls to action in your messages, especially one of your first points of contact like the welcome message, will have your subscribers interacting with your site while you’re on their mind.

Segment The List to Create More Relevant Emails

Segmenting is useful because it allows you to send more relevant messages to your subscribers, since you can base the message on similar behavior such as a link that was clicked. They mentioned that relating the most relevant and desired information to their subscribers has been a challenge, so we explained how sending to segments can help that.

AWeber’s QuickStats feature helps make segmenting even easier. There is a button right on the page that allows you to set up a segment to send to.

Inform Interiors has been sending to segments that have clicked on a specific link in a previous Broadcast.

These segments have averaged a 74% open rate, and they believe the segments also cause increased sales since they average a 24% click through rate.

These messages get more opens and click throughs than the more general broadcasts sent to all subscribers. Since they know subscribers are interested in a particular topic by what the subscriber clicked on, following up with more information lets the subscriber know you are paying attention to what they want.

How Else Can Inform Improve?

More web forms on their site should bring in more subscribers that they will interact with at the beginning with the welcome message, and continue to interact with through Broadcast messages relevant to subscriber behavior.

While Inform Interiors mainly segments based on links clicked, there are other options as well:

  • track who makes a purchase. You can then send to a segment based on criteria such as amount spent, products bought, or simply if the order was placed online. Sending online coupons would encourage those outside of Vancouver to buy.

What suggestions do you have for Inform Interiors’ email marketing campaigns? What tactics do you employ in your own campaigns that could be adapted for their busines

s?

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Email Marketing Observations From a Shopaholic

By Rebecca Swayze

It’s amazing just how similar a good email marketing campaign is to a visit to a well-run boutique. There are several key factors that contribute to the success of both. See how your messages stack up to some of my favorite stores.

Awesome Emails: California Tortilla

By Rebecca Swayze


Every week, a group of hungry AWeber workers pile into cars at precisely 12:02 on Tuesday afternoon. We quickly buckle up and head to the nearest California Tortilla for what has become a weekly lunchtime tradition: Taco Tuesday

.

It all started on a whim, really. Our web designer Bob had a hankering for a burrito and his partner-in-crime Eric suggested California Tortilla. Soon enough, developers and CS members caught on and began to tag along

.

One day, as sometimes happens when you work for an email marketing company, the lunchtime conversation turned to the topic of email. “Dude, California Tortilla sends me awesome emails,” Eric stated mid-bite.

Dude, awesome? After such a bold claim, I had to see these “awesome” emails. Skeptical, I asked Eric to forward them to me when we got back to the office so that I could see for myself. He was right! Their emails are pretty awesome and they include easy things that you can do so that your email marketing campaigns are awesome, too.

Send an Informative Welcome Email

When you dine at California Tortilla as much as we do, it’s beneficial to become what they call a Burrito Elito, or a card carrying member of their loyalty reward program. From the moment you sign up, they shake up your inbox with fun and informative emails about your account.

Their welcome message is particularly engaging, because it does a few important things that every email campaign should do. It clearly explains:

  • What they will receive: The first email summarizes exactly what members will receive as Burrito Elitos.
  • How they will receive it: The message explains how members can redeem their reward points in the restaurant of their choice.
  • When they will get further messages: They explain that subscribers can expect to receive further emails from California Tortilla on a monthly basis.

Offer Free Stuff

Part of the reason that we go back to California Tortilla every Tuesday is their rewards program. After a few trips, each of us earns enough points to enjoy a lunch for free.

When we’re close to receiving a free burrito, Cali Tort sends us a reminder via email to let us know that we have free goodies coming our way. Giving freebies via email is a great way to build a loyal subscriber base. If it’s something you’re interested in doing, you should always:

  • Make sure the giveaway is relevant to your list: If you sell men’s shoes and you’re giving away a pair of high heels, chances our your subscribers will stop taking your messages seriously.
  • Write up a quick guide to your industry or offer a free sample: As long as your free gift is relevant to the content of your newsletter, it’s the perfect incentive for prospects who might be on the fence about signing up.

Send Birthday Messages

While lots of businesses send birthday emails, California Tortilla’s message is extra sweet. On your birthday, you get a free burrito! In our office, this is a big deal and grants the birthday girl or boy bragging rights for the day.

Sending a special message to your subscribers at the beginning of their birthday month, you can really catch them by surprise with a personal touch by:

  • Offering an exclusive coupon or discount: When sending a Birthday gift, remember to send something that’s actually of value to your subscribers. Something that really says thank you for being a subscriber, please come back!
  • Boosting return business throughout the year: Perhaps your subscribers visited your store or restaurant earlier in the year and signed up for your email list, yet haven’t been back since. Birthday emails get them back in the door and encourage return business throughout the year.

Why Do California Tortilla’s Emails Work?

As you can see, their emails aren’t intricately designed. In fact, each one contains only an image or two and some text. Their content is what makes their series a success – they infuse personality into each message.

California Tortilla has fun with their subscribers and the playful atmosphere of their restaurants carries over to their emails. After all, subscribers don’t want to read emails that sound too corporate or too impersonal. They want to know that companies are human, too.

Do your emails set the tone? Are they playful and welcoming? We’d love to know! Tell us more in the comments below.

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3 Good Welcome Email Examples

By Crystal Gouldey


We talk about setting expectations in your email marketing campaign, and the welcome message is often overlooked as a place to do that. This is an ideal place to let subscribers know they have successfully signed up, what emails to expect from you, and any other important information.

The welcome message is the first message in your autoresponder series. Whether you are just setting your messages up or have had them in place for a long time, it’s time to ask yourself if your welcome message is one to be proud of.

In this article we’ll look at three businesses that have done an excellent job in setting up their welcome message.

FreeWebStore

Click for full example

Jamie Coles runs http://www.freewebstore.org, where you can sign up for their e-newsletters. First off, he did a really good job with the layout of this message. Notice the company logo at the top:

freewebstore_logo

Inserting the company logo at the top of each email helps with brand recognition and consistency. If your subscribers are able to easily identify your emails, that will help with reducing unsubscribes and complaints.

After explaining the value of being on his email list, Jamie details what to expect tomorrow:

freewebstore_tomorrow

Little teasers like this are great for keeping subscribers hooked. They know what they can look forward to, and that they will need to read your email tomorrow to get that information.

Sports Car Digest

Click for full example

Jamie Doyle runs the email campaign for http://www.sportscardigest.com.

Jamie breaks down the information that will be shared with his subscribers very well. One line in particular really helps set subscriber expectations:

sportscar_time

Letting the subscriber know what day to expect emails means they will be prepared when the email shows up in their inbox and will be anticipating it.

Jamie also asks the subscribers to add him to their address books to insure these emails will be delivered:

sportscar_address

If you’re in your subscribers’ address book, you’re much less likely to be filtered into the Spam/Bulk folder. With Gmail’s priority inbox, it’s even more important to make sure you remind your subscribers to do that.

Fun Music Company

Click for full example

Kevin and Janice Tuck run the site http://www.funmusicco.com, which offers resources for music teachers. Janice has an attractive welcome message using images and side bar links:

funmusic_sidebar

A lot of HTML email templates have these side bars that allow you to have images and listings of featured products without distracting the subscriber from the main point of the email. These multiple calls for action will keep subscribers engaged with your website.

Janice does a great job in explaining what to expect in her emails:

funmusic_details

It’s important your subscribers know up front exactly what they signed up for. The more your subscribers know about your email campaign and what to expect from it, the less likely they are to unsubscribe or complain.

How to Apply These Lessons To Your Welcome Email

Make sure your welcome message sets expectations, and that it (and all your messages) are consistent and keep subscribers engaged with your website.

You can accomplish this by:

  • Letting subscribers know when you’re sending messages
  • Explaining to your subscribers what you’ll be sending them
  • Asking subscribers to add you to their address book
  • Branding your messages with your logo
  • Using templates that will allow you to feature products in the sidebar (if applicable)

How Does Your Welcome Email Stack Up?

What have you done to set subscribers’ expectations in your welcome email?

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Free HTML Email Template – “Welcome”

By Bob Ricca

With over 75 proven HTML email templates under our belt, I got to thinking…

…what would really set our new email templates apart from the rest?

Well, I have a couple ideas on this (and I want to hear yours too!). Here’s the first one…

Our latest HTML email template is designed to help you quickly and easily create one of the most critical (and often-overlooked) messages: the welcome email.

Our Newest HTML Email Template: “Welcome”

This is the first in a line of “functionally themed” templates that we’ll be releasing.

Specifically designed to be a welcome message for new subscribers, the “Welcome” template incorporates the elements we believe should be included in your first correspondence.

Welcome Email Screenshot

New to AWeber?

We’re offering this template free of charge for you to use however you’d like:

Download This Free HTML Email Template

AWeber Customers:

Log into your account to try out 5 color variations of this template when you create a new message:

Log into your account

Create Effective Welcome Emails Using This Template as a Guide

Just for good measure, lets go over what makes a welcome message successful:

  • Confirm the subscription was successful

    What good is a welcome email if you fail to mention that the user has successfully subscribed?

    I recommend making this the most prominent piece of information in the email.

  • Re-iterate what your subscribers should expect to receive

    Using bullet points to display this information not only makes it easy to spot but easy to read.

  • Includes a return link(s) to your website

    Although we incorporated this into our new email template you could easily expand on this.

    Providing some interesting links to some recent content might help prolong the users interest and intice them to wait diligently for your next broadcast.

  • Encourage subscribers to add you to their address book.

    When a subscriber adds you to his/her address book, it not only helps with email deliverability but also increases the likelihood that images will be enabled in your future broadcasts.

  • Provokes user interaction.

    Showing that you are easily accessible by hitting the reply button builds a stronger relationship between you and your subscribers.

You also may want to refer to the example of an effective welcome email (although not as good-looking as this template!) that we blogged recently.

So What’s Our Next “Functionally Themed” HTML Email Template?

There has been a lot of talk regarding what type of messages our customers might get the most use out of.

Here are some possibilities:

  • Templates for Downloadable Files.

    Whether its regarding a PDF file, audio file or video, I could create a template for specific types of media to be downloaded.

  • Template for Podcasts

    This template might incorporate a mock player for click through, a place to summarize recent podcasts, and/or a recommended set up to display the transcript for your latest podcast.

Have a Theme Idea for a Future HTML Email Template?

I’d love to hear some feedback on the templates I’ve created and any ideas I could possibly pursue in the future.

Share your thoughts on the “Welcome” template, and your ideas for future templates, in the comments!