Internet retailers cite the effectiveness of welcome emails.

When it comes to welcoming new subscribers to your business, first impressions can bolster customer engagement and fuel conversions, according to the latest marketing trends survey by J2 Global Inc.’s Campaigner brand published this morning.

The report polled over 150 Internet retailers and other clients of Campaigner, and found 39 percent of respondents saying that “the first e-mail content new subscribers see from their brand is a thank-you-for-subscribing message, and they seem to be working — almost 50 percent of marketers report that 21 percent or more of new subscribers engage with such welcome e-mails.”

EJ McGowan, general manager of Campaigner, said, “It takes just seconds within meeting someone to form a lasting impression. Unsurprisingly, first impressions for brands are just as critical and time-sensitive. Marketers who quickly deliver engaging welcome e-mails to new subscribers will see greater success in conversions, while also building brand reputation.”

The survey insights are revealed at a time when the consumer spending environment is in flux, and retailers are making investments into e-commerce. Meanwhile, marketing efforts across a variety of channels — e-mail, texting and social media in particular — have been stepped up to support the growth of e-commerce.

Subsequently, Campaigner’s poll found that retailers are leveraging content marketing to lure in and encourage new subscribers. The survey found that 55 percent are “offering the latest news and content to their customers as incentives to subscribe. The second most-popular incentive is standard promotions, at 49 percent.”

Once subscribed, Internet retailers are “on the right track” when it comes to the welcoming e-mail, the authors of the report said, adding that 62 percent of the marketers polled send that first message within 24 hours of the initial sign-up.

“Additionally, the early bird really does catch the worm, as the majority of marketers surveyed find it best to deliver e-mails early in the day — specifically, before 2 p.m.,” the report’s authors said. “Over a third (35 percent) say between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. is the ideal time to garner responses from new subscribers, while one in four (25 percent) report that between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. is best.”

The poll also revealed that while welcoming messages are having impact, 60 percent of those polled said “feel they are not making the most of their welcome emails.”

The tactics that can help in this regard include using images and video as well as geo-targeting. Of those polled, 87 percent are using images while 26 percent use video and 31 percent are leveraging geo-targeting. “Additionally, more than half of the marketers ranked personalization and segmentation as the most successful tactics in driving conversions,” the report stated.

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