Monday, December 31, 2018

How to Generate Sales With Welcome Emails

Email marketing is alive and thriving more than ever. 80% of marketing professionals name email as the top driving factor of customer acquisition and customer retention. And it’s got a great ROI: For every $1 spent on email, you can expect an average of $38 in return.

It doesn’t matter if you’re growing your first email list from scratch or adding new subscribers to your existing list, you need be sending out welcome emails.  

At their simplest, welcome emails confirm that a new subscriber was added to your list.

If you’re only using this message for that purpose, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to make money. Compared to other promotional emails, welcome messages generate an average of 320% more revenue.

Furthermore, customers who buy products from email campaigns spend 138% more than customers who haven’t subscribed to your list.

Stop missing out on your opportunity to make money with welcome emails. This article will tell what you need to do to drive sales directly with these campaigns.

Use a double opt-in strategy

Lots of businesses use a single opt-in strategy. With this method, a new subscriber submits their email address and automatically gets added to your list. That’s it.

But there are a few problems with this method.

If you’re not using a double opt-in, it’s possible that customers think they signed up for your emails but actually didn’t. Maybe they misspelled their email address — they’ll never know.

On the flip side, a new subscriber could also sign up by mistake, thinking that they’re submitting the email address for another reason.

In this case, you’re going to be emailing people who don’t want to receive your promotional content, and not emailing the people who do want to receive it.

The double opt-in strategy eliminates these problems. That’s why the majority of welcome emails are double opt-in.

79% of welcome emails are double opt-in

Without a double opt-in strategy, you’ll also end up with fake email addresses and spam accounts on your list. This will throw off your metrics. A huge list of email subscribers won’t do you any good if they aren’t qualified leads who are ready to buy.

When you force new subscribers to confirm their subscription to your email list, it increases their lead score.

Sure, it’s an extra step, and you may lose some subscribers as a result. However, the people who follow through with the double opt-in genuinely want to receive your promotional content. As a result, it’s much more likely that they’re willing to spend money.

It’s also worth noting that double opt-in messages have higher unique open rates than single opt-in campaigns.

We already talked about the fact that welcome emails have higher open rates than other types of emails. By using a double opt-in strategy, you can increase those open rates even more.

Opening the email is the first step in subscribers completing the end-goal action: making a purchase.

Send welcome emails immediately

The timing of your welcome message is crucial. As soon as someone signs up, the welcome email needs to be sent.

Some companies wait and batch out all of their welcome emails for the week at the same time, but that’s not as effective. Here’s why: Your new subscriber was just on your website and signed up to receive your email content because of some benefit that you’re offering, so your brand is fresh on their mind.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to make a sale. This new subscriber is definitely more likely to buy something if the message is sent in real-time.

Just look at transaction rates for real-time welcomes compared to batched emails.

real time emails get 10X results

Furthermore, real-time welcome emails have an 88% open rate compared to just 53% of bulk welcome emails.

Though 29% of people click on the CTA of welcome emails that are sent immediately, only 12% of subscribers click on CTAs that are sent in bulk welcomes.

If you’re not sending a welcome email within seconds of the person subscribing, you’re lowering the chances of that customer making a purchase.

Thank your new subscribers

By thanking your customers for signing up to receive promotional content from your company, it shows that you appreciate them. Here’s an example of this strategy used by Kate Spade.

kate spade thank you email

Saying thank you is just good manners. Even though they haven’t bought something yet, you can still thank them for having enough interest in your brand to subscribe to your email list.

Saying thank you can be more beneficial than you think. That’s why you need to nurture your leads with thank you pages. Take this same strategy and apply it to your welcome email.

Set a precedent for relevant content

Your welcome emails should be a good indication of what consumers can expect from you moving forward.

Tell your customers how often they’ll get emails from you, and what kind of messages they’ll be receiving. Make sure you follow through with that promise.

For example, if someone signs up for a monthly newsletter, don’t send them an email every day. That’s not what they asked for.

In fact, too many irrelevant emails from brands is the top reason why people unsubscribe from email lists.

top reasons consumers unsubscribe from email

The last thing you want to do is bother a new subscriber with too many messages. You just went through all of the trouble and effort to get them to sign up in the first place. All of that hard work goes out the window if they unsubscribe.

To learn more, here’s how to get more email subscribers without annoying your customers.

Start a drip campaign

Welcome emails should be the first message of a drip campaign, which is a series of emails that entice an action. Ultimately, you want your subscribers to buy.

Drip campaigns nurture your leads by sending them timely information. As soon as someone signs up, you can have them automatically entered into a drip cycle.

After the welcome email, they’ll receive subsequent emails spaced out over the coming weeks, or however you set it up.

Here’s an example path of what a drip campaign will look like:

example of an email drip campaign

The great part about a drip campaign is that the customer doesn’t need to buy something right away in order for the message to be effective.

While you definitely want to create an actionable drip campaign, it’s not the end of the world if that first message doesn’t result in a conversion. You can still plant the seed for a future purchase.

After all, this new subscriber just signed up to receive your emails. Depending on the circumstances, they may not be familiar with your brand, products, and services just yet. But as these subscribers continue to receive subsequent messages throughout the drip campaign, it will increase the chances that they’ll buy something down the road.

Provide valuable information

To get the most out of your email campaigns, you need to understand why people are signing up in the first place.

It’s a common misconception that people only join email lists to get a discount. While that’s definitely a motivating factor, there are other reasons why people sign up for promotional content from your brand. Your welcome letter needs to provide all of this to be most effective.

why people subscribe to email lists

As you can see, receiving a special offer or a gift ranked third on this list. The majority of people say they subscribe to newsletters to learn more about topics and stay up to date on new content. It’s still worth giving a discount to new subscribers, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be your top priority.

You can also keep them engaged by giving a new subscriber an added benefit that they wouldn’t have received if they didn’t sign up for emails. Talk about new or exclusive product releases. Give them an opportunity to create an account to benefit from a more personalized customer experience.

Offer an incentive to buy

Even though it isn’t first on the list of reasons, getting a gift or something in return is still one of the top three reasons why people sign up for emails. And, offering a discount is a great way to get people to sign up for emails in the first place.

Let’s look at an example from Freemans:

By signing up for emails, this welcome message gives the new subscriber 10% off of their purchase. In addition to providing a discount, this message thanks the new subscriber for signing up. It’s personalized with her name. It also gives a sense of inside information with phrases like, “Be the first to hear” and “Here’s all you need to know.” All of these tactics used in one message will definitely increase the chances that a customer will make a purchase.

Send personalized content

People don’t want to feel like they are just a number on your list, when in reality, that may actually be the case. If you’re sending out generic welcome emails with opening lines like “Dear Sir or Madam,” it’s not going to convey the personalized touch that you want to offer.

Start simple by personalizing the subject line.

personalized subject lines have higher open rates

Getting your new subscribers to open your message is half of the battle. Obviously, nobody is going to buy anything if the message goes unopened. Good news: personalized subject lines have higher open rates.

However, opening the message alone won’t automatically translate to a sale. You need people to engage with your messages as well. The best way to do this is by providing interactive content. For example, adding a video to your welcome email can increase clicks by 300%.

It’s also worth noting that 64% of people are more likely to buy something online after watching a video about a product. By combining engaging content with a personalized message, your welcome emails will have a greater chance of driving sales.

Encourage customer referrals

Welcome emails can be used to get even more people to subscribe to your list. In order to do this effectively, you need to implement a customer referral program that drives sales.

Give your new subscribers a reason to invite their friends and family to sign up as well. Take a look at how Blinq does this in their welcome email:

blinq referral email

This refer-a-friend program offers an incentive to the current subscriber as well as any new people who sign up. Both receive a $10 credit. The more people who join as a result of the referral, the more rewards the new subscriber gets. This will also increase their chances of buying.

Here’s something else to consider, if someone who gets referred by a new customer ends up signing up for emails as well, they’ll also receive the same welcome message. As a result, it will increase the chances that they’ll refer new customers too. This strategy encourages business growth without much work on your end.

Plus, consumers are four times more likely to buy something if they are referred by a friend.


Your company needs to prioritize its email marketing strategy. But you don’t need to wait months to encourage new subscribers to make a purchase. You should be trying to drive sales right away with your welcome emails.

  • Send welcome messages immediately.
  • Use a double opt-in strategy to increase opens and qualify your leads.
  • Let your welcome email serve as the first message of your drip campaigns.
  • Don’t forget to thank your new subscribers for signing up.
  • Give them what they’re looking for by providing valuable information, and tell them what to expect from you in the future.
  • Personalize your content and add other incentives to increase the chances that people will buy.
  • Use your welcome email as an opportunity to promote your customer referral program.

By applying these strategies to your welcome emails, you’ll be able to generate more sales from new subscribers.

How is your brand leveraging welcome messages to drive sales?

from Quick Sprout

Our Top 10 Search Marketing Posts of 2018

Woman looking out from heart-shaped cave at sky with pink clouds.

Woman looking out from heart-shaped cave at sky with pink clouds. Search marketing has continued to mature throughout 2018. At each twist and turn along the way, we've done our best to not only cover each change, but also offer insight and research-based strategy to help savvy digital marketers along the way. We’re fortunate to have a fantastic group of digital marketing professionals contributing to the TopRank Marketing Blog, with our CEO Lee Odden, Associate Director of Search & Analytics Tiffani Allen, Vice President of Client Accounts Alexis Hall, Content Strategist Anne Leuman, and others, each contributing search marketing insights, tips, and tricks this past year. To help our blog community grow its search marketing knowledge, we’re happy to offer this list of our most popular search marketing posts of 2018.

Our Most Popular Search Marketing Posts in 2018:

1. Google Game Changers: 5 Recent Updates and How They Affect Marketers — Anne Leuman

2018 Google Updates & What They Mean for Marketers The talented Anne Leuman wrote the most popular search marketing post of 2018 on our blog, taking an important look at how to up your Google game by understanding and utilizing HTTPS warnings and numerous other factors that were being rolled out this year. Anne broke down some the latest and greatest game-changing updates from Google, what they mean for marketers, and how marketers can adapt. Check out all of Anne's posts here.

2. TopRank Marketing’s Top 6 SEO Predictions & Trends for 2019 — Tiffani Allen

SEO Trends & Predictions 2019 The second most popular search marketing post of the year is by Tiffani Allen, who deftly explores the top SEO predictions and trends marketers should know now and keep an eye on into the new year. Check out all of Tiffani's posts here.

3. 5 Powerful Types (And Examples) of Link-Worthy Content — Anne Leuman

How to Create Link-Worthy Content Anne also earned the No. 3 spot on our top search marketing posts of 2018 list, in an excellent post showing how to boost credible referrals, back-links, and organic visibility using five powerful types of link-worthy content.

4. Why Marketers Are Disenchanted with SEO — Anne Leuman

Why Marketers Are Turning Away from SEO Anne also wrote our fourth most popular search marketing post of 2018, addressing why some marketers are disenchanted with SEO. She explores the modern marketer’s SEO struggles, and shows you why now is not the time to quit. Rather than abandoning a tried-and-true tactic, Anne looks at how to shift your search marketing strategy.

5. Redesigning Your Website? Make Sure SEO & Content Have a Seat at Website Migration Table — Alexis Hall

SEO and Content Integration During Website Migration Alexis Hall earned spot the No. 5 on our top search marketing posts of the year list, with a helpful look at how SEO and content can combine to create a better website migration strategy. Alexis shows why SEO can’t stand alone, exploring how it needs a content lens to ensure solid performance after the migration switch is flipped. Check out all of Alexis' posts here.

6. Power Pages and Best Answer Content: Should You Go Long or Short Form? — Lee Odden

Long vs short form content Our CEO penned the sixth most popular search marketing post of 2018, with a detailed look at a perennial question — which is better: long or short-form content? Lee explains how savvy marketers know that while statistical generalizations have their place, they aren't always so useful in practice. He then dives into the intertwining of engagement and reach, and looks at depth-over-length and authority signals. Check out all of Lee's posts here.

7. The Key to SEO & Content Marketing Success: Understanding Search Intent — Anne Leuman

Tips for Understanding Search Intent Anne makes another appearance on our best-of-2018 list with another excellent post, showing the key to SEO and content marketing success. She dives into understanding search intent in its four incarnations — informational, navigational, commercial, and transactional — and goes on to offer three steps for building intent into your strategy.

8. How to Leverage Influencer Marketing for Improved SEO #Pubcon Florida — Lee Odden

How to Leverage Influencer Marketing for Improved SEO Lee earned another spot on our top search marketing posts of 2018 list, with a take-away-filled live-blog piece from the Pubcon Florida conference. Lee shares an impressive number of insights from a session that featured Marcela De Vivo of SEMrush and Dixon Jones of Majestic, showing some of the best methods for leveraging influencer marketing to improve SEO.

9. SEO + Paid Search: An Aristotelian Lesson in Search Marketing Integration — Anne Leuman

Paid and SEO Search Marketing Integration Making an impressive fifth appearance on our search marketing top 10 list, Anne provides us an Aristotelian lesson in how SEO can combine with paid search for powerful search marketing integration. In this helpful post, Anne shows how integration makes the digital marketing world go round and how it can bring balance and harmony to your efforts.

10. Relationship Powered Link Building #Pubcon Florida — Lee Odden

Relationship Powered Link Building Pubcon In Lee's third appearance on our top 10 list, this piece covers a session presented by Ann Smarty of Internet Marketing Ninjas during the Pubcon Florida conference, sharing numerous actionable tips for link-building through relationships. We can't thank Anne, Tiffani, Alexis, and Lee enough for these top 10 search marketing posts of 2018 — congratulations on making the list!

Thanks TopRank Marketing Writers & Readers

Thanks to each of you who read our blog, and to all of you who comment on and share our posts on the TopRank Marketing social media channels. We hope you find continuing benefit from these excellent search marketing posts from 2018. We published dozens of posts this year specifically about search marketing, and plan to bring you even more in 2019, so stay tuned for a new year of the latest helpful research and insight. Please let us know which search marketing topics and ideas you'd like to see us focus on for 2019 — we'd love to hear your suggestions. Feel free to leave those thoughts in the comments section below.

The post Our Top 10 Search Marketing Posts of 2018 appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

from Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Weekend Favs December 29

Weekend Favs December 29 written by John Jantsch read more at Duct Tape Marketing

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you to check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from an online source or one that I took out there on the road.

  • Draftium – Create website prototypes quickly.
  • OneTeam – Set weekly team goals in Slack and track progress throughout.
  • Motion – Turn an image into a geometric GIF.

These are my weekend favs, I would love to hear about some of yours – Tweet me @ducttape

from Duct Tape Marketing

Friday, December 28, 2018

Help Us Celebrate 15 Years of Blogging – TopRank Marketing Blog

The post Help Us Celebrate 15 Years of Blogging – TopRank Marketing Blog appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

from Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Voice-based AI means brands must take an omnichannel approach with consumers

Having the ability to measure your brand affinity and customer loyalty impact on sales will become increasingly important in this world of virtual assistants. The post Voice-based AI means brands must take an omnichannel approach with consumers appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Learn how to build more emotionally engaging experiences with a personalized data strategy

Here are three audience management strategies marketers can use to supply new and captivating content. The post Learn how to build more emotionally engaging experiences with a personalized data strategy appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Marketing tools can be leveraged by sales teams, here’s how

Webinars, media coverage and video are marketing tactics that can be invaluable for sales. The post Marketing tools can be leveraged by sales teams, here’s how appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

What Amazon Advertising’s big 2018 advancements will mean for 2019

The e-commerce giant's ad business continued to grow as it made significant updates to its advertising systems and capabilities. The post What Amazon Advertising’s big 2018 advancements will mean for 2019 appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Year in Review: Top 10 digital marketing expert columns of 2018

A roundup of the most read columns from our digital marketing experts of the year. The post Year in Review: Top 10 digital marketing expert columns of 2018 appeared first on Marketing Land.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

from Marketing Land - Internet Marketing News, Strategies & Tips

Digital Marketing News: Google Lens & Visual Search Updates, Social ROI Study, & App Ad Market Growth

The post Digital Marketing News: Google Lens & Visual Search Updates, Social ROI Study, & App Ad Market Growth appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

from Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Talent and a Team for Our Times

At this time of year, we all have a tendency to look back and assess the past 12 months. So, I’d like to take the opportunity to touch on something my thoughts have increasingly been returning to in the latter half of 2018.


I’m referring to talent that runs towards the cerebral, analytical, and smoothly efficient. You know, the kind of talent not usually profiled in glossy online business magazines or ever considered eligible for company awards. Yet this kind of talent often has an arguably larger, yet quieter, and more difficult to measure impact on our business world than most others. Unfortunately, the business world seems to have a sparse supply of the kind of patience it takes to consider, assess, and celebrate value generation at the level played by people in the roles I’m thinking of.

Let’s highlight one such area where roles like this live.

Customer Programs

Forward-thinking, customer-centric high-tech companies pay close attention to the customer and the digital signals they emit, and endeavor to anticipate and proactively execute programs that address their needs. Such companies all possess people whose job it is to own and govern customer engagement and customer service processes. These people operate under a charter that typically says that the work they do must result in a downstream service that:

  • Delivers faster and more consistently accurate results
  • Includes meaningful outcomes that positively impact the customer’s business.
Thou Shalt Heed thy Customers’ Feedback

For example, these people often face the challenge of coming up with ways for ensuring that processes:

  • Respectfully gauge customer feedback
  • Improve the experience that customers have while using the firm’s products and services,
  • Push content to customers is relevant and timely for where they are in their journey with the product.

The underlying philosophy revolves around this pertinent fact: If a customer has a more frictionless experience with the product or service, they will then be more inclined to make more use of it in an effort to derive more value from it for their business.

More value derived typically equates to a subscription renewal.

Charlie Brown Syndrome

People in customer programs are largely unsung heroes. While they are responsible for designing and building the process infrastructure that enables the organization to run at scale, they themselves are not directly attached to the firm’s products, its revenue, nor (interestingly enough) its customers. Their work, therefore, remains largely unseen. However, just as all great physical structures need the support of walls, pillars, beams, and other forces of strength that defy gravity, strong business processes also require support from the streamlined, efficient use of people, data, computing power, and other assets.

In other words, though the work of customer programs is hugely important, due to an almost intentional and necessary byproduct of design, it is vastly under-noticed. Still, do not feel guilty if you haven’t recognized the people designing these programs for their efforts. Ask yourself: When was the last time someone looked at a grandly-lit building and gave thought, let alone credit, to the electricians and the interior designers? If any role at all came to mind, it was likely that of the architect. The same holds true for those individuals who design, build, and administer processes utilized by customer-facing organizations like sales, marketing, and customer success.

Thou Shalt Traverse the Digital Frontier

Customer programs people tend to be passionately interested in the work they do, and too few of them realize they should proudly view it as being symbolic of what it means to work on the digital frontier. If you know how customer-centric companies operate, you also acknowledge that there is an elegant and delicate beauty associated with the consumption of customer information and its conversion into process behaviors that benefit those very same customers. The work these people do involves helping to demonstrate how to move digital transformation successfully from the conceptual realm of strategy to the very real realm of tactics. This capability to move from strategy to tactics will become even more important in the months and years ahead.

"By 2023, 95% of entities will have incorporated new digital KPI sets—focusing on product/service innovation rates data capitalization, and employee experience—to navigate the digital economy."

- IDC, from FutureScape: Worldwide Digital Transformation 2019 Predictions Nov, 2018

So, If You Think You’ve Had Your Fill of KPIs, Just Wait a Couple of Years

All measurements and metrics will eventually chiefly concern the impact upon customers and vendors. The more digitized our companies become, the more digitization opportunities will present themselves. Even this blog post stands as an example. Sure, for right now, we are concerning ourselves with opens and click throughs, but we can imagine a day when even more scrutiny and tracking becomes possible through linked digitized processes across organizations and into the customer realm. At that point, my boss might be able to ask the ultimate business question:

Is that thought leadership blog thing you are doing on the side a valuable use of your time and our money?  

And then we might see something resembling an accurate answer because of empirical evidence showing a relationship between collected metrics about the blog and its influence on a customer’s willingness to buy or their eventual decision to renew. You can almost compare digitization to when electric lighting was invented and rolled out to the masses. Its ability to illuminate darkness created entire new ways of living and that’s probably how you should think of digitization in business.

Applying Human Intelligence to Determine What to Do Next

To adapt and exploit digital at the level being discussed here requires a high degree of human intelligence and empathy, both in equal measure. It might seem ironic to outside observers, but we are witnessing that the more digitized a customer engagement model becomes, the more critical it is that the humans operating behind it do so from a solid base of empathy. And therein lies the trick. A particular talent that exists within every human on the planet will prove to be the most important for the people who work in these kinds of customer program roles. It’s also likely the most difficult talent to develop and make appropriate for those kinds of roles. It factors critically into the process of selecting a team, though.


How we come across to others is obviously important in business settings. The aim of business conversations should be to achieve outcomes that allow both individuals to walk away thinking that their time was usefully spent and that some aspect of their respective business responsibilities was positively impacted. If one person’s temperament is off-putting, dismissive, or cold, then the odds that both sides feel the time was usefully spent are probably pretty low. If both sides exhibit negative emotions, then the odds on the conversation lasting longer than two minutes are near zero. Ill- temperament does not accomplish much in the world of customer engagement process design. In fact, it is counter-productive and will more likely result in a fatally-flawed process design that reflects the ill-temperament of the person who created it. And customers would definitely feel this ill temperament coming through.

Remoteness Doesn’t Always Mean an Absence of Intimacy

All the time, you hear stories about how technology, or more specifically AI and machine learning, will kill scores and scores of jobs. While there will certainly be disruption, consider the activities of the people who work in customer program roles. Ask them what they think about when designing a process for customer engagement at scale. What do they think the customer needs at any particular point? How exactly do they know what the customer needs? And how did they find that out? How do they assess after the process has been in production whether how they went about understanding customer needs was helpful or not?

While there are mechanisms for soliciting customer feedback at scale, the people in customer program roles have to iteratively build a level of customer sensitivity into their processes at the outset that leverage:

  • Empathy
  • An intelligent, light-handed application of technology
  • An intense and authentic desire to make an impact

AI can’t do all that. Only people with the right temperament can articulate a human touch through technology—a touch that customers would appreciate and respond well to even if they never meet or even know the names of the people who designed the process in the first place.

Listening to your customers helps you improve their experience. Find out how by reading “Go Further with Customer Experience Optimization.”

Read the Guide

from Oracle Blogs | Oracle Marketing Cloud