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10 Best Practices for Your Welcome Email Series

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A welcome email is your first connection with a new or prospective customer. You certainly have dozens of them in your own inbox, so you know that this practice is commonplace (and for good reason). 

Businesses with a welcome email series cater to an attentive audience, with open rates hitting 50%! That’s a whopping 86% increased effectiveness compared to standard newsletters. 

Welcome emails are an ideal communication platform to help you connect and build a relationship with your customers. These are our top 10 welcome email best practices to help you make a strong first impression:

1. Be Conscious of Your Timing

If you invite a guest into your home, you wouldn’t wait until you’re halfway through dinner to welcome them. Your email subscribers are guests of your online business, and a welcome email is the friendly greeting that invites them in. 

The first email in your sequence should arrive in your customer’s inbox immediately after they subscribe or make a purchase. Customers are actively thinking about your business and looking for more information you have to offer.

Klaviyo suggests that the second email in your sequence should follow on day two, and the third email on day three. That’s simple enough to remember.

Pro-tip: Use email marketing automation to discontinue the welcome sequence if a customer completes a purchase. 

2. Write an Engaging Email Subject Line

How do you write a unique subject line that doesn’t sound forced? The trick is to be specific about the topic of the email. Not only does this help when filtering or conducting a search in the inbox, but it also improves your odds of getting a click since your recipient doesn’t need to guess the contents of your message. 

Another solid technique is to include the recipient's name. According to a study by the Stanford Graduate School of Business, adding a name to the subject line:

  • Increases the probability that the recipient will open it by 20%
  • Increases sales leads by 31%
  • Reduces the number of people who unsubscribe by 17%

Pro-tip: Place the most important words at the beginning of your subject line to avoid losing important information to small screens with minimal displays (like mobile phones).

3. Be Personal with Your Greeting

Customers need to feel that their communication with you is not a copy and paste template. Email personalization can be tricky but it’s not impossible. 

Like with subject lines, adding your recipient’s name is effective and by far the easiest way to personalize an email. Yet, there are other ways. 

When you’re just starting out your email relationship with new contacts, you need to show that you understand what they’re looking for and you can deliver. Highlight items they browsed or direct them to your most popular items. These are most likely to resonate with your new leads and generate additional interest.

This welcome email from Softies is a good example of the latter. It displays an image of a highly popular loungewear set in three colors and includes a call to action to “shop now.”

welcome email series example

4. Set Clear Expectations

When you send a welcome email, you are setting the tone for future communication. This is the time to be transparent about:

  • What you will be sending (discounts, updates about new products, industry news, etc.)
  • How frequently you will be in touch
  • How they can unsubscribe
  • Whether they can customize their email preferences
  • Whether they should add you to their “safe senders” list to avoid missing your emails

Being upfront about all of these points cultivates trust in your brand, and doing so in the welcome series is a great way to get all your cards on the table early.

This welcome email from Search Engine Journal does an excellent job of laying out the types of resources that can be expected and is abundantly clear about how to adjust preferences or unsubscribe.

welcome email series sample

welcome email series sample 2

5. Outline the Benefits of Your Emails

Why should a subscriber continue to follow your emails and open messages from you? What value are you adding to their daily inbox? Outlining the benefits in your welcome series is a way to spur interest in future emails. 

Considering that welcome emails receive the highest click-through rates, you should capitalize on that extra attention in a way that encourages continued interest. This way, their curiosity can carry over into future email campaigns.

This welcome email from Search Engine Land notes which emails arrive on a daily basis and highlights additional resources that are immediately available. This approach offers consumable information for those subscribers who can’t wait for the next automated email.

welcome email example

6. Tell Your Company’s Story

Make an impact by briefly telling or re-telling your company’s story. In this welcome email from The Art of Coaching Volleyball, the first paragraph of their email reiterates their goal as a company and how they seek out the expertise they share with their subscribers.

The remainder of the email sets expectations so email recipients know when to look for new content. A quick list of benefits also alerts readers to benefits they may not know about.

business welcome email sample

7. Detail Next Steps

If there are other ways customers can benefit from their subscription, make it easy for them to see. 

The Art of Coaching Volleyball is an extensive online platform where volleyball coaches can go to hone their skills and discover teaching tools and strategies. With such a broad library of resources, a high-level view of how to make the most of these resources is a helpful addition to their first welcome email.

what to include in welcome email

8. Offer a Deal or Discount

Let’s face it: most new subscriptions are often earned with the promise of a discount. If that wasn’t the incentive behind the acquisition of the email address, a surprise discount is still a welcome sight!

Even if it isn’t used immediately, 7.75% of customers often scour their inbox for discount codes when they are ready to make a purchase. This statistic proves that consumers will go out of their way to purchase from a brand that offers them a discount. On top of that, the increased traffic to your website means that other products and services also receive a visibility boost. 

example of good welcome email

9. Include a Call-to-Action

All of the examples we’ve shared so far have an important commonality: a call to action (CTA). To be most effective, CTAs should start with an action verb and be visible and clickable. Some examples of a welcome email call to action include:

  • Get Started
  • Shop Now
  • Take a Look
  • Follow Us on Social Media
  • Read Our Blog
  • Share Your Thoughts
  • Get Coupon
  • Watch Now

Other good action verbs include words like:

  • Activate
  • Complete
  • Contact
  • Fill
  • Find
  • Give
  • Grab
  • Install
  • Open
  • Receive
  • Select
  • Set up
  • Take
  • Verify

10. Test Out Different Versions 

Building a strong email that gets clicks and conversions is a challenge in today’s competitive online marketplace. If you have the resources, try A/B testing your emails to discover which format performs best. 

With A/B testing, you can explore different calls to action, messaging styles, image choices, compare long-form content against short form and really dive into what resonates with your audience most. 

Final Thoughts

Crafting a welcome email series gets easier with practice and when you have tried and tested tips at your disposal. Try our welcome email series best practices or glance through some techniques for other types of email campaigns. Then, share your results with us on Facebook to let us know how it went. Happy campaigning!

Topics: Email Marketing