Imagine walking into a shop and you’re greeted by a smiling store assistant. They ask you how you are, introduce themselves, ask if you need help with anything in particular, and even give you a discount card.
This is essentially what a welcome email does.
After a prospective customer signs up to your mailing list, they’re not ready to start buying immediately. Their interest is piqued but it needs time to grow. The role of the welcome email is to continue the conversation. It’s the start of a sequence of emails all designed to gradually build desire before convincing your leads to take action.
Welcome emails are definitely worth sending. In fact, welcome emails have an average open rate of 91.43% which is staggeringly high when you consider the average marketing email across all industries has an open rate of just 21.33%.
With eyes almost guaranteed on your page, this is your chance to create a stellar impression. The hard work is done. They’re interested. All you need to do is make sure they stay that way, proving that they made the right decision when they offered you their email address.
So here’s how to craft an engagement-soaring and sales-boosting welcome email—plus some examples of businesses that are doing it all right.
12 Tips for a Great Welcome Email
1. A Seriously Good Subject Line
The subject line is the first thing your prospective customer will see when they glance at their inbox and makes all the difference between an email that gets read and one that goes straight to Trash.
With this in mind, make it clear in the subject what your email is about. Include the word welcome. And maybe even the prospect’s name, too. This makes it more personal and more likely to catch their attention.
You want to let your lead know what the email entails. That said, if you can inspire curiosity or create a sense of mystery by not giving it all away, even better. Too obscure and they’ll probably pass over it. But too obvious and they won’t bother opening it. Something like We wanted to welcome you with a little something… does the trick nicely.
As for length, the perfect subject line is less than 50 characters long. So keep it concise and to the point.
As with all lead nurturing emails, your welcome email should be personalised to the customer. 71% of consumers say a personalised experience influences whether they open or read emails from brands.
This means using the customer’s name, for starters. You should have gathered this information when they filled in the original contact form.
Segmenting your email lists is another way to help with email personalisation. You can segment according to location, interest in particular products, the content they’ve downloaded, or their position in the sales pipeline.
You can then use this information to inform your welcome email. For example, a welcome email to a prospect who has already bought a product from you in the past might require a Welcome Back email.
Or you might share a how-to guide which goes into detail about using a particular product they were browsing.
Top tip: use gender-neutral language in your welcome email to avoid offending anyone.
3. Get the Right Tone
Getting the right tone of voice is crucial not just for welcome emails but for all marketing copy and content. The tone you use reflects your brand identity and personality. It helps your writing to sound less impersonal and more relatable. Plus, it helps to distinguish you from competitors and make you memorable.
That said, whatever your particular brand identity, from cheeky and irreverent to classy and sophisticated, the tone of a welcome email should be always friendly, approachable, and sincere.
Saying thank you is the best way to convey your appreciation and gratitude. But try to say thank you in an interesting and original way. You could use phrases such as we’re so grateful, we owe you one or simply cheers. Or take advantage of colourful graphic design or imagery to make it stand out.
4. Let Them Know What’s Coming
A welcome email is a perfect place to let readers know the type of content you’ll be sending and how often. Whether your email marketing typically involves links to blog content or monthly sales promotions, people like to know what they’ve signed up for. Give them a sense of how often they can expect messages from you too.
For example, Now you’re all set to enjoy monthly fashion inspiration, top tips, and all the best social media content from our customers around the world.
Describe this upcoming content in the most exciting way possible. Use powerful words that instil enthusiasm, such as unforgettable, life-changing, intriguing, thrilling or miraculous, as well as superlatives like the best and the most.
5. Introduce Yourself
Your prospective customer might have signed up for your mailing list without doing too much research into who exactly you are and what you can offer. So this is an excellent opportunity to share more information about your brand.
Keep it simple and straightforward. You don’t want to bore them. Just make it clear what your main selling points are. What can you offer that competitors can’t? What are your brand values? What is your mission statement?
A photo of a member of your team, whether it’s your CEO or your skilled artisan craftsman, will help people put a face to the name and make your company more relatable.
6. Include Something Exciting
Despite the name, a welcome email should be about more than just welcoming your customer. In this day and age, consumers are savvy and know that a welcome email usually comes with some kind of advantage.
You want to keep your lead hooked and continue to generate desire and interest in your product or service. So offer them something as a gesture of thanks.
This could simply be a link to some of your highest-performing content, such as a blog post or video, or even a free eBook or whitepaper. Just make sure it’s relevant and likely to be of interest.
Of course, you could also link to products or services that they might like, based on any data you have gathered through cookies.
But the most fail-safe way to get your reader excited is to offer them a discount code or coupon. People love promo codes because it tells them in a quantifiable way exactly how much they can save and feels exclusive to them, unlike a sale. No wonder, then, that emails that include promo codes enjoy 14% higher open rates.
Top tip: keep your promo code short and easy to write. Around 6 characters is ideal. If they can remember it off the top of their head, they’re more likely to use it.
7. Remind Them to Take You Out of Their Spam
Sometimes your emails will get flagged as spam. And so it’s always a good idea to remind your readers to add you to their ‘safe senders’ or contact list. Making sure they ‘whitelist’ your emails will ensure you a place in their primary inbox and stop you from unintentionally ending up in ‘junk’.
Including instructions on how to do this is a good idea as it’s not always intuitive. This will help maintain your deliverability rates and make it easier for leads to find your emails in future.
It’s best to include this reminder in the footer section of your email so it doesn’t distract from the rest of the message. And remind customers of the benefits of whitelisting you. For example, Don’t miss out on subscriber-only discounts in the future.
8. Include a Call-to-Action
A welcome email isn’t about making a sale right there and then. Rather, it’s the beginning of a series of emails which will eventually result in a sale.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include a call-to-action, however. You still want your customer to take some kind of action in order to build the relationship and keep the conversation going.
So why not try encouraging them to do something less high-stakes, such as asking them to follow you on social media? Including links to your social media networks makes this an easy and friction-free process. Wording the call-to-action in a way that makes it sound mutually beneficial, such as Let’s connect rather than Follow us is also good practice.
And tell them the kind of thing you post to give them an idea of what to expect. You could also include a click-to-tweet that will encourage them to share your email list with their friends or network.
Another CTA could be encouraging them to take a look at some of your content. Use action verbs such as Learn more or Read now or something intriguing such as Curious? Get the full story.
9. Include an Unsubscribe Link
Sure, your lead just signed up. But it might have been a mistake. Or they might have changed their mind. Either way, stay in their good books by giving them the choice to unsubscribe if they want to. This goes for any email in your lead nurturing email campaign. In fact, many email service providers such as Campaign Monitor will automatically include an unsubscribe link.
It may feel counter-intuitive to make it easy for your leads to unsubscribe. Aren’t you trying to boost engagement, after all? But privacy regulations support the right of subscribers to withdraw consent whenever they want to. That said, a good tip is to include a link for readers to change their subscription preferences so they don’t have to opt out altogether.
10. Consider a Refer-a-Friend Offer
If you’re trying to build your email list, asking subscribers to refer a friend is a great idea. The psychological phenomenon known as social proof means we are more likely to do something if we see our peers doing it. As such, referred clients and customers tend to be more engaged than those from other sources.
So letting subscribers know about your referral program from the get-go is a smart move. Make sure to include the basics of the program, such as the rewards involved and how long the offer lasts. And make the process of referring as simple and stress-free as possible.
11. Include a Survey
Tailoring your emails to what your leads actually want is the best way to boost engagement and increase conversions. And so including a survey in your welcome email is beneficial for both your reader and you.
Keep the survey short and very easy to fill in. Email campaigns with an embedded survey have an average click-to-open rate of 31.7%. Your survey should take less than 3 minutes to complete. It might ask for information about the kind of products they like or the kind of content they would find useful.
12. Send it at the Right Time
According to Campaign Monitor, the best time to send a welcome email is as soon as a new subscriber confirms their email address. This is when your lead’s interest in your brand is at its highest. Send it a week later and they may have forgotten about you. Email automation makes this super simple and there’s no chance you’ll forget.
5 Examples of Excellent Welcome Emails
This welcome email by clothing brand Weekday keeps it appropriately minimal and frill-free, matching the overall brand aesthetic and identity. It simply says thank you, lets the customer know what they’re in for (information about new arrivals, offers, and events) and includes an easy-to-remember promo code. Signing off with Have a nice day is a sweet extra touch.
2. Cox & Cox
Interiors brand Cox & Cox opens their welcome email with a thank you before letting customers know what they’ve signed up for: must-have pieces, interiors inspiration and exclusive offers. They also throw in a discount code to show their appreciation.
There’s also an option to change your email preferences as well as a call-to-action: Explore our collections. Clearly defined links to important information like delivery and customer service make it simple for prospective customers to navigate and find out the important details. It’s straight to the point and readers will appreciate the concise and easy-to-read style.
This welcome email by online learning platform Domestika opens with powerful words like community and outstanding, inspiring enthusiasm and excitement, which reassures readers that they’ve made the right decision. It then offers personalised recommendations for courses, followed by four of the company’s main selling points: expert teachers, online learning, community-focused, and certification.
Learning community Skillshare starts its welcome email with a fun and memorable image and the eye-catching announcement of a ‘welcome gift’. It also encourages customers to explore their product range without being explicitly sales-y thanks to the relaxed and conversational headline, Want to poke around a bit?
Productivity software company Quip has a rather cutting-edge welcome email that uses animation to give readers an idea of what it would be like to use Quip software. As you’re reading, a list of ‘onboarding tasks’ appears word by word while the to-do list at the bottom is also being modified in real-time.
It’s cool to watch and more engaging than a page of static text. The email also reminds you of what you have to gain from using Quip: improving productivity, reducing emails and meetings, and ‘becoming the team hero’. Plus, there’s a link to useful resources for getting to grips with the platform.
Have Your Perfect Welcome Email Written Today
As you can see, sending the right welcome email is vital.
While you could write it yourself, it often pays to instead engage a professional – such as one of the writers here at Lime Copywriting. Why not speak to someone about our email writing service today?
Frequently asked questions about welcome emails
1. What is a welcome email?
A welcome email is the first in a series of onboarding emails. Its purpose is to thank a prospect for subscribing and continuing the conversation. Sometimes it includes incentives to move the reader along the sales funnel, such as a discount code or coupon. Sometimes it includes links to new or recommended products. It may also direct readers to blog posts or other resources. The idea is to start building a relationship and keep the communication going.
2. What should be in a welcome email sequence?
A welcome email sequence should include a series of emails that gradually build trust, brand awareness, and interest and desire in your products or services. It’s important to start off slow and begin to build momentum, starting with a welcome and thank you, introducing yourself and your products, and then becoming increasingly persuasive as the welcome email sequence advances.
3. How effective are welcome emails?
Welcome emails are pretty effective, as far as marketing emails go. They have a much higher open rate and click-through rate than other marketing emails. In fact, consumers are now primed to expect a welcome email and so might even be disappointed if you fail to send one. Therefore, welcome emails are a great opportunity to boost engagement as well as sales.
4. How do you write a business welcome email?
Writing a business welcome email is all about initiating the beginnings of a relationship with your customer. You want to welcome them, thank them for showing interest, introduce yourself, and give them a reason to stay interested. It’s important to keep it personal and exciting, get the right tone of voice, and include a call-to-action as well as an unsubscribe button if they decide they want to opt out.
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