The Power of a Welcome Series No Matter Your Business Size
An email welcome series is also known as a welcome flow or automation. It is setup to send an automated message to new subscribers to your newsletter or email list. These flows can have a two tier messaging, the first to establish brand awareness and loyalty and the second to ensure users have the best information for the product or service they may have purchased.
A strong welcome series can yield strong results: the average welcome message has an open rate 63% higher than a traditional email campaign and a click rate 86% higher. The metrics below are from using Klaviyo, but regardless your email platform should yield similar results.
To understand what that level of engagement means to revenue for different size organizations, we looked at a selection of more than 1,000 Klaviyo customers generating between $500k and $1M a year in online sales.
Welcome Series Benchmarks
As a young brand, it is comforting to know where your sales are going to be coming from on a monthly basis. Having automated sales drivers like a Welcome Series frees up more time to focus on other areas of growing the business.
67% of our selected brands had a Welcome Series active within the past 30 days. For those brands, the Welcome Series contributed an average of 6% to the brands online revenue in the past 30 days. That’s pretty good, but the top 25% of our cohort actually drew 17% of their revenue in the past 30 days from their Welcome Series messages. That shows us just how big a part of your sales mix your Welcome Series can—and should—become.
Optimizing your Welcome Series
If you have a lean team or are short on time, creating or optimizing a Welcome Series may seem like a daunting task, but the Klaviyo help center has a step-by-step guide that makes it pretty easy. The only real time that you need to spend is setting up the initial series, then checking back in periodically to monitor and optimize the series.
To summarize, we have called out some important pieces of information below:
- Timing: Send your first email welcome message right after the person has signed up for your list. This is when they are most engaged.
- Subject lines: Create a compelling subject line. Including the word “Welcome” in the subject line results in a higher open and click rate.
- Length of Welcome Series: Klaviyo recommends sending between 3 and 4 emails within a three-day span.
- Content / Copy: This is your chance to introduce yourself to the subscriber, show off your best products, and give them a reason to engage with your emails now and in the future. We suggest providing 1 or 2 calls to action within each message. The most engaging Welcome Series messages come from companies that understand their customers and create copy with a compelling offer.
We looked over Welcome Series messages from some of our best up-and-coming ecommerce brands and wanted to single out Oliver Cabell as an especially good example.
Launched in February 2018, Oliver Cabell is an independent footwear brand. They pride themselves on using old-school techniques blended with the latest technology to create perfect, timeless footwear.
Scott, the founder and CEO, knows what it means to be an entrepreneur: he has been instrumental in building the brand from the ground up. Knowing this, it is safe to say it’s important for him to have an “always-on” source of revenue from the Welcome Series so he can work on other areas of the business.
What we really like about this Welcome Series is that it is authentic to the brand and articulates what separates Oliver Cabell from others. To develop this message, Scott told us that he spent a few hours reading through Klaviyo blog posts and used the information on the blog to build out the Welcome Series. He A/B tested a few different options and said that “after a couple months we had a solid idea of what worked and what didn’t.” Klaviyo makes it simple enough that any size business can do this kind of iterative testing.
The initial setup work was the only part of this process that took time. Scott mentions that he “looks at the Welcome Series through the Klaviyo dashboard once a month, which makes it very easy to monitor.”
Today, the Oliver Cabell Welcome Series consists of three messages spread out over four days. The initial email, shown below, goes out to subscribers right after they sign up, and simply describes what the brand is about (note that it does not offer a coupon). If a subscriber does not purchase after getting first message, they get two two additional emails, one two days after the initial send and another a day after that.
Not only does the first email in the Oliver Cabell Welcome Series have the highest open rate of any other email in the series, it drives about 60% of the Welcome Series monthly revenue without any sort of sales discount. This is showing us that a powerful brand message in an initial email within the series can drive sales.
Scott told us the three elements he thinks are most important in a Welcome Series are:
- Informing the new subscriber what the brand is all about
- Making a compelling offer that piques their interest gets them deeper into the sales funnel
- Making the offer time-sensitive in order to get them to convert
A Welcome Series is more than a simple “bounce back” email to hit a subscriber. It helps you grow and develop lasting customer relationships. There are some best practices you can follow and get some tips from example welcome series already setup. You can also sign-up free to Klaviyo and setup your own welcome series to see how performance improves for a specific group of your subscribers.Back to Blog Home