Creating a Winning Welcome Series for New Subscriber Activation

Welcome Series are an effective way to engage and activate new subscribers — especially when you have actions you want them to take following their initial conversion (like asking for more information). With step-by-step instructions and best practices outlined in this recipe, you'll be able to create a winning Welcome Series that drives action. A Welcome Series should help introduce your brand to your customers at the minimum, but can also be used to drive them to take action such as completing their profile or downloading your app. After completing this recipe, you should have created a Welcome Series that activates your new subscribers, establishes a strong relationship with them, and hopefully, drives business growth. So let's get started and make your Welcome Series a success!


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Getting Started

When you have multiple sources where you're collecting user sign-ups or conversions, Segment helps centralize and unify the data before activating it through a campaign. To utilize Segment — as a prerequisite — you must have already configured your Event tracking. This is a step you will need to take for a complete implementation of the platform, prior to configuring any campaigns (including this welcome series). You’ll need to configure a Source in Segment as well. For this specific campaign, it will likely be a JavaScript source to capture website activity to trigger this campaign.  With a Source created, it’s time to start putting together Events that allow Segment to understand all of the engagement with the site. For this recipe, you’ll need to ensure the Events that are flowing are Sign-ups (an Identify call) and Purchases (for conversion tracking). The Identify calls going into Segment should include profile attributes and an email opt-in status identifying if the user has allowed you to reach out to them for marketing campaigns.  You will also need an instance of Braze — or a similar marketing automation or email marketing platform — with email messages available, as well as a preference center capable of capturing user profile and subscription data. In our recipe, we specifically use Braze and Tailor, a marketer-friendly, configurable preference center developed by Stitch that uses Segment as the backend.

Step 1: Configure The Braze Actions Destination

While you should already have the Braze Destination connected, make sure you’ve got a mapping set up that is sending over the Email Opt-In value from your Source in Segment — such as your website or mobile app. You can avoid sending unknown users to Braze by ensuring that a UserID is present in the Identify event. All relevant attributes should be in this mapping (like First Name and Birthday). 


Once you follow these steps, your user sign-ups are now flowing into Braze — setting in motion the next steps of the Welcome Series.

Step 2: Map Out Your User Experience

Here is where you have to think about what you want the user experience to be. Our example will send users an initial welcome email, followed by a request for users to complete their profile (or create an account), and end with an offer to perform a martech assessment. Here are a few questions you’ll want to ask yourself to help define the experience you want to create: 

  1. How quickly should the customer enter the campaign and what are the qualifications? Consider how long a user typically spends on your site or app, and then determine whether or not you might want your email to interrupt them from their current interactions with your brand. If Braze is integrated with the site or app, you could also consider pushing the Welcome Series content there while they’re active, but in this recipe, we will focus on email as our primary channel for communication.

  2. If I opt to delay the initial message to avoid interrupting the user while they’re active on our site or app, what time frame is appropriate to ensure we stay top-of-mind? Additionally, if the customer signed up at 2:00 AM, do you want to delay the campaign messaging until a more ‘typical’ time when you experience higher engagement rates?

  3. How does the priority of this message compare to the priority of other messages the consumer may be receiving (like abandoned cart)?

  4. What is the goal of this specific message?  

For this recipe, our steps will be:

  1. Wait 30 minutes and send an initial welcome email. This gives the user plenty of time to review the site, while still following up in a timely manner. 

  2. Wait 1 day, and send the next message at 5:45 pm the next day. 

  3. The second message will be determined by how much we know about the person. If we don't know their first name, they will get an email asking them to complete their profile, then wait another day before moving on. If we already have their first name, we will go directly to the third and final email of this series.

  4. Send a martech assessment. We provide a link that the customer can use to understand more about the services we offer and start a conversation with us about their needs.

Step 3: Create Email Templates

Follow the instructions here to create the template(s) you want to use throughout the campaign in Braze. 

Step 4: Create The Braze Segment

Within Braze, navigate to the ‘Segment’ page (separate from Segment CDP) and create a new segment. Name the segment “Recent Sign-Ups.”


Add two filters to the segment - the first one is `Email Available Is True` and the second filter is `Opted In To Receive Email Less Than 1 Week Ago`.


Step 5: Create The Canvas

Navigate to the Canvas menu within Braze and select “Create Canvas.” We will be focusing on our ‘Recent Sign-up’ segment created above. When a Sign-Up event comes in, they will enter this ‘Welcome Series’ Canvas. If, at any time throughout the Canvas, they change their subscription status to “unsubscribed,” they will exit the Braze segment and Canvas.


It is important you think about how you are measuring conversions for this campaign before creating it in Canvas. It is the only component that can’t be changed once you set it. For this campaign, we will define a conversion as ‘someone in the welcome makes a purchase or updates their profile.’ This is because the purpose of the campaign is to grow brand awareness with your new sign-ups, and one of the primary actions being driven by the campaign is to complete their profiles — giving you more actionable data on them for future marketing activities. We will include making a purchase as a conversion as well, since ultimately, all brand interactions are with the intention to drive revenue through purchases.


Now, complete the next three sections. The Entry Schedule, Target Audience, and Send Settings for this campaign are summarized below.


Now, we set up the campaign in our ‘Welcome Series’ Canvas! Here’s how we did it:

  1. Added a 30 minute delay to the Canvas.

  2. Created the first email message. Selected the relevant template in step 3, and edited portions of the template that were specific to the first message in the Welcome Series.

  3. Added a second delay that waits 1 day, then sends at 5:45 pm.


After the first Welcome email, users will enter a wait before we evaluate if we have their first name. 

If after waiting a full 24 hours the user hasn’t populated their first name, send them an email at 5:45 pm that we’d love to know them better and with a link to your preference center. We recommend using Tailor. Here, they can complete their profile — including capturing zero-party data (such as name), along with communication preferences. When clicking ‘Submit,’ their details will fire back into Segment, and flow down into Braze (along with any other destinations where you need to house customer preference data)! To power this part of the campaign, follow the steps below:

  1. Add a Decision Split. When editing the filter of the Decision Split, search for the Attribute holding your first name, and select the condition “is blank.” 

  2. For the ‘Yes’ branch of the Decision Split, add a message activity followed by a one day delay.

  3. Select the template desired for message two and modify your content with any prompts for the user to update their profile.  Our message includes a link to the preference center.


Our final touch in the Welcome Series is a promotion for our martech assessment. Alternatively, this could be a “Get To Know Us Better” type email. For our example, we are offering a martech assessment and providing a link where customers can directly inquire about the service.

The final step in the Canvas is an email message. Select the template you created in step 3 and add the content specific for this message. We show an example deliverable of our assessment and discuss the value we bring. The key here is to make sure subscribers understand what they should expect from your brand and what you are providing to them. Prompting them to take an action helps you understand what they are looking for.


Once you’ve completed all of these steps, here’s what your final flow in Canvas should look like:


To make the campaign active, turn on the Canvas and monitor for conversions and activity. Understanding how your customers are interacting with this campaign can help you determine what adjustments might be necessary to continuously optimize for performance.

Wrapping up

Here’s what we’ve done in this activation recipe:

  • Set up the Braze mapping to ensure data flows from Segment to Braze properly. 

  • Mapped out our onboarding user brand experience, including specifying conversion goals. 

  • Ensured customers knew how to update their profile and preferences. 

  • Prompted our customer for their next engagement steps.

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