A solid welcome program forms the foundation for any successful automated email campaign, but is often overlooked.

It would seem many marketers need to go back to basics and consider just how valuable welcome programs can be to both the sender and recipient. Recent research has found that welcome emails typically achieve an open rate of more than 50% (source: Econsultancy). Yet only 57 percent of companies actually send them! (source: Marketingprofs).

It’s polite to say thank you

If someone gave you a present face to face, your first reaction would be to thank them – it’s exactly the same online. If someone has made the effort to buy your product or service or simply to sign up for a newsletter, it’s only polite to show your appreciation.

This enables the relationship with your customer/prospect to start on a really positive note and facilitates a more fluid, continuous dialogue as opposed to simply sending monthly generic batch and blast emails. It’s also important to note that the point of sign up is when recipients are at their most receptive so it really is the right time to reach out and solidify the relationship!

Enrich your data

As well as being the right thing to do from a commercial point of view a welcome program can be a hugely critical exercise in terms of learning more about your recipients as it can provide you with a second chance at data capture. It’s common practice to include a survey or form in this early correspondence, making it easy to gain as much insight as possible.

Adapting your welcome survey into the style of a preference centre is also a quick and easy way to drive engagement and inspire trust as it ensures your ongoing emails are valuable, timely, personalized and relevant to the recipient.

So why wouldn’t you send a welcome program?

From our experience when we broach the subject of welcome programs with clients everyone is usually in agreement that it makes sense, but there is always one overriding objection – lack of time and resource. If putting together a welcome program is going to be a strain on your time, you are not using the correct email platform! A powerful ESP such as dotmailer comprises tools that can take all the manual labour out of such initiatives – building not only automated welcome programs, but whole lifecycles!