Welcome! Easy to say—hard to do well.
The first email you send to new subscribers, customers, or clients is a high-stakes, high-impact moment for your business. Someone has invited you into their inbox—that sacred, crowded space—and now, you have to earn your right to stay there.
The welcome email is the email your subscribers are most likely to read. Not to mention that most welcome emails are super short—sometimes just 150 words or less. Still, that’s enough words to make an impact.
So, how can you write the perfect welcome email to get new subscribers hungry for more?
In this article, you’ll find proven marketing tips to make your welcome email clickable and convince readers to re-engage with you in the future. You’ll see real-life examples of companies that are doing it well so that your small business can benefit from successful strategies.
Deliver what you promised
Did you entice new subscribers with a downloadable lead magnet? If you did, a welcome email is a perfect opportunity to deliver on that promise. If you don’t, you’ll risk losing subscriber trust.
If you’re not familiar with lead magnets, they’re essentially an incentive that you offer to potential customers or clients in exchange for their contact information. The incentive could be an ebook, video, white paper, discount, brochure, newsletter, etc.
So, if you promised any of those, deliver on that promise in your welcome email. Don’t make your subscribers wait around for a second email.
Check out how Ralph Lauren expertly deliver on their promise.
Image source: Shopify
Set expectationsThe first thing you need to do in a welcome email is to acknowledge and thank your subscribers for signing up for your email list.
You should also take this opportunity to explain what they should expect from you. For example, how often you’ll email them and the types of emails they will receive.
Explaining that will make them more receptive to your future emails, meaning you’ll get more open rates, engagement, and fewer spam complaints.
Take a look at this BBC welcome email to see what we mean.
Image credit: Mailbakery
Add your brand identity
A welcome email is also the first chance to show subscribers who you are and make your emails instantly recognizable to them. They receive A LOT of emails every day. It’s important to make your welcome email unique and show that you have something special to offer.
The additional benefit of that is that your subscribers will come to recognize your distinct look and will automatically know what to look for in future emails.
Additionally, when you are setting up a welcome email, you need to ensure that the subscriber knows exactly who is talking to them. If your name is all over your site, you need to use that same name to send emails. Even if it isn’t, you should use a real name to build a connection on a personal level.
Stats also support this approach as according to Litmus, 42% of people look at the sender name first before opening an email.
See how Nintendo adds brand identity? They use their unique branding in the welcome email – a good way for new subscribers to recognize their emails instantly.
Image credit: Really Good Emails
Personalize your welcome email
Personalization goes beyond using your name or a subscriber’s name. You need to integrate subscriber data into your welcome email.
For example, if your lead magnet form had fields for their interests, you can use their selections in the second email. When a subscriber sees that you know what they like, they will look forward to your emails.If you don’t have data to personalize your welcome emails, you can use the welcome email to gather more information about subscriber preferences.
You can include clickable links for people to identify themselves and self-segment.
Highlight your social media channels
New subscribers are curious and interested in your brand. Take advantage of that by inviting them to connect with you on social media.
A welcome email and an invite to view your content on social media is an opportunity for new subscribers to learn more about you and the other side of your brand.
Check out this CB2 welcome email to see an example.
Image credit: Really Good Emails
Overall, social media + email marketing = stronger relationships.
Write a catchy subject line
It’s worth spending time to get your subject line perfect as it’s the first opportunity you have to let your personality shine through and to be clear that the email is a welcome message.34% of people look at the email subject line first, which means it’s the second most important part of a welcome email (after the sender’s name).
The ideal subject line should have a welcome greeting followed by something special. The something special part of the subject line could be an incentive.
You can also personalize the email subject line. Personalization in an email subject line boosts email open rates by 50%.
Need a couple of ideas on how to draft the perfect welcome email subject line? How about you ask a question that is related to your lead magnet? You can also put a teaser on what happens next. For example, “Welcome to Leadpages! Here’s what’s next.”
The bottom line is that if you create an enticing welcome email subject line, you’ll get more subscribers opening and reading your emails.
Sphero does welcome email subject lines really well:
Image credit: Hubspot
Mistakes to avoid when you write a welcome email
You have all the ingredients to craft perfect welcome emails, so let’s cover the mistakes you should avoid when it comes to welcome emails. The items in this bulleted list may sound like a no-brainer but these small mistakes can create major problems down the line.
- Avoid sending more than one welcome email. Doing so will often result in many unsubscribes or land you in spam folders.
- Long emails: A welcome email should be about 150 words. Nobody will stop you from testing longer emails but you better make sure you can keep the readers interested until the end of the email, or at least until they reach your CTA.
- Not having a specific sender: This will put you in the spam folder or result in unsubscribes. People like emails from real humans so add a name to make it more personal.
- Having many CTAs: Having too many calls to action will make your welcome email seem too salesy. Remember: the welcome email is all about the subscriber, not you.
- Bad design: Your email needs a good and distinct design that subscribers will remember you by. So, if you have bad design and poor branding, it is likely that your subscribers won’t be excited about your future offers which could negatively affect your CTR.
- Not including social media channels: You lose an opportunity for more engagement and leads if you don’t include your social channels in your welcome email.
- Making it all about you: This point speaks for itself. The welcome email is all about the subscriber. For instance, instead of saying you have great content, describe how your great content will make their life a little easier.
Ready to write the most important email you’ll (probably) ever write?
Your welcome email is the first step to connecting with new members of your audience and sets the tone for your relationship. That means that you need to go the extra mile in your welcome email to truly connect with new subscribers and set the tone for your mutually beneficial relationship.
It’s important to deliver on your promises; to allow them to get to know you on their own terms, and to let your personality shine through.
PS. It’s hard to make people take action in emails. Usually, people read but don’t act. A welcome email is an exception. You can get much more engagement, more opens, and more clicks. I usually use this email to help people self-segment themselves. For example: “I’m curious, what brought you here? [A] / [B] / [C]” with the options clickable. Or “Are you… [a business owner], [a marketer], [a consultant], [a beginner]?”. Based on the answers, you can start sending specific content tailored to their segment.