Welcome emails are one of the more under-utilized email marketing tactics out there, and yet they’re one of the easiest tasks to accomplish with big results. If your small business is using email marketing and have yet to send welcome emails as part of your strategy, here are best practices for using welcome emails in your marketing efforts.

What is a welcome email?

welcome aboardSeems like a silly question, but it really isn’t! A welcome email is the first friendly (yet professional!) exchange between your business and a new subscriber. It sets the tone for future communications and encourages new subscribers to engage with your business. It basically acknowledges that someone has taken the time to sign up for your email list, whatever that email list is. It’s a way to show your appreciation that they trusted you with their email address and provides your small business with the opportunity to show them that their trust was well placed. You’re welcoming them aboard!

Are welcome emails effective?

Yes they are! Studies show that subscribers to your emails are the most engaged with your brand within the first 48 hours of subscribing. That being said, it is critical that you start to build that relationship by sending an immediate welcome message to set expectations and ask them to take the next step, whatever that next step may be. Surprisingly, welcome emails had an average open rate of 50 percent, which means they’re 86 percent more effective than email newsletters. Here’s another fact: subscribers who receive welcome emails are 33% more likely to engage with the brand that sent it. Need more convincing?  Check out this awesome infographic illustrating the power of welcome emails. They have more opens, more click-throughs, and generate more revenue than any other kind of email.

Tips for writing welcome emails

free giftThe key to an effective welcome email is brevity with sincerity! Don’t get wrapped up in trying to immediately sell something or do a data dump on why your company is the best. Consider this a “first date” and be on your best behavior. Here are a few best practices when creating welcome emails:

Start with a warm introduction of your company

Take the time to let your company’s personality shine through. Remember, these are supposed to be welcoming emails to build rapport. Again, be brief!

Reiterate the value of being on your email list

Depending on what they signed up for, remind them of the great tips they’ll get, the fantastic offers or whatever else the perk is for being on your list. Be sure to present it as a benefit to them.

Offer a welcome gift

Maybe your company can offer someone 10% their next product or service for signing up, or perhaps something for free, even if it’s a free content piece. People like free! Some businesses use the incentive of a “gift” to get people to sign up while others offer it as a “surprise gift” after they’ve sign up. Both are effective so test out which works best for you.

Be sure to add images to make it engaging and interesting

Just like any other content piece, images make content more attractive, interesting and engaging, so be sure to include them, and perhaps even a video, in your welcome email.

Set the expectation for future emails

Take a moment to reiterate what kind of information they’ll receive in your emails and how often they’ll get it. Doing so will make sure people aren’t taken aback by future emails and unsubscribe, which is a missed opportunity for your small business.

Tell them how they can connect with you

Include different ways that your new subscriber can reach you. That should include your website, email address, phone number and social channels. Again, you’re starting a new business relationship with this subscriber. Make it easy for them to stay connected!

Creating your own welcome emails

ideas for welcome emailsNow that you see the value of welcome emails, it’s time to create your own for your email marketing efforts. Need some examples?  Here are a few great articles to check out:

Vero: “21 Best Welcome Email Examples to Engage Customers in 2019”

HubSpot: “10 Great Examples of Welcome Emails to Inspire Your Own Strategy”

Optimonster: “14 Welcome Email Examples That Build Trust With Subscribers”

While there’s a lot of variety in the examples above, you’ll see several common characteristics from our list of tips on how to write an effective welcome email. Most email marketing programs like Constant Contact and Mailchimp will allow you to send these emails automatically; triggered when someone new signs up for your email marketing list.

What to do after you create and send your first welcome email

Your welcome email is no different than any other marketing effort. Once you’ve had your welcome email in place for a while, measure your email marketing welcome message to see how well it’s working. What’s the open rate?  What’s the click-through rate?  How’s the conversion rate?  If your numbers look a little thin, don’t be afraid to change up and fine-tune your welcome email until you see numbers you’re happy with.

Welcome emails are a powerful yet underutilized marketing tool. Follow these best practices for using welcome emails to help your email marketing efforts.



Patty Hughes
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