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 subscriber into the fold. More than that, you can pepper in 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.
Here’s an example of what a welcome email could look like:
Image courtesy of Digital Marketing Glossary
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.
Convinced? 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!
- 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…
- 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.
- 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.
- Create Expectations for the Future
Let’s circle back to the email from 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.
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.
- 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. 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- A/B Test Everything
From your CTA 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 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 awesome, high-converting welcome emails.