The 2023 Retail Technology Buyers Guides
email marketing

Great. You signed up for email. Now what?

What happens after signup? A welcome message triggered upon signup is good, but what comes next is more important. The best brands consider these campaigns over time in a stream of communication.

Many email programs collect lots of 1P data. Customers expect value in exchange for creating a login, building a profile and sharing what they want. The way brands start the conversation is called a welcome email and the best come in streams of communications, not just one automatically generated “hello” from a robot.

By Roy Wollen

What brands do with the 1P data they collect is the key to success. What customers share with the brand is not nice-to-know information. It’s customers telling brands two things – What they expect to get back and their level of trust. The greater the brand trust, the more customers will divulge.

From our experience working with hundreds of email marketing programs, here as the best practices:

  • What happens after signup? A welcome message triggered upon signup is good, but what comes next is more important. The best brands consider these campaigns over time in a stream of communication
  • Use the 1P data customers share. The best brands have a formal email welcome campaign, built to nurture the customer relationship. These emails help users get started with suggestions and ideas. They are designed to encourage people to re-engage. They take the opportunity to remind users what they signed up for, and may repeat back 1P data. The email program then uses customer data to customize the relationship
  • Let’s get personal. The best brands make their email marketing campaigns completely personalized using 1P data. For example, different customers get different offers, messages, creative assets and cadence and this begins from the welcome stream. Check out this great example…

Nordstrom’s welcome stream explains the benefit of the email program as well as its loyalty program and is customized to reflect recent purchases

Nordy Club

What kind of first-party (1P) data does the brand collect on signup? When customers signup for email, they are telling the brand what kind of conversation they want to have. Take this best practice from Home Depot.

Pro customer

Home Depot asks whether its customer is a pro upon signup, which will make a big difference in the type of email. In fact, professionals use email is a fundamentally different way, so signup and welcome stream is the best place to establish this, and not spam subscribers with irrelevant emails.

Home Depot

Home Depot also is driving new subscribers to an account page to choose the kind of communication they want to receive. This is not a trick. The best brands are using signups and welcome emails to set expectations. The best practice is to build a preference center.

Sephora email program

In this example, Sephora is capturing a new subscriber’s preference of the frequency and type of email. I love that they have a link called “See sample email” which shows they are being transparent

The better the welcome stream, the more the relationship will last beyond the “hello” phase.


Roy WollenRoy Wollen has led some of the top marketers in industries such as travel, financial services, b2b and multi-channel retail. Roy is a consultant at heart and solves client problems using marketing technology and analytics. Roy is President at Hansa Marketing Services and an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern University, where he teaches Digital Analytics.


This article originally appeared on Hansa Marketing. Photo by Onlineprinters on Unsplash.

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