Strategic Web Communication Principle #2 of 5 Part 2B

Practical Tip #2: Implement an electronic welcome series.

The primary goal of your electronic welcome series is to accelerate the process of getting acquainted with your new friends. Don’t make email fundraising part of your welcome series – that would be like asking someone to marry you on the first date. Instead, after you’ve convinced them to opt-in initially on our website, say “thanks” on a landing page and/or auto-responder email, then offer them ministry freebies or some other incentive-based opportunity in exchange for their snail mail address. Pathmaker Marketing has established metrics that indicate that for every 100 emails you collect by asking for First Name and Email Address, you will be able to convert 63-65% into full name, phone and mailing address in exchange for a Welcome Kit.

For example, let’s look a this example to see how this process works. Here’s the incentive-based landing page that we’ve helped various not for profit organizations establish:

The Presidential Prayer Team
Jewish Voice Ministries
Gregory Dickow Ministries

Click through the process in each case to notice all the incentives for signing up. The email sign up page asks the visitor to exchange their name and email address for the goodies offered. You don’t need to ask for more than two pieces of information: First Name and Email address. With these two things you can correspond with someone in a personalized way by email. Anything more can cause anxiety and lead to reductions in signups.

If you walk through the process online, you come next to the “Thank You” page that appears after the sign-up process occurs, with links to the promised benefits pages.  Usually the Welcome Kit offered will convert 63-65% of your email signups into snail mail addresses, when properly strategized.

Notice how it includes another incentive-based offer – a Free Welcome Kit in exchange for mailing address?  Once this transaction occurs, you now have a full range of marketing data: Full Name, Email, Snail Mail, and Phone to begin a dialoge with your newfound friend. In addition, your Member Benefits page can provide for immediate downloads of prayers, helpful tools, and more that were promised at the beginning of the eWelcome series. This entire process can happen in a few minutes. In addition, auto-responder emails are sent at each transaction point, repeating the information.

The eWelcome series is completed through a series of automated emails that go out over a period of weeks to the new signups.  Typically, your first email goes out the same day and is followed by one email each week thereafter, for up to 6-8 weeks total.

Your website eWelcome series is a strategically critical component in your lineup of small business marketing strategies for the internet.

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