You had me at hello: 5 things every welcome email needs

Autopilot in Email marketing on 6th of Oct 2020
envelope with welcome letter coming out of it

You had me at hello: 5 things every welcome email needs

Your e-commerce welcome email series checklist

A successful welcome email series can generate 3x more revenue for your business. Accordingly, those initial emails to new subscribers are some of the most important emails you’ll ever send. But what separates a top-performing series from an average one?

In this article, we explore the 5 things you must consider when creating your welcome email series:

  • Be very quick
  • Personalize your emails
  • Make your subject lines clear and engaging
  • Offer discounts or free gifts
  • Set expectations

We have also included stand-out welcome email examples from top-performing brands that you can take inspiration from to make your welcome emails more engaging.

1. Be very quick

Send your first welcome email as soon as someone signs up to receive your emails — this is when they’ll be most engaged. In fact, almost three-quarters of consumers expect a welcome email as soon as they subscribe (Neil Patel). This is a rare opportunity to deliver your first email to a highly engaged, expectant subscriber.

When a new user receives your first welcome email immediately, they’ll be assured of a successful sign-up as well as the start of a great conversation with your brand. However, failing to reach out to them quickly will disrupt the momentum built when someone decides to join your mailing list.

As an example, this email from Jetstar fires off immediately after sign-up, giving new subscribers a chance to familiarize themselves with the brand — and be among the first to get access to sale fares.

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2. Personalize your emails

We’re in an era of hyper-personalization, so you need to do more than just say “Hey {{ customer.firstname }}.”

At sign-up, ask your customer for information beyond an email address or a first name. For example, ask for a zip code or birthday. This data can then be used in your welcome emails to create a more personalized experience. If you don’t want to collect information at sign-up, make use of the unparalleled attention welcome emails receive to ask for more information in the emails themselves. If you need help with that, you can use the following data enrichment journey to create an email that asks your contacts a question and create a personalized pathway based on their response.

Here’s how Airbnb uses one of their welcome emails to find out more information about new subscribers.

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Every additional data point you can gather about your contacts will be useful when it comes to segmenting your audience and delivering more relevant content for future marketing campaigns.

3. Make your subject lines clear and engaging

Welcome emails should be clearly identified, but make sure you also add a spark of interest or do something different with your subject lines to grab attention. In an attempt to make welcome emails easy to spot in crowded inboxes, we see too many businesses use the word “welcome” right up front in their subject lines.

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Don’t be boring. Online shopping boutique Rue La La sends out welcome emails with the subject line, “This was a good decision,” with the email immediately outlining the benefits of signing up for the mailing, such as cheap international shipping and special discounts. Similarly, Nike’s subject line, “You’re in” makes readers feel as if they’re part of something exclusive.

4. Offer discounts or free gifts

Many shoppers have come to expect a discount when signing up for an email list. By offering a discount or gift in your welcome emails, you create goodwill between your business and your new subscribers. The incentive may even entice them to buy from you. Giorgio Armani offers a 10% discount off first-time purchases — it’s a small gesture that can benefit both the company and the new subscriber.

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5. Set expectations

Your welcome emails aren’t just an opportunity to say hello — they’re also an effective way to build brand advocates. The following email from General Assembly doesn’t just offer new subscribers a 25% discount if they sign up for a course; it also gives them a feel for the brand by sharing its brand story. Plus, the email tells readers exactly what to expect from future sends: information about upcoming courses and career advice.

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You had me at hello

Your welcome email series gives you the chance to make a memorable first impression with your new subscribers. Remember, each new subscriber can only receive welcome emails once which means you’ll never have a second chance to introduce yourself. Keep them warm and inviting, while setting the right expectations for your subscribers. And most of all, give them a reason to keep reading.

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