How to Create an Epic Welcome Flow

Welcome email flow allows you to introduce your brand to your new subscribers and add value to them as they move forward in their customer journey. It is highly important that you keep it simple yet on-point to yield desired results.

Edvina Nesukaityte
Updated on

Look no more for ways to create an epic welcome flow since you’ve just landed at the right place – here at MKTG Rhythm; we take all the responsibility to help you achieve all your business goals through best marketing practices – starting with welcome email automation!

Whether you’ve already started out and now feel stuck because you’re unable to drive the behaviors you planned all the way or haven’t taken the first step, we’ve got you covered. 

So without any further ado, let’s get started!

What is a Welcome Flow?

The automated emails sent out to your new email list subscribers make up the welcome flow. It happens when they first consent to receive promotional or informational content from your business. Not to mention that the moment they join you, they are most excited and up for communication which makes the best time to introduce yourself and lay out a basis for a strong relationship with them, moving forward.

In fact, in our extensive experience, we’ve always noticed that these welcome emails perform the best in terms of engagement and revenue as well. However, it still requires us to be highly strategic. For example, as email marketers, our main focus should be on serving all the human needs our audience might have before finalizing their purchase. 

And that can be done by walking them through the process and providing them with all the logical reasons to help them find the right product/service best suited to their requirements.

An example of one of the welcome flow emails. The goal of this email is to introduce the company (Methodical Coffee), share its story, tell its audience why they do what they do, and start building genuine relationships.

Why is welcome automation important for eCommerce business?

Being an eCommerce business, we lack the luxury of having one-to-one interactions with our customers where we can walk them through our store, introduce our products/services, answer their questions and give them appropriate suggestions. Therefore, email has to be our best friend because it’s the only doorway that allows us to personally talk to them and develop that intimate relationship needed to turn them into loyal and returning buyers who refer. 

And welcome email automation is more special because, as I mentioned earlier, they are sent out at a time when our new subscribers are most willing to listen to us, interested in knowing more about us, and considering our recommendations.

So, all in all, the importance of welcome automation for an eCommerce business is incomparable as it makes the first step to creating a long-lasting relationship with your potential customers – the first step towards achieving your revenue/business goals. 

But how can you make the best out of it? Is it just that simple? Sending out a simple welcome note to your audience and expecting it to do all the wonders alone? No. 

Fret not, though. 

We have compiled a list of 5 simple tips and practices below to help you perfect the art of building epic welcome automation. So, let’s dive into it!

How to build epic welcome automation?

Before we get into the details, here’s a quick example of what a good welcome email looks like!

Portrait Coffee’s first initial welcome automation email. As you can see, we want to keep it simple and have a couple of specific CTAs we want our customers to take.

Now, let’s move on to our first point:

1.    Keep it Simple

Although engaging with your audience right after they opt-in for your email list is important, you must remember that sharing everything in the first sequence is not recommended at all because it could burn them out real quick.

So, what may help is planning it all out beforehand, like what things you want them to know and at what time. Also, keep it short and relevant to the point they are at (in their customer journey). Because if you fill your emails with a lot of irrelevant details, high chances are that they would not bother opening the next one. 

Therefore keep it simple and don’t worry about making it perfect the first time. You can incorporate both plain and hybrid into your welcome sequence. However, according to our experience, plain text emails work really well and have better engagement metrics. The main reason why people are more inclined to opening and engaging with a plain text email is that they find it more humane, just as if they’re talking to some friend. 

For example: 

A great example of a hybrid email. I recommend incorporating hybrid emails into your welcome sequence because it helps to disturb the pattern of highly designed emails. Therefore, people are more willing to open and engage with these types of emails because they find it more humane, like talking to a friend.

2.    Segmentation

To retain all your existing customers, it’s pertinent that you deal with them uniquely, depending on what are their specific needs and where they are in their journey with your business. 

Let’s say you sell running shoes; you can make segments based on use cases. For example, you can categorize them as athletes, those who work out 4 – 5 times a week, and the ones who just wear them leisurely. And based on what questions and concerns they might have about making a purchase, you can interact with them and make their decision-making process seamless. 

This could be made even easier for you if you use platforms like Klaviyo, which allows you to collect some great first-party data via sign-up forms. However, again, don’t forget to be strategic about the questions you want to ask and the data you want to collect because ONLY the right data can prove to be helpful to you in sending them emails that they find valuable.

If you want to know more about first-party data, check this blog out, where we have discussed it in detail!

PS: here’s an example of what an appropriate sign-up form looks like:

Through sign-up forms, we can ask questions and collect data that help us to segment our audience and build email automation that serves their wants and needs. In this case, less is more. Be specific and strategic when creating sign-up forms.

3.    Build relationships

Welcome automations give you an amazing opportunity to bond with your audience, share your story with them, and tell why you’re doing what you’re doing. This is also where you can out-human other big players that lack such close relationships with their customers. So, don’t be afraid to share something unique and personal about yourself that sets you apart from your competitors because that’s what makes people feel valued and cared for.

And as I mentioned earlier, plain text and hybrid emails work great in that regard since not many of us pay attention to the typical automated emails, which do not sound much like a friend or even human. 

For instance, here’s an email that is directed to a specific customer group to match their preferences.

Also, if you look at the email above closely, you’ll also see a perfect example of how segmentation works. They realize that this particular audience likes unique flavors, so they have recommended them their Avant-grade coffees. 

So, again, the main role here is of first-party that helps categorize different customers and cater to them accordingly. 

4.    Social proof

Word-of-mouth marketing works like nothing else! And since customers trust it, it’s highly likely to drive profitable results. So don’t miss sharing reviews you get on your website, social media, or mentions in any big and reputable publications.

Here’s one way you can do that:

Another way of building strong relationships with your audience is by incorporating user-generated content into your emails. Why? Because people are more willing to purchase if they see others using and enjoying it. 

We recommend adding UGC into the fourth or fifth email of our welcome automation sequence. At that point, they have learned a great deal about your business and the products or services you’re offering, so now, it’s your time to share some content, support your claims, and show your customers are happy with it, like this:

Another great way of building relationships and gaining credibility is sharing user-generated content. Word-of-mouth marketing is still the most effective type of marketing. UGC does it by showing that your customers are happy with using your products.

5.    Share Content

In addition to telling them your story and introducing your brand, share other relevant content as well. For example, there’s this group that we work with called the Methodical Coffee; they share an introductory guide of everything you need to know about different teas. This way, those coffee drinkers who don’t know much about teas can learn more and feel confident making the purchase, and you also get the chance to share your expertise.

Welcome Email Best Practices

Below listed are some of the best practices I would encourage you to consider before building your welcome sequence emails:

·      Send a welcome email right after the subscription

Send out your first email right after they opt-in, don’t wait! The more you make them wait, the lesser they’ll be interested in hearing from you. And that makes sense because the only reason they joined your list was to know about your business, and if you don’t make haste, you don’t introduce yourself right away; they’ll lose that interest. 

·      Have a clear goal for each of your email

Plan it all out beforehand and be intentional with what behaviors you want to drive with each email that you send. This will also help you understand exactly what KPIs to look at to know if you are winning or losing. 

·      Personalize the message

People don’t like receiving the same redundant messages over and over again, so be creative and personalize your message in a way that would excite them and make them take action. 

We can’t stress enough that being human is crucial to developing a strong bond with them, and you can do that only if you understand what they need and customize your emails accordingly. 

And again, CRM tools like Klaviyo can come in handy here for collecting first-party data to enable you to personalize those messages. 

·      Tell subscribers about the benefits of joining your list

Make them aware of the value they’ll be getting by opting in for your list. However, make sure you do it gradually and not stuff it in one email, as you can have multiple emails emphasizing the different benefits and values of your business.

·      Segment your audience

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but this is really important to have an epic welcome flow. 

You know your audience better than anyone, and based on what you know about them, segmentation is crucial so that you may serve them all differently.

For instance, we are working with this amazing group that handcrafts women’s accessories. In their case, we have two major customer segments, one that purchases it for themselves and the second group of customers who buy it as a gift. And each of these customer categories will need different information and will have different questions along their purchasing journey.

This is why segmentation plays a significant role in enabling you to serve them precisely with the information they are looking for.

How many emails should I have in my welcome automation?

Well, it depends. 

There is not such a thing as too many emails, as long as you add value to your customers. And as we’ve talked about it earlier, the goal is to guide them through their buying journey, show them around your store, help them find the right product, etc. 

Our typical welcome email flow consists of 6-8 emails, and we tend to have at least a couple of different forks to serve different audience segments. 

Below is a screenshot of a welcome sequence of one of the groups we work with:

An example of a welcome flow. Our typical welcome automation consists of 6-8 emails and at least 2 forks that help us to segment our customer base and make sure that we tailor the emails and content that adds value to them and helps to guide them through their purchasing journey.

This particular flow has four different forks because we have four major customer groups to cater to, and each of the segments is provided with information that is valuable specifically to them.

In the first couple of emails, our goal is to introduce our company and products and share an incentive, if we have one. After that, we share some content, personalized recommendations, social proof, etc. And, in the last few, we aim to remind them of the incentive and bring the urgency of using it because it might be expiring soon.

So, it’s like walking them around the store and, hopefully at the end, meeting at the checkout.

The ultimate goal is to make a transaction and have a happy customer who feels confident about the decision and enjoys the product(s) or service.

Conclusion 

This is a topic that I could talk about for days, but we’ll wrap it up here. 

So, in a nutshell, designing a well-balanced welcome flow that contains all the necessary information your customer needs to have is essential for building a long-lasting relationship with them so that they keep coming back around. And I hope this article helps you in creating one!

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