Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Send Welcome Emails

Remember when we suggested that you Make The First Visit Count? This idea is based somewhat on the same principle.

Your brand new customer has just discovered you and purchased from you. Within 24 hours you should send them a welcome email. Why? Because marketing is courtship.

Think about about a time when you first met someone you found attractive. You're thinking about that person and carrying around that excitement for about a day or two. Then you get a phone call, email, or a text message from that person and it makes you feel a little giddy and tingly. That's what you want to do, tingle your customers a little bit.

Here are some best practices for the welcome email:

  1. First, make sure you collect email addresses from all your new customers

  2. Send the welcome email out within the first 24 hours of making a new customer

  3. The message of the letter should be that you are so happy to have met someone new. Thank them for placing faith in your business by making a purchase from you.

  4. Put your business name in the subject line: "Welcome to The Idea Spot Family."

  5. Make the letter personal; address the customer by name, and have the letter be from an indivdual (preferably you).

  6. Send html emails. those are the kinds with colorful graphics and fonts in them. It's easy if you use an email service provider like Constant Contact or one from this list.

  7. The jury is out on whether or not to offer a discount, award or incentive. I personally wouldn't do it, because it cheapens the whole "newness of the relationship" thing by degrading the email into a sales piece.

  8. At the end of the email, include an option to "opt out" from future emails by replying with "unsubscribe" in the subject line. Then make sure you remove them from your email list.
You could do the same thing with regular mail. A handwritten thank-you card would have tremendous impact. However, that's not practical for most businesses. Save some time and some money and welcome your customers with email.

For small business marketing advice and lessons, see our other blog: The Marketing Spot

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