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Customer Retention. Automated

Setting up a Welcome Series Email Campaign

Posted by Andrew Pearson on Jun 25, 2013 3:22:00 PM
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Windsor Circle helps online retailers leverage their eCommerce data in different kinds of targeted email campaigns. This week we explore the Welcome Series campaign.

Introducing the Welcome Series

A welcome series is a group of emails sent to first-time customers after a certain period of time to try and turn them into repeat buyers. Nurturing new customers and increasing the chances that they become repeat buyers is incredibly important for business:  repeat buyers have an average customer value 4.8X higher than one-time buyers. Every online retailer should have a welcome series that develops a relationship with one time buyers and converts them into repeat customers.

Developing a well thought out, step by step welcome series will take a mix of creativity and data manipulation on the marketers’ side, but not wowing your first time buyers can have a big impact. If you do not try to convert that first time buyer into a repeat client, you could be leaving money on the table. A compelling welcome series can see 55% open rates and 13% click throughs, just like a Windsor Circle client, bodymod.dk, saw from  the 1st step of their welcome series.

Setting up the emails in your ESP is not that difficult.  In today's article, we'll explore in detail the process of building a Welcome Series in MailChimp.

Welcome Series Set-Up

Using Windsor Circle’s eCommerce data integration to MailChimp, you can identify the first time a customer makes a purchase from your site and trigger a series of emails to introduce them to your business.  This has proven to have great success in customer retention.

  1. First, set up the three Automators in your MailChimp account that will trigger from the WC_First_Order_Date merge field.  In this example, we have set up three emails that are triggered 3, 7 and 14 days after first purchase.  Set up the first one like this:

Welcome Series in MailChimp

2. Then, create the second and third Autoresponder exactly the same way, but set them to send 7 and then 14 days after the first purchase date.  When you are done, you should show three Autoresponders that look something like this:

Welcome Series in MailChimp

You now have a three-email welcome campaign that triggers whenever someone makes their very first purchase from your site.

The next step is to click on the title of each Autoresponder and select the list containing the Windsor Circle data to send to, create your emails and activate the Autoresponder.  Aside from activating the Autoresponder, this process is the same as creating a Campaign in MailChimp.

Welcome Series Content

The content for a three-part welcome series can vary greatly depending on your business, your customer base, and your messaging style.  However, the following three sequential emails are a good starting points:

  • Thank You – A simple thank you note to a customer making their first purchase.  If possible, address it from a person rather than from the company. 
  • Introduction to your website/business - You probably have an “About Us” page on your web site.  You can start here and pare it down to a one-page email.  Give your new customer some information that will help them think of you the next time they buy your product.
  • Product recommendation – Hard-code two or three recommendations into this email based on the best sellers from your site.

Here’s an sample Welcome Series Thank You email from our fictitious company, Bull Durham Home Electronics:

Hi Steve,

I just want to say thank you for choosing BDHE for your home electronics purchase recently.  I know there are many electronics retailers out there and I am honored that you chose us.  By way of thanks, I’d like to offer you a 5% discount off your next purchase with us.

We try hard to be the best all around home electronics retailer online by:

  • Being fanatical about our customer service.  You have any problems, just give us a call or contact us via the web site.  We’re here to help.
  • Guaranteed low prices.  If you find a lower price, we’ll match it at 110%!  How’s that?
  • If you spend more than $100 on your order, don’t worry about shipping.  It’s on us!

To use your 5% discount, simply enter BDHETHANKS at checkout.  We hope to have the opportunity to serve you soon.


John Q. Public

Chief Marketing Officer

From Concept to Action

In order to effectively set-up and seamlessly run an ongoing Welcome Series, you'll need to be able to import the date of first purchase along with other standard customer information and email addresses on a consistent basis.  While there are a number of options to access your customer data in order to extract date of first purchase, from custom built integrations, spreadsheet export/import or manual data entry, these options usually weigh heavily on the marketing budget and/or cost the IT department time and energy to produce. Windsor Circle allows you to access rich customer and purchase history data instantly.

Once you get a hold of this data you don’t have to stop with a welcome series. According to Janus Christensen of bodymod.dk, “There is no end to what you can do with data provided by Windsor Circle.”

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Download our Welcome Series Playbook for examples, tips and tricks for setting up your own welcome campaigns.





Topics: Best Practices, Email Marketing

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