How to Write a Great Welcome Email

Posted August 28, 2014

By Janine Popick

When was the last time you went to visit someone or entered a place of business and felt truly welcomed? Was that welcome conveyed through a big smile and a verbal greeting? Perhaps it was the physical layout of the house or store, or the way you were introduced to other people.

As part of your email marketing campaigns, sending a welcome email to your subscribers, customers and prospects can have a similar impact. A welcome email makes recipients feel more engaged, loyal and inclined to continue to do business with you. And don't just take my word for it; these stats back it up:

  • In 2008, 40 percent of brands sent a welcome message to their new subscribers. Today, 80 percent of brands send this type of message. Source: ReturnPath, "The Email Subscriber Experience 2008-2013" (2013)
  • 53 percent of marketers agree welcome messages best help to achieve their business goals, up from 15 percent in 2011. Source: Direct Marketing Association, "National Client Email Report" (2013)

So what elements do you need to make a great welcome email?  These four email marketing tips can help.

4 Marketing Tips to Help Welcome New Email Subscribers

1. Make a Timely Welcome

Make sure you send your welcome email as soon as possible after someone joins your email list. This is not the time to wait. Your subscriber has shown some sort of intent by joining your list, or signing up for your service. This is exactly the right time to roll out your virtual welcome wagon in the form of your welcome email. Most email service providers make it easy to send a timely, automated welcome email.

2. Stand Out in the Inbox

Someone has just joined your email list, and you've sent off a welcome email. Here comes the defining moment. Will they open it, or will it get lost in the cluttered mix of their inbox?

An effective way to make sure email recipients open your welcome emails is to use actionable language in the subject line of the message; for example, "Welcome to the list! Get 15 percent off now!"

By reinforcing the action the recipients took (signing up for the list) and giving them a reward (a 15 percent discount), you immediately engage them to open the email and receive a promo code.

3. Include a Call to Action

Make sure your welcome email has a clear call to action for what you want your recipients to do. Do they need to confirm their subscription? Do you want them to download a user guide, a product catalog; do you want them to buy a new product? Make it crystal clear and easy by using concise language and a simple call-to-action button that tells them exactly what they should do. For example: try out this free Web button creation tool.

4. Keep in Touch

Lastly, don't make your first email your last. Make sure you send the next email out to your new subscriber in a timely fashion. Don't let too much time pass between the welcome email and the next one. You should honor whatever frequency you promised in your sign-up process. (You did include that, right?)

These four essentials should have you rolling out your welcome emails in style and keeping your subscribers coming back again and again.

Janine Popick is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse (a Deluxe company). Connect with her on Twitter at @janinepopick.

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