It’s well known that the most effective communication happens when a messenger has a receptive listener. In email marketing, we also know that subscribers are most receptive immediately after they opt in. So when The 80s Cruise asked us to brainstorm on ways to improve their email engagement, we started by taking a thorough look at their welcome emails.
The Plan: Capitalize on an Interested Audience
At the time, the (like, totally awesome) cruise had a welcome email in place that had a 130 percent increase in open rates over their standard promotional emails. We hypothesized that we would continue to see elevated open rates if we triggered additional emails to new subscribers during the first two weeks they had joined the email list. We also knew this was the period of time in which subscribers were actively considering whether to book the cruise or spend their vacation dollars elsewhere. We settled on a sending cadence of one email every two to four days for a total of four messages in the email welcome series.
The Creative: We Got This Covered!
Creating emails for the extended welcome series proved easy as the cruise had previously created and sent a few emails that members of the marketing team wished new subscribers would also receive. By leveraging these previously sent emails, we created a four-part welcome series with minimum creative expense. The initial welcome email was already in place, and the first email we added to the campaign was what we called “6 Reasons to Sail Back to the 80s.” We also triggered an email focusing on the Valentine’s Day Prom, hosted on the cruise by Tiffany. The final email we triggered was updated frequently to include the latest special offer available and details on the remaining payment plans. This final activation email was only sent to those new subscribers who had not yet made a cruise reservation.
The Results: Welcome Metrics Showed a Totally Tubular Impact
The engagement metrics comparing welcome emails to batch-and-blast emails spoke for themselves. Every email in the welcome series outperformed the average batch-and blast-email for open rates during the fourth quarter of 2016. All but one email outperformed the average batch-and-blast email click-to-open rate during that same time. Here’s a look at how the welcome emails performed compared to batch-and-blast emails.
|Email Welcome Series||Open Rate Percent Increase Over Batch and Blast||Click-to-Open Rate Percent Increase Over Batch and Blast|
|Welcome 1: Thanks for Signing Up||130%||45%|
|Welcome 2: 6 Reasons to Sail Back to the 80s||34%||20%|
|Welcome 3: Valentine’s Day Prom||21%||-14%|
|Welcome 4: Activation||5%||57%|