Building an Onboarding Email Marketing Track for New Subscribers

Most brands build their email marketing with a single automated track. Either customers sign up for the newsletter or they don't. For small brands and those just getting started, this is a perfectly reasonable approach. It gives you a chance to explore your email automation tools, to build a style and strategy with your newsletters, and start collecting those essential early analytics data points. However, as your email list and your data points grow, it becomes equally important to start building separate email marketing tracks based on the sectors of your customer base. 

You might have an email marketing track for regular shoppers, and one just designed to re-engage customers you haven't seen in a while. You may have an email marketing track for those who want news and a separate content and frequency track for deal-chasers. Once you have your initial strategies established, it's time to think about your most important email marketing track for customer loyalty and conversions: Your new subscriber track.

Welcoming New Customers with an Automated Email Experience

When a new subscriber joins your email list, do you just send them the next monthly newsletter and move along from there? If so, you have missed a golden opportunity for both customer engagement and for onboarding your customers as valued members of your loyalty program. Why not personally usher in every new customer and email-subscriber with a unique email marketing track? 

Of course, you don't have to reach out personally to every new customer. A new-subscriber automated email marketing strategy is a sequence of emails sent to every new customer, with their own content and sending-pace designed to create a welcoming customer-onboarding experience.  The right automated set of emails is all it takes to make new customers feel personally welcomed to the brand and start to build that essential brand relationship. 

How to Build an Automated Email Track for New Subscribers

  1. Account Verification Email
  2. Welcome to the Brand - First Order Special Offer
  3. Invitation to Personalize
  4. Loyalty Rewards Handbook - Invitation to Engage
  5. Getting to Know the App Guide
  6. Summary Introduction Newsletter
  7. The First Tracked Email

1. Account Verification Email

Always start with the verification email for new users. This is the email they expect to get and is the open door to your brand relationship. Customers now know what your email-sender looks like and by clicking the link, you know they're a living person ready to be engaged. The verification email should be simple and the instructions extremely easy to follow. However, this is also your chance to establish your email style with a distinctive and friendly template, color scheme, and a few assets your new subscribers will soon learn to recognize.

2. Welcome to the Brand

The second email shoots as soon as the account is verified - welcoming a new subscriber to the brand experience. Here is where you give them their first taste of personalization with the brand. Greet them by name, provide a friendly message, and perhaps a quick tour of the possibilities they can achieve on your website.

The second email is also the perfect place to remind new subscribers that you have a first-order special deal. Whether it's a free gift or 25% off their cart, this is your chance to entice new subscribers through their first conversion. Make it a fun, welcoming, and enjoyable experience where new subscribers feel your brand is offering them something of real value.

3. Invitation to Personalize

Once the first order is complete, or between 1 and 6 hours after email #2, send an invitation to personalize. Use graphics and links to beckon new subscribers to build their profile and set a few preferences that will help you personalize their experience. Depending on how your site and service work, this might mean uploading a profile picture and writing a bio - or just picking which emails and notifications they'd like to receive.

Consider an in-email form in addition to a profile page link so it's quick and easy for users to give you everything you need to know to track them from the new-user experience to a personalized loyalty member experience.

4. Loyalty Rewards Handbook

Within the next 24-48 hours, send a friendly, detailed guide to what the new user can do with their loyalty program membership - if applicable. Outline how points are earned and what points can get them. Use cheerful graphics to show them what it looks like to achieve in the loyalty program and just how easy it is to feel good while shopping, booking, or interacting with your brand.

Use this as an invitation to get new users engaged with daily or weekly website interactions without focusing on actually making another purchase so soon after signing up.

5. Getting to Know the App

If you have an app with cool features and tools, include an onboarding email guide for new subscribers. Give them a visual tour of your icons, buttons, tools, navigation, and all the nifty things that can be done with your web and mobile apps combined. New users often appreciate this quick guide, even if they skim through it. Often, your new subscribers will see at least one thing they didn't know about and would like to try, and that's another point of engagement.

6. Summary Introduction Newsletter

If your brand provides a regular newsletter with stories and relevant industry content, consider preparing a summary of the last three newsletters with brief blurbs and links to recent blog articles. For professional publications, service, and groups, this is a great way to quickly get your new subscribers up to speed and prepared for engagement with your ongoing content - ready to be tracked into one of your primary email marketing tracks.

7. The First Main Track Email

Finally, once the onboarding is done, your new subscriber is ready for their first regular update or newsletter email. This might be a summary of monthly deals, an interesting collection of industry news, or just a personalized marketing template based on their preferences and shopping history. Your primary email markteting strategy and the self-tracking the new subscriber engaged in during the onboarding sequence can now shape their automated email experience.

A Unique Track to Reengage Disappearing Subscribers

Finally, you may want to design a special track for new subscribers who make an account but do not continue to engage. In these cases, it's often best to use humor and ever-more-widely-spaced emails to reengage. If they miss the verification email, send another one a few hours with a fresh verification link just in case the email was lost or buried. If they don't engage after verification, ask them if they meant to come back for their cart or service. After that, give it a few days to a week before sending a "we miss you" email. Finally, add them to your disengaged users track who get an email every one or two months reminding them that rewards, opportunities, and seasonal deals await.

Onboarding New Subscribers Builds Engagement and Long-Term Loyalty

The right email marketing track for new subscribers does more than introduce them to your brand. It builds that essential foundation for a customer-brand relationship. By reaching out, helping them personalize their experience, and offering a special onboarding experience, you show new customers that they're not just another name on your email list. They're a valued customer whose engagement and loyalty matter on a personal level. 

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