Our partners at Experian CheetahMail recently released a rich report featuring findings about welcome emails. The big idea? Welcome emails are the first step in cultivating a meaningful relationship with customers, and can generate exceptionally-high revenue for an email campaign. At Bazaarvoice, we call the process of growing an engaging in ongoing relationship with customers the “participation chain.”

Here are some key findings from the report.

  • Welcome emails have a 58% average open rate and 14% average click rate, compared to just 15% and 3% for other bulk email promotions.
  • Welcome emails have a .9% transaction rate and $1.24 average revenue per email, compared to only .1% and $0.15 for other bulk promotions.
  • Real-time welcome emails outperform welcomes sent later, maximizing these emails’ potential benefits. Real-time welcomes have a 4% average transaction rate, and $5.83 average revenue per email.

As Experian explains, these forms of targeted life-cycle messaging outperform aggregate industry averages overall – evidence of the participation chain at work. Welcome emails reach customers at a time of high engagement in their life cycle with your business – just after opting into your distribution list, and/or just after a purchase. The welcome email is a key tool in sustaining this high level of engagement – the first step in your participation chain with a new customer or subscriber.

So, how do marketers bridge this gap between welcome emails and other bulk mailings? We’ve seen UGC drive conversions in transactional and promotional emails. For instance, a consumer electronics manufacturer sent an email announcing the launch of customer reviews to solicit content. Traffic clicking through the email to the site to read reviews had a 3.48% sales conversion rate.

eSpares found that a text link in a promotional directing customers to read reviews generated 488% more click-throughs than a graphical “buy now” button. Additionally, the reviews link delivered 2.5 times the orders and revenue of the buy now button.

Welcome emails are just the first step in building an effective participation chain that keeps customers engaged and coming back. Learn more about building a strong participation chain in our free white paper from Sam Decker and Ze Frank.

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