Foundational Elements: The Welcome
We haven’t been silent on this blog about how we feel about Welcome Campaigns.
In fact, we believe that of all the automated programs a winery should consider, the absolutely non-negotiable one is the Welcome.
With the incredibly high rate of engagement these messages receive (the industry average open rate is 50% ), and the continued upside of having more engaged subscribers over the long term (subscribers who receive a welcome message show 33% higher engagement ), there is tremendous business benefit in implementing this simple automated message.
And yet, through our own personal (not-so-scientific) research - eh-hem, signing up for countless winery email lists over the course of the last 10 years - we can tell you that the wine industry has a lot of room to improve in this department.
Here are some Welcome Campaign DOs and DON’Ts to consider.
Do: Make it personal
From incorporating the first name to tailoring your welcome to the specific place where you met your new subscriber, making it personal makes a difference. In fact, research by Aberdeen shows that personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%.
Consider sending a different welcome message tailored to the signup location. Online signup forms could trigger a message that thanks the subscriber for finding you online and encourages their first physical visit or online order, while folks who provide their email address during a tasting experience could receive an email customized to the tasting experience they received, offers an opportunity to purchase additional quantities of any favorite wines, or encourages a review on Yelp.
Capture additional data at acquisition, such as zip code or wine preference, to custom-tailor their welcome email even more! For instance, a local subscriber could get a welcome that invites them to the winery for a tasting experience or links to your ongoing events page, while a subscriber outside of a 100 mile radius could receive a shipping incentive for their first online order.
Don't: Stop at double opt-in
We are all for verifying that a subscriber in fact wants to hear from you via email, but having a triggered “double opt-in” email merely asking the subscriber to verify their email address doesn’t count as your welcome campaign. If double opt-in is required by your acquisition form or email marketing platform, take a look at what level of customization is available so that your 1st impression isn’t just “You signed up to hear from us! Are you sure you want to hear from us?”
Do: Reiterate the benefits to your subscriber
If your email program provides a sneak peek at the inner goings-on of your winery operations, make sure you let the subscriber know. If you offered an incentive for providing email, such as a % off online or a complimentary tasting, make sure the welcome email follows through. If you send biweekly wine spotlights and recipe pairings, tell your subscribers to keep their eyes open for these culinary masterpieces! Whatever the value your email program provides, reiterate it and set expectations on frequency within your welcome email. Your customers will be excited they signed up, and they’ll eagerly look forward to the next time you touch base with them.
Don’t: Forget about the mobile environment
Our average client is seeing between 60-70% of their email opens happening on a mobile device. If your welcome email isn’t mobile responsive, your new subscriber is more likely to simply delete the message (70%, according to research by Blue Hornet) - and boom! You’ve just missed out on your subscriber at their highest level of engagement. Yikes.
Most email marketing platforms offer an array of mobile responsive templates that you can customize to your liking. Our clients enjoy access to their own custom-tailored Email Editor template, which, in addition to being mobile responsive, allows you to preview how the message will look on a mobile device while you’re building your campaign, and lets you create custom content that only displays on a mobile device. Booya.
Do: Say THANK YOU!
Attention is a currency these days. Let your customer know that you appreciate their interest and that you will be respectful of that investment by delivering valuable content to them on a regular basis. Everybody likes a thank you. Be sure your welcome includes that important detail.
Don’t: Set it and forget it
While it sounds really lovely to create a welcome message and wash your hands of it, we recommend that you regularly review the message for relevance and effectiveness. Set aside an hour every quarter to review your welcome campaign. Does it still render nicely on different email platforms and devices? Review the open and click through rate of your welcome to see if there are opportunities to adjust strategy. Scan the content to ensure you aren’t referencing events that have already passed, staff members who are no longer with the winery, or wines that have since sold out. By reviewing your welcome message on a quarterly basis, you’ll be iterating and improving your email 1st impression.
And we all know: first impressions are everything.
[1, 2] Experian