Create a Welcome Flow

To best engage the contacts who you’ve collected from, you will need to set up a specific welcome flow for them.

How to create a welcome flow

From inside your email service provider account, follow these steps:

1. Clone your existing Welcome Flow and change the Flow Trigger to “Resolve List.” Remember: “Resolve List” will only appear after the integration is complete. If it has not been integrated yet, simply clone the flow as it is without changing the Flow Trigger—and then make the necessary adjustments.

2. Adjust your content. Your flow should contain three to five emails, and its content should reflect the fact that the contacts did not sign up for your list. These contacts are lower-intent customers, so it would be beneficial to add a special offer or discount for them, as well. (See the section below, “What to send your contacts,” for more information and examples.)

3. Set up the logic. Set the campaign to fire immediately. Recency and relevancy is the key to a successful welcome flow. (See “Example email flow” below for more information.”) The exact filters will vary depending on the ESP, but you want to set up filters that eliminate people who have started a checkout or placed an order previously. This is how those flow filters would look in Klaviyo:

That allows everyone who had started a checkout or placed an order at any point in this flow to exit it, so you will not send an irrelevant welcome message to someone who had already started a checkout, for example. Instead, they will enter your Abandoned Checkout flow or Post Purchase flow.

Note: If you are sending Added To Cart emails, create a flow filter to remove people who Added to Cart from this flow.

4. Add a conditional split. After email No. 3 in your flow, add the following conditional split (make sure to add a time delay of 2-3 days BEFORE this conditional split to give people time to open the email before assigning their properties). This split aims to “label” people who engaged with your welcome flow and those who did not. The conditions will vary depending on the ESP, but you need to split them by an engaged vs. unengaged label. Here’s an example from a Klaviyo account that uses Shopify.

Note: Accepts Marketing to False property DOES NOT automatically suppress profiles. You will need to suppress those profiles on a regular basis as a part of your list cleansing practices. This property only applies to Shopify users.

This flow acts as a funnel that you can use to determine which contacts you want to keep engaging with. Make sure to include the Accepts Marketing to True people in your regular campaigns and exclude Accepts Marketing to False. Doing that will keep your deliverability in check.

See more on segmentation in “How to manage contacts.”

5. Perform A/B tests. It’s important to test your subject lines, copy, CTAs, offers/discounts, etc. to ensure the best results.

How to manage contacts

All of the contacts we pass you are tagged with a custom property: data_source equals GE. To find your engaged contacts, create the following segmentand make sure to include those contacts in your regular campaigns.

Notes: Choose type “Text” in the Accepts Marketing equals True definition.

To exclude your unengaged contacts, create a similar segment of the unengaged contacts, and exclude them from your campaigns and suppress them as a part of your monthly list cleaning.

What to send your contacts

We get this question multiple times a day, so we thought we’d throw out a few examples of people engaging email-based retargeting contacts.

Tip #1: Don’t wait. 

First things first. 

The most important thing is that you contact these people immediately upon receiving the data.

The only two problems we’ve seen with customers who had problems with spam complaints came as a result of each waiting for over a week to send to the records. One was a beauty-related eComm company; the other was a political candidate.

Why would this happen?

It’s impossible to know for certain, but after running an ESP for 6+ years, it’s becoming clear to us that in 2020, it’s no longer infuriating to get an email from a brand that you recognize — especially if you were recently browsing their site.

What still IS infuriating is getting emailed by a brand you don’t recognize, which is what happens when you wait a week to email these contacts.

In “internet time,” a week may as well be a thousand years. If they hit your site once then leave, they won’t remember who you are unless you email them NOW.

Now that we know we need to contact these site visitors immediately, we’ll show a few examples of what our customers are having success with.

Tip #2: Thank them for stopping by your site.

I love the way Twin Cities Summer Jam starts off their welcome email: 

“Hi –FNAME–,

Thanks for stopping by the site.” 

Then they continue with content that is valuable (presumably) to someone who would have been browsing their website.

Remember: Don’t use language like, “Thanks for joining/subscribing/signing up,” in the email, as these contacts didn’t directly sign-up on your page.

Tip #3: Offer them a clear way to opt-out.

Publisher Marin Magazine does a great job at both thanking the visitor for visiting the site, and offering them a clear chance to opt-out if they aren’t interested in receiving further newsletters.

Tip #4: If your company does e-commerce, offer a discount and add them to a “best practices” welcome series.

We’ve seen many examples of e-commerce companies sending’s contacts their normal welcome series and seeing prolific success. 

Standard e-commerce best practices typically are: 

  1. Welcome + Discount
  2. Discount + Meet the Team/Brand Story
  3. Discount + Best Sellers

One e-commerce example comes from our friends at LuckyShot USA, our first paying customer! 

Lucky Shot follows it up with two other emails that are standard best practices for an e-commerce welcome series. 

Here’s Lucky Shot’s second email offering a discount along with a friendly Meet the Team message: 

And LuckyShot’s third email: a Discount + The Best Sellers.

The most important part is to just get something automated out, right when you get the data. 

For e-commerce, we’d recommend putting them into a “best practices” welcome series. For publishers, media companies, and any other type of businesses, we’d recommend thanking them for coming to your website, offering a taste of what’s to come, and giving them an obvious way to opt-out if they don’t want to continue receiving your content. 

Example email flow

To develop a one-to one-relationship with users and grow your audience, ensure you have the best email flow:

  1. Email 1/Day 0 – Immediately
    • Introduce yourself (e.g. “Thanks for stopping by the site”), make an offer. Explain how your brand is different. Try to humanize your brand, if possible, with casual photographs of you around the office. 
  2. Email 2/Day 1 – 6 to 24 hours later
    • Send your offer again and remind them! Send your “best sellers” and “best-of” content
  3. Email 3/Day 2 – 24 hours later
    • Send another value-loaded piece of content. Really position yourself and/or your brand as an expert in your field; give away the single best tip or trick you have.
    • Unsubscribe all Non-Openers at this point but keep the rest in the flow
  4. Email 4/Day 3 – 24 hours later
    • Send another value-loaded piece of content. Let others validate your brand by showing your customers testimonials and reviews!
  5. Email 5/Day 4 – 24 hours later
    • Create a “Limited-Time” offer and wrap up your sequence. 
  6. Evergreen – After the Series
    • If and only if they interacted with your series (clicks OR opens), put them into your normal email marketing! They like you, and they know you. Just keep the conversation open.