Five Best Practices That Add Up to the Perfect Welcome Email
Written by Scott Miraglia
Scott is the CEO of Elevation Marketing. He is a balanced risk-taker with nearly three decades of experience starting and growing advertising and marketing agencies. His business acumen is matched with a drive to build creative teams that thrive in open, collaborative work environments. Scott seeks out the best creative individuals, not only to provide quality service to clients, but to also help shape the future direction of Elevation
Welcome emails—those emails that new subscribers receive after they sign up for something on your website—are a critical first touchpoint to what is hopefully a meaningful and long-term sequence of communication between your company and your prospective new client.
Welcome emails have 86% higher open rates than regular promotional emails, so it’s extremely important to get them right. They set the stage for an ongoing relationship with your new subscriber (or not) which is why it’s so important to make this first impression count.
In this post, we’ll highlight the key things to include in a welcome email that kicks off a nurturing marketing sequence with your prospects (and customers) including examples of what to include in each paragraph.
The Key Ingredients Of A Welcome Email
Like any good recipe for success, a welcome email should contain some core ingredients as their foundation, supporting the overall message you need to convey to your subscribers. By now, people are familiar with welcome emails, so it’s important that your email lives up to their expectations—and this includes sending the welcome email immediately since over 70% of new subscribers expect them as soon as they sign up.
Here is a breakdown of standard welcome email components.
- A killer subject line
- Your welcome message
- A visual element
- A brief explanation of next steps
- An incentive or call-to-action (or both)
A killer subject line
Your welcome email should contain a clear, friendly subject line that conveys trust. It can also be helpful to offer an incentive in the subject. Try to states who you in the subject and, if you go beyond a simple welcome, convey a benefit or next step to the recipient. Here are a few examples from real welcome emails:
- Short and sweet: Welcome to Frame.io
- The lead in: Welcome! Our Booksellers Recommend…
- Building trust: Welcome to Banfield: your pet’s health care resource!
- Personalized: Hi John Smith, Welcome to Suiteness
- Call-to-action: Welcome to your new iPhone X
Your welcome message
The first message in your email should restate who you are, address your recipient by name (if possible) and elaborate on your purpose or mission (this can be brief). Here are some examples.
- Mixpanel: “Mixpanel empowers you to see what your customers are doing in your product so that you can make data-driven decisions and identify areas of improvement.”
- Beardbrand: “We’re creating a ton of awesome content to help you live the bearded lifestyle.”
- Apple: “Your new phone is filled with advanced technologies. Here are some of our favorite tips and tricks to help you get the most out of them.”
Sample from Apple’s Welcome to iPhone X Purchasers
A visual element
Images that include logos, hero shots or thumbnails of products, a smiling model, or an appealing infographic are examples of the types of visual elements you can include in a welcome email to help break up text and draw recipients back to your website.
HubSpot reports that 65% of users prefer emails that are mainly made up of images versus 35% who prefer email to be text heavy. Most welcome emails benefit from the use of images. Here are two examples of ones we like (note that these images appear at the top of the email, above the welcome text.)
Havenly’s welcome email features their logo above an elegant image with a smiling model. The text is friendly and helps set the stage for an ongoing sequence of communication.
Massdrop’s welcome email is laid out like an infographic and includes call-to-action buttons above a series of images that link to different categories (not shown in the above screen shot). The email is easy to read, clearly conveys Massdrop’s brand, and leaves no doubt as to what the subscriber can expect from their membership.
A brief explanation of next steps
Write a sentence or two that clearly establishes what your subscribers can expect from your future sequence of communications. This section of your welcome email is typically plain text (or text embedded in an image, as with the Massdrop example above). Here are three examples of welcome emails that do this well.
- Beardbrand: “Over the next 10 days I’ll send you our most valuable content to get you caught up on your beard education. Think of it as a beard mastery boot camp. Except all you’ll need to do is watch some awesome videos and take in the knowledge.”
- National Dry Goods: “I promise I’ll keep any communication, fun, informative, hopefully valuable, and annoyance free…pinky swear.”
- Hims: “We’ll be in touch with you about products to help you keep your hair and just generally crush. We’ll also hit you with new products, secret codes, and important articles.”
An incentive or call-to-action (or both)
Give your new subscribers a clear, actionable next step to take. You can start with this, end with this, or embed several next steps throughout the body of the welcome email. Here are a few examples taken from actual welcome emails.
Your welcome email is your company’s first impression. It typically gets a higher open rate and more engagement than other types of email. It’s the perfect opportunity for you to put your best foot forward when engaging with new subscribers.
As with all marketing initiatives, the specific approach to email correspondence varies by industry, company, and initiative. If you’re targeting a B2B audience, for example, you’ll have your own set of email best practices versus if you’re an ecommerce website targeting shoppers.
Even so, if your welcome email covers the key ingredients listed above, you’ll be well on your way to making a great first impression.
And if you’re one of the thousands of merchants who are already using Rare’s Smart Email Marketing software and want to see how our Customer Success Team can work with your brand to grow your revenue – feel free to book a call at your convenience here.
Want More Email Marketing Insights - Specifically Designed to Help You Grow Your Online Store?
Sign-up for the Rare.io Newsletter to get exclusive insights, tactics, and proven strategies from Top Ecommerce Experts that we don't publish here: