How to Write an Effective Welcome Email
What impression does your welcome email give customers? Learn how to write a welcome email that will connect with consumers and drive online sales.
by Dan Wang Apr 19, 2019
Dollar for dollar, email marketing is one of the most effective channels at your disposal for making sales and generating repeat customers. Email is the backbone of customer retention, and a highly effective channel for connecting with your customers even after they’ve left your website.
A welcome email is one of the more important types of emails you'll send to new subscribers. Welcome emails are what you receive when you submit your email address to an online store—you’ve likely seen them in your inbox after creating an account or joining a newsletter.
We've put together essential advice on how to write a welcome email, including twelve stand out examples and six apps you can use to make your emails even more engaging.
What is a welcome email?
A welcome email, often part of a series of onboarding emails, is the very first email communication you have with a shopper or current customer. This communication could be a subscription confirmation or, in some cases, a post-purchase email.
The welcome email you send sets the foundation for the rest of your communications with a new customer. Depending on the action—such as making a purchase, or joining your company newsletter—your welcome message is the one broadcast everyone will see, which means the impression it leaves will compound over time.
Writing welcome emails that work
According to data from Omnisend, welcome emails have an average open rate of 45%, versus an average open rate of 18% for promotional emails. In addition, though an email series may perform better than a single send, engagement drops off after the first email in the series.
When writing a welcome email, or the first emails in a welcome series, there are several key objectives to keep in mind:
Showcase your value proposition upfront. You don’t want to inundate customers with promotional messages during your only window of opportunity to create a strong first impression And remember, you have to give before you can expect to receive. Discounts, tips and tricks, and other customer-focused broadcasts can provide value while still encouraging users to purchase down the line.Personalize your message. Today’s email marketing tools enable you to send more targeted messages than ever before. And it’s good practice: Yes Lifecycle Marketing found that emails with personalized subject lines have 50% higher open rates and 58% higher click-to-open rates.Send your welcome email within minutes. Let’s say you incentivize joining your newsletter with a promo code for 10% off the customer’s next purchase. If someone is ready to purchase now and they don’t receive that promo code, you risk losing out on the sale for good.Remind subscribers to remove you from filters Sometimes, email clients will default to sending marketing broadcasts to junk email folders. Encourager subscribers to whitelist your address so they don’t potentially miss out.Set transparent expectations. Let subscribers change preferences easily, inform them what and how frequently you’ll be emailing new content, and remind them of how they ended up on your list in the first place.Have a clear call-to-action (CTA). What do you want users to do with your welcome email? Do you want them to use the promo code for a purchase, or do you want them to head over to your About page to learn more? Whatever it is, make it easy to understand what the next step is, and avoid creating confusion with too many CTAs.Use high-quality, engaging imagery. Whether it’s product photography or custom illustration, the visuals in your welcome email should be striking.Remember mobile users. While creating a beautiful-looking welcome email is important, it also needs to be functional across devices. The 2017 Email Client Market Share by Litmus found that mobile accounts for the most (47%) email opens, compared to 36% on webmail and 17% on desktop.Pay attention to your subject line. You’ll see in some of the examples below that the standard “Your subscription has been confirmed” or “Welcome to our email list!” doesn’t always cut it. Not sure which subject line will work best? Try a few A/B tests to see which generates the highest open and click-through rates.
Structuring your first welcome email
The welcome emails above don’t have a great deal of text, do they? Hardly any of them have paragraphs; most of them are strong offers paired with great visuals.
You can put something together that’s compelling without as significant of a investment in email design, at least initially. Take a look first at some DIY photo-editing tools. Use photo-editing software like GIMP or Canva to write a big “Welcome” over one of your hero images and use that as a banner of your email. Or, use the collage tool of PicMonkey to put all of your products together in a collage.
You’ll also notice that these emails fit broadly into three themes:
Telling the business’s story (and communicating the brand). It’s important to tell your story to humanize your brand and give shoppers a reason to rally behind your brand.Showcasing a store’s products. At the end of the day, the goal of every online store is to sell products. One way to do that is to highlight your most popular products. Remember, many subscribers will not be aware of your entire line of products.Making special offers to encourage a return visit. If you show users that you’ll provide value, they’ll be more likely to trust your brand and reciprocate.
Six welcome email apps
The Shopify App Store has all the apps you need to improve your store, and email marketing is one of the functionalities that are especially well-covered.
Here are six apps that will help you create automated emails to welcome someone when they sign up for your email list. Click through to the apps to understand how they work and how they can be integrated to your store.
The apps are easy to integrate into your store, and there’s a lot that you can do to send out great emails.
Lay out the welcome mat for customers
Since your welcome email is often the first time your brand enters a customer’s fiercely guarded inbox, you need to earn your place there and make the message count.
While a welcome email carries a lot of weight, it’s ultimately just the first interaction in a hopefully long and fruitful relationship. Set the tone, say something compelling, and give customers and subscribers a reason to come back. Then, get to work on consistently sending great newsletters, so subscribers know giving you a chance to reach their inbox was a good decision after all.