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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.


  • 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 [newsletter@olivegarden.com]
    MBNA America [MBNA@cardsatisfaction.com]
    Magazines.com [offers@magazines.com]
    Questionable Example:
    Penny at MarketingProfs [support@marketingprofs.com]
  • 30. Subject Lines
    Not So Good
    Welcome to Fetchdog! Take 10% Off Your Next Order
    Immediate value proposition
    Welcome to Art.com - Take 20% Off Today
    Immediate value proposition
    Welcome to Sears.com 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: @Silverpopwww.slideshare.net/silverpopwww.silverpop.comToday’s Webinar Hashtag: #SPOPAloha