A universal welcome, 5 tips for a welcome program in an omni-channel world

A smile. From that one saleswoman. That is the reason for many men to keep visiting that jeans shop. We will very often soon ignore a shop where the staff does not greet us with a friendly smile. And, due to the shift to online shopping, consumers are also increasingly expecting this smile through online channels.

So why is a new prospect or customer often only “welcomed” with a standard, sometimes even just plain text, confirmation email? Why don’t we extend this digital smile through the display and social channels, the website or the App? In this blog are 5 tips to create a good welcome program in an omni-channel world.

The standard confirmation email is very common in email marketing. Fortunately, we see that more and more brands are really appreciating their (new) consumers and convert this email to an awesome welcome email. You have just registered or created an account and therefore you will have a high attention value for the brand. Therefore, these email messages also have by far the best conversion rates of all types of email campaigns. However, there are only a few brands that leverage this successful campaign optimally and simply extend it to other channels. This while the technology for this, think of DMP, website personalisation or platforms for push, are now truly within reach for every marketer.

Don’t focus on one channel

selfriges_newsletter1_ndhwvWhat could be better than not only welcoming a new prospect or customer through an email campaign, but also through other channels where they interact with the brand (especially if you have not read the email). Therefore, don’t develop a welcome program focused on only one channel. Precisely describe the contact moments that you want to use in the welcome program and design various communications across all the different channels. Formulate an objective for each contact and then the communication can in nuance be slightly different by being optimized by focusing on the strengths of the channel on which it is displayed. In this way you get a consistent welcome message for the new prospect or customer and they then feel genuinely welcome. And as a marketer, you use one of the most successful campaigns, which will also have success through your other channels.

A good welcome program tells a story and you cannot incorporate that story easily. So ensure enough time well in advance and design your omni-channel welcome program based on these 5 tips.

1. A clear strategy provides focus

It is tempting to immediately start thinking about the content, but first start with the creation of a concise strategy. You can have an overall strategy, but also do it for each communication separately. This ensures all the goals you want to achieve are covered in the program. Conversion will eventually be the main objective, but also look at the sub-objectives that can ensure a good long-term relationship. At this stage things to think about include; business objectives, tactics to achieve the objectives and the KPIs to measure these and for each communication to the target, the message and the format in which you want to achieve this.

2. Focus gives peace of mind and freedom, therefore one CTA per expression

When we have a focus with a strategy on achieving the objective it is important that we also choose for focus in the communication that we present to the customer in this case. Therefore, preferably use only one (important) CTA for each communication. It can be accompanied by supporting CTAs but make it easy for the consumer and be clear what action you expect from them.

3. Take into account the origin of the customer

A welcome program is often generically designed and if there is already a difference between the communications, then it is often targeted at prospects and customers. In your program you have to take into account that people can come to your welcome program with different expectations. Prospects who you have gained in a rather cold way, such as through Facebook Lead Adverts, have different (or maybe even no) expectations, compared to prospects who are already much warmer. So make good use here of the opportunities that technology offers us such as dynamic content (and soon of course AI). Display one additional content block for a particular origin and you can manage the expectations much better.

4. Data is the feed to a productive relationship

Data is sometimes called the new oil, but actually data is mainly the newsoil. To minimize the barrier when signing up to an email newsletter, it is best to ask as few questions as possible; an email address can be enough for the start of a productive relationship. On the basis of an email address an anonymous user already has an identified profile and this profile can be enriched with increasingly more data. This way every email open results in information about the device and the user’s location. The seed that is planted with a visit to a website and submitting an email address will thus continue to develop into a mature plant, which will yield much more for you and for the customer in the long term. The collection of data can of course be done by explicitly asking through a preference centre, but the strength in a welcome campaign lies in the fact that you can implicitly gather a lot of data, such as through indirect progressive profiling.

5. One is none in a welcome program

A welcome program now often consists of a single contact moment. During this one contact moment many different CTAs are often used so that the receiver often only acts on one CTA. As stated earlier, you should focus on a single CTA and it is better to spread all your important CTAs over several communications/contact moments. Actually, we see that there are at least three contact moments that could also follow each other up in reasonably quick succession (within one week). Since we approach a consumer who has just shown interest, we can therefore make the most of the attention value we have at that time. In these first three contact moments try to stick to the following themes:

  • In contact moment 1: make the consumer feel really welcome.
  • In contact moment 2: build on the relationship and get to know the consumer
  • From contact moment 3: start with teaching the customer what you expect from them

As long as you have a relevant CTA you can add multiple contact moments from contact moment 3, with even 6, 7 or even 10 contact moments not being unusual. However, do make sure that you really have a message to convey.

Good luck in developing your welcome program across multiple communication channels. Are you one of the first brands in Europe who knows how to succeed in this?

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