Crafting The Perfect Welcome Email

Making a good impression is as important a life skill as it is a business advantage. And when it comes to email, ensuring your reader is locked in to your content is crucial, especially considering the amount of spam consumers are bombarded with on a daily basis. Welcome emails are a sure-fire way to make the best first impression with prospective customers and in the next few paragraphs we will guide you in creating an impression that will keep your customers engaged.  

Set the tone

This is the first friendly exchange you will have with a subscriber and it will set the tone for the rest of your communications; so make sure it represents your brand personality. Whether it is a straightforward “Welcome to our mailing list” or a “We’re so glad you’re here”, make sure your greeting is warm and inviting. Remember, if your online presence is like a storefront, your first email is like a shop assistant’s greeting. Be personal, and make your subscribers feel at home.

What to include

Depending on what your business objectives are, the content of your email will have a bunch of different messages. One thing you ideally need to bring across in all welcome mails is what the subscriber can expect from you in the future. It’s important to explain how often you plan to email them, what type of content they can expect from you or what you will be expecting of them (if anything). Some of this information may be reinforcing what you have already explained to them in the sign up form – which is a great way to reassure a subscriber that you will only be sending relevant content, at regular and expected intervals, rather than spamming them at annoyingly odd hours of the day, on inappropriate days of the week. Another important opportunity not to be missed is to ask them to add you to their address book or safe senders list. This will ensure that future emails don’t get sent to their spam mailboxes.

Next you can decide what it is you want your subscribers to do first, and in doing this add value to the email. Pick one important thing to focus on because you want your email to be streamlined and not have too many things going on at once as this is valuable email real estate that needs to clearly display only what is needed and actionable.

Include a freebie or a once-off offer with your warm welcome, linking them to your website where they redeem their gift, or you could showcase your best products or services and current promotions happening right now, and have a bold call-to-action such as “Shop now” or “Book online”. Alternatively you could simply give them the opportunity to be on any of your other mailing lists they might find useful, possibly enticing them to update their details and therefore give you more valuable data about your new subscriber.

Make sure that this email is mobile friendly, and definitely include links to your social media accounts. Also, don’t forget to craft a catchy subject line for your welcome email. Although welcome emails typically have the highest open rates of any marketing emails - 50 to 60% - it’s important to grab the subscriber’s attention straight away.   In 2013, 80% of brands using email marketing sent auto responder welcome emails, according to ReturnPath. Auto responders are set up via your Email Service Provider (ESP) in a similar way to creating a new campaign, except that they are tied to a particular list, and triggered based on specific rules created for that list. Each ESP may have a different process but essentially you will create the email as a template, with mail merge personalisation included, and once it’s tested, it can be left to run (send off to new subscribers) for however long you’d like to keep that particular welcome message template for.

When to send a welcome email

Preferably right away. Typically you’ll want them to receive it immediately or a few minutes after they have signed up so that first of all, they are aware of the fact that their subscription is active. Also, while the brand is still fresh in their minds upon signup, the subscriber will get a feel for what the email subscription has to offer, the kind of content on offer as well as design of the email, and hopefully begin to anticipate future communication from the brand.

As with any email marketing campaign, make sure you test the auto responder welcome message thoroughly before sending it out. You can also try different options with A/B split testing to see what works best with your audience.

Want to see a few welcome email ideas to get your creative juices flowing? Check out these 13 welcome email examples from Shopify.  They all have great visuals, short paragraphs and focus on one of three things: telling a brand story; showcasing products or introducing special offers. Keep this is mind when you launch your next email campaign and keep an eye on the stats to see whether this new strategy is paying off.