Archive for the ‘Welcome Email’ Category

I credit my wife with passing this message along. Here’s what she told me:

“So here is email marketing awesomeness for you. I signed up for this website back before we were married and I JUST got a welcome email. Literally.”

My wife and I have been married for almost six years, so you can imagine her surprise when she got this in her old pre-married Gmail account:

I’m honestly not even sure what to think of this. My thoughts are centered around two possibilities for why this message is seven years late:

1. MyNewPlace switched to an ESP and imported all of their data and treated everyone as new subscribers. (Not Good)
2. MyNewPlace bought a list that my wife’s old Gmail account is on (Terrible, for countless reasons)

The message itself? Not bad. But timing is everything for a welcome email, and while seven years is OBVIOUSLY too late to send one, waiting seven days isn’t a great idea either.

I’d love to know what others think about this. It’s a crazy example, I know, but still, maybe there’s a good explanation.

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Last week, I signed up for the Kohls.com email list. Sure enough, as I (and any good email snob should) expected, I got the first email within minutes of hitting the submit key. Here’s what I got:


Let’s go analyze what’s good and bad about the message. First, what’s good.

What’s good about this welcome email:

  • Timeliness – this message arrived within minutes of completing the form. Certainly hits when I’m most in the mode to receive it. Kudos.
  • Whitelisting request at the top.
  • A simple welcome message and incentives to open subsequent messages. Very nice use of incentives IMHO.
  • Sets up expectations extremely well with what you’ll receive in these sales alerts.
  • The subject line is great. “Your First Kohls.com Sale Alert” gives me a sense of urgency, as well as matches the expectations of signing up for the email list.
  • Good highlights of what Kohls.com has to offer.

What’s not so good about this message:

  • I understand it’s technically a transactional email, but really? Plain text? I even checked to see if it was an images-off version with alt-text (which if it was, that would mean AWESOME use)… but not so much. I’d expect a major retailer like Kohls to use images.
  • The From line shows up in Gmail as myaccount.help. Who? Exactly. (To be fair, subsequent emails have come from Kohls.com, but this is your first contact, so change it up!)
  • At the bottom, it says “This mailbox is unattended, so please do not reply to this message.” WOW. That’s one way to sort of hide a Do-Not-Reply, but seriously, reply handling can be done with almost any ESP.What’s even crazier is that later it says “for other inquiries, email us at myaccount.help@kohls.com.”–Which, if you’re paying attention, is the FROM line of this message! So first you’re saying don’t reply, but I can send a message to the email box that this message comes from, even though you claim earlier it’s unattended? Are you confused? Good, I’m not the only one.

All in all, despite my distaste for the use of plain text in a first message of this sort, a solid effort put forth by Kohls. If they add images and fix the from-line/do-not-reply issues, they’d be even better.

Not bad, Kohls. Not bad.

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The wife and I are avid Target shoppers. More than likely if we have a choice between Walmart and Target, we choose Target. So given that, I decided to sign up for Target’s email updates program. I fully expected a thank you email to come within a day or two (at most)… not so much.

A WEEK LATER, here’s what I got from Target:

Subject Line: Welcome to Target.com!

Target_Welcome_EmailBefore I harp on the utter lateness of this message, let’s start with what Target did right (in my opinion):

  • Whitelisting request at the top and with prominence in the design below the primary message. Definitely a priority in a welcome message (regardless of how late it is)
  • Solid use of the red as branding. Use of imagery tying the store designs to the email is great.
  • Thanks me for signing up, then sets the expectations upfront. (The Images Off version has all of the copy in that primary box at alt-text, so kudos there)
  • Decent use of a nav bar at the top and recovery module at bottom.

Now the bad:

  • This message is a week late. I received NOTHING from Target until this message a week later. When I ask for email updates, it’s top of mind folks. Hit me within an hour, and you might get an impulse buy. Much more so than a week later.
  • This may be nitpicky, but I would have liked to have seen Daily Deals not just in the recovery module, but as a button.
  • The “Shop Target.com” should be a red button or something to draw the eye. It’s a bit too dull. Perhaps a combo with the Daily Deals to spark that impulse buy.
  • The fact that this is a do-not-reply email (as indicated in the disclaimers). Target should know better and have at least a central reply-to email box.

Here’s the email in full-size:

Target_Welcome_EmailIf I had received this message in a timely manner, I probably wouldn’t be so negative.

So get to it, Target! You have been put on notice!

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