The Good, Bad and Ugly of the Welcome Process
Biggest missed opportunities
The lack of cross-promoting for other online engagement channels was a huge miss. The subscriber is in a “sign-up” phase with the brand … why not take advantage of that and cross-promote your Facebook and Twitter pages? What about on the thank-you landing page or the welcome email itself? Of those companies with a Facebook or Twitter presence and an email program, 48 percent didn't promote those engagement options on either their confirmation page or welcome email.
The other big miss was the subscription confirmation page. In 55 percent of the cases, the landing page provided no clear direction on what to do next. While the primary purpose of the page is to confirm the subscription, don’t forget to nudge the subscriber with what you want them to do next.
Jobs well done
Thirty percent of the retailers have a multimessage welcome stream that helps to orient the subscriber to the brand and its email program before entering them into the regular stream. While it’s a far lower percentage than it should be, it’s higher than anticipated and several did it quite well.
I’m not a huge fan of incentivizing subscribers to join an email list — and it appears neither are most retailers. Only six retailers offered an up-front incentive for opting in. However, 22 retailers ended up offering a gift (e.g., a discount or free shipping), recognizing the opportunity to push for conversion while an individual is indicating they're “in market.” This bonus surprise factor can foster good will and set the stage for showcasing the email program’s value in the future.
You’ve got to be kidding me
Of the companies with an email program, 22 percent didn't send a formal welcome email at all. In fact, allowing for at least two weeks after sign-up, 11 percent of the 73 hadn't sent anything.