2017-02

11 welcome email best practices the top fashion retailers use

by Kristyn Wallace
 | 
03 March 2017
Best email practices
Australia’s top online fashion brands are using a customer centric approach to welcome emails.

The welcome email is a key moment for both a business and a subscriber (potential customer), which is why it is so important to nail it. According to Easy-SMTP, welcome emails generate 320% more revenue per email than other types of promotional emails [source].

We’ve scrutinised Australia’s most visited fashion websites’ welcome emails to break down the top performer’s are doing. These retailers are focused on the customer experience in every detail.

Here is a breakdown of what you need to consider when creating your own welcome emails.

1. Know your purpose

The main objective of a welcome email is to generate a purchase. Secondarily, the welcome email will provide an incentive to shop and opportunities to engage with the brand.

According to the 2016 Adestra Australia Consumer Digital Adoption and Usage Study, discounts drive consumer opt-in and purchasing decisions. If more than 50% of people are subscribing to a welcome email in order to receive a discount, and that discount is likely to drive a purchase, you’ve got yourself a true win-win situation.

2. Send it ASAP

A welcome email should be sent in real-time. Once a new subscription happens, a welcome email must be sent. All of Australia’s top online retailers follow this practice. 

Real time welcome emails have much higher open and click rates than batch emails and generate 4.01% transaction rates, while batch emails generate 0.4%, reveals Experian in The welcome email report. 

3. Who are you and what's in it for me?

You only have a matter of seconds as your potential customer scans their inbox to grab their attention; make sure your email is clearly identifiable. You can do this in two ways:

From Name

Does the “from name” match the subscriber’s expectation? If somebody has signed up to receive emails from Brand A, but they’re receiving an email from Bill from Customer Service, you may not be meeting their expectation.

Sending Domain

Likewise, if a subscriber signs up for emails from Brand A, but the email is coming through from Welcome@We-Own-10-Different-Brands, you are failing to meet an expectation, and your welcome may go straight to trash.

Email marketing and fashion ebook

4. The first Call To Action generates an Open

The first CTA needs to happen before the email gets opened. Subject line and a pre-header should be used as incentive for a subscriber to open the email. Many brands don’t utilise the pre-header as a secondary subject line, but it is a valuable resource, as we can see with Missguided’s welcome email.

 

Avoid spam filters like Missguided

Missguided utilises the pre-header to full effect
 

5. How does it look?

A subscriber must be able to view an email to engage. Add a link to view the email online at the top of a welcome email.  If someone has taken the time to subscribe, they want to be able to read what is being sent.  This is another great chance to connect with your customer. Make sure that the copy is consistent with your brand’s tone of voice and have fun.

 

Make sure all your copy is on brand
All copy should be in the brand voice.


Smartphones rule. The 2016 Adestra Australia Consumer Digital Adoption and Usage Study indicates that smartphones outpace computers in message checking, so it is paramount that a welcome email renders on mobile devices, or is “mobile friendly”. No idea how to accomplish this? Your Marketing Services provider can work for you to ensure that your emails render on every device.

6. Have you delivered on your promise?

Think about promises in terms of consistent messaging. 

First of all, if your email is not on brand, you’re not delivering. Your email should be reflective of your online brand. One easy way to accomplish this is to mirror the design of the website within your email. Matching the headers, navigation, and creative brand guidelines is an easy way to do this.
 

  Deliver on your promises like The Iconic

The iconic's emails are in line with the website design.


If there was an incentive to subscribe to emails on the website (i.e. a discount, exclusive club membership, fashion insider info), then the promise needs to be delivered on in the welcome email. This is an important step in building a relationship with a potentially loyal customer.

Promise:

 

Give your promise
 

Delivered:

 

Deliver on your promise


7. A Little More CTA

With the ultimate purpose of of a purchase in mind, there needs to be at least one call to action within the body of the welcome email.

Vouchers are both an incentive to sign up for a newsletter and a great reason to open an email. Based on our research of the top 20 most visited online retailers in Australia, 60% of those offer some sort of voucher in their welcome email. Because the voucher has become such a commonly used practice in a welcome email, customers will often sign up to a newsletter prior to making a planned purchase with the expectation of receiving a discount.

So, the immediacy of the welcome email becomes extremely important, or the customer may go looking elsewhere.

 

Each email should have a clear call to action (CTA).


Others may not offer a discount voucher in their welcome email, but will offer access to a loyalty program with various perks. The subscriber must give more information, as part of a welcome series, to get exclusive access.

8. Are your images powerful?

Most of the most visited Australian online fashion retailers include a “hero image” in their welcome email. Lookbook style images that are evocative of the brand and a particular lifestyle are powerful engagement tools in fashion. Missguided and Pumpkin Patch do this well in their welcome emails. Get inspired by visiting Milled.com to see what other top brands are doing in your sector. 

 

Use bold imagery like Missguided

Missguided is known for its bold imagery.


9. Can the subscriber connect in other ways?

Links to social media are key because subscribers can quickly become brand ambassadors. Nearly every online retailer provides links to their social media, often in the footer of their welcome email. People are engaging with several channels at any given time, so it is a great idea to make it easy to connect with your brand whenever and however they want to.

All of the most visited fashion retail websites in Australia have some kind of social media, so not including links to social in a welcome email is a loss.

10. Keep it short and sweet

The welcome email shouldn’t include too many different messages. It should welcome the subscriber, deliver on what was promised, give them an incentive to shop, and provide them with opportunities to engage.  The more your customers engage with your brand, the more information you can collate to help you hone and personalise your email communications.

11. Are we reading the fine print?

Nobody likes it, but it has to go somewhere. Put this information after the footer of your email.

An unsubscribe link must be included, along with other legally required details, including mailing address. Witchery does a very clean version of this in their emails.

ASOS and The Iconic appear to be leading the way when it comes to welcome emails, by taking a customer-centric approach. At the same time, newer players like Missguided have adopted the same (and potentially more innovative) practices in their email marketing strategies and have seen recent growth, some of which can likely be attributed to their fashion-forward emails.

Want to become an expert in email marketing? Get a quote or call us on 1300 725 628.

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About the author
Kristyn Wallace
Account Manager

After finishing her Bachelor’s degree in Canada, Kristyn began her career in the IT industry, working in sales and account management. As part of the Digital Client Engagement team at Salmat, her focus is on understanding her clients’ needs and delivering results across digital channels.

More articles by Kristyn Wallace