Welcome emails are an important first step on the customer journey. It is a great way to start building a relationship between you and your email subscribers.
An effective welcome email does 3 core things: it helps a new subscriber understand who you are, it lets subscribers know what to expect from your email marketing team, and it explains the benefits of being an engaged email subscriber.
According to a 2018 Hive study, welcome emails have a 91.4% open rate! That's about as close to a guaranteed open as you're going to get as an email marketer. Are you going to let this opportunity pass you by? Or are you going to take advantage of this window of opportunity where subscribers are especially motivated to click your email?
Here are 6 things your welcome email should accomplish.
A brand is more than a swoosh or a tagline. A good brand has a story behind it, values that it shares with its audience, and solves a problem for its audiences. You can show off one or all of these elements in your welcome email.
Your email list is filled with people who have varying interest in and awareness of your brand, especially when they first subscribe. Some members of your email list may subscribe after making one or more purchases. Other subscribers were introduced to your brand earlier that day.
Regardless of their level of familiarity, this is your chance to frame your brand in your customers' minds. It's essential that your welcome email copy & design conforms to brand guidelines and voice. Your welcome email should introduce/reinforce your logo, brand colors, etc. It's also a great time to introduce some of your best-selling products, but this email should NOT be solely focused on product sales.
Email marketing is permission-based. Subscribers agree to trade their information for value, and if you fail to meet their expectations, they can just as easily take away your ability to contact them. You can use your welcome email to set expectations about the types of email content you're going to send, how frequently you'll send, etc.
We recommend setting expectations as early in your welcome email as possible, ideally in the opening paragraph. You can do this by greeting your subscriber and listing the types of content you're going to send. For example, if you're a brand selling organic spice mixes you may send written recipes, new product announcements, and videos with cooking tips.
To create a more personalized customer journey, you can let customers tell you what their content preferences are in your welcome email by directing them to your email preference center. Letting customers choose helps you meet their expectations and better understand what products/services they're interested in.
This is the first email a customer or potential customer receives after entrusting you with their email, so make sure it is memorable and makes a GREAT first impression. Two keys to making a great first impression are setting your customers up for success and weaving your branding into your email.
This is your chance to show that your brand goes the extra mile. Send a video message from your CEO, VP of Product, or celebrity brand superfan. A simple 60-second video shows that your company and its leadership cares enough to speak to its customers. Another extra mile tactic is making elements brand specific that other brands keep generic. For example, name your subscribers or newsletter something relevant to your brand.
If your email doesn't deliver value, do NOT hit send. We believe this is true for all marketing emails, but it's especially true for your first email to your customer. If your initial email doesn't provide value to the customer, it might not result in them hitting the unsubscribe button. Instead, it makes them think that your future emails should be ignored. Value comes in many forms. You can send educational content, exclusive content, special offers, or a discount code.
A subscriber signed up because you promised them some sort of value. Use your welcome email as an opportunity to walk them through why they should look for your email in their crowded inbox. The benefit of subscribing could be helpful product tips, new product announcements, content featuring industry leaders, etc.
We recommend listing 3-5 concrete benefits of subscribing. These benefits should be specific, but make sure that they are scannable. A good welcome email is engaging, but you don't want subscribers to have to spend 10 minutes reading it to get the message.
Here are a few of our favorite welcome emails. We recommend checking out Really Good Emails for more inspiration!
This email hits most of the key elements of a successful welcome email. We love how Loom starts off the email by welcoming the subscriber to their community. They also establish social proof in their opening line! Stating that there are 9 million people like the reader using the product eases the new user's mind.
This email is scannable and well designed, but what makes it great is the value it provides to a new subscriber. Loom uses its own product to communicate its value in video form and provides links to any helpful resources a new user might need to be successful with the product.
This welcome email works on so many levels! The creative copy used throughout is a great way to introduce their brand. Casper refers to subscribers as "dreamers" and their newsletter as a "snoozeletter". They also use their intro paragraph to establish social proof (1,000,000 sleepers).
But where this email really shines is setting expectations. Casper spells out four specific values that their subscribers receive.
This email is visually stunning and optimized to drive product sales. Its website-like navigation and exclusive discount make it easy and enticing for new subscribers to find what they're interested in and buy it at a discount.
This email doesn't only work because it provides monetary value; it also works because the copy speaks to their ideal customer and helps them imagine their life with an Oru Kayak.
This email gets everything right! It starts off by addressing the reader as a "whisky lover" instead of a subscriber. Whenever possible, we recommend naming your subscribers something unique; it just makes your club cooler.
The Whisky brand also sets expectations and reinforces the benefits of subscribing in its opening paragraph. Then, they show off a few of their popular products with a high-quality image.
Last but not least, they deliver value by directing subscribers towards cocktail recipes and product recommendations for their specific tastes.
According to Wordstream, 74% of consumers expect a welcome email as soon as they subscribe. Email marketing automation makes setting up, managing, and sending a welcome email almost effortless, so there's no reason it shouldn't be part of your email marketing strategy.
Just like with all things email marketing, you need to stand out! The first step to standing out is incorporating the 6 elements of a successful welcome email. If you hit the mark with these 6 elements, you will separate yourself from poor/mediocre welcome emails.
If you’re able to combine these elements with creative copy & design your emails will belong in the conversation with the best in the business. Think about how you can name your audience like Casper, feature your product like Loom, educate and guide purchasing decisions like Glenlivet, and inspire like Oru.