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How to Write an Automated Welcome Email Series that Converts

1.23.20 By: Partner

This guest post was written by the team at Youth Noise. Youth Noise helps organizations with SEO by using methods of search engine marketing; search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), real-time bidding (RTB), and video optimization.

When it comes to marketing automation and emails, your welcome email is the most important piece of the puzzle. These welcome emails might seem insignificant in your bigger sales funnel or donation cycle, but the average welcome email has an open rate of around 50%. If you’ve ever worked in email marketing, you know that makes these emails 86% more effective than any standard newsletter or follow-up email. 

The reality is that your prospects are clicking on welcome emails left and right. However, if those welcome emails aren’t optimized to convert, those leads might as well be washed down the drain. Let’s imagine a hypothetical website visitor of yours: they stumble upon your website, check out your blog, and read through a few pieces of content. They’re really interested, so they immediately sign up for one of your lead magnets to get a free download, and then you have their contact information in Salesforce. 


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This is a hot lead. They’re interested, engaged, and ready for more. Yet, when you don’t send anything after that initial freebie, they’re quickly going to forget about your organization. That’s a missed opportunity for a new donor or customer.

You want to target your leads when they first sign up for your email list. Don’t lose any momentum with missed emails. The goal of marketing automation is to build a close relationship with each qualified lead, so what are you waiting for? Here’s how to write an automated welcome series that converts those one-time readers into customers or donors. 

Welcome Email Series Defined

First, let’s define what a welcome email series even is. This is any series of emails your subscriber gets when they first sign up for your email list and become a prospect. It’s not that different than a sales funnel or donation cycle sequence, and it can be used alongside an existing strategy. 

It’s a way to build momentum, get to know your subscribers and to take that connection further. It’s also a prime opportunity to share some of your favorite services, content, and products, and if you’re a nonprofit, your mission or a story. Your new email subscribers are interested now, so make sure there’s something waiting for them in your welcome emails. Don’t leave them waiting for more, because they’ll only forget you. 

How to Build a Welcome Series

Now that you know what a welcome series is, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to actually create one. Of course, you’ll need an email client like Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly Pardot) or Convert Kit which has an automated email feature. Aside from that, you need to build a small series. This can be as little or as long as you want, though a good number to aim for is three emails. Here’s a simple strategy to start with:

  1. Welcome Email - This is where you fulfill your promise to your subscribers, whether you offer your download or a coupon code. This is why they signed up for your email list in the first place so make sure you hold true to your word. It’s also a great time to share some of your other content and redirect them to your social media profiles.
  2. Connection - Your second email is another hello. You’re still getting to know each other, so introduce your organization and share the best way to connect. Send this email a day or two after the first one. 
  3. Get to Know - Now’s the chance to get to know your users. You might include a quick, simple survey or links to your most popular blog posts. Don’t be afraid to repurpose old content to suit your new email series. Again, space this email by a few days. 
  4. Second Offer or Ask - If it feels appropriate, follow up a week or so later with an additional offer, perhaps another download or coupon code. If you’re a nonprofit, this an opportunity to ask for a donation. That’s it! 


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Welcome Series Best Practices

Above you’ll see a go-to marketing automation strategy for optimizing your welcome series for conversions. It gives you the room to not only introduce yourself and what you do, but it helps you learn more about your audience and what they want from future emails. Like any email series, you should pay attention to some best practices. 

Stay conversational. An unsurprising 86% of all business professionals use email, so it’s okay to be a bit conversational. Don’t lose your professionality, but talk on a level your audience can understand and relate to. 

Pay attention to privacy. Privacy in the world of email is important. Whether you extract lead details to Salesforce manually or use a double-opt-in, make sure you’re adhering to local and global laws about using information online. This is especially important with recent GDPR compliance laws.

Stay focused. Short and sweet wins the race. People don’t have a lot of time to read through dense information in your welcome emails. They likely want to scroll through as quickly as possible, so stay focused on a single thing in your email. For instance, maybe you want your users to click through to another blog post or follow you on Facebook. 

Tie your sequence together. Finally, make sure your sequences fit together. They should have the same tone, message, and a similar goal. You want them to feel connected to you, and that’s not possible if your welcome message is all over the place. 

There you have it. These tips will help you optimize your welcome series so you entice your email followers to become long-term customers or donors. It’s easier than you think with some careful marketing automation. Don’t lose momentum by failing to have a welcome series. Your potential advocates or customers are waiting for your emails. Make sure you deliver.

Want to Up Your Marketing Automation?

If you’re planning to use Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (MCAE) at your organization, feel free to contact us. Find out how our MCAE experts can help.

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