Welcome Emails: An Integral Part of Your Marketing Automation Strategy

In email marketing, building the right strategy, targeting the right audience, and sharing the right information plays a vital role in setting the right image of your brand in people’s mind.

Naturally, creating a great first impression through a welcome email is a crucial, foundational part of any email marketing strategy.

Why Use a Welcome Email?

The first email that you send to your subscribers after they join your email list can either make or break your relationship moving forward.

Here are some numbers to back up why you should have a welcome email in place:

  • According to Soundest, 74.4% of customers expect a welcome email when they subscribe to a brand’s newsletter.
  • According to Sarv.com, welcome emails generate 320% more revenue per email than other promotional emails.

Your welcome email needs to confirm a successful subscription and, ahem, welcome these new subscribers warmly to your brand.

Checklist for an effective welcome email

A successful welcome email (or series of emails) should contain the following elements:

  • Familiar sender name
  • Striking subject line
  • Captivating headline and welcome note
  • Short introduction of the brand
  • Personalized content
  • A discount offer/incentive for the first purchase
  • Enticing CTAs that lead to a particular offer or landing page
  • Options to connect on other social platforms

Let’s show you an example of what makes a good welcome email—like this email from Baggu:

welcome email strategy

Source: Emails Fresh

This first email is received within 24 hours of opting into the brand’s email list. Here’s why it’s a good welcome email:

  • A clear headline that makes the purpose of the email evident
  • Use of a brand-appropriate emoji that adds a sense of friendliness to the email
  • Expectation-setting information on the type of emails subscribers will be receiving
  • A discount on the first purchase
  • An obvious ‘Shop Now’ CTA button that takes them to the store
  • A strong, (again) brand-appropriate hero image for the secondary content
  • A graphical representation that highlights the brand
  • Social sharing buttons and a “set preferences” link in the footer

Subscribers who are not fully aware of Baggu will now know the brand better—and if your message succeeds in boosting interest, hopefully, they will continue to look forward to emails from you.

One Email May Not Be Enough

One welcome email is an absolute must.

That said, it may make sense for your brand to extend a special sense of welcome over a series of emails using marketing automation. This gives you more room to spread out your goals instead of trying to cram all that welcoming into one message.

A special series of emails at the welcome phase can create a positive lasting impression on your newest subscribers.

Let’s take a look at some examples of how you can spread out your welcome over a series:

First email: Creating a brand impression

Your first welcome email should be sent immediately after a subscriber joins your list.

This “Thank you for signing up” message is a great way to kick off a mutually beneficial relationship (we hope). This email can start the introduction of your brand—and if you promised a sign-up incentive, this is the time to deliver it.

Take a look at how Mott & Bow introduces their brand to their subscribers:

welcome email strategy

Source: Rival Explorer

Second email: Building trust with contacts

Your second email in the series can be used to invite subscribers to connect with you on social media.

This connection can add the weight of word of mouth by way of customers and brand evangelists, allowing new subscribers to get a better picture of how your brand interacts with customers online.

The Black Tux sends a great example of this approach in an email that asks the subscribers to connect with the brand on Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media platforms.

Source: Emails Fresh

Third email: Information gathering for segmentation and personalization

To get the subscription, you may not have asked for much more than an email address and a first name.

The third (and often final) email in your welcome series can be used as an opportunity to get to know your subscribers better. You can include links to surveys, preference centers, and other options for collecting more data on your subscribers.

Why does more data matter?

With more data, you can better segment your lists and tailor your content and messaging to be more relevant to your subscribers.

This email from Men At Work asks the subscribers to introduce themselves. (Note: You can incentivize completion of these surveys, etc., as shown below.)

welcome email strategy

Source: Rival Explorer

Wrapping Up

Welcome emails garner, on average, 4 times the open rate and 5 times the click-through rate of a standard email marketing campaign—which makes marketing automation workflows for welcome emails an indispensible part of your marketing strategy.

How have you constructed your welcome emails? Share with us here!

About the author:
Scott is the VP of Marketing at InboxArmy, full-service email marketing agency. He has been living and breathing email marketing since 2007. With both agency and client-side end-user experience, Scott brings a unique perspective to email marketing that combines best practices with real-world-tested strategy and tactics. Check out Scott’s email marketing tutorials & articles on his Email Marketing Blog.