Did you know that 74.4% of consumers expect a welcome email when they subscribe? Plus, subscribers who receive a welcome email show, on average, 33% more long-term engagement with that brand. Finally, welcome emails generate 4x the open rates and 5x the click rates compared to other bulk promotions.
Welcome emails can see more than three times the transactions and revenue per email over regular promotional emails.
What’s a welcome email, you ask?
A welcome email is the first email someone receives when they join your mailing list. You can have a welcome email for customers, but in this case, we’re talking about a welcome email for new subscribers who haven’t bought anything yet.
They’re people who have subscribed on your website via a pop-up or sidebar opt-in form, usually to claim an incentive of some kind (like a discount, buyers guide, or video course). In some cases, they may simply have signed up to get your “free newsletter updates” (*shudders*).
How To Set It Up
As you’ll see in the examples below, the welcome email has several goals:
- Welcome them to the family
- Begin the brand indoctrination process
- Give them the incentive
- Set expectations
- Encourage subscribers to connect with you on other channels
Let’s look at the specifics of each one.
Welcome them to the family.
This is the easy part. Welcome them to your family. Welcome them into your tribe. Literally say “Welcome” or “You’re on the list”.
Begin the brand indoctrination process.
As you’ll see in the examples below, Huckberry does a great job of this. You want to craft three to four sentences that begin the story of your brand, why you’re different, and why people should be excited about doing business with you. This is more an art than a science, and you should look to the examples below for inspiration.
The key thing is to focus on what makes you special.
Give them the incentive.
If you offered them a coupon in exchange for their email address, give them the coupon code in the email PLUS a dead-obvious call-to-action (ie. button) that takes them to your website to use their coupon. If you offered a PDF or something else, give them a link to it here.
This ties in with the brand indoctrination process. You want them to be looking forward to your future emails, so tell them what you’ll be doing with them in future. Will you just be blasting them with promotions and random discounts, or will you be providing helpful content, cool videos, or something else?
Get creative. Don’t be the boring online retailer whose only trick is to throw out a discount. Treat your subscribers like friends, not as bits and bytes in your database. Would you blast your friends with nothing but discount offers? Or would you share cool stuff you found with them and other content that’s going to help them solve their problems?
Encourage subscribers to connect with you on other channels.
Now it’s time for you to link to your social media profiles. Do not, and I repeat DO NOT make this the sole focus of your email, as you’ll get a higher return pushing people to your store. You know, the place where people actually buy stuff.
However, do be sure to mention your social media profiles towards the end of your emails, and give people a reason to connect with you on those platforms (ie. Like us on Facebook to hear about upcoming deals, competitions, and customer stories instead of just Like Us On Facebook).
- Advanced: Klaviyo (non-Shopify users, click here)
- Advanced: Remarkety (non-Shopify users, click here)
- Basic: MailChimp (non-Shopify users, click here)
Mailchimp will get you started with email marketing, but if you want to unleash the full power of email (and implement all the campaigns below), you’ll be much better off with an advanced platform like Klaviyo or Remarkety.
Example 1 – Ann Taylor
Loud and proud. The email is designed to look like a website, so that’s how people will engage with it.Ann Taylor makes great use of a discount down at the bottom.
Example 2 – Huckberry
Huckberry does a great job with this email. It’s clean and easy to understand. It’s dead obvious it’s a welcome email. Plus, they set the stage properly, informing the subscriber what Huckberry is all about (they partner with leading urban and outdoor brands to bring you a curated selection of apparel and gear at members-only prices) and what they can expect (sales begin on Tuesday… etc).
Example 3 – NOMAD
I like how simple this welcome email from NOMAD is. It’s mostly text, but it hits the nail on the head when it comes to welcome emails. It sets the stage just like the Huckberry email, and doesn’t come off as salesy or hypey. They could improve it by asking a specific question like “What’s the #1 thing you’d like to get out of being on this mailing list?” instead of “We’d love to hear from you”. People are more likely to take action when you tell them exactly what to do.
Example 4 – Overstock
Overstock’s email is simple and elegant. Hits with the incentive (10% off coupon) as soon as they open the email, and sets the stage properly (Sit back and enjoy…). They could improve by making the coupon button bigger and more obvious, as well as offering something more than just “exclusive deals and coupons”.
Example 5 – Michaels
I love love love Michaels’ emails. Great design, check. Great copy, check. Great call-to-actions, check. Great subject line, check. Seriously. This email is worthy of study. Add it to your swipe file.