This post was written by Jainine MacStupson.
Jainine is a writer over at Fresh Essays. When she is not busy crafting a new piece of content, you can find her taking drums lessons, or playing tennis with a friend.
A welcome email is the first email a person gets from you after they’ve filled out a signup form on your site. Sounds like no biggie — just an email for the subscriber to confirm registration. Yet, there is a lot more to it.
Why Put the Effort Into a Welcome Email?
According to GetResponse’s Email Marketing Benchmarks report, the open rate of a welcome email is around 30% while that of a regular email — about 20%.
Also, welcome emails tend to bring in 320% more revenue than other promotional emails.
But let’s set those great stats aside for a moment.
A welcome email is the first step to building a connection with your potential customer. It’s a chance to introduce them to your vision. Make it count!
You can use the opportunity to continue the onboarding process for the subscriber. Get the ball rolling — showcase what’s in store for them, or, to be blunt, what’s awaiting them in the future emails. Furthermore, establish closer contact with the subscriber — conduct a survey, or ask them to complete a personal profile.
Now, enough of this chitchat! Let’s see exactly what you can do to generate that revenue with welcome emails.
Here Are Some Best Practices
The purpose of the first sentence in any good book is simple — convince a person to read the second sentence. Similarly, you’d want your welcome email to entice the recipient to open your next emails. The following tips will help you do just that.
Thank the Subscriber
First things first, thank the person for showing interest in your emails. A simple thank you can go a long way when it comes to building brand loyalty. If a subscriber feels appreciated, they will be more inclined to read the rest of your email, as well as your future newsletters. Here’s an example from Dr. Martens.
In your signup form, create a field for the person’s name. This way, when you send the welcome email, you can use it in the greeting. Better yet, put the name in the subject line. An email that has the subscriber’s name in the subject line has 10 to 14% better chances of being opened.
Deliver the Promise
If you’ve used some kind of a lead magnet (a checklist, worksheet, or an ebook), make sure to include a link to download the content. Otherwise, you might lose your subscriber’s trust.
Here is a welcome email from Aweber. A person will receive it after they signed up to get free email copy templates.
This is only a small part of it — just to illustrate the first three tips we’ve talked about. As you can see, Aweber did deliver on the promise they’d made and they used personalization.
Now, let’s get to the essence of a welcome email. There are several options on how to proceed.
Present What’s Ahead
Lay your cards on the table. Show the subscribers what they can expect from your newsletters. These might be special offers and loyalty programs, links to blog posts, ebooks and worksheets, and whatever else you have in mind.
Here is what Brian Dean from Backlinko did. He clearly explained what the reader will get out of his newsletters. Notice how he added links to his blog posts so that the readers can dive into the content right away. Those are going to bring in extra traffic to Brian’s blog.
Another thing which is just human decency — Brian points out how frequent his emails will be. Of course, subscribers can adjust that. But it’s sure nice to be aware beforehand.
Make sure the benefits of joining your community are clear to the recipient. Udemy outlined them neatly and concisely in their welcome email series:
In case you provide online services or run a SaaS business, in the welcome email you might want to show the person what to do next. Trello here added links to the useful starter resources. This way, you are making the onboarding process easier and more pleasant to the new user.
And, there is a link to contact their Support team if the user gets stuck.
Showcase Your Products and Special Offers
A welcome email is no place to get shy. Remember, if a person signed up to your newsletters, or to receive some content or a discount, they are already interested. Go ahead and show the subscribers your products, and/or create some alluring special promos.
Make sure you use only high-quality images of your products. Here is how Crocs did it. Simple yet vivid imagery with links ready to get clicked on by your new subscriber.
If you’re in ecommerce, discounts are the most popular way to entice a subscriber, but how about attracting not one, but two new customers? Uniqlo came up with a referral program. Just $10 off a new item and there is a high possibility of another customer coming your way.
Learn More About Your Subscribers
The mere act of showсasing products might work well in your welcome email, but in the second and third one, it might not be enough to seal the deal. However, a personalized list of recommendations is a whole another story. Studies show that segmented and personalized promotional emails bring 6 times higher transaction rates.
The benefits of learning more about your subscribers are numerous. Apart from creating targeted email campaigns, you can catch a glimpse into how your product can be enhanced or what other services you might want to offer.
Here is how you can collect new information with your first email:
- Simply ask a question. Earlier on in this post, you saw Brian Dean’s email. That was just the first part of it, and in the second one, he asks the recipient about the one thing they are struggling with, SEO-wise.
- Ask to choose an option. This one will be the easiest for the subscribers because all they have to do is just click on the option that suits them most. No need to fill out a survey or think about how to answer the question.
Matt from Nomadic Matt can basically create segmented email campaigns after his subscribers click on one of the links in his welcome email.
- Add a footer survey. With a simple two-choice survey at the end of their email, Aweber collects information on whether or not their recipients have liked the email content. And if they care to elaborate, there is a link they can click on.
Create Welcome Email Series
There are tons of things your welcome email can encompass. However, it doesn’t have to be a one-stop-shop for everything. If you want to show the future email teasers, conduct a survey, and share other content, don’t overwhelm your subscribers by cluttering your welcome email. Instead, create a series.
A series of welcome emails have proven to show 2x higher engagement rates than just one email.
Here is a version of what your email series might look like:
- 1st email. Thank the subscriber for joining your community, and tell them a little about your company and/or how you create your products.
- 2nd email. Ask your subscriber to complete their profile or answer a question.
- 3rd email. Send them a personalized list of recommendations if you’ve received some extra information from them in the second iteration. And if not, you can provide a discount for their first purchase.
Send out these emails within the course of three to four days. This way, you will slowly familiarize the subscriber with your company and will avoid cluttering your first email.
Don’t Forget These Important Steps When Crafting a Welcome Email
With all the powerful revenue-generating capabilities of the welcome email, it might be easy to overlook some basic elements that can cost you potential customers:
1). Ask the subscriber to add you to their contacts/address book.
You don’t want to spend huge amounts of time crafting email content for it to end up in the SPAM folder.
2). Add social media buttons.
Email shouldn’t be the only way your subscribers communicate with you.
3). Include an unsubscribe link.
This is a CAN-SPAM requirement. Plus, a person should always feel free to unsubscribe. Otherwise, your good relationship might wither on the vine. Edit the subscription is another link you can add so that before the subscriber leaves for good, they might just change their email frequency.
A welcome email is the first impression you will make on your potential customer.
So it might be tempting to stuff everything good you have to say about your company into this one email.
You can choose to just thank the subscriber and add links to some of your content. And, you can showcase some products right away.
Whatever you decide to include in your welcome email, remember to avoid information overload. Alternatively, you can always go ahead and create a welcome email series to gradually introduce your company and products to the subscriber.