You have a great email design. You have lead magnets in place. You’ve just had a lead opt into your newsletter or email list. Congrats!
Now you need to engage with the lead in the hopes of converting them into a customer. One way you can get that ball rolling is by sending a welcome email.
What is a welcome email?
It’s somewhat self-explanatory. This often short but sweet email is welcoming your new email subscriber into the fold. More than that, you can pepper in email content that makes the email worth reading. Maybe you include a form so the subscriber can set up a consultation to address questions they may have. You could even give them a special one-time offer. This builds trust.
Here’s an example of what a welcome email could look like:
Image courtesy of Digital Marketing Glossary
Why Is It Important to Send a Welcome Email?
- To Introduce Yourself
- To Increase Your Audience
- To Develop Trust
- To Boost Those Open Rates
To Introduce Yourself
Imagine meeting a couple of your friends’ friends, but your pals didn’t bother introducing you to anybody. Wouldn’t you feel incredibly isolated? Probably. Worse yet, you would feel confused and uncertain. You don’t know anything about this person, such as their job, where they’re from, or even how your friend knows them. That gives you no talking points to get to know them better.
Now that you’re bringing in customers or potential customers through your email newsletter, it’s paramount you don’t skip the introductions via your welcome email. Otherwise, your audience will feel much the same way as in the scenario we just laid out. They’ll be confused about why you didn’t introduce yourself. They’ll also be at a loss as to how to proceed.
That’s not the best note to begin any relationship, especially a professional one. You want these new customers to feel confident that they’ve made the right choice by opting in to your emails.
Your introduction need not be lengthy, especially if you want your audience to read it. You can tell a bit about your company’s history, what you do, and what you hope to do for those who have subscribed to your emails.
To Increase Your Audience
Introducing yourself not only puts the reader’s mind at ease, but it can present several useful opportunities. As we said in the paragraph above, as you talk about yourself, the conversation will inevitably turn to what your company does. Whether you sell products or services, you can mention these if talking about your best-sellers or a product you’re very known for.
That gives you the chance to link to your product(s) and potentially drive a sale. Now, that’s not guaranteed, but it can happen. You can also use your intro to link your readers to your blog or a landing page. Just don’t throw in too many links, as your email can get cluttered and look spammy. Plus, you lose the plot, which is to essentially say hello, thanks for subscribing, here’s what’s next.
To Develop Trust
Have you ever made a big purchase online like an expensive retail item or concert tickets? The webpage on your phone or computer says the order went through, but you sit white-knuckled until you get the confirmation email. Otherwise, you’re not totally confident the item is in your possession (or will be once it ships).
Although maybe not as serious, the same applies to a welcome email or lack thereof. People today are incredibly serious about their privacy. As companies of all sizes suffer hacks and security breaches countless times, consumers become more guarded about who gets their information. Consumers are also aware their info gets sold to third parties for advertising, and they don’t like that much either.
Customer preference aside, you also have to concern yourself with the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. Although this originated in the European Union (EU), it affects businesses around the world, maybe even yours. That regulation is all about consumer privacy.
What we’re trying to say is this: if a potential customer signs up for your emails but gets no welcome email, their hackles will go up. Did their opt-in not go through? Do you still have their info? What do you plan to do with it?
The faster you can send a welcome email, the more trust your readers can develop in you. That will only help you as you begin to offer your products and services.
To Boost Those Open Rates
Are there any emails that get opened more than one someone is expecting? You know, those order confirmations and yes, your welcome emails. Okay, maybe people open discount or freebie emails more, but still, the potential for a high open-rate is there.
Welcome Email Statistics
If you’re not already sending welcome emails after getting subscribers, you need to start. According to conversion rate resource Invesp, here are some benefits you can reap through welcome emails:
- A higher conversion rate of 0.94 percent. Any other email has a conversion rate of just 0.10 percent.
- A better click-through rate. You could get 14.4 percent more clicks on a welcome email. For other emails, it’s just 2.7 percent.
- By adding an offer to your welcome email, you can see a 30-percent revenue boost for your company for each email you send.
- Engagement goes up by 33 percent when your subscribers get a welcome email.
- Most consumers today expect them, 74 percent!
- Want a higher open rate? Welcome emails hover around the 50-percent mark.
How to Write a Good Welcome Email
- “You” Language
- Social Links
While we’re going to provide lots of tips and techniques later, we thought we’d offer a few pointers now on how to write a good welcome email. Make sure any welcome message you write going forward includes the following elements.
Welcome emails are personal messages, so there’s no reason to get too formal. Skip the “dear” and include the person’s name instead, as you greet them.
Also, write in the you-based language. Not only does this create an air of personalization and intimacy, but it also shows that you plan to attend to a reader’s needs. You care about them as an individual, and this is your first chance to show that. You want to get things off on the right foot, so watch your language.
As we said before, it’s okay to slip in a few links to your store or landing pages in your welcome email. Should every other word be a hyperlink? No. Should you showcase six or seven products in one email? Again, no. You don’t want to overwhelm your new audience members. You also don’t want to drive them away with your excessive salesiness.
Gently pepper in some links, provided they’re relevant. When you do, try to focus on your best-selling products or services. If you have a big-name product or service, then you want to talk about that as well.
A welcome email isn’t about a brief hello and then a dive straight into what you sell. It’s also not all about you with a paragraphs-long bio. That will turn your readers off in a jiffy. Instead, you want to make them a part of the experience, too.
How? By telling them what they’re in for now that they’ve subscribed to. Perhaps that’s weekly emails, monthly newsletters, or something in between. Whatever it is, you want to mention it now.
This serves two purposes. For one, it gives the customer a clear-cut plan for how often you’ll contact them. This way, they know they won’t get bombarded with emails from you. That could increase trust. Second, it conditions the customer to look forward to your emails at certain days/times. For instance, if you send a weekly email on Friday afternoons, your readers will get into the habit of checking their inboxes at noon on Fridays for your message.
Include all your social sharing buttons somewhere in the email as well. From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and everything in between, make sure those buttons are visible. Besides just displaying them in your email, make sure you ask your readers to give you a follow.
The Dos and Don’ts of Welcome Emails
- DO Keep Emails Personalized
- DON’T Limit Communications
- DO Send a Welcome Email Series
- DON’T Send Emails More (or Less) Often Than You Said You Would
Finally, before we get into the meat of the article, let’s share some dos and don’ts for writing welcome emails. Keep these rules in the back of your mind as you read through the rest of this article.
DO Keep Emails Personalized
As CampaignMonitor mentions, it’s possible to boost sales by up to 20 percent with personalization. These targeted, individualized emails can comprise as much as 58 percent of your company’s revenue. Make sure that you personalize all your company messages, including welcome emails.
DON’T Limit Communications
Your readers don’t only have to reply through email. As we talked about in the prior section, you can also encourage them to check out your social media through social sharing buttons. You may also link to your blog posts and other relevant pages. Don’t forget that when drafting your welcome emails!
DO Send a Welcome Email Series
Welcome emails don’t have to be one and done. A welcome email series may include your intro email followed by a second message recommending products. Then you could offer a coupon. You’re trying to drive sales, and a welcome email series can do that more effectively than a single message.
DON’T Send Emails More (or Less) Often Than You Said You Would
If, following the example above, you wrote that you’d email your audience on Fridays at noon, don’t skip that unless you announce it ahead of time. Also, when setting expectations, if you only said you’d email once a week, don’t send four weekly emails. That’s showing you can’t stick to your word, and that can change your audience’s perception of you for the worse.
8 Tips and Strategies for Writing an Effective Welcome Email
- 1. Like Any Email, the Subject Line Is Important
- 2. Personalize, Personalize, Personalize
- 3. Do an Introduction
- 4. Create Expectations for the Future
- 5. Include Videos as Well as Images
- 6. Make Your Offer
- 7. Keep the Line of Communication Open
- 8. A/B Test Everything
Convinced you need to begin sending welcome email newsletters? Great! Now it’s time to craft your own welcome campaign. After all, not to put any pressure on you, but this is one of the most effective emails you’ll ever send to your would-be customers. It’s gotta be good.
In this article, we’ll tell you exactly what you need to know to write an effective welcome email. We’ll also include some of the best welcome emails for your perusal and inspiration.
Let’s get started!
1. Like Any Email, the Subject Line Is Important
Since the lead subscribed to your email list, there’s an expectation they’ll open emails they see from you. Sure, there’s that expectation, but that doesn’t mean it’s a reality.
You still need to work to hook your subscribers in since they’re not quite customers yet. It’s your job to get them there. The first way you can do that is with a great subject line.
On this blog, we’ve referred to the subject line as your first impression, because it often is. In the case of a welcome email, this is like your second impression, but it’s still the first official communication between you and the subscriber.
The email subject line best practices we’ve written about in the past can be good to emulate, but not all of them. Personalization is crucial (more on this in the next section), but emojis don’t quite fit in this first email.
Short and simple win the day here. Just look at this example to see what we mean.
Image courtesy of OptinMonster
The subject line says “Welcome to Ancestry!” While there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, every other company will send an email just like it. You want yours to have more oomph, which brings us to our next point…
2. Personalize, Personalize, Personalize
As you seek to build your email list, you’ll have a lot of subscribers registering. The best way to engage with them all and make them feel special is through email personalization.
It’s quite easy to personalize your welcome email. The first way you can do so is with a personalized subject line. If we use the same example from above, the Ancestry.com welcome email, their subject line could read “[Name,] welcome to Ancestry.” That already makes such a bigger impact.
Here are a couple of other subject lines that were sent to a Campaign Monitor employee:
Image courtesy of Campaign Monitor
There are eight emails in total here. Seven of them start with “welcome.”
The second of two Seafolly emails stands out because it’s personalized. We also like the email at the bottom because that’s an original subject line. Of all those emails, we bet your eyes went to “You signed up, yay!” first. There’s no “welcome” in sight.
By personalizing your subject line and trying not to write the same ol’, same ol’ that everyone else is, you’re already off to a great start.
You’re not done personalizing yet, though. When it comes to the body of your email, you should address each subscriber by name. Again, you want to make them feel like you’re writing this email just for them, even if you do happen to use a template. Personalization is one of the easiest ways to do that. You’ll also continue nurturing the relationship through your welcome email.
3. Do an Introduction
Okay, with your subject line out of the way, let’s talk more about the body of the welcome email itself.
This particular email is quite important because it’s your chance to introduce yourself and your company.
At this stage of the game, you have no idea how much or how little your subscriber knows about your company. You want to write your intro like they don’t know anything about you.
This isn’t the time to compile a lengthy history of your company or highlight every product you sell, then. You want to keep the email relatively brief. Write just enough to fill in the subscriber but not too much that they get bored.
Here’s an example you might follow for your own welcome email:
Image courtesy of Instapage
Away, a travel luggage company wrote a semi-long introduction for their welcome email. The first paragraph states their intention, to introduce themselves. In the second paragraph, they do just that. Then, in the third paragraph, they create expectations. We’ll get back to this concept in the next section. Keep it in mind for now.
Your welcome email may be formatted similarly or completely different. It all depends on your industry. If you’re a service, then you’re going to want to get people up and running right away, like so:
Image courtesy of Airbnb
You might also ask them to download an offer, like in this email.
Image courtesy of MailMunch
Maybe you want them to check out your website:
Image courtesy of BigCommerce
Or start spending money:
Image courtesy of HubSpot
There are so many ways to write a welcome email, as you can see. You can surely find an example that should work for you.
4. Create Expectations for the Future
Let’s circle back to the email from the luggage brand Away. This time, let’s look at the third paragraph of their welcome email.
What they’re doing in this paragraph is establishing expectations. They’re telling you what kinds of emails you’ll receive in your inbox now that you’ve subscribed to.
While Away didn’t do it, you can always establish expectations another way. For instance, you might let your new subscribers know how often you’ll send emails.
This is important for several reasons. No one likes being spammed, whether they signed up for the emails or not. By creating expectations early, you let your customers know that you won’t be a nuisance to them. They may then look forward to your emails and be more likely to open them.
Another benefit of setting expectations like this is you’re adding value to your emails. Just look at how Away did it. They mentioned how they’ll share travel inspiration, product updates, anecdotes, and travel notes. If you’re into travel like their audience is, this content is valuable.
Letting the subscriber know what they’re in for, especially if it’s high-value content, makes them feel like they made the right choice by signing up. Once you foster that relationship through nurturing and engagement, you can possibly convert these leads more easily.
5. Include Videos as Well as Images
All the welcome emails we’ve showcased so far have images. This is standard, but what about video?
Not as much.
There are a few reasons you might want to include a video in your welcome email templates. The first is for engagement. A short, personal video where you introduce yourself and tell a bit about your company can permeate more deeply than a paragraph that states the same.
The second is for transparency. More and more today, consumers want to know who is behind the companies they do business with. When you introduce yourself with a face and a name, you satiate that need.
The third reason you might use video is if you have a complicated product or service you provide.
Once upon a time, when Dropbox came onto the scene, what they did was pretty much unheard of. Nowadays, everyone knows what Dropbox is and how it works, but that wasn’t the case then.
Dropbox could have written paragraph after paragraph in a welcome email trying to explain their services. Instead, they decided to make an explainer video.
Image courtesy of Customer.io
It was only two minutes long, but it simplified the process faster than any copy could have.
Thus, if you’re doing something new and novel with your company, that could be yet another incentive for you to consider using video in your welcome email.
6. Make Your Offer
Okay, you’ve written a great subject line. You’ve introduced yourself and your company, whether through text or an explainer video.
Now it’s time to get to the meat of the email: your offer.
Look at the example from Dropbox above. See that big, blue CTA (call to action) button that says “Download Dropbox?” That’s an offer.
Here’s another example:
Image courtesy of VerticalResponse
In this case, the CTA is asking you to read so you know more about the service. Once you click that link, we’re pretty confident you’d be redirected to a page that’d be asking you to start shopping.
If you do want to skip right to the shopping part, then a discount or special offer is one way to get subscribers in a buying mood.
Image courtesy of AgilOne
It’s pretty hard to turn down 25 percent off, right? This offer even extends to stores, which is convenient for the subscriber. They get to choose how they shop.
7. Keep the Line of Communication Open
When you established expectations with your subscriber in your welcome email, you clued them in on how often you’d email and what kind of content you’d send.
That’s a great start, but you want to open the line of communication even wider.
You can do this in several ways. Perhaps you share your social media accounts in the welcome email, such as in this example:
Image courtesy of Instapage
Want to do something else? You could always include a form for the subscriber to set up a consultation with you if your company does consultations. Otherwise, feel free to drop in your phone number somewhere in the email.
Doing the above does indeed leave the ball in the subscriber’s court, but you’d send follow-up emails from there. If you don’t hear from them between now and then, don’t sweat it.
8. A/B Test Everything
From your CTA (call to actions) buttons to your background image, your subject line, and anything and everything in between, you must A/B test it all. We just wrote a great post on our blog about the importance of email A/B testing. Do check it out if you missed it.
You want to do everything in your power to maximize email open and click-through rates and boost conversions. Don’t let all your good effort go to waste by forgetting to A/B test.
Welcome emails have some of the highest open and click-through rates of all the emails you’ll ever send a subscriber. That’s daunting, yes, but you also have a great opportunity on your hands. Using that opportunity wisely is now up to you.
The eight tips above should provide you with all the guidance you need to begin writing your own high-converting, great welcome emails.