Welcome Series – What’s the value of a welcome?
How would you feel if the next time you walked into a restaurant for a meal, you were standing around waiting to be served but no one greeted you? Every organization is responsibility for providing great service, value, and important information to its supporters without them having to work for it. For nonprofits, it’s no different.
Recent studies have found that the average nonprofit emails receive around a 14% open rate, with an average click through rate of 2.2% (Blackbaud). A welcome series receives 4x more opens and up to 5x more clicks (Experian Marketing Services)
A welcome series is normally sent out once a constituent signs up to receive further information or completes a form of any kind online. While this often automatically triggers a thank you autoresponder, an organization can funnel users into a welcome series instead. The value of this can be significant for a nonprofit.
Ideas for a welcome series can include:
• New Donor welcome series
• New Subscriber welcome series
• Volunteer welcome series
• Event Registration welcome series
• Membership welcome series
• Sustainer welcome series
• General Donor welcome series
• E-commerce welcome series
A welcome series can really be applied at any point the user can plug in their email address — and best of all — it can be automated!
As a rule of thumb, the best practice is 3 emails in a series with a range of themes depending on the goals of the series.
Here are common themes for a 3-part series:
1. Introducing the user to your organization and culture, explaining the area of greatest need.
2. Asking the user to share content about a particular topic or to learn more about the need.
3. Ask for support through a donation or other action.
Timing is another key factor to consider. Best practice is often 1-2 days for the first e-mail, up to 4-7 days later for the second, and 14 days for the third. But as always, testing will allow you to fine-tune your timing for best results.
A welcome series is the organization’s best tool in ensuring users are educated, engaged, and interested so that they can become your greatest advocates.
If you want to take it to your welcome series to the next level, the opportunity to segment and test conditionalized content is also available,. Setting up A/B testing based on location, demographics, interests, or to try different subject lines are just a few examples.
Next time you capture a supporter e-mail, consider the potential of a welcome series when it comes to strengthening your relationship with them as well as converting them to donate!
To learn more about writing a welcome series or other ways your organization can improve its e-mail communications, contact Jill at email@example.com