The Comprehensive Guide to Writing Effective Welcome Emails
Imagine stepping into a new flower and coffee shop only to be met with a staff that’s not welcoming, warm, or even acknowledging your presence in the store. Would you like to buy a frappe from them or prefer to take the route toward your favourite coffee shop nearby?
The answer is clear.
First impressions matter, even in eCommerce, where webshops and shopping assistants replace brick-and-mortar stores are replaced by chatbots. The importance of meet and greet cannot be overemphasised.
When someone deigns to share their email ID with you in return for a free ebook, special offer, or whitepaper, every marketer must express their gratitude with a warm, well-worded email or series of welcome emails that let the subscribers know that they are valued.
In the following guide, we will attempt to cover everything a marketer needs to launch a successful campaign that sets the cash registers ringing and crazy escalations in brand loyalty.
Decoding Welcome Emails
Whenever a customer makes a purchase, signs up for your newsletter, chooses to download a lead magnet, or subscribes to your service, they deserve and expect a warm e-welcome. In the online world, the email or series of emails the customer receives when becoming a part of the brand family are called welcome emails.
Every relationship needs nurturing, and welcome emails extend that warm hand of kinship at the beginning of the brand-customer engagement. The following goals can be accomplished with a well-thought-out and excellently crafted welcome email/s:
- Expressing gratitude to new subscribers for taking the time to connect with your brand
- Familiarising the new member with your range of products, services, and the pain points they intend to solve
- Engage with them in creative and responsive ways to know what they would like from the brand
The perfect welcome email not just breaks the ice but also etches the way forward with insight on communications to come and value in the offing replete with the brand story, quirky gifs, or value-packed downloadables and offers.
Can a single welcome email do the job, or should I send them a series?
While some marketers swear by the power of welcome email series, some brands still stick to sending one power-packed welcome email that does the job elegantly. The choice is yours, as there is no hard and fast rule regarding your welcome email campaign.
You can set the cadence and number of emails in a series according to a brand’s bespoke needs and requirements. You can choose to spread it over weeks or even months. However, most brands like to keep it short and sweet, with three to four welcome emails spread over a proven beneficial period. We will get to crafting spectacular welcome email series in the following sections.
Why are welcome emails so important?
Other than just introducing your brand to the new subscribers and expressing gratitude, welcome emails go the extra mile in cementing fruitful business relationships. Let’s have a look at some hard facts:
- Fulfill customer expectations: Let’s face it, in today’s fast-paced world, everyone is hard-pressed for time, and if somebody takes out a few precious minutes to subscribe to your brand’s newsletter or happily becomes a member of the “brand” wagon, the least they can expect is a warm welcome, felicitating their choice and validating their decision as the right one. According to a study conducted by Invespcro, 74% or three fourth of subscribers expect a welcome email soon after subscribing to a brand.
- Enhanced customer engagement: Another statistic in the Invespcro infographic reiterates that those who receive welcome emails soon after joining are 33% more likely to engage with the brand. Also, the average open rate or click-through rate for such emails is a neat 50%, which gives them the winning edge over standard newsletters by a significant margin of 86%.
- Saves time for marketers: Engaging with new leads manually can be time-consuming. The well-written automated welcome email saves the marketer some precious time, which can be directed toward other aspects of brand management.
- Create trust in the brand and credibility: Just like it will take you some extra coaxing to buy your daily coffee from a barista other than your regular haunt, similarly, new subscribers will not trust a new brand so quickly. You can enhance the subscribers’ journey through the sales funnel with a perfectly crafted welcome email showing your brand ethos and values.
- Impressive conversion rates: The end goal of every marketer is a measurable increase in ROIs, and welcome emails register a conversion rate 51.94% higher than other sessions of automated emails.
- Increased consumer touchpoints: When you gamify your welcome email series, ask questions about customers’ likes and pain points, or offer them social media platform links to engage with your excellent content, you automatically increase the number of customer touchpoints.
- Create better customer segmentation: With the data collected from welcome emails, better customer segmentation can be done. This can influence the content of future automated emails that will work best for each segment. More relevant emailer content will translate into better click-through rates and improved conversions.
Now that we are clear on the indispensability of sending welcome emails right away to subscribers, let’s address another question marketers may have!
What’s the difference between onboarding emails and welcome emails?
Many view the two kinds of emails as having similar intent, but there is a fine line that differentiates the two. Both onboarding and welcome emails come under the purview of transactional emails, that is, automated emails sent to the consumer after a transaction, whether a purchase or a request to download a lead magnet.
A welcome email or a series of welcome emails are usually a lot more general with an intent to warm up the audience to the brand story, its ethics, and range of products and services and intend to guide them towards the right direction with clickable links to relevant blog posts, downloadable actionable guides, etc., depending on their pain point.
Onboarding emails are a series of emails with a deeper intent to spread awareness about a particular product or service and are usually spread out over weeks. Such emails aim to facilitate the usage of a product, FAQs related to it, and the pain points that can be effectively tackled by it.
This helps improve customer retention by letting them know you care about their experience with the product or service they purchased. At this point, it is essential to note that there is no fixed cadence for sending onboarding emails; it can vary according to the user’s journey with the product or service.
One can also cleverly integrate elements of a welcome email with the value offered by onboarding emails for a more significant effect on the consumer psyche.
Ingredients of The Perfect Welcome Email
Before we proceed towards writing and executing outstanding welcome email campaigns, it is essential to be fluent in delivering unmatched welcome email copy. Let’s start brewing awesomeness!
- Craft a personalised greeting: When you address a person by their name, the likeability factor goes up immensely, and what better way to get in a person’s good books than by addressing them by their name?
- Send emails with a person’s name and not sa***@xy*.com: Let’s face it, nobody likes to hear from a bot. People are more likely to stay subscribed and engage with your brand if they feel someone is addressing them. Thus it is essential to ask for the subscriber’s first and last name when they subscribe to your email list. Another reason it works is that the email has a greater chance of catching the intended recipient’s attention in an already crowded inbox. For instance, I will be more inclined to open an email with a preheader like, “Hey Naina! Welcome to the XYZ fam!” instead of something more mass-produced and salesy.
- Pen a clear and compelling subject line: The thin line between an email that grabs eyeballs and one that sits in the dreaded spam box resembles a well-worded subject line. And crafting one that gets your brand the attention it deserves is relatively easy! Try writing a compelling, quirky, and promising subject line that entices the subscribers to click on the email for more cool stuff inside. Here are some examples;
- We are thrilled to have you onboard, Sasha!
- Could we be any happier since you joined our fam? Hop on in for a fun welcome ride!
- A super cool welcome gift awaits you!
- Sprinkle in the emojis in your email subject line: To those who don’t use emojis, I have just one question – who hurt you?! Emojis are cool, fun and elicit warmer responses. Use emojis that resonate with your brand’s vibe, energy, and emotion. A greater connection is almost guaranteed when you use emojis correctly. PS: Don’t go overboard with them!
- End your emails with a clear CTA (Call To Action): When someone signs up for emails from you, you have eager eyes waiting for awesome and value-adding content. Don’t disappoint! At the end of every email, add a clear CTA that drives them towards blogs and other resources on your website, or ask them to follow your brand on social platforms to stay updated on new brand offers and discounts. You could also ask them to reply to your email mentioning their pain points which you can use to create more consumer-centric emailer content!
Here’s an example of a well-written welcome email that we can use as a case study:
Why this welcome email is a winner!
- The subject line is an excellent “Welcome to the pack” with doggo emojis (cute!)
- They begin with a first-order discount code (who hates discounts? The Gates love them too!)
- A clear CTA
- An endearing, high-resolution doggo pic that holds the viewer’s attention
- Introduction to the brand in an engaging manner that shows their genuine love for dogs and giving them the proper nutrition
- Taps in on the emotional aspect of every pet parent who would want their dogs to lead happy and healthy lives
- Cute sign-off!
- The single-column email layout adds readability and charm to the email. It’s easier to get the message across on tiny screens as well!
- A repetition of the CTA so that the pet parent checks out their store and is encouraged to purchase with the first order discount coupon!
- The Unsubscribe button. This may seem contrary to some, but it is thoughtful for the brand. It shows that they care about the user’s preferences and how they can opt out of receiving emails if they aren’t interested. Cool move, we say!
The next logical question that may pop up is when to send a welcome email or the best time to schedule one. The answer is immediately after someone signs up for a newsletter, completes a purchase, or downloads a lead magnet. Strike when the iron is hot and tell them they are valued and you are grateful for their engagement with the brand.
Ways To Craft The Most Effective Welcome Email Series Campaign
If you choose to send a series of three to four welcome emails over a period, then a thread must flow through them, and each email should be aimed at forging deeper engagement with the brand and fostering greater customer loyalty. Let’s delve into the structure of a well-curated welcome email series campaign.
- A warm expression of sincere gratitude for having taken the time to join flanks with the brand: As reiterated earlier, when people decide to share their email id with you, it means that they find value in your brand or seek to gain solutions to their pain points with the content you promised to share. Ideally, tell people what to expect when they sign up to receive your emails. You may also reiterate the same to set clear expectations from future correspondence with the brand.
- Introduce your brand to a new audience: People love storytelling and utilise the power of well-written stories with a human touch to engage and reach new pastures. There are different ways to do this; you may consider adding the Founder’s story along with a video or photograph of the founder shedding light on what led them to build the brand in the first place. This increases the human connection, and you can consider sharing this in detail in the second email and maybe give a glimpse of what your brand is all about in the first email. You can send this a day or two after sending the gratitude email.
- Give an overview of your product/service lineup and ask the consumers about their likes and preferences: This can go in your third email of the welcome email series. Once consumers are privy to your brand and its story, you can showcase your product catalogue in a non-sales manner by asking your subscribers what they would like help with. For instance, if you sell a particular brand of laundry detergent, you might wanna share blogs titled “How to keep your whites white?” or “Easy ways to get rid of stubborn stains.” You can also request that your extended family write in with their pain points or share their experiences with your product to craft better content and realise greater conversions.
- Share educational content and social proof to enhance trust: In the series’s fourth email, you can request subscribers to follow the brand on social platforms or ask them to refer the brand to their friends if they like the products on offer and the customer experience. People are more likely to buy from a brand that others recommend. Keep sharing educative content relevant to your brand value and audience preference. You can send this almost a week after sending the first welcome email of the series.
Now that we are clear with the structure of a well-planned welcome email campaign, let us explore the same with a case study of a pasta brand.
- If you look at the first email of the welcome series, they begin with a discount coupon code for first orders which is always likeable. The warm greeting stresses that the subscriber is now a valued brand family member. The next step is introducing their brand, their uniqueness, and values. Detailed information on the coupon code follows regarding its usage and how to redeem it. The code is mentioned in the form of a CTA. They then proceed to a vital segment, their USP, and why someone should place an order with them! The socials follow along with the Unsubscribe button. Well crafted, we say!
- The second email is an equally interesting one. It reiterates their desire to serve new customers with the authentic taste of Italy. They have taken that extra step to remind the customer of the exclusive awesomeness that awaits their palette. A subtle sense of urgency or FOMO has also been cleverly introduced. The CTA at the end is the icing on the cake. Bravo!
- The third email reminds the customer of the tasty free treats that might miss their palette if they miss the fantastic offer. A sense of FOMO and a clear CTA nails the message.
Welcome Email Examples From Our Inbox That Make The Cut!
- Share social proof and customer reviews: This email from Blue Nile is aesthetic, easy on the eyes, and places the customer experience in the centre. The USP of the brand and the worded CTA towards the end are worth mentioning.
- The email by Elysium has all the makings of an excellent welcome email. The first line welcomes the new subscriber and introduces the brand’s vision and how it can help subscribers further their health and wellness goals with modern science. Cleverly inserted CTAs, coupon discounts, survey links, and links to educational content, customer reviews, and social links make it an all-inclusive power capsule for the brand.
- A simple, aesthetic, and visually appealing layout coupled with a copy that does its job, this one’s an example of elegance in simplicity. By extending gratitude, they offer a sense of exclusivity to the new subscriber. With clear CTAs and a sneak peek into their product offerings, they move over to the benefits of membership and the fact that it is FREE! With another CTA, the link to socials, and the link to downloading Android and iOS apps, this email does the intended job.
- In the following welcome email from Chopard, a jewellery brand, one can see all the elements of a well-written welcome email. The personalised greeting, the letter which almost has a handwritten feel, and the invitation to peruse their online and offline stores are as elegant as their product catalogue. They offer a bird’s eye view of their collections and an accompanying CTA to check out the same. There is also an option for unsubscribing or managing email preferences.
These examples help you understand how other brands float their boats when sending out classy, engaging, and informative welcome emails.
On that note, we have successfully covered various topics one may encounter while crafting an excellent welcome email strategy. In a nutshell, the whole idea is to make the subscriber feel welcomed and special. Keep them informed about sales, events, and collaborations, and you might just have hit the rainbow at the end of the horizon! Keep emailing!
Author Bio: Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest-growing custom email design and coding companies. He specialises in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and free responsive HTML email templates, and providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, and jazz and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.