Imagine a new patient walking into your practice for the first time only to find themselves ignored, treated rudely or hit with the hard sell right off the bat. There’s a good chance they’ll opt to walk right back out.
Turns out your email marketing campaign may be having the same effect. And while engaging in best practices for overall email management is important, it’s even more crucial for “first-time visitors”, better known as new subscribers. In email as in life, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
One way to avoid that situation is with a targeted message that not only welcomes new subscribers to your list (obviously) but also sets the stage for the kind of relationship that lasts and leads to new business.
Welcome emails can clearly articulate the benefits of subscription and also encourage the sharing of more information, with questions on the type of content desired, its frequency and the preferred channel, says email delivery specialist Stephen Ford of Experian Marketing Services. This initial phase of engagement is a critical time to set the tone for all future contacts.
And, perhaps, generate the kind of engagement your email program has been lacking. According to Ford’s research, welcome emails show open and clickthrough rates that are 63% and 105% higher than other forms of email.
If the people managing your email program aren’t incorporating a welcome message into your marketing plan, it may be time to find out why.
1. A good welcome message is personal
Any email vendor should be able to tailor your welcome message to acknowledge a new subscriber by their name and the channel through which they signed up. People are by nature skeptical of emails from businesses and seeing their name in the subject line not only softens that skepticism; it also helps your mail stand out from all those others.
2. A good welcome message doesn’t waste its subject line
Entire books have been written on what constitutes a good subject line but the bottom line is that you have to catch your audience’s attention, avoid cheesy tactics (Free Botox!!!) and provide an incentive to open the email. Including your practice name is never a bad idea as research suggests that more people open business emails based on the organization it’s from (64%) than the subject line (47%) or a particular offer (26%).
3. Good welcome messages offer an introduction to your practice
In addition to thanking new subscribers for signing up, a welcome email should provide a glimpse of what they can expect both in terms of future online messages (frequency, etc.) and actual operations. An overview of your services, a personal note describing your practice philosophy and an offer to provide more information via phone or office visit can go a long way toward ensuring their first impression isn’t their last.