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How to write a welcome email: 9 best practices for welcome emails

Learn how to write great welcome emails that will make recipients look forward to hearing from you. Including 9 welcome email best practices.

First published

01.06.2022

Last edited

19.04.2024

Read time

10 minutes


    By James

    James has seven years' experience as a Content Marketer, bylines on Left Foot Forward, Submittable, and INOMICS, and a Master's in History. In his free time he likes to read, play guitar, and write for his personal blog.

    As many as 74% of consumers expect to receive an email when they sign up or subscribe to your website.

    In other words, not sending a welcome email is one of the biggest missed opportunities in building a good relationship with your customer or audience.

    If you thought simply welcoming a new subscriber wasn't a big deal, think again.

    There are mind-boggling numbers that show how effective welcome emails can be for getting through to your audience. 

    Key takeaways

    • Send the email in the first hour
    • Use a short and engaging subject line
    • Add personalization
    • Offer immediate value
    • Share your brand voice
    • Share your brand's values
    • Invite subscribers to take action
    • Ask subscribers to whitelist you
    • Include an unsubscribe link

    The importance of a welcome email

    When people sign up for your newsletter or create an account on your website, they have your site's name right at the top of their minds.

    As it turns out, 8 out of 10 people will open business emails sent within an hour after signing up. 

    Sending out welcome emails will keep your brand's name in their minds, leading to better awareness and recognition of your products.

    But if you wait for a few days – or even hours – to send your first email, chances are they won't even remember your website's name.

    This isn't ideal for marketers since 45% of people tend to avoid opening emails from addresses they're not familiar with.

    Sending a welcome email means that you're taking a step to build a positive first impression and plant your brand's name in your audience's minds as early as possible.

    But that's easier said than done, so we've rounded up the best practices to craft a high-impact welcome email.

    Your Inbox, Smarter

    Designed for business owners and freelancers using Outlook, Gmail and Apple Mail.

    9 welcome email best practices for better conversion rates

    To help you create a powerful welcome email, we've rounded up the best practices and tips from around the internet. Let's go through each of them.

    1. Send the email in the first hour

    As explained earlier, a welcome email sent promptly has an overall better impact. About 22% of all email campaigns are opened when they're sent within an hour, indicating a high activity from subscribers.

    A higher open rate is achievable because interest is still at its peak when subscribers first sign up for your newsletter.

    For a better context of the importance of timely delivery, 75% of marketers choose to send their welcome email on the first day.

    If you're a solopreneur or still building your subscriber list, a simple email extension tool like Mailbutler is arguably the best way to send your welcome emails. 

    2. Use a short and engaging subject line

    The entire purpose of a welcome email is to convince your subscribers to trust your brand with an irresistible value proposition.

    But no matter how great your email's content is, it won't mean a thing if your subscribers don't read it. 

    That's why crafting a catchy subject line should be one of your top priorities. 

    But improving an email's open rate isn't that difficult if you can implement a bit of creative copywriting into your subject lines.

    Here are highly effective formulas that you could adopt:

    • [Name], welcome to [Brand name]! Let's get started.
    • Welcome, [Name]! Here's your quick start guide.
    • Hi [Name], let's look around [Brand name]!

    3. Add personalization

    Email personalization revolves around using your subscriber's personal information to trigger a better emotional response from them. Adding personalization to your welcome email subject line can significantly improve the open rate.

    The average open rate for an email is about 13.1%, whereas a personalized email gets an 18.8% open rate.

    But considering a welcome email is barely at the top of the funnel, there's probably not much personalization you can do other than first-name greetings.

    You can also personalize welcome emails based on the acquisition channel.

    For example, HubSpot has several opt-in forms in their blog – depending on where you signed up, you'll receive different welcome emails.

    Grouping your subscribers based on their interests is an excellent idea, especially if your blog covers multiple topics or you sell more than one product. Mailbutler can help you group your subscribers with their new email Tags feature.

    4. Offer immediate value

    The most common mistake among email marketers is using the welcome email as a confirmation message for their subscribers.

    Subscribers are fully aware that they just signed up to your website even without you reminding them.

    Instead of wasting everyone's time by setting up a meaningless confirmation email, there are several other options you can do:

    • Promotion: If you have an e-commerce site or a product you can sell, you can include a unique and new-user-only offer or promo code in your welcome email. Doing so will encourage your subscribers to move further down the sales funnel.
    • Education: You can also educate your new subscribers on your website or product subjects. For example, you can share a few tips to make the most out of your product, how you developed it, and why it's better than competitors' products.
    • Segmentation: You can also try to collect more details about your subscriber. The purpose is to have more information for future campaigns or promotions.
    • Expansion: Promoting your other platforms like mobile apps and social media accounts can be a great way to ensure you have multiple ways of staying connected to your subscribers.

    Considering the many approaches you have in a welcome email, it's a good idea to consider it a start to your marketing strategies.

    The point is to make your welcome email to be something more than just a 'welcome to the list; we'll send you future updates' message.

    Here's a value-adding welcome email from FishWife that contains a special promotion and expansion to their social media accounts:

    value adding welcome email

    Source

    5. Share your brand voice

    Setting up everything clearly in the welcome email is crucial to establishing your brand's identity to your subscribers. That way, they will know what type of email to expect in the future. 

    Brand personality is a big deal among individual customers and businesses alike.

    As many as 86% of customers prefer an authentic brand personality over generic ones – especially on digital platforms, including social media and emails.

    To make a strong impression on your subscribers, you need to ensure that the welcome email contains a clear representation of your brand personality. Your welcome email should reflect your brand's voice. 

    Details like the tone and how you address subscribers are important.

    Do you use slang in your emails? What about following the latest social media lingo? 

    Regardless of your choice, the point is that every email you send needs to have personality. Avoid writing in a dull tone as you would when writing emails to, for example, your professors.

    Here's a great example of a welcome email from Klaviyo that reflects the brand's personality:

    email that reflects the brand's personality


    Source

    They use Katie, the managing editor, as the persona behind their emails. It's pretty clear that she's a playful person with the "Promise, I'll keep the place clean" – which implies she'll be in your inbox for a while.

    6. Share your brand's values

    A brand should be larger than just its products – it should have values and impact in the world beyond just gaining profits from its customers.

    Sharing your brand's values in a welcome email can be a great way to build a customer relationship beyond a simple purchase of your products.

    As many as 89% of online shoppers are loyal to brands that share their values. 

    Here's a great example from Plus with their 'zero waste' value:

    brand's values in a welcome email

    Source

    The zero-waste value that they share will likely resonate with those who prefer their self-care products to be eco-friendly – which is probably their target audience in the first place.

    7. Invite subscribers to take action

    The first hour after subscribers opt into your email list is when their interest in your content or product peaks.

    You can leverage this by inviting them to take immediate action to move them further down the sales funnel.

    According to a WordStream survey, emails with a single CTA generate up to 371% more clicks and 1617% more sales.

    Depending on your business model, there are several approaches you can take, like sharing a limited promo code, inviting them to a free trial, or asking them to book a free consultation with you.

    If you're using a visual-oriented email template, adding a button is a great way to make your CTA stand out.

    But if you want to create a more personal message, an in-line link like this one from Everlane is an excellent way to be more intimate:

    visual-oriented email template

    Source

    Using a button, including a more exact copy like "buy now" is much more reader-friendly than embedding a link in a sentence like "browse our summer 2021 catalog".

    Here's a simple yet straightforward CTA example from Simmons:

    straightforward CTA in email

    Source

    Despite containing barely three sentences, the email above states everything clearly by combining top-notch copywriting and value-proposition with the sitewide sale.

    Combine that with a straightforward CTA, and you've got an effective email to get some conversions.

    You can also follow up with your subscribers using emails to remind them to take action for better conversion. Using an email extension like Mailbutler can help you with Tasks.

    With Mailbutler, you can set up a follow-up task on an email or a contact so you never forget to send that second, third, or fourth email.

    8. Ask subscribers to whitelist you

    One of the main issues with email marketing and automation is being stuck in the 'Promotions' or 'Spam' tab in your subscribers' inbox. They probably won't notice your emails when this is the case, even if they want to hear offers about your products.

    Fortunately, the average spam rate for email marketing is very low - about 0.02% - so there's not much to worry about.

    However, it's better to ensure that you don't get stuck in the spam tab by asking your subscribers to whitelist your email address.

    Doing so can also prevent potential missed sales in the future, so it's a no-brainer to include a plea to whitelist somewhere in your welcome email. Even brands as trusted as PayPal still do so in their emails.

    9. Include an unsubscribe link

    An unsubscribe link is mandatory in most markets – and it's often required by law to include a way for subscribers to opt out of your email list. 

    In the United States, several types of emails must contain an unsubscribe link, including cold and welcome emails. The Federal Trade Commission has this explicitly stated in the CAN-SPAM.

    The only type of emails that don't require you to have an unsubscribe link is transactional emails such as:

    • Sales receipts
    • Invoices
    • Transaction success notifications

    Real-life examples of how companies are using their welcome email

    Welcome Guide to Canva Email

    welcome guide by Canva

    The unique creativity of this Welcome Guide from Canva struck me the most because its design best represents what the platform does and offers outright. The texts are enticing to read, and the color combination is stunning, with a good visual element and white space balance. Most importantly, the message is clear, with a straightforward call to action.

    Robert Johnson, Senior Director of Merchandising, Coast Appliances

    Welcome emails FAQs

    How do I write a professional welcome email? 

    When it comes to writing a professional welcome email, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, it's important to introduce yourself and your company and to thank the recipient for subscribing, joining, or signing up. 

    Next, you should outline the benefits of being part of your community or receiving your content, and give them an idea of what they can expect from you going forward. Finally, it's a good idea to provide some next steps, such as links to resources or an invitation to engage with you on social media.

    What to say to welcome emails? 

    In a welcome email, you should aim to make a positive first impression and set the tone for your future relationship with the recipient. It's important to be friendly and welcoming and to show appreciation for the recipient's interest in your company or content. 

    You should also provide value in the form of helpful resources, exclusive content, or other perks that make it clear that joining your community is a good decision.

    What is the best welcome email? 

    The best welcome email is one that is personalized, engaging, and provides clear value to the recipient. It should be friendly and welcoming, and give the recipient a clear idea of what they can expect from you going forward. A good welcome email should also be visually appealing, with a clean and professional design that reflects your brand. 

    Finally, it's important to include a clear call to action that encourages the recipient to engage with your content, whether that's by following you on social media, exploring your website, or taking advantage of a special offer.

    What should be included in a welcome email sequence? 

    A welcome email sequence should consist of a series of emails that are sent to new subscribers, customers, or members of your community over a period of several days or weeks. The goal of a welcome email sequence is to build a relationship with the recipient, provide value, and encourage engagement. 

    The first email in the sequence should be a welcome email that introduces yourself and your company and outlines the benefits of being part of your community. Subsequent emails might include exclusive content, helpful resources, special offers, and invitations to engage on social media. The overall tone should be friendly, helpful, and focused on building a lasting relationship with the recipient.

    Conclusion

    Despite being the first point of interaction, welcome emails are often overlooked. Many marketers still only utilize it as a sign-up confirmation, resulting in a dead-end that doesn't trigger any more action from the subscribers. 

    Tweaking your welcome emails is a great way to get things started with your new customer.

    Improvements like personalized subject lines, sharing your brand's personality, and offering more value can go a long way in email marketing and your brand's image.

    If you're still building up your email list, using a simple yet effective tool like Mailbutler is excellent to get things running. 

    Mailbutler supports all the features you'd need in making a welcome email that leaves an impact, like email scheduling, email templates, and tasks.

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