Welcome emails are one of the most common digital marketing automation sequences, and it’s easy to see why—74% of customers expect to receive a welcome message when they subscribe to a new email newsletter.
If you’re still not sending welcome emails, you’re missing out on a key opportunity to engage with new subscribers and create a strong first impression. Welcome emails are also a great place to begin if you’re new to email marketing automation and not sure where to start.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 5 powerful welcome email tips to help inspire your next campaign. Keep in mind that new subscribers are just one of many segments based on customer behavior on your website.
How Do Welcome Emails Work?
A welcome email is your first chance to interact with a lead who joins your email list.
Most new subscribers expect this message, so it’s important to take advantage when you have them interested.
Your welcome emails should go out immediately when a new lead gives you their email address to join your newsletter. You’ll need an email marketing tool that can automate this process and send out welcome messages without any direct input.
Depending on your brand’s positioning, you may prefer to use a single welcome email or a series of 3-5 messages. While some subscribers will respond to the first message, others may need to warm up over several interactions before being ready to open an email.
5 Welcome Email Tips
1. Set Expectations
Some companies need to onboard leads before they can convert them into customers.
Pinterest, for example, introduces simple tips on how to use their platform. Their welcome email focuses on explaining different features and letting users know that it’s easier than they may be expecting.
Don’t expect new subscribers to spend several minutes reading your welcome emails—most of them will likely click away after a short period of time. Welcome messages should be clear, concise, and straight to the point in order to avoid losing their attention.
2. Build a Connection
Customers obviously want low prices and high-quality products, but they’re also looking for brands that can speak to them on a more personal level. The welcome email is your best opportunity to let new subscribers know what your company is all about and build a positive relationship based on your common ground.
While Away has a longer welcome message than others, they do a great job of weaving together a compelling story and connecting it directly to the value of their products.
The email starts with a quick paragraph explaining their values and mission—immediately positioning themselves as more than a typical luggage company. Notice that users who are interested in learning more can immediately extend the interaction by clicking the “About Us” button.
Next, they move on to tying the story together with their products. Rather than treating those as two separate sections, Away tries to speak from one traveler to another. From there, they show a few of their unique features that differentiate Away products from what you might find from another luggage company.
Finally, there’s a short call to action giving interested leads the chance to try Away risk-free for up to 100 days. Even though there’s a lot of material in this email, Away makes the most of the space and uses two calls to action to convert as many new subscribers as possible.
3. Use Multiple Emails
One downside to Away’s approach is that such a long email might lose a subscriber’s interest before they have the chance to get truly engaged. With that in mind, a growing number of marketers are pivoting from welcome emails to welcome series—as mentioned above, these are generally made up of somewhere between three and five messages.
Splitting up one large email into multiple parts makes the sequence more digestible while allowing you to communicate more information in each email. This decision is backed up by Omnisend’s own research, which indicates that a series of three welcome emails will generate an average of 90% more orders compared to a single welcome message.
This sequence from Basic Piece demonstrates the power of a three-email sequence. The first message sticks to the basics: thanking subscribers for joining the email list, giving them a general idea of what to expect, and introducing the founder of the company.
From there, the second email provides a deeper look into how Basic Piece operates along with how they source their products—a key concern for many consumers, particularly those in younger demographics. In other words, this message moves from general information about the brand to specific details to get readers even more interested.
Finally, the third email focuses on social proof by highlighting testimonials from satisfied customers. Consumers tend to trust social proof over direct promotions, so it’s important to include some reviews or testimonials at some point in the welcome sequence. Notice that the last email also comes with a promo code for 25% off the subscriber’s first order—this will convert some leads who were on the fence after the first two messages.
4. Leverage Product Images
Unsurprisingly, the right way to structure your welcome emails depends on your brand’s image, style, and value proposition. Grailed is the largest online marketplace to buy an sell menswear. In this email Grailed explained that they are a one-stop destination for buying, selling and exploring menswear. In this email they show four main categories of men clothes by dividing them into four styles.
The Grailed app lets you shop incredible pieces and sell your personal archive where you are. In this newsletter, they are also promoting their app to get instant notifications on price drops, messages, and more.
5. Focus on Benefits
One of the key challenges for digital marketers is finding ways to communicate the unique value or benefits of their brand. This is an even greater obstacle for advertisers at a time when consumers may only spend a few seconds reading each email.
After a quick thank-you note, this Vente-Privée email goes directly into some of the key advantages that are available to email subscribers. Even if a reader only scans the email, they’ll still come away knowing that they can save money on top brands, find fashion, beauty, and home products, and log on for special sales at 6 AM every morning.
Instead of focusing on a story or onboarding process, Vente-Privée prioritizes information that speaks to the unique value that users can expect with their new subscription. There’s also a welcome gift that includes free delivery along with a brief explanation of how to take advantage of the voucher. Brands with a shorter sales cycle should consider making their welcome emails more concise to focus on generating immediate conversions.
Another example of a really simple but effective welcome email is from Huppy. Huppy is a natural, zero waste toothpaste. They offer beautifully designed containers that are meant to be reused and refilled. Huppy welcomes their subscribers who joined their planet-friendly family and offers a 10% discount.
These five tips for welcome emails offer a wide range of insights for companies of all sizes. As you can see, what works for one brand may not be as effective for another depending on their products, audience, and unique customer journey. It’s crucial to build a welcome sequence that meets customer expectations and moves them closer to their first order.