Welcome EmailAfter a consumer has connected with you and handed over their email address, what kind of welcome do you give them? It could be they bought something from you, subscribed to your newsletter, or downloaded a whitepaper. No matter the action they take or if you’re selling B2C or B2B, there should be some kind of response to their action. What’s yours?

If you’re like some companies, your response might be a dry form letter confirmation…or no confirmation at all. And that, dear colleagues, is akin to a cold shoulder and missed opportunity.

If you’re still on the fence and thinking a welcome email is an unnecessary step in the email marketing process or one not worth your effort, here are 12 reasons to persuade you to think otherwise:

  1. You’ll engage: It is the age of engagement and ISPs now look at how much interaction your emails generate. A good welcome email gets you off to good start by engaging that new subscriber or customer right away.
  2. You’ll enjoy a higher open rate: Studies have shown that welcome emails have higher open rates than marketing emails. That alone should be reason enough to make them part of your email marketing program
  3. You start building that relationship: The person who signs up for your email has already raised their hand and said “yes, I want to hear from you.” Who better to extend a warm welcome to?
  4. You don’t have to do a thing: Welcome emails couldn’t be any easier to do. Set them up to be triggered automatically based on an action like subscribing or purchasing.
  5. You get a chance to upsell: And a chance to cross sell. With the higher open rates garnered by welcome emails, what better time to offer sweet deal on a doohickey or give them another guide?
  6. You build trust: When someone gives you email address, they are trusting you with a personal piece of information that has value in their eyes. They give this to you in exchange for something you have of value, whether that’s your email newsletter, special pricing or technical library. Reassure them with your welcome email, to let them know they made a smart decision they won’t regret, and to show them you are in fact trustworthy.
  7. You show appreciation: Who doesn’t like a “thank you”? Thank them for subscribing, buying or downloading, whatever that action might be. Those two little words go a long ways and carry a lot of weight.
  8. You set expectations…again: The quality of your email messages will be judged by the recipients and how well they think you’re serving them. To keep them happy, make sure to be clear on what they should expect a second time. Maybe even remind them of the frequency. Make them feel good about the choice and confident in what to expect.
  9. You build brand: Done well, the email design and content of your welcome email will subtly reinforce your brand, whether it’s wildly whimsical or fastidiously formal.
  10. You improve deliverability: When you ask recipients to add you to their address book upon receipt of the welcome email, you improve your chances of making it into their inbox when the marketing emails start.
  11. You gain a competitive edge: Despite the many advantages of welcome emails, not every business uses them. For those that do, you’ll gain a competitive edge by standing out in the crowd. Send a welcome email to an oft-neglected consumer, and they’ll notice.
  12. You get to reward them: Give them a coupon or discount or some other special offer. They will get warm fuzzies about your brand for sure. And boy will they “welcome” that next email from you!

If welcome emails are either not used or poorly used as part of your email marketing program, here’s hoping these 12 reasons make 2012 the year you turn that chance for a first impression into a chance for higher ROI.

About the Author: Marco Marini is the CEO of ClickMail Marketing and an acknowledged expert in email marketing with over a decade of experience in the field. Follow ClickMail on Twitter: @ClickMail