Everyone knows first impressions matter. This is particularly true in marketing. Make the right first impression (especially with a B2B welcome email), and you improve your chances of converting a prospect.
Fail to do so and the perfect prospect may decide one of your competitors is probably a better match.
You may have several or even a dozen more emails to go before you’re finally ready to ask your prospect to take action. In that case, it’s vital that you set up your marketing funnel for success with a well-executed B2B welcome email.
Does your company need a B2B welcome email?
In short, yes.
For one thing, if your company doesn’t send out a B2B welcome email, your prospect may not even remember why they’re receiving any kind of message from your company later on.
The average office worker currently receives an average of 121 emails per day. It would be incredibly easy for someone to forget why they were receiving your email after an extended period of time.
How soon after signup should a B2B welcome email be sent?
Prospects want a welcome email right away, too. Welcome emails sent in real time can generate 10x better results compared to batched messages that are sent even a few hours–much less a whole day–later.
Furthermore, welcome emails are a great way to begin segmenting your list immediately.
If you try doing so beforehand, by adding lots of queries to your signup form, you’ll most likely end up scaring prospects away. Most only want to deal with two: their names and email addresses. You might be able to get away with one or two more, but after that, expect sign-ups to drop off.
Check out this welcome email from Help Scout, where they could take the opportunity to segment their list right away:
You don’t actually need to ask questions to segment your list (though you can). You could just as easily provide a number of options for what the recipient wants to do next. So, while we don’t know if Help Scout actually uses this email to segment their list, they definitely could with the options they include in their very first message.
The sooner you send a B2B welcome email, the sooner you can ask your prospect for more information. That means segmenting your entire list a lot sooner, too, which will boost the likelihood of success for the rest of your funnel.
With that being said, you may wish to consider doing some A/B testing with your emails just to be sure. There’s no reason that a prospect who voluntarily signed up for your email list wouldn’t open your initial B2B welcome email, but your tests will show you if they’d prefer you wait a bit before sending it.
If that does turn out to be the case, you might try waiting until a different time in the day. For some industries and businesses, a certain amount of delay may actually be ideal.
Does your company need just one B2B welcome email or a welcome series?
A series of welcome emails is almost always the better course of action. The only caveat is that you need to have enough valuable information to make each message worth opening up and reading. Again, your prospects probably receive hundreds of emails a day. Give them any reason to ever doubt that your email is worth their time and you’ll see your open rate begin to drop off.
Multiple emails also mean multiple opportunities to find out more about your list. Even if that just means separating the group into those who did and those who didn’t open your email.
As long as the content provides value, though, you can probably end the email with a question or a CTA that takes them back to your site. In short, you’ll have another chance to find out more about who’s receiving your emails.
5 Elements every B2B welcome email should include
Every company’s B2B welcome email will be a bit different. Much of it will depend on your market, of course, but it will also depend on the funnel you may have used to bring people to your signup page.
However, the vast majority of all B2B companies should incorporate some combination of the following emails so that their welcome emails create the right kind of first impression with recipients.
1. A “Thank you”
Despite its name, every B2B welcome email needs to actually say, “thank you.”
Here’s an example of Unbounce doing just that:
As you can see, the company goes beyond just saying, “thanks.”
They also offer the recipient an easy link to access their resources page and, in their “PS.”, the option to quickly find out about building and testing landing pages.
Think they might use that to put this recipient into one of their segments?
2. Offers or promos promised during the signup
If you promised any kind of promo or offer as an incentive for prospects to sign up for your newsletter, that first email is exactly when you need to fulfill it.
Imagine the kind of first impression you’d make if you held off on that promise. Even if you just wait until the second email to provide the offer or promo, it’s probably too late. Very few of your prospects will actually see it.
That is, of course, unless you literally can’t fulfill the offer until later on. In that case, just send a welcome email that lets the recipient know their offer is on its way.
3. A welcoming subject line
Writing a compelling email subject line should be common practice at your company. Don’t send out a single message to prospects until you’re sure the subject line is irresistible.
This applies to your B2B welcome email, too. Most companies send content with just a subject line saying “Welcome!” Or something along those lines.
Those emails often don’t get opened. A prospect sees the title, recalls they signed up for a list, and simply thinks the email is being sent to confirm as much. They see no point in opening it and they move on to one of their other 100+ emails that do demand their attention.
Check out the subject line on the B2B welcome email that Groove sends out:
By just adding a little extra to the subject, recipients have a reason to open the email. Notice, the company doesn’t say what the question is, making it all the more hard-to-resist opening.
4. Immediately onboard your recipients
For many of you, the most important goal you’ll be able to accomplish with your B2B welcome email is to immediately onboard a recipient.
This would be the case if a prospect has signed up for a free trial of your product or service.
5. Immediately offer proof of your company’s value
As we mentioned above, it’s vital that your B2B welcome email (or sequence of emails) provides value to the reader. Remember: this is your company’s first impression. If you make the most of it by helping out your recipients, they’ll know that, in the future, each message may contain further information that will be valuable to them.
We just covered one way of doing this, which is to explicitly encourage your recipients to take action right away on using your product or service.
That might not always be possible, though. For example, Brian Dean’s company, Backlinko, helps businessowners improve their websites’ search engine rankings. He offers paid courses, but that’s not something he can provide people who have simply signed up for his newsletter.
Instead, check out how Dean immediately offers his list value just for opening his B2B welcome email:
Aside from establishing a real connection with his prospects (asking them to email him back), Brian also improves the ROI of his pre-existing content by inviting his list to review old posts–posts they may have not seen before since they are new.
Do you think his prospects will be more, or less likely to open his next email? We definitely think they will be looking forward to his next communication.
A B2B welcome email may seem simple enough–maybe even impossible to execute poorly.
However, your B2B welcome email is not something to take lightly. If you take the time to craft a winning message and really deliver value, your initial email will set the stage for your company’s email marketing success.