The Welcome Funnel Powering Faster List Growth & A 23% Add-to-Cart Rate for Ready. Set. Food!
As a savvy ecommerce marketer, you know the importance of getting shoppers on your subscriber list as early as possible.
So, you probably have a welcome popup that greets first-time visitors and encourages their first purchase. But what do you do with those shoppers after signup?
Many online stores are missing a couple key moments in their welcome funnel:
- A welcome series that incorporates the best of both email and SMS to build relationships with customers, educate them, and encourage their first purchase
- Returning visitor campaigns that continue leading existing contacts down the purchase funnel when they return to your website
One brand cashing in with its welcome funnel? Ready. Set. Food!: a food allergen introduction system for babies and young children.
With its new opt-in + quiz welcome funnel, the team has achieved:
- Boosted opt-in rates on the welcome popup
- 23% add-to-cart rate from the quiz
- Invaluable zero-party data for personalization
Want the lowdown on their success? We sat down with Retention Marketer Elliot Kovac to get a full breakdown of RSF’s welcome funnel.
Then, stick around to learn how to launch your own welcome funnel with step-by-step campaign playbooks.
Ready. Set. Food!: The challenge of earning a first purchase
Ready. Set. Food! helps parents and caregivers safely introduce common food allergens to their babies to prevent allergies from cropping up later.
Successful allergen introduction requires daily exposure. The brand makes this safe and easy with pre-measured packets that can be mixed into what a baby is already eating.
But while introducing allergens early sets their babies up for a healthy future, parents and caregivers may have questions about the process of early allergen introduction or the Ready. Set. Food! approach.
So grabbing a customer’s contact info is essential for the brand to continue the conversation with shoppers who don’t buy right away.
But the RSF team doesn’t want to just rely on emails and texts to convert customers. And they know when a subscriber comes back to the website, they’re likely intrigued enough to learn more and maybe even make a purchase this time.
That provides an opportunity to guide shoppers to the right product instead of letting them browse and get confused or lost in indecision.
Strategy: The welcome funnel
To address the education gap and convert more visitors, RSF developed a three-part welcome funnel:
- A welcome popup that earns subscribers and gathers zero-party data for personalization
- An email + SMS welcome series that educates subscribers and offers support
- A product quiz for returning subscribers to guide them to the right product
This set of campaigns effectively addresses customer concerns and builds relationships to encourage a first purchase.
Through ongoing experimentation, the team has developed high-converting campaigns at each step of the funnel and they’ve made great discoveries along the way.
Use these insights to inform your own welcome funnel.
Welcome funnel part 1: Ready. Set. Food!’s high-converting welcome popup
Starting with the welcome offer, Ready. Set. Food! shows a popup when a visitor lands on the website if they aren’t a contact in Klaviyo yet.
Why an email opt-in instead of a quiz
You may have seen some brands use a quiz to earn email signups—still providing a discount incentive, but requiring customers to go through the quiz first.
However, as RSF discovered, that’s not going to be the best approach for many brands.
RSF found that they can get more opt-ins by reducing the friction to subscribing.
A quiz takes more time than just giving an email or phone number. So if you rely on a quiz as your primary source of list growth, you’re going to see fewer sign ups.
Instead, offer a standard welcome offer first so you can build your list. Then show your quiz.
Boosting sign ups with a micro-yes
Ever heard of the “micro-yes”? Many brands are adding this tactic to their welcome popups to boost signups.
A micro-yes is a concept from psychology that prevents cognitive dissonance by asking questions that gradually lead up to one with bigger commitment—like signing up for your newsletter.
When it comes to a welcome offer, this means asking a question that shoppers would be an obvious “yes” to.
In RSF’s case, they ask, “Would you like 50% off the first month of any plan?”
This strategy has taken DTC Twitter by storm. By adding the micro-yes, Jacob Sappington, Director of Strategy at Homestead Studio increased opt-in rates of one brand by 2.75x—without changing the incentive.
Now, ecommerce brands everywhere are adding this new step to their welcome popups.
👉🏾 Get the template: The micro-yes welcome offer popup.
An offer that encourages subscriptions
Elliot and the team are actively experimenting with their offers to find the one that encourages the most opt-ins. But right now, they’re trying on a discount that encourages retention.
Instead of offering a standard 10% off a single purchase, the brand is now experimenting with a whopping 50% off shoppers’ first month when they sign up for a recurring plan.
The greater initial discount could be more appealing and support retention.
Fueling personalization with zero-party data
Next, RSF asks what a baby’s birthdate is:
Or if the shoppers are still expecting, what the estimated due date is:
This information helps the brand understand where a baby might be in their development.
Then, RSF can send personalized follow-ups relevant to the baby’s age with suitable product recommendations and allergen education.
And asking for a date is far more helpful than asking for a baby’s age. That would be difficult to segment if the brand had a cohort of customers who answered that their babies are six months old, but those responses are spread across several years.
RSF includes email and SMS on the same step:
Since the shopper has already gone through two to three steps to get to this point, spreading out the steps even further could feel like more work.
So using a single form for contact info streamlines the sign up process.
Generally, we recommend separating email and SMS collection into two separate steps so that a shopper doesn’t feel pressured to give both and potentially abandon opt-in.
But it’s worth testing streamlining them into a single step if you already have multiple steps in your opt-in form.
A simple confirmation step
To get their discount, subscribers need to verify that they want to opt in to SMS marketing from their phone.
So the final step in RSF’s welcome popup is a simple thank you message with instructions for the shopper to confirm:
Welcome funnel part 2: The product quiz that builds customer confidence
When a subscriber comes back to RSF’s website, the brand re-engages them with a product recommendation quiz. If a subscriber hasn’t purchased yet, they likely need more guidance.
RSF’s quiz builds customer confidence by helping them find the right product to start with for their little one.
Surfacing the quiz popup to the right people
While anyone can find the quiz as an option in the site menu, RSF also surfaces the quiz as a popup to existing Klaviyo subscribers:
Separating out the CTA to take the quiz from the welcome popup enables the brand to resurface the quiz for contacts later who don’t take it immediately after signing up to RSF’s subscriber list.
Asking the right questions
When Ready. Set. Food! first developed a quiz, it was formatted to determine a child’s risk of developing food allergies. But it wasn’t all that useful.
Elliot explains that while some kids are more at-risk, say if their parents have food allergies, the fact is: Every child is at risk of developing food allergies.
So the team shifted to a quiz that would be more helpful for first-time customers: Determining the best products to start their kids on.
After all, that can be a major blocker for RSF’s customers to purchase.
The brand limited the quiz to three simple questions that generate accurate results:
1. Is your baby regularly eating solids?
2. Have you fed your baby peanut, egg, and milk before?
3. Is your child able to chew through a variety of textures?
Every baby’s development is different, so RSF knows you can’t just ask a baby’s age and make a recommendation. It’s more accurate to ask questions about their eating habits and existing experience with common allergens.
After completing the quiz, shoppers are taken to their personalized product recommendations:
Depending on the results, shoppers can choose from one-month purchase options or longer.
Because RSF is only asking essential questions, the quiz logic is relatively simple. So it was easy to set up conditional product recommendations in ConvertFlow:
Easy add to cart
The results page includes an add-to-cart button under each product and an “add all to cart” button to make it easy to buy all recommended items at once.
And a variant selector makes it easy to choose different quantities of product (e.g., 30 days, 60 days, etc.) without going to a separate product page.
Welcome funnel part 3: Educating subscribers with a welcome flow
After a shopper signs up for emails and texts, RSF initiates a welcome series to introduce the brand and encourage them to make their first purchase.
RSF uses both email and text throughout the welcome series which helps them take advantage of the best of both channels.
Some brands lean heavily on one channel or the other. But sending the right messages on each channel helps your subscribers become used to hearing from you on each of them.
So when you email or text them in the future, it’s not a surprise and you’re more likely to get customers to open and click on your messages.
The welcome text
The welcome text reminds subscribers of their discount code and includes a link to shop:
Texts are best when they’re succinct. So RSF includes just the essential information on the welcome offer to start.
The welcome email
You can include a lot more information in an email compared to a text, so Ready. Set. Food! makes great use of email to help subscribers understand how the RSF system works:
The email starts by reminding subscribers about their welcome offer. And the infographic clarifies what happens at each stage.
A big orange CTA button at the bottom encourages people to shop. And the email ends with a few trust signals, like “developed by allergists” and “loved by parents.”
Combatting purchase friction
Next, RSF sends non-purchasers a 10% off discount code that can be used on any products. This is helpful for shoppers who aren’t ready to commit to a plan.
Again, the text is simple and actionable:
And the email has a little more information on each stage to help shoppers self-select which stage to start with:
The email still reminds shoppers of their subscription discount at the top of the email if they want to take advantage of it.
The support text
Many parents and caregivers are understandably cautious when it comes to their kids’ health. So Ready. Set. Food! sends a personal note which humanizes the brand and gives customers a chance to ask questions:
This is a great use of SMS marketing. Since texts feel a little more human than emails, this is a perfect opportunity to build relationships while providing proactive support.
Allergen education email
Next in the series, Ready. Set. Food! tackles food allergen education, showing through data just how important early introduction is:
These stats make it a no-brainer to use the RSF system.
At the end of the email, armed with stats, parents and caregivers are prompted to start their allergen introduction journey as the solution to set up their kids for a future of food freedom:
Helping customers find the right product
By the fourth email, if shoppers haven’t purchased at this point, they might need help finding the right product to start with.
So this email starts with a recap of the allergy introduction journey:
Then presents the quiz to pair customers with the right product:
And the brand reminds shoppers of their welcome discount at the top like they have in all the other emails.
Meet the founders email
Next in the flow is an email introducing subscribers to the co-founders of Ready. Set. Food!:
This email builds trust with subscribers by showing that caring parents and a professional allergist are behind the products.
One co-founder’s story highlights how his son developed life-threatening allergies—something no parent wants for their child—and another highlights how much work it is to introduce allergens without an easy system like RSF.
Beyond the science, this email connects to subscribers on an emotional level which can drive purchases.
Next to build: Personalizing the welcome flow
While the RSF team has been collecting zero-party data in its welcome popup and quiz, they haven’t fully capitalized on that data yet.
They’re currently fleshing out their email & SMS welcome flow even more with personalized messages based on a baby’s age.
That will help the brand send more targeted messages with product recommendations and caregiver education—ultimately enabling them to cultivate trust and encourage purchases.
Create a connected welcome funnel like Ready. Set. Food!
Start your welcome funnel with a well-crafted welcome popup. Then, go beyond earning the opt-in and use follow-up campaigns that:
- Build relationships with your new subscribers
- Educate them, and
- Encourage more of them to make their first purchase.
Ready. Set. Food! runs on ConvertFlow—a no-code funnel builder for ecommerce brands. Build your popups, quizzes, landing pages, forms, and more all in one place—without the help of a developer.
Launch targeted messages at the right moments in your customer journey to boost conversions, AOV, and LTV. Connect campaigns together—like a welcome offer into a quiz—for a seamless shopping experience.
What’s more, like Ready. Set. Food! you can run an unlimited number of split-tests to find the best-performing variations of your campaigns and integrate with the essential tools in your ecommerce stack like Shopify, Klaviyo, Attentive, and more to power your campaigns with data and product information.
Want to turn your welcome popup into a profitable conversion funnel like RSF?
Start building today with the welcome offer playbook. You'll learn how to launch a successful welcome popup step-by-step and connect it to a high-impact email & SMS welcome series.