First impressions are important - Online and Offline

Why are companies still not sending welcome emails?  It's a mystery to me.

Marketing experts have been saying for years how important it is for companies to include Welcome emails as part of their email strategies.  Big or small, all companies should send a little note of Welcoming their new subscribers/prospects.  It increases interest and engagement of prospects. 

My Podcast has a decent following and I tested this 'interest and engagement' theory with my subscribers.  I segmented my subscribers into people who received a Welcome emails and people who didn't receive a Welcome email when they subscribed to the Podcast.  With available data limited to subscribers email addresses only, I did a random selection for two segments.  I conducted this test for two weeks and found:

1. People who received a Welcome email (call it Segment A) from my Podcast, 56% opened the email.

2. This above segment had open rate between 35% and 40% for following emails.

3. The click through rate was 3x the click through rate for segment that didn't receive (Segment B) a Welcome email from my Podcast.

4. The open rate for Segment B was between 18% and 20% during the test time period.

I no longer have the test in place as I send Welcome emails to all my subscribers to keep their attention and engage them with my Podcast.

My Podcast emails don't sell anything to subscribers but the emails have information regarding episodes and the Podcast itself so I'm not losing any revenue.  This makes me wonder how much revenue and potential revenue are e-commerce companies losing by forgoing sending Welcome emails.  The reason I know that many companies are not sending Welcome emails is because I subscribe to various companies to see what's going on in the world as that's part of my profession.

Not receiving a Welcome from a company is like - Imagine walking into a store and there is no one to greet you or someone is there but doesn't acknowledge you by greeting you instead the salesperson asks you to buy a "insert product".  How well will that go?  Yes, it's an exaggeration as online experience is few steps removed but it is highly likely that a customer will engage and buy from you if you send him/her a Welcome email. 

You get a chance to showcase your organization's or brand's personality to your subscriber.  You are forgoing to introduce and share a little bit about you with your audience.  This subscriber/prospect is likely to read about you and get to know you when he/she welcomed into a family.  Leave that kind of impression with your subscriber/prospect. 


Marketing Lesson - Thanks to Bali

One of my favorite places to be in is Bali, Indonesia.  Most of Bali's economy thrives on tourism as people from all over the world come to take in the goodness of Bali.  And I understand the rush of coming to Bali as I have visited the island twice in 2 years.  The food, the culture, the people, the climate (sometimes) makes me feel at home. 

This place has many subtle lessons that one can learn and one such lesson pertaining to marketing is what I learned recently.  As mentioned above, tourists flood Bali and that means local restaurants and transportation services start competing for business from tourists.  In my experience, transportation service is the most competitive business and that's where I relearned a basic lesson in marketing.

We were walking around in Ubud (market area) and there were motor bikes and car taxis to shuttle foreigners (tourists) around.  There was same message of drivers asking if we wanted taxi service.  We kept walking while politely denying the taxi services.  Then to our surprise someone asked if he could help us find anything we were looking for.  Well, that was something new to our ears so we dished it out - we were looking for a great place to for Balenese food.  He navigated that for us and we hired him to shuttle us back to the house we were renting.  From that day on, we called him to take us where ever we wanted to go.  So the lessons learned was: change your messaging and offer something more.

When the market place is cluttered with same messages, "free shipping" "take __% off" "seasonal savings" etc., consumers start ignoring the messages.  They find no value in the messages they receive.  But if a company can take on switching the way it gets consumers attention then that adds value to the consumer.  The consumer will most definitely hear the different message and take action especially when a company is offering something more.  One of the best examples of the advise I'm offering is Zappos.  The company sells daily wear just like many other companies but it sells it at a higher price and consumers are willing to pay for it.  It's the something else the company offers; excellent customer service. 

What I know is that I will pay attention to what others companies are doing and saying and I will do something different and offer something more to add value to my customers' lives.


How you start determines how you will finish

Decision are made based on analyses.  Analyses are based on data. 

Collection of correct data is the most important action to be taken when building a database.  If a company has limited funds, it can build a database using Microsoft Access or collect data in Microsoft Excel.  But a company can not afford to collect incorrect data.  This is the most crucial step for a company when deciding on building a database. 

Over time, many changes will take place, projects and needs will evolve but the importance of collecting correct data in proper manner will never change.

I have worked on many databases and have never steered from focusing on collection of proper data points and methodology of data collection.  Any company is bound to fail achieving its goals if it disregards this crucial step.

In the coming times, I will be discussing various topics on data and analytics.  Feel free to leave comments below to suggest what you would like to learn and explore.