email welcome series

Engaging New Subscribers With a Welcome Series

The welcome series is a crucial part of a brand’s email marketing. Welcome series emails are able to strike while the iron is hot, experiencing some of the highest engagement rates of any type of email. It’s a perfect opportunity to captivate newly acquired subscribers, drive them towards conversion, and build the groundwork for a long-term relationship.

We’re going to specifically take a closer look at New + High Intent and New + Low Intent stages, the AI driven third touch of ReSci’s welcome series, and the email strategies that can be used in these stages for engaging customers from the get-go of the customer lifecycle.


How do these stages work?

From the moment of subscribing, our algorithms are crunching a plethora of user behavioral data. Users that are exhibiting higher levels of engagement such as opening emails, browsing on site, adding items to cart will qualify for a New + High Intent email. On the other end of the spectrum, users that are exhibiting low to no engagement levels will instead receive a New + Low Intent email.

Tailoring content towards these two different types of newly acquired users will allow you to create more relevant and effective messages. For example, a hard sell for disengaged, low intent users may be off-putting or feel too forced. However, it may be just the push for an engaged user to convert. The purpose of these stages is to drive users towards conversion and engagement with your brand, and build a lasting relationship.


New + High Intent (the iron is hot)

Users that land in this stage have not made a purchase, yet they are engaging a lot with your brand by opening emails, visiting your website, and carting items. Therefore the New + High Intent stage is a great opportunity to flex all you got, and make your case to this specific cohort of newly acquired leads. 


What works in this stage:


A curated shopping list

This email cuts to the chase and there is no shame in that. At the end of the day, brands want to  sell products, and one way of doing that is a showcase of all you have to offer. Think of a shopping catalogue that beautifully displays fan favorites or best selling items as Perfect Snacks’ email does. 


Similarly, the email can employ personalized dynamic product recommendations based on Cortex recommendation schemes as shown in FIGS email. 


East Fork’s email example cleverly acknowledges many subscribers are not aware of their entire line of products and creatively uses their product experts to share lesser known items


Pro tip: Our recommended scheme is the “Similar to Viewed/Purchased” scheme. Always test out static and dynamic product recommendations each in a template to see what works best with your subscribers. 


Creating context

Kristen LaFrance, host of the Playing For Keeps podcast, said it best:

“Context builds a better customer experience long before your product even enters their home. It helps your customers visualize a place for the product in their lives.” 

Help your subscribers feel like the purchase is a no brainer by making it easy to see themselves using your products. Instead of just product images alone, create an email of the product(s) being used in context. A great way to do this is by leveraging user generated content such as images with quotes or reviews as Evelyn & Bobbie brilliantly have. The brand’s commitment to inclusivity and serving women of all sizes, age and color is easily apparent in their email as the women proudly wear their underwear and share their thoughts.


Similarly, profile someone your subscribers/target audience would admire and echo how they use your products. For example, The Great Fantastic creates social proof by featuring customers from all walks of life using their products. They used weightlifters, students, celebrity stylists and more to show that The Great Fantastic’s Swoveralls is a perfect product for anyone to use. 


New + Low Intent (the cold shoulder)

These users are not browsing the website or opening emails after subscribing to your brand. In other words, users that land in this stage may be more prone to having cold feet, and will need to warm up to your brand instead of a hard sell. This stage is a great opportunity to find ways to connect with your users in a way that is not just about a sale, and instead gives them a good reason to open your emails every time.


What works for this stage:


Reducing anxiety

Address any objections subscribers have head-on with this type of email. Is it the price? Is there a learning curve? Is it understanding how a subscription plan works? After figuring out what might be causing anxiety for your audience, focus on tackling each issue to alleviate their fears and help convince them that your product is the right choice.

For OUI The People, they understand that a safety razor isn’t a product women are familiar with using. Therefore, they created a beautiful and simple email with illustrations to share how easy it is to assemble a safety razor. 


Oftentimes, a point of anxiety can be the price, and Lettuce Grow tackles that head on by partnering with Affirm and letting their subscribers know that they have the option to do monthly installments. Suddenly, that big ticket item is much more obtainable. They also do a great job of pointing out their shipping, return and warranty policies to make the purchasing process less daunting. 

Providing value

This type of email adopts the philosophy most of us have heard before: give before you can get. From the first point of contact you have with a new subscriber, email marketers should be thinking long term engagement. This type of email strategy is about figuring out how we can get this customer to connect with your brand so it’s not just about a sale. Like in any relationship, users will appreciate knowing you’re in it for the long haul.

Oftentimes, as experts in the industry do, brands take the opportunity to share helpful how-to content or advice to provide value.

If you have a burgeoning blog, create an email highlighting your best and most engaging posts. You don’t have to wait until your regular newsletter to share fun and educational content. Give your audience an early taste in the New + Low Intent stages to get them hooked early. As an added bonus, promoting your blog also helps drive more traffic to your website.

If you’re a food or beverage brand, put together fun recipes and share unexpected ways to enjoy your products. Smith Teamaker expertly does this by sharing their blog post on their take on the wildly popular matcha latte. This is just an early treat! Smith Teamaker regularly shares delicious recipes from cocktails to baked goods utilizing tea via their blog and newsletters we’re always on the lookout for. 


Here’s another great example by Social Print Studio on how to promote blog content.

Pro tip: If you need more ideas in the New + High Intent stage, you can use this same example of providing value–it has also worked in that stage successfully with our clients. 


Strategic Testing

Although some strategies may seem better suited for one stage versus the other, at ReSci we’re big proponents of strategic testing to really learn what will work best for your audience. 

Therefore, go ahead and throw each type of email example into both stages! Keep in mind that users will only fall into either the New + High Intent or the New + Low Intent stage (not both) so you don’t have to worry about any repeat content. 

We suggest at least four different content templates to achieve the best results, but you can always start with the minimum of two. Our email bandits will constantly monitor the open and click rates, and dynamically distribute traffic to template variations that are performing well; while distributing less traffic to template variations that are underperforming to ensure the most effective messaging is getting the most sends.

Over the span of 2-3 months you can learn from the content your users are interacting with more in each stage, start creating similar content, and removing what isn’t performing as well. Ultimately, the more you test, the more patterns you’ll start to spot, and the better you’ll be able to adjust your messaging in each stage and improve upon your email marketing strategy.


Final thoughts

In the high-intent stage, we want to drive engagement and conversions while the user intent is still high. In this low-intent stage, we want to drive engagement and conversions also, but will require more work and a softer approach.

The goal is that after initially getting to know your brand, subscribers will continue opening your emails so you can keep them in the loop about your products and, if not right away, over time they’ll become customers and loyal brand advocates.

We hope that you understand the importance of the New + High/Low Intent stages, and how Cortex is designed to address the complexity of capturing the modern customer!


Brought to you by Mayra Herrera, Customer Success Manager at ReSci
Mayra is client focused, dedicated to solving problems and supporting our clients in their everyday marketing challenges.


Feel confused or lost? Want more strategies? Contact the helpdesk, or reach out to your Client Success Manager and they’ll be happy to help!


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ReSci is a team of marketers and data scientists on a mission to democratize AI. We make powerful recommendations and predictions accessible to brands. Find out how we can help you connect with your customers.