August 13, 2015

Creating Killer Automated Welcome Emails With Automessage and Membership 2 for WordPress

Welcome emails are your chance to make a killer first impression. Often, new users need a little help getting started with your website so setting up a single email or a series of emails can introduce them to your brand and show them everything you have to offer.

Fortunately, we’ve got just the ticket to get you started: Automessage and Membership 2. Together these plugins will help you superpower your email marketing workflow. After all, subscribers receiving welcome emails are getting them because they signed up to your website and are interested in what you have to say!

It’s no surprise welcome emails are high performing in terms of open, click and transaction rates. Here are a few stats for you to mull over:

  • 74.4% of consumers expect a welcome email when they subscribe.
  • Subscribers who receive a welcome email show, on average, 33% more long-term engagement with that brand.
  • Welcome emails generate four times the total open rates and 5x the click rates compared to other bulk promotions.
  • Welcome emails can see more than three times the transactions and revenue per email over regular promotional emails.

In this post, I’ll show you how to set up Automessage and Membership 2 Pro so you can initially send new users welcome emails and then switch them to your regular email subscriber list so they can continue to receive your newsletter.

Welcome emails are a chance to explain important stuff to your new users as well as say a friendly hello.
Welcome emails are a chance to explain important stuff to your new users as well as say a friendly hello.

Why Send Welcome Emails?

In case the stats above haven’t sunk in yet, here are some real life examples to put it all into perspective:

  • Photographers could introduce themselves and send promotional stock images to new subscribers
  • Marketing agencies and businesses could schedule and send out the blog posts that have the highest conversion rate before the regular updates roll out to help keep readers interested
  • Plugin, theme and other digital product shops, as well as membership and hosting sites, could send scheduled emails once a download is purchased and completed that includes beginner all the way to advanced tips to get the most out of a given product
  • Life coaches, news sites, other businesses and even authors could drip send a captivating promotional ebook or blog series, rather than providing a single download link

Install and Activate

First thing’s first. Install and activate the Automessage and Membership 2 Pro plugins. If you would also like to create HTML-enabled emails rather than plain text ones, also install and activate the HTML Email Templates plugin.

If you could use some help with this, check out our handy guides: Installing WordPress Plugins and The WordPress and WordPress Multisite Manual.

You’ll also need to set up Membership 2 Pro if you haven’t done so already. You can find out how to do this in our post: Build an Online Community With WordPress and Membership 2 Pro.

Once that’s all out of the way, you’re ready to set up Automessage and tweak your default membership in the Membership 2 Pro plugin.

Configure Your Memberships

Go to Membership 2 > Memberships and click on the Create New Membership button. Choose either the Standard or Dripped Content Membership.

Choose a title and if you would like users to pay to join for your particular set up, check the This is a paid membership box. If you would like visitors to join for free, leave the checkbox unselected.

Standard membership setup
If you would like to dish out other content to your users on a schedule, select the Dripped Content Membership option.

Click Save and Continue then Finish. Now, create another Standard or Drip Content membership. This time, uncheck the Allow users to register for this membership box.

The idea here is that after your visitors sign up to receive updates with the first membership, they can receive your schedule of your amazing posts, then automatically switch to your second membership where they will start receiving your regular post updates.

Once those two memberships are set up, hover over your first membership on the list and click the Access options link.

Access options on the Membership 2 > Memberships page.
You can set the membership payment options by clicking the Access options button as well.

Next, under the Access Structure drop down box, select Finite Access. In the Grant access for field, type in the length of time you would like the membership to last based on your desired schedule to send your automatic emails.

Finite access structure
You could also choose a date range structure if you would like users to sign up for only a set amount of days and a limited time.

Also select days, weeks, months or years from the drop down box next to the text field. Finally, select your second membership in the drop down list under the title After this membership ends. This will automatically switch users to that membership when this one ends.

Your changes automatically save so once you’re done, head back to the Membership 2 > Memberships page and change the access options for your second membership if you need a different access structure than the default permanent access.

Also be sure to go to Membership 2 > Protection Rules to set up the content you would like logged in users of these new memberships to access and also have restricted to everyone else.

Configure Automessage

Now you’re ready to set up your scheduled automatic email newsletters. In the admin dashboard, go to Automessage > User Level Messages.

Blog Level Messages option
The Blog Level Messages option will only be available on your main site.

For Multisite installs, you should also see the option Blog Level Messages in the same place to set up scheduled automatic emails when a visitor registers for a new site.

Click the Add New button next to the heading to create your first email.

Message delay drop down box
You can select a delay of up to 31 days from the list.

Select a time delay if you would like the first email to be sent a day or more after the visitor signs up. By default, the email will be sent immediately.

Type a subject line and then the body of your email. The HTML Email Templates plugin adds the option of adding HTML.

You can also add the following constants to your email, for example, to send a more customized-looking email with your user’s name rather than just “Hey member”:

  • %blogname%
  • %blogurl%
  • %username%
  • %usernicename%
  • %sitename%
  • %siteurl%

When you’re done, click on the Add action button at the bottom of the page.

Now all you need to do is set up a new email for each one you would like to schedule. Just be sure to select the correct number of days to delay each message so your members receive an email once a day, for example, rather than all at once with the default option.

Conclusion

You’re all set! Now when your visitors subscribe, they can receive a scheduled set of emails with your best content, then automatically switch to a new membership where they are sent your regular post updates.

Your members won’t know their membership changed. All they will see is your top notch emails being delivered as you knock them out of the park, one email at a time.

Now that you’re all set up for your new members, you may want to find a WordPress theme that entices your visitors to sign up. If so, we’ve got a post to help you choose your next perfect theme: 25+ Powerful WordPress Themes Designed to Grow Your Email List.

What do you think? How could you see yourself using these plugins in different ways? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below.

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Pallavi Gupta

Wordpress | BuddyPress | WooCommerce Developer : I have developed a wide range of websites using Wordpress, PHP, HTML, CSS, jQuery and MySQL.