The average open rate for welcome emails is 50%. So it’s obvious that there is immense value in sending these emails.
A majority of businesses are keen to get started with welcome emails but are looking to get the basics right. For all of you who just want a quick understanding of what your welcome emails need to cover - you’ve come to the right place.
Here are 10 elements that every GREAT welcome email needs to have.
#01 A catchy and compelling subject line
Everything starts with a subject line - it grabs a reader’s attention.
Refrain from using a generic ‘Welcome to XYZ’. Rather, take a step ahead and try to stand out from the rest of the crowd. Try to incorporate words that resonate with your brand. For example, if you are a mobile application that promotes meditation for well-being, use something like ‘Ready to meditate?’ in your welcome email’s subject.
Another suggestion that works like a charm for many businesses is to use action-oriented words rather than insipid ones. Craft a subject line that evokes curiosity in the reader’s mind and compels them to open the email to consume more of what you have to offer.
Havenly used the subject line - “Wondering how Havenly works?” followed by this email.
The subject line is a question that's very relevant to the reader - hence creating curiosity.
This email was also sent soon after the purchase which makes it highly probable that it will be opened.
#02 A line or two about how they got there
“The number one reason why marketers see high unsubscribe rates is because of poor list-building tactics,” says Brett Farmiloe, a MailChimp expert and the founder of Markitors.
A quick way to get people to unsubscribe - starting the email without informing how you contacted them.
As per the usual user behavior analytics, we have found that users do not directly hop onto their mailbox after signing up for your product/ services.
Now there are multiple ways from where a welcome email gets triggered to a user. So, one of the first things that your welcome email must talk about is how they received the mail. Remind your users softly about their activity on your website.
Here are a few examples:
- If a user is bound to receive an email after subscribing to a newsletter, write something like ‘You are receiving this email because you have subscribed for XYZ newsletter! It’s good to have you here. We promise we will keep this exciting and helpful for you.’
- If you got a new customer, send them an email based on their purchase. Say something like “Hey, welcome to [brand]! Hope you enjoy your [product]. Our other customers love it. We’ll circle back with you in a few days to get your thoughts.”
- Another way of doing this is to say “Congratulations! You’ve joined [number of customers] who’ve bought [product]. We hope you like it as much as they do”
- If a visitor signed up to unlock a discount coupon, you could say something like “Congratulations, you’re about to save [amount] using [discount code]. Buy something nice for yourself”
#03 A Note Of Thanks
It's always a good gesture to express gratitude - be it in a social setting or an e-mail. Avoid being too salesy in your first mail. Instead, express gratitude and thank them for signing up for your newsletter. A subtle "Thank you for subscribing to XYZ" can go a long way. Other ways to carve in the same emotions are "It’s good to see you here!’ or ‘We are beyond delighted to have you here".
Some ways you can do this is by starting off your email by saying "We’re glad you are here!" or "We have been waiting for you". This does not necessarily have to be a part of your email header. You can instead add a GIF or express your gratitude in the subject line. The key is to avoid using mundane "thank you" and hunt for better and attractive ways to draw your users’ attention!
#04 Personalized Address To The Customer
Regardless of your target audience, at the end of the day, you are a human, talking to a human.
Use a salutation (Hey, Hello, Hola, Greetings, etc.) followed by your customer’s first name. This grabs the attention of the reader.
But adding the first name isn’t enough. You need to step up your game.
Use behavior based personalization i.e. the customer’s buying journey with your brand.
Here’s a quick example - if a customer purchased a set of socks from you, focus on highlighting that in your email.
Another example, a step further - talk about what they were checking out on your site. Apart from the purchased product, they might have looked at other things but didn’t buy them. You can draft a copy like “Hey, thanks for buying [product]. We noticed that you were checking out [2nd product] as well. It would go really well with what you bought. Don’t take our word for it, our customers love it.”
You can even play around with discounts. Many customers look at specific products that are on sale and pick one to buy. In these types of cases, try something like “Thanks for your purchase. We know you love discounts, here’s one we’ve made just for you. Plus we’re throwing in Free Shipping.”
What we're trying to say is while you must be already solving for name-based personalization, step up and invest in behavior-based personalization. It'll nudge your users like nothing else!
Note: Please ensure you don’t go overboard with personalization. While tapping into their browsing data is fine , it’s important to keep it subtle when drafting your copy, leaving out granular information about their journey.
#05 An Expression Of Your Brand’s Value
It's important for you to define your brand’s mission and purpose in your welcome email. This ensures that the user has a powerful brand recall. While it's not easy to explain your end-to-end mission or goal in two sentences, it's a good practice to highlight the cause you care about in the first half of your mail.
Now while a lot of businesses understand the importance of defining the mission, it's mostly seen in the written communication. To stand out from the rest, you need to ensure that every little asset of your brand - right from email headers, to your coupon card conveys the brand mission in some form. Make sure your email design and placement resonated with your core mission.
Here’s a stellar example of how Airbnb introduced itself while positioning its offering as unique and global. It also has a thin layer of personalization with it - observe how it generates the emotion of ‘being home’ while being away while also making a reader feel like a part of the community.
Another example is by Allbirds, who do a great job in letting customers know what they stand for.
#06 A Message With A Bit Of Personality
We read hundreds of messages every day - some in the form of email, some over WhatsApp, and others over LinkedIn, SMS, Twitter, and more.
According to a study by MarketingSherpa, 17% of customers unsubscribe from boring and uninteresting emails. You can use humor to make it more engaging for the readers and get an edge over the competitors. The same makes sense for emotions too. By tapping on the emotional instinct of the reader, you can enhance the open rate as well as build loyalty. A tinge of humor and emotions would make the emails memorable and create a stronger rapport with the prospects.
Here’s an example of how Whisky Loot has taken a humorous and witty approach to the entire scenario and informed the users about the benefits of the Whisky Loot box. Take a look.
Pro-tip: While you incorporate humor in your email, make sure it is relevant to your subscriber list, the purpose of the campaign, and your brand image. Remember that a joke without a marketing message is nothing more than a joke. Make sure your funny tone is persuasive enough to drive click-through rate and conversions.
#07 A Gift That Keeps Them Interested
However cliché this sounds, freebies are actually a thing. Once you've seen that a user is interested in your offering, it only makes sense to leverage their interest and offer them something that will keep them calling back.
Share a coupon code, host giveaways, or something that's a big value-add for your user. Doing this in the first email will help you strengthen the relationship.
Take a look at this email by Public Desire. This email knows exactly who they are talking to. They have rightfully used a product (shoe) image that will nudge the reader to scroll down and next comes in the banner with coupon code details. No fluff, no beating around the bush - just the right way of giving out the details!
Similarly, this email by Pretty Little Thing is an example of all things jazzy. To get the attention of the reader at the very start, they have placed the coupon code details in the top bar followed by an actionable CTA with an aim to reduce drop-offs.
#08 A Word From Your Happy Customers
Nothing matches the power of social proofing and by now, most of the marketers have realized that. While you ensure that your copy is in place, it's also important to leverage the hard-earned power of testimonials, reviews, and ratings.
Pick up the best ones and use them in your welcome email. This implies that your users are in the right hand and come with prior industry experience. Not only does this increase the credibility but it also changes the pre-built negative impression, if any.
The above email by OROS plays with testimonials and ratings. They give a very clear picture of how beloved their products are through actual reviews from happy customers.
Boll & Branch tries something different - they use their features on popular media and magazines to create a sense of trust among customers.
This proves that you don’t need to have plenty of customer reviews to create social proof - you just need to use all your resources.
#09 A Link Back To Your Website
If you've ticked off the list by doing (almost) all of the above, it’s time to talk about the product plug, finally. Yes, this comes as one of the last points on our list as this is one of the least important things to be taken care of in a welcome email.
If you at all have space and decide to pitch your product, ensure that you lead them back to the website. This ensures two things:
- Increases traction on brand
- Increases the possibility of upselling and cross-sell
Now that we're talking about product plug, here’s a recommendation: never underestimate the CTA button.
When you have an almost perfect welcome email design, it is time to look once again at the CTA button. Does it clearly reflect what you expect your recipients to do? Is it bright and in a convenient click position? Here are a few tips to consider:
- Don't place the call-to-action button at the very end of your email – it should be visible on the screen without the need to scroll.
- Make it short, simple, and bright. Use contrasting colors to highlight the button.
- Designing an effective CTA is an art, but you definitely can test various options and discover which ones work for you.
Here’s a quick example of how Eve pitched in its product without sounding too salesy. Also notice how they have used a yellow-colored CTA button to grab the attention of the reader, compelling them to click on it.
Another great example of visible CTAs is by De Beers - they use a unique color to match the image while making sure it stands out.
#10 An Option To Tweak Their Email Preferences
Last but definitely not least! Give your user an option to change their preferences. Allow them with an option to change the frequency or as a whole, say no to your emails. This makes your brand look proactive and gives the impression that you don’t intend to send spam.
Massdrop does this in a simple manner without taking up a whole lot of infrastructure.
Popular home décor brand, West Elm even allows customers to choose the frequency of the emails.
Writing stunning welcome email subject lines and copies takes two things - experience and perseverance. Every email list is different, every industry is different and hence, every single welcome email needs to be designed differently.
There are no set guidelines to get it right - only best practices and past learning. However, the above-mentioned 10-tips list will surely help you ensure your users love your email.
One thing that must be noted is, writing for the B2B industry is different from writing for the B2C industry. There are ways to make the process more efficient, though. Consider these takeaways when crafting your welcome email and you shall get it right!