Greeting Your Users – A Welcome Email Guide

Illustration by Camille Portales

A welcome email is the first friendly exchange between you and your subscribers after they sign up for your email list. Usually, welcome emails are automated, so they’re sent immediately after a sign up.

They’re called “welcome emails” because they’re intended as a warm welcome to new subscribers (and often include the word “welcome”!).

Akin to a “getting to know you” message, a welcome email can help nurture relationships with new subscribers and help them get to know your organization better.

A welcome email is also a type of autoresponder — basically, an automated email.

Getting Started: What’s the Goal of Your Welcome Email?

Businessman and economist Michael Porter says: “The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.”

The same, too, goes for your welcome email — it’s important to decide the goal for your welcome email rather than trying to send an email that is everything to everyone.

So, before you dive into sending a somewhat generic, catch-all welcome email, think about what to you want to send and why. If you’re not sure where to start, create a bullet point list containing everything you want to communicate.

Once you have that list, be brutal and start removing bullet points until you are left with three or four essential messages that you want to communicate.

Also, keep in mind that welcome emails are a great way to set the expectations of a subscriber for how many newsletters they should expected to receive and what they need to know about your business or organization.

Here are our suggestions for different types of welcome emails and their varying benefits.

1. Promotional Welcome Email

Used to great effect, promotional welcome emails can see your engagement rates and sales shoot through the roof — when done well. According to Experian, real-time welcome emails experience a 10x higher transaction rate.

Usually taking shape as a limited time discount for new subscribers, these kinds of emails work perfectly with WooCommerce to give your store a boost with activity from new subscribers.

2. Signup Bonus, Gift or eBook

One of the most enticing reasons for a subscriber to sign up is a free no-strings gift. Your gift could be beta access to your new software for free or, more commonly, an eBook.

Welcome emails provide the perfect opportunity to send your gift on time without delay once a subscriber has signed up to your email list.

The promise or offer needs to be clear on your subscription form. Since many other websites use this tactic, ensure that your gift actually delivers value to your readers all the while ensuring that you’re going to get loyal subscribers who won’t disengage immediately after getting their freebie

3. Just Say “Hi!”

Engaging with your new subscribers out of the gates with a simple “hello!” will get your relationship off to a great start.

Personalize your welcome emails with the subscriber’s name to make them feel more welcome (who doesn’t like hearing their own name?).

This type of welcome email is perfectly suited to including your most read articles for new subscribers to read, links to past newsletters, and any “getting started” guides.

Make Your Message Clear: Writing Your Welcome Email

Grab your subscribers’ attention with an enticing subject line and make sure you spell out your message clearly.

Once you’ve convinced your subscribers to open your email, make your point clear in your email with a clear call-to-action (CTA). While you don’t want to appear rude or short, no one wants to read three introductory paragraphs before reading anything useful! So be clear and concise and don’t beat around the bush — get to the point quickly!

If the purpose of your welcome is to send the user an offer, make that offer clear in the email. After all, who wants to be presented with a great offer only to find out they have to jump through hoops to redeem it?

If your WordPress website is content rich, feature the most popular posts in your welcome email to make sure the readers are not missing out on your cornerstone articles.

Alternatively, you can also display your latest posts in MailPoet thanks to the Automated Latest Content widget. You can even filter them by categories or tags.

Picking the Perfect Template: Designing Your Welcome Email

Design is subjective and always will be. Our recommendations are simple: Stick to your brand colors, create a strong visual header, and ensure your message is clear.

Here’s a small selection of the templates we provide in MailPoet — all fully customizable and responsive of course.

Need some inspiration? Below are three welcome emails we think communicate their purpose clearly.

1. Groupon

2. BBC

3. Airtable

Scheduling: When Should You Send Your Welcome Email?

How soon is too soon?

In general, our recommendation is to send your welcome email the same day. Subscribers are most engaged in those few shorts hours shortly after subscribing, and Experian reports that real time welcome emails see a 10x increase in transaction rates over delayed welcome emails sent in batches. Similarly, ReturnPath has found that 75% of businesses send welcome emails the same day.

Your own timing depends on your intentions. It’s not always clear-cut when is a good time to send, and you’ll want to consider your email marketing strategy.

Here are our recommendations for when you should send based on the purpose of the welcome email:

  • Promotional emails. Send promotional emails such as discounts or special offers the same day. The exact “when”? Well, that depends on what you promised at signup.
  • Signup Bonus. Send this type of welcome immediately. No one wants to wait for a signup bonus! Keep your subscribers waiting too long, and they could forget about your or, worse, unsubscribe.
  • A friendly hello. Send this type of email the same day as the signup. We would recommend sending it 2-3 hours after the subscription confirmation to make it seem less robotic and if you really want to connect with your subscriber, use personalization with their first name.

Should I send more than one welcome email?

Email industry experts at Litmus recommend that you don’t do too much in one welcome email. Instead, send a series of welcome emails. This allows you to use a welcome email series much like a drip-fed membership course, supplying value to your subscribers over several days rather than cramming all your expertise into one email.

Welcome Emails and MailPoet

If you use MailPoet for sending your newsletters you, too, can send welcome emails and create a series of welcome emails to send to your subscribers. It’s easy too!

Just open up your WordPress Admin and go to MailPoet > Emails > Add New and select “Welcome Email.”

Next, set when you would like your welcome email to send. You might want to send it shortly after a user subscribers or the next day. Whatever you choose, ensure that it suits your audience.

Lastly, choose from one of the templates we showcased above or create your own. Creating your own welcome campaign in MailPoet takes as little as 5 minutes.

Conclusion

Welcome emails are crucial for anyone who sends newsletters to increase subscriber engagement increasing their brand loyalty. With a range of sending frequencies and welcome email types, there’s something for everyone.

Have you had success with a welcome email campaign? Maybe you have tips and tricks you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below.