Out of all the automated flows you're creating for your ecommerce site, a welcome series is arguably the most important.
A welcome series creates your subscribers' first impressions of your brand. It can make or break whether or not they buy from you and become lifelong fans.
So use subscriber signup to build relationships with your new subscribers and nudge more customers toward their first purchase.
But with text message marketing becoming a standard part of ecommerce brands' marketing stacks, a modern welcome sequence doesn't just use email anymore. The most effective way to engage your subscribers is to build a welcome series that uses both email and SMS in tandem.
You'll still want standalone email and SMS welcome flows if a subscriber only signs up for one. But many customers are signing up for both. So, you'll want to create a series that takes advantage of the best of each channel.
Email is generally best for long-form content and image-heavy messages. While SMS is best for time-sensitive calls-to-action, reminders, and short, fun messages that can be conveyed by text.
Consider these nine messages to include in your welcome series. Then, A/B test the number of messages you have and what channel different messages are delivered on.
The goal isn't to include all of these messages, but the ones that engage your new subscribers and cause them to take action while minimizing unsubscribes.
Let's get started.
1. Confirmation text
A confirmation text is essential when a new subscriber signs up for your SMS marketing program.
Under TCPA regulations, you must provide subscribers with an opt-out mechanism and let them know that message and data rates may apply.
So end your first text with something like, "Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to unsubscribe."
2. Thank you message
Channels: Email and SMS
After a subscriber confirms their signup for your welcome series, send them a thank you message.
This is the perfect opportunity to welcome your new subscriber and let them know what they can expect to hear about on each channel in future emails and texts.
Perhaps by text, they'll get exclusive offers or be the first to hear about your newest products. And by email, they'll get those along with new blog post notifications or product development updates.
In your first email, consider including a letter from the founder or CEO to make the email feel more personal.
3. Signup incentive message
If you've offered an incentive on your signup form to bring in new subscribers -- like a discount code, free sample, or exclusive content -- that should be included in one of your initial messages.
For SMS, it will be after your confirmation text but still sent immediately. For email, it should be part of your initial welcome email.
The incentive is the reason your subscribers signed up, so you don't want to make them wait. They could lose their excitement or abandon their purchase if they don't get it right away.
4. Brand-focused message
Channel: Email or SMS
In your welcome automation, you don't want to be too salesy. To grow a loyal customer base, it's important to build a connection with your audience.
So use your welcome messages as an opportunity to share your brand story and values. This is the perfect time to get into everything that makes your company unique and what you stand for.
For example, if you're an eco-friendly ecommerce brand, you might want to talk about the sustainability practices you use in production or your commitment to social impact.
For email subscribers, you can share an in-depth look at your brand. By text, you might try to capture the essence of your brand in a single message.
For example, by text, you might say something like, "We dedicate ourselves to making sustainable living accessible. 10% of our monthly proceeds go to [Charity Name]. So every time you shop, you support people in need."
5. Product recommendation automation
Product recommendation automations are a great way to take advantage of the conversational nature of text and boost sales. Including it in your welcome flow can help potential customers navigate the product catalog on your online store to find the best fit.
It works similarly to a product recommendation quiz you might include on your website but done through text.
Of course, if you used an ecommerce quiz on your website to encourage signups, you'll want to skip this one.
But consider segmenting out subscribers who have completed the quiz on your site from those who haven't. Then you can include this automation for the right people.
6. Product education message
Channel: Email or SMS
Your welcome series can help highlight what sets you apart from your competitors and help new subscribers understand your products.
By answering common questions, you make it all the more likely that subscribers will become customers.
Use SMS when you can describe product benefits succinctly. Use email if it will take more text or multiple images to get your point across.
7. Helpful content
Including automated emails that are helpful to your audience, but aren't directly aimed at selling your product, can be a great way to build trust and show off your expertise in your niche.
For example, if you sell artisan gins, you might send an email campaign about the different types of gins and what gives each its unique taste.
Or, if you sell running gear, you might include helpful information about how to train for various running goals or how to prevent shin splints.
This content is typically on the longer side, so best done through email.
8. Social proof message
Channel: SMS or email
Social proof messaging can help build trust and reassure subscribers that you're the right choice for their needs.
Whether you have review quotes, user-generated content, awards from major publications, or content from influencers, you can build these into your welcome emails and texts.
By text, you'll want to highlight just a single piece of social proof. By email, you can show off just how many happy customers you have with multiple quotes, logos from publications you've been featured in, and photos from users that show your product in use.
9. Incentive reminders
Don't forget about the incentive you sent your new subscribers at the beginning of your welcome series. It's time to bring it back.
If you sent subscribers a deal that requires them to place an order to take advantage of, remind them about it a couple more times throughout your welcome sequence.
Remind customers about the code they'll need to use and when it expires so they don't miss out.
This is ideal through text because it's a quick, actionable message that doesn't need a lot of content.
Create an integrated welcome series with Emotive
Now that you know what kinds of messages you can include in your welcome series, you'll need to find the right sequence for your business. It'll be different for every brand.
In addition to testing the number of messages, order of delivery, and timing of your sequence, you'll want to test all the elements of each welcome message. Test the copy, images, subject line, call-to-action, and the channel it's being delivered on. Keep an eye on click through rates, purchases, and unsubscribes to evaluate success.
If you want to create a comprehensive welcome series that seamlessly integrates email and SMS messages, you'll need an SMS marketing platform built for ecommerce.
Emotive is a dedicated text message marketing platform that integrates with your favorite email marketing platforms. Now you can launch a welcome series that uses both email and SMS and create a seamless customer experience.
With Emotive's automated two-way conversations, you can provide subscribers with product recommendations, answer FAQs, help with returns, and even place orders by text.
Sign up for a demo to learn how Emotive can make SMS your next best revenue channel.