No matter the brand, first impressions with new customers are everything. That’s why welcome messages are essential communications in virtually every industry, from retail to hospitality and everything in between. For the energy utility industry, welcome messages have the power to increase customer engagement, drive program promotion conversions and build long-lasting customer satisfaction.
According to Questline’s 2021 Energy Utility Benchmarks Report, more than 51% of all Welcome Series emails were opened by customers in the past year — the highest engagement rate in Benchmarks history. Welcome Series CTOR and CTR were also higher than ever at 22% and 11%, respectively. Welcome Series sets the stage for successful digital customer relationships and provides a valuable introduction to your energy utility.
To give your energy utility some inspiration, check out these examples of effective welcome messages from a wide variety of industries.
1. Thrive Market
Thrive Market, an e-commerce retailer offering natural and organic food, begins its welcome message with a short letter from the co-founder and CEO. The letter speaks to the brand’s focus on health and sustainable living, which resonates with its target audience of eco-friendly consumers.
The email provides customers with a quick snapshot of resources to begin their journey with the e-commerce site, including an FAQ section, helpful health tips and recipes, and how to shop their exclusive products. Thrive Market also highlights their company’s efforts to make a positive impact on the planet, such as becoming a 100% carbon-neutral company.
Takeaway for energy utilities: The first email in your Welcome Series is a good spot for a short letter from your energy utility’s president. You could also include a message from a lineworker, giving the email a neighborly feel. Similar to Thrive Market’s approach, consider sharing helpful energy efficiency tips and promote your marketplace.
Airbnb’s welcome message makes it easy for new customers to understand how the vacation rental company’s service works while providing imagery of enticing destinations and travel inspiration.
The welcome email outlines what a customer can expect when booking a stay with Airbnb, including host verification, secure payments and cancellation policies. It also provides links where customers can learn more about the company and visit the Help Center.
Takeaway for energy utilities: In your Welcome Series, incorporate Airbnb’s educational approach by providing your customers with clear and easy-to-understand information about your energy utility’s programs and services.
Make it as easy as possible for your customers to enroll in My Account, paperless billing, outage text alerts and other essential services. Also, be open about what your customers can expect from your energy utility, such as transparency and quick response during outages.
3. Apple TV+
Apple sends out a welcome message to new Apple TV+ subscribers. This eye-catching email provides a brief overview of the streaming service and shares popular movies and series to encourage subscribers to start streaming. The email also promotes the Apple TV app, which makes it easy for subscribers to watch their favorite shows from any mobile device. The simple email design features concise messaging, which resonates with today’s on-the-go consumers.
Takeaway for energy utilities: Energy utilities benefit from a Welcome Series with a clean design and straightforward messaging. Copy should be short and sweet while providing customers with a relevant overview of your energy utility. Instead of including too much copy in one email, provide a short description and link to your website for more information.
We see success with an average of four emails per Welcome Series campaign. This approach allows your energy utility to deliver information in smaller, targeted pieces over time, rather than one overly long email. Like Apple, your energy utility also has the ability to share recommendations, such as popular products from your energy utility’s marketplace.
4. Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
The beauty retailer Lush shares product recommendations in its welcome message, encouraging customers to shop online. The welcome message also explains how customers can interact with the brand through product tips and behind-the-scenes videos on social media. Lush also utilizes vibrant, colorful images that showcase the brand’s fun personality.
Takeaway for energy utilities: Energy utilities might not have as bold of an image as a beauty retailer like Lush, but that doesn’t mean you should shy away from showing off your brand personality. Consider sharing what makes your energy utility a cornerstone of the community, such as philanthropic efforts, employee volunteerism and other involvement.
To capture attention, take advantage of eye-catching imagery, such as photography of people that reflect your service area’s demographics. Your energy utility could also incorporate actual photos of your lineworkers restoring power or employees volunteering in the community.
5. The Glenlivet
The Glenlivet, a Scotch whisky distillery, takes a personalized approach to its welcome message. The eye-catching email is casual and conversational in tone, with the bold headline, “Hey There, Whisky Lover.” Perhaps most unique, customers have the opportunity to “create their own adventure” by choosing how they take their whisky. This fun quiz-style email directs them to an alcoholic beverage that is best suited to them.
Takeaway for energy utilities: Energy utilities can increase engagement in their Welcome Series by personalizing the content to residential or business customers. You can further customize your messages with segmented content for new customers and existing customers who recently moved within your service area.
When promoting energy efficiency programs, consider two different messages for homeowners and renters. These audiences have distinct needs when it comes to energy efficiency. For example, homeowners are more likely to make bigger investments, such as installing ENERGY STAR® appliances and taking advantage of whole-house energy assessments. In comparison, renters are inclined to make smaller improvements like smart plugs, water-saving showerheads and LED light bulbs.
Look to these examples for effective welcome messages
Welcome messages give your customers a glimpse into your energy utility — what programs and services they need to know, as well as what makes your company an integral part of the community. As you can see in the above examples, the sky is the limit when it comes to saying “hello” to new and moving customers. What matters is finding a way to connect through creativity, personalization, concise messaging and clean design.