Win with Lifecycle Marketing: How to Customize the Welcome Flow

Cory Smith
September 19, 2022
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So, a user has signed up and received your welcome email. That email brought them into the fold and hopefully, brought them back to your site to make a purchase. But one email doesn’t finish the welcome program. Users are going to react to welcome messaging differently: some will ignore it, some will open it and not click, others will come back to your site as a result of receiving it, and hopefully some will purchase. 

What to send after the first welcome message

When I sit down with a client to talk through what goes into the welcome series, there are two parties to consider and two kinds of messaging as a result. 

If you’re the client, there are probably a slew of things new users need to know in order to know enough about your brand to ultimately make a purchase. I advise making individual welcome emails about each of those things. Maybe your brand offers customization, or releases new drops on some kind of schedule, or has different lines of products, or has a Sale section – make an email about each of those things. Each message should have a singular focus, and each of those can be an opportunity to bring customers back to your site. 

The other perspective to consider is the user’s. They need to be able to answer the question, “what’s in it for me?” when they see your emails in their inbox. It’s important to not only say, “this is the thing we do,” but also to say, “this is how the thing we do is going to benefit you, the consumer.” This means that if you have an offer that runs throughout the welcome series, you should be bringing it back to the forefront throughout the series. Or if there’s something especially unique that your brand does, the user should be able to easily identify it so that they can set your brand apart from everyone else in their inbox.  

SMS, meet email!

Every day, there are more and more brands also incorporating SMS into their welcome flows and other emails. We advise doing this as SMS is a high ROI channel and it gives the consumer more options of ways to engage with your brand. As more and more users are willing to opt in to receive SMS, it’s important that your messaging stands apart, but also isn’t too intrusive during the welcome process. 

Since SMS is an abbreviated channel compared to email, I generally advise keeping only conversion-focused messaging with clear benefits to the user in SMS during onboarding. Things like limited time offers, special releases, or VIP messaging all work well during the welcome flow. Don’t forget to abide by quiet hours set by the TCPA – typically I advise sending SMS between the hours of 10AM and 8PM to keep in line with these regulations (and to get the best reaction from users). Don’t be afraid to test this; there isn’t really a standard “best” time for everyone to send SMS. 

This example below from Timbuk2 is great because it brings users back with the original welcome offer. This can drive home to the user that the offer is still on the table, albeit for a limited time. 

Yeti is doing a great job of highlighting that users can customize their purchases – no more lost water bottles! I love this example because it highlights something to the casual customer that they might not have known before, and gives them a unique reason to come back to Yeti for their product. 

SoFi is doing something here that can help both them and their customer. By offering a referral bonus during welcome, they’re giving their newly-educated customer a chance to share that information and get something for it. 

Most brands have some products that stand out above their competition for one reason or another. Marine Layer is featuring their shorts here – it’s a good idea to feature these items with standalone emails during the welcome series, especially to customers who haven’t engaged with that product before. It showcases a quality experience that the user might be missing. 

Stay tuned for next week’s blog post where I’ll continue to tear down lifecycle marketing welcome series and share more of what you need to know to create a successful lifecycle marketing program. If you missed last week’s piece, catch up here and learn how to nail the welcome message. 

Cory Smith

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