How to make the most stunning, memorable welcome email that makes your audience look forward to your next emails.
You want to craft a successful welcome email? Excellent.
Let’s play with perspective and use our God-given talent to get this bad boy started.
We’ll begin with a sweaty-palm-inducing thought experiment:
“You must introduce yourself to ten thousand people, using the exact same 20-second pitch for every person. Your introduction “fails” unless your audience comes back to you for seconds. You only get one chance. Go.”
If you manage to succeed by these standards, congratulations! You’ve just created the world’s best welcome email.
No one has done it, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
The heart of any good welcome email will contain several core elements, which will be discussed in this article. Let’s get started!
What is a Welcome Email?
A welcome email is the first email a user will receive once they’ve opted into your subscription through a signup form.
After they’ve signed up, welcome emails have the highest open rate at 91.43%, which makes them 86% more effective than regular campaign emails! This is because the users are looking forward to something you promised to offer them.
Attention flows by like gold dust in a river, so start panning as soon as possible if you want to cash in.
A powerful welcome email is arguably the second most important impression a company can make—landing page being the first. It’s an impression that leads users to come back for seconds, thirds, and beyond.
That’s why businesses with high-quality email flows regularly earn them 4 times more revenue than any other digital marketing channel. It’s absurdly efficacious, so let’s break down a good welcome email so you can make one for your business.
Your Subject Line
Remember how I said “20 seconds” earlier? Well, you get to pitch for 20 seconds only if your initial 2-second pitch seizes their attention like a doorbell or loud knock. I won’t get into the psychology, but you must break their mindless email-reading by announcing your value proposition loud and clear, you will be lost to them. Game over.
This is done in the subject line of the email. The subject line, ideally, is a sub-41 character (for mobile visibility) phrase that showcases what your email contains. It is the first thing your users see when browsing their inbox, so make it count.
However, don’t go off the rails using buzzword after buzzword like “FREE” or “WINNER” or “GIVEAWAY” in your subject line in order to avoid spam filters. The worst thing to happen to a beautifully crafted email is that it flies straight into the spam inbox and hurts your sender reputation. Here’s a good list of words to avoid if you’re unsure.
In short, follow this 2-second rule: You get 2 seconds to get users to click into your email, otherwise they’ll forget about you forever.
Some email marketing platforms, such as Klaviyo, have a “preview line” or a “headline” that allows users to further see contents of your email. This headline should be informative, interesting, and continue to lead users to click into your email, like this (on Gmail):
How to use your welcome email
Stupendous! Your subscriber has now clicked into your email for the first time, and they’re going to think one thing: “Can I get that discount/service/offer I signed up for?”
Yes. Say hi and give it to them. They traveled all the way to your website, manually put in their email, fished out your email, and clicked in to read what you had to say. Don’t fail them now, so follow up on your offer.
Keep the momentum going by treating this interaction like a conversation. You don’t walk up to someone and just say, “hi” and continue blankly staring at them. Guide the conversation so your user knows what to think and expect from you.
Your welcome email is not a one-time interaction—it’s a message to guide your readers to come back for your second email. Begin with the end in sight.
You must decide how you will pave the road for your audience.
If you consistently provide value worth their time and attention, they will return for more.
Your Welcome Email Format
At its core, a welcome email will contain an introduction, offer, and a roadmap for the reader.
Here’s an example of a stunning welcome email that truly “welcomes” the customer with their personalized greeting, and demonstrates excitement through their eye-catching graphics.
Ironically, that was a rather mechanical description for such a warm email.
In any way possible, strive to find a way to show your appreciation that they joined your email in the beginning of the email.
Keep your introduction lighthearted, punchy, and under 30 words if possible.
Deliver on your promise. If you promised a 10% discount, give them the code/link, and make sure the discount is activated on your website. If you promised an eBook, provide the link right then and there. They should wait no further.
Since welcome emails are generally under 100 words, this “conversation” with your reader will end as quickly as it started.
Before it ends, you must answer this question for your user in any way you see fit:
Why should your reader continue opening your emails in the future?
In other words, simply state what your readers can expect with your next email, and why you wish to send it. Here’s an example of a short and friendly roadmap statement: “I hope we can continue growing together. Be sure to look out for tomorrow’s email on how to X when Y. Adios!”
And something more cold but professional: “We’re absolutely dedicated to providing you the best information, so you can expect the most recent research on X to appear in your inbox every week.”
Optional: Your Sign-off
Sign-offs after an email can range from simple to creative:
- “Sincerely, Name”
- “- The X Team”
- “See you next week! -Name”
- “Don’t get into any trouble this week—next week’s newsletter is gonna ROCK.”
After crafting your welcome email, use your email service provider (ESP) to test every link and download in your email before sending it to your audience.
Think big—your welcome email is more than a one-off introduction you send to your readers.
- Lead with a persuasive, non-spammy subject line under 52 characters and headline (the preview line they see before clicking into your email)
- Begin the email with a friendly introduction under 20 words
- Provide your offer
- Provide a roadmap for your readers
- End with an optional silly or serious sign-off.
Viola! Your first welcome email is now complete!