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Aloha Welcome Email & Unsubscribe Best Practices


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The "aloha" stages of email marketing (both hello and goodbye) all too often receive little attention and priority on the email marketer's task list. That's a big "hewa" (mistake), because the welcome …

The "aloha" stages of email marketing (both hello and goodbye) all too often receive little attention and priority on the email marketer's task list. That's a big "hewa" (mistake), because the welcome email, whether a single message or a series of strategic messages, might be the most important email your company will ever send.

Why? The welcome email is typically your subscriber's first email experience with your brand and sets the tone for the relationship. When done well, you will achieve higher levels of engagement out of the gate and minimize early disengagement and churn.

However, whether it happens early or far into the email relationship, some subscribers will still want to opt out. It is critical that you not only make it easy for them to unsubscribe but also provide logical alternatives to saying goodbye. This could help you capture 25 percent or more of those looking to leave.

This Webinar, designed for beginner to intermediate consumer (B2C) marketers, explains why the email "aloha" process is so important, outlines key best practices and shows numerous good and not-so-good examples of welcome emails and unsubscribe pages.

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  • Aloha: Welcome Email and Unsubscribe Best Practices
  • The worst welcome email is to not have one at all.
  • Tafford’s first welcome email generates 6 times the revenue of one of its regular broadcast emails to its entire list. Second welcome email 4.3 times more revenue, with the third less than half one of their broadcast emails. Combined, however the 3 emails generate roughly 10 times the revenue from a single Tafford’s broadcast email to their entire list.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Aloha: Welcome Email and Unsubscribe Best Practices
      Twitter Hashtag #SPOPAloha
    • 2. Speaker and Agenda
      Loren McDonald
      VP, Industry Relations
      Kumu (“teacher)
      Welcome Emails
      Unsubscribe Process
      Q & A
    • 3. Why Aloha?
      aloha (ah-low-ha): A greeting, hello or goodbye
      The “hello” (welcome process) is an important driver of early engagement and minimizing the “goodbye (opt-out)
    • 4. Aloha (Hello): Welcome Emails
    • 5. When Harry Met Sally…
      “We're talking dream date compared to my horror. It started out fine, she's a very nice person, and we're sitting and we're talking at this Ethiopian restaurant that she wanted to go to. And I was making jokes, you know like, "Hey I didn't know that they had food in Ethiopia? This will be a quick meal. I'll order two empty plates and we can leave." Yeah, nothing from her not even a smile.”
    • 6. Welcome emails may be the most important email your company sends.
    • 7. Conversion Impact from Welcome Emails
      75% increase in conversions
    • 15. The Email Relationship Phases
      Within two months of opt-in, the open rate typically falls 20% to 25%.
      Source: MarketingSherpaa
    • 16. Bring the Flowers
    • 17. 'a 'ole (ah-oh-lay) - no, not, never
    • 18. Not Much Better
    • 19. Still, Not Much Better
    • 20.
    • 21. Welcome Emails: Goals and Purpose
      Speed up conversion
      Minimize list churn
      Strengthen brand perception
      Reduce inactivity
      Educate subscriber
      Instill/reinforce trust
      Enable immediate “email experience”
      Provide administrative information/tools
      Set expectations
    • 22.
    • 23. Internet Retailer 500
      22% send NO
      Silverpop Study - 2009
    • 24. Timing
      The Good News
      The Bad News
      61% of retailers deliver their welcome emails within 10 minutes of sign up, with most of those delivering within 3 minutes.*
      19% take more than 24 hours to deliver their welcome emails, with nearly a third of those taking more than a week to deliver.*
      *Email Experience Council’s second annual Retail Welcome Email Benchmark Study (2007)
    • 25. Timing / Cadence
      • Immediate
      • 26. Suppress regular emails
      • 27. Transactional OK
      • 28. Move to a series
      3-part series
      Email # 1
      3-7 days
      Email # 2
      Stand alone
      Email # 3
      7-14 days
    • 29. Sample From Names
      From Names:
      Use the same from name as regular emails
      Simple, logical and trusted brand
      From Name/Address
      Again, use same as regular emails
      Avoid ugly, number-oriented if possible
      Good Examples:
      Olive Garden []
      MBNA America [] []
      Questionable Example:
      Penny at MarketingProfs []
    • 30. Subject Lines
      Not So Good
      Welcome to Fetchdog! Take 10% Off Your Next Order
      Immediate value proposition
      Welcome to - Take 20% Off Today
      Immediate value proposition
      Welcome to Email Savings!
      Email program is branded
      Implied value proposition
      No branding
      No mention of email program
      No value proposition
      Thank you for signing up!
      Signing up for what?
      No branding
    • 31. Design/Format
    • 32. Image Blocking
    • 33.
    • 34. Pre-header & Navigation
    • 35. Social Sharing/Following
    • 36. Simple Text
    • 37. Big & Small
    • 38. Content Blocks
    • 39. Bullets / Buttons
    • 40. Welcome Email – Betty Crocker
      • Cross promotes their newsletters in case you didn’t sign up when you registered for the website
      • 41. Great use of imagery
      • 42. Coupons
      • 43. Star Ratings
      • 44. Recipe Box
      • 45. Best Practices Followed:
      • 46. Primary message is view-able in an images off environment
      • 47. Email comes from Betty Crocker (From Address).
      • 48. Includes personalization (first name)
    • Content/Purpose
    • 49. Email address added
      Add to address book
      Privacy assurance and link
      Link/instructions on how to change preferences
      How to get started
      When the first email will arrive
      Resources, key links
      “Your gift” incentive
      Unsubscribe link
      Reinforce value proposition
      Call to action/”offer”
      Sample Welcome Content Checklist
    • 50. Incentive
    • 51. Get Started
    • 52. FAQ
    • 53. Benefits
    • 54. Payment Options
    • 55. Personality
    • 56. Covering the bases
    • 57. Offline Purchase
    • 58. Cross Sell
    • 59. Things You Can Do
    • 60. Welcome Series
    • 61. Fossil #1
    • Fossil #2
      • 5 days after opt-in
      • 65. apparel categories
      • 66. store locations
      • 67. request catalog
      • 68. create account
    • Fossil #3
    • Tafford #1
      Welcome to the Tafford Community
    • 72. Tafford #2
      Three Reasons You Will Love Tafford + A Special Offer
    • 73. Tafford #3
      Personalize Your Tafford Experience
    • 74. 2009 Welcome Series Indexed Results…
      Welcome #1 Performs 6X Better!
    • 75. Aloha (Goodbye): Unsubscribe Process
    • 76. Why Recipients Unsubscribe
      • Too Frequent
      • 77. Irrelevant Content/Offers
      • 78. Also, lack of email address change functionality
      Jupiter Research (now Forrester)
    • 79. Aloha (unsubscribes) are a good thing
      If unsubscribing is not easy, you risk:
    • 80. Keys to Unsubscribe Process?
    • 81. Administrative Footer - Obvious
      Make sure links are not just images
    • 82. Euphemisms – lolo (crazy, stupid)
      Where’s the unsubscribe link?
    • 83. Don’t Require Magnifying Glasses
      - Tiny, tiny and buried
      • Appropriate font size
      • 84. Easy to read font color
    • Link at Top of Email - Depends
      • Use if high complaint rate
      • 85. Potentially only with specific ISPs
    • Pupuka (Ugly) Opt-out Page
    • 86. Kraft Preference/Unsubscribe Center
    • 87. Note Timing to Minimize Complaints
    • 88. “You’ll still receive transactional emails”
    • 89. What You’ll Miss…
    • 90. Goodbye doesn’t have to be pupuka
    • 91. Golfsmith – Branded and Helpful
      Web site wrapper
      • Names specific list
      • 92. Link to preferences
    • So What are the Alternatives?
      Typical retention is 20-30%
    • 93. Alternatives at Opt-out?
      Silverpop Study of Internet Retailer 500 - 2009
    • 94. Channel/Communication Preferences
    • 95. Email Frequency
    • 96. Change Email Address
    • 97. Multiple Lists
    • 98. Interest Preferences
    • 99. Why Are You Unsubscribing?
    • 100. Kraft
    • 101. Office Depot
    • 102. Staples
      • Frequency Option
      • 103. RSS or catalog option
      • 104. Contact info.
    • Parting Thoughts
      Create a world-class welcome program
      Test elements
      Move to a series
      Monitor impact
      Make it easy to unsubscribe, but easier to stay
      Understand why subscribers are leaving
      Improve core email program
      Focus alternative options on key reasons they are leaving
    • 105. pau (pow)
      Finished, all done.
    • 106. Resources
      Resource Center
      White papers
      Case studies
      Many presentations on SlideShare
    • 107. Q & A / Reminders & Contacts
      Loren McDonald
      Twitter: @LorenMcDonald
      Twitter: @Silverpop
      Webinar Hashtag: #SPOPAloha
    • 108. Mahaho!On Twitter:’s Webinar Hashtag: #SPOPAloha