Welcome Messages for Frictionless Customer Onboarding

by Alexa Lemzy | Last updated 10th October 2018

Welcome message in peoples hand

Setting the Stage

Shakespeare would have a herald walk out before a play began, to describe the setting. It created familiarity, built rapport and expectations with the audience, and cost a lot less than making actual scenery!

That is your job with a welcome message, whether it will arrive in the form of an SMS, push notification, or a conventional e-mail message. You’re setting the stage for future interactions. Your most important task still remains, however: to tell people why they are receiving this particular message.

Most people will receive a flood of messages every day, so you have to make yours stand out from the crowd. One way to do this is to make sure you always deliver value to a client to reward them for opening your e-mail, SMS, or push message. You must, however, also remain aware of the legal requirements with such communications.

How it’s Done

Messages will vary according to the nature of your business:

  • If you offer an altruistic community service that they may wish to aid, remind them of the good work that you do;
  • If you know they’re coming from a particular sales funnel, remind them of why they signed up in the first place;
  • If they responded to a promotion, address the benefits that they can expect to receive.

Continue with the sorts of benefits that they’ll see in future communications, too. Often it’s a good idea to provide a direct, immediate benefit, such as a 20% off coupon on their first purchase, a free e-book, or a choice of premium that will be included when they order. This could be as simple as “free shipping.”

Welcome Messages by Channels

Yes, the techniques may change, but the fundamental principles remain constant. Pay attention to your new customer; show them that you appreciate them; convince them that their patronage is the most important thing that has happened to you today.

Let’s take a look at the three most popular communication methods and how you should approach them.

Push Notifications

If your customer has agreed to install your company’s app, and further, to accept incoming push notifications, don’t make your first communication a 5-page advertisement about just how great you are. Someone granting you permission for push notifications creates a privileged state, implying trust. Don’t abuse that.

This is particularly important because people will uninstall your app if it doesn’t perform well, annoys them, or is deemed irrelevant. Most devices have limited space so users may keep very few apps.

To be one of the select few “keepers” make sure your push notifications are short, sweet, and relevant. A common technique is to include a QR code, bar code, or similar feature granting a discount on a purchase.

SMS Messaging

This sort of communication can be even more terse. Many customers choose SMS because it is included in their phone plan for free, often with unlimited messaging. The drawback is that there may be a carrier limitation on the number of characters you can use, similar to a Twitter post.

For some customers, if you go beyond a certain number of characters, the post may be split into multiple messages or worse, automatically converted into an MMS (Multimedia Message Service) type of message. Worse still, MMSs often cost the customer money.

Best choice? An HTML link to something they’re interested in, briefly reminding them why they like your product or service.

E-mail Messages

This sort of communication provides a lot more latitude. This is where you can be “newsy,” show lots of images, provide many links, and give detailed descriptions about events, etc.

The key with e-mail is to put the exciting, clickable bits up near the top so the customer doesn’t have to search for what interests them. If they are pressed for time, they’ll likely close it, thinking that they will get back to it later, but then promptly forget about it. Lost opportunity!

Providing additional information “below the fold,” as they used to say in the newspaper business, provides much more information for those that are deeply interested. By the same token, it doesn’t interfere with customers who just like to read the headlines or click links to get to the full story.

Best Welcome Messages

Recognition

Use a customer’s name. It is their most valuable possession, and everyone likes to be recognized. Don’t send generic welcome messages for the sake of messages—customers want to feel like they are more than just an account number—and give them value, not just “content.”

Sincerity

You are grateful for their attention, so why not let them know and actually say “Thank You.” It is surprisingly meaningful and a powerful way to improve the customer service experience—and when they say “thank you” for something, don’t hesitate to say back, “You’re Welcome. I was glad to be of service.”

Connect to Your Videos

Do you have any YouTube “Explainer” videos? If so, providing a direct link to them can be astonishingly effective and rewarding for new clients. You could send a snappy and short mobile message, like one of these:

Do you have any YouTube “Explainer” videos? If so, providing a direct link to them can be astonishingly effective and rewarding for new clients. You could send a snappy and short mobile message, like one of these:

  1. Tying Shoes Teach your child in under a minute!
  2. Growing Perennials Your flowers will be back!

…or the explanation could be longer to cover a single topic.

In an e-mail, you might wish to include image clips from the video to create interest. You have the luxury of space with e-mail, but don’t waste their time and overload your messages. Include enough to generate interest and then stop talking! Try something like this:

Last week, we covered installing wainscoting, but many of you have asked about laying laminate flooring over concrete. A moisture barrier is essential for success when installing hardwood over concrete. Let’s have a look at the technique!

Connect to Your Blog

You already possess the material that new clients desire; after all, they told you about their interests during sign-up. Based on this, sending triggered, conditional e-mails will let you present customized information they need as quickly as possible. Try this:

Thanks for joining us here at OURcompany.com! We know how valuable your time is, so let’s get you up to speed with the most relevant blogs that match the interests you described.

  1. How to get the most from…
  2. Where humans first got the…
  3. Bathtubs losing the bathroom battle! Showers rule!
Invite Them to Participate

Toward the end of your message add a CTA (Call To Action). By inviting them to share, it increases their sense of participation. This creates a vested interest because they’re telling friends that your material is worth sharing. Include something like this:

We’re thrilled to have you onboard and hope that our well-designed [information/service/product] has been useful to you. Feel free to share your experience with a Tweet, FB post, or e-mail so your friends can benefit too!

…and then provide the links for them to do so, if possible.

Looking Forward to Serving You

Remind them that you care about what they think of you, and that you respect them.

We appreciate your business, and won’t clutter your inbox with junk mail. We’ll only send you a summary as often as you choose, say weekly, biweekly, or monthly, or the occasional product update notice, so you can always have the latest, safest version of our software.

You can change your preferences at any time. We are always here, and glad to hear anything you want to tell us about our service or offerings, or to answer any of your questions!

The Takeaway

New customers are not someone to be forgotten once they are on your mailing list. Maintain respectful communication. Make sure every message provides value for them.

Whatever else you do, don’t forget them! If you don’t communicate regularly, at least get them signed up to your newsletter so they feel connected.

Remember that ice-cold coffee you found sitting in the Keurig Machine? That’s how your customer feels when you forget them: ignored, unappreciated, abandoned…and if they feel that way, they might just leave you forever.

Do the job well, or don’t do it at all, for as Yoda says “There is no try.”

Alexa
Alexa Lemzytwitter
Author

Customer support person. Interested in customer success, growth, marketing and technology. Passionate about content, reading and travel.