The Importance of First Impressions in Email Marketing—Retailers Are Looking to Welcome Emails to Boost Engagement

brand impression, Campaigner, Customer engagement, EJ McGowan, email content, first impressions, j2 Global, Marketing, marketing conversions, online retail, Pr, Public relations, retail marketers, welcome emailsOnline retail marketers are aware of the power of first impressions—and are capitalizing on welcome emails to boost customer engagement and conversions, according to new research from Campaigner, the email marketing brand of j2 Global, which recently announced the results of its latest marketing trends survey.

In fact, 39 percent of marketers surveyed say that the first email content new subscribers see from their brand is a thank-you-for-subscribing message—and they seem to be working, as almost 50 percent of marketers report that 21 percent or more of new subscribers engage with such welcome emails.

“It takes just seconds within meeting someone to form a lasting impression,” said EJ McGowan, general manager of Campaigner, in a news release. “Unsurprisingly, first impressions for brands are just as critical and time-sensitive. Marketers who quickly deliver engaging welcome emails to new subscribers will see greater success in conversions, while also building brand reputation.”

Setting the Stage with Subscriptions

Of course, before brands can send welcome emails, they must first acquire new subscribers.

To encourage customers to sign up for regular email messages, most brands are leveraging content marketing, with 55 percent offering the latest news and content to their customers as incentives to subscribe. The second most popular incentive is standard promotions, at 49 percent.

Making the Move When the Time is Right

Once new subscribers are on board, timing is everything when it comes to ensuring that welcome emails are effective. Sixty-two percent of marketers are on the right track, reporting that their new subscribers receive their first message from the brand within 24 hours of signing up.

Additionally, the early bird really does catch the worm, as the majority of marketers surveyed find it best to deliver emails early in the day—specifically, before 2 p.m. Over a third (35 percent) said between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. is the ideal time to garner responses from new subscribers, while one in four (25 percent) report that between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. is best.

Optimizing Email Efforts

Despite the reported success of these messages, 60 percent of marketers feel they are not making the most of their welcome emails. However, the survey reveals the following insights that marketers can use when it comes to these important emails:

  • Eighty-seven percent of marketers are including images in their welcome emails, while 26 percent are including videos.
  • Nearly a third (31 percent) of marketers report that geo-targeting is important for initial emails to contacts.
  • Additionally, more than half of the marketers ranked personalization and segmentation as the most successful tactics in driving conversions.

“Transactional messages such as welcome emails provide unique opportunities for companies to get in front of interested contacts,” McGowan said. “If marketers aren’t already using them, now is the time to start.”

Additional insights:

  • The pressure is on: 77 percent of marketers surveyed report the pressure on their business to acquire new customers as the economy slows is high or very high.
  • Emphasis on email: Over 60 percent of marketers plan to use email marketing as their primary method to acquire customers in the coming year.
  • Stymied by the spam folder: 47 percent of marketers report that the most damaging email marketing issue for brands today is having messages delivered to spam folders.

The online survey was commissioned by Campaigner May 31-June 9, 2016, and sampled 150 Internet retailers from the Campaigner customer base. The average margin of error is +/- 7.82%.

Source: Business Wire; edited by Richard Carufel

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