The average open rate for a welcome email is an impressive 82%

It therefore makes absolute sense that you should invest time and effort into developing one that looks great, truly represents your brand, and starts your relationship with new subscribers on the right foot.

Despite the fact that welcome emails are a key pillar of any successful email marketing strategy, many people don’t give them much thought. That’s why we at Flodesk have decided to put together this comprehensive guide so that you can create a top-notch welcome email for your business.

Keep reading for the 15 key elements you should include for a successful welcome email, as well as the best practices you should keep in mind along the way:

1. Have a clear objective

2. Make sure it goes out immediately

3. Think up a perfect welcome email subject line

4. Kick off your brand experience

5. Make a great first impression with powerful images

6. Add personalization

7. Introduce yourself

8. Tell your subscribers what to expect from future emails

9. Offer a reward to your subscribers

10. Include a call-to-action

11. Show your credibility

12. Highlight your social media pages

13. Make it mobile responsive

14. Ask subscribers about their preferences

15. Provide a space for feedback

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Why should you write an engaging welcome email?

Creating a highly engaging welcome email is important for a couple of key reasons. 

First of all, it’s most often one of the first direct communications that a new lead will receive from your business. That means that it’s time to let your brand shine, leave a great first impression, and make them excited to do business with you.

There’s also a more practical reason why engaging welcome emails are important. Not only do customers expect to receive them, but they’re also much more effective than standard email newsletters according to welcome email statistics.

That’s right: welcome emails generate 4x more opens and 5x more clicks than standard email marketing campaigns. So, welcome emails present the best possible opportunity to connect with your audience via email and leave them wanting more.

How to write welcome emails: 15 elements for success

If you’re ready to begin creating your own welcome email, look no further. Scroll down to learn the 15 elements that you should include to put together the perfect welcome email. We’ve even included some of the best welcome email examples we’ve come across to give you a few ideas when getting started.

1. Have a clear objective

Before sending out marketing emails, it’s important to establish the objective behind them. Welcome emails are no exception. Most often, welcome messages are the first direct communication a new subscriber will receive from you. It’s therefore important that they not only provide a warm welcome but also have a clear direction and purpose.

In order to determine your welcome email objective, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • What’s the main message I want new subscribers to take away from this email?
  • What’s my main motivation behind sending new subscribers a welcome email?
  • What kind of value do I want to deliver through my welcome email?

Once you’ve answered these questions, it’ll be much easier for you to understand the underlying objectives behind your welcome email. Then you’ll be able to tailor your email content accordingly.

2. Make sure it goes out immediately

This should go without saying, but if you’re going to send out a welcome email to new subscribers, make sure that it goes out immediately. That means that as soon as someone opts into your email list, they should be receiving their welcome message shortly after. Don’t make your subscribers wait!

The best way to make sure this happens is by setting up an automation with email marketing software like Flodesk. That way, you can rest assured that as soon as your new subscribers come rolling in, they’ll receive the warm welcome they deserve.

3. Think up a perfect welcome email subject line

It might come as a surprise, but email subject lines are one of the most important parts of email marketing. This is because they’re one of the first things that people see in their inboxes, and are often a big deciding factor in whether someone will even open your email or not.

A 2021 Barilliance study even found that 64% of people make a decision on whether or not to open an email based on its subject line.

If you’re not sure where to begin, never fear. Here are Flodesk’s top tips for crafting the perfect email subject line:

  • Keep it clear. Make sure your email content matches your subject line or your subscribers won’t trust your brand.
  • Keep it concise: Good email subject lines should be a maximum of 9 words and under 60 characters. It’s also a good idea to front-load them so the most eye-catching words (like sale) are at the beginning so they don’t get cut off.
  • Keep it cool: Speak and write naturally and use the kind of language that you know aligns with your customers. Also be aware of what’s trending and popular in your specific industry and integrate it in your subject line copy where appropriate.

Here are a couple of bonus tips to keep in mind:

  • Feel free to add in emojis here and there if it aligns with your brand. It’s a matter of personal preference but gives emails an approachable, friendly feel. 
  • Sprinkle in some numbers and data. For example: “Grow your ____ by X% in X days.” The effectiveness of this will depend on your email list, but is especially attractive for B2B audiences.

4. Kick off your brand experience

Seeing as your welcome email will be one of the first visuals that new subscribers have of your brand, it’s important to make an impression and kick off your overall brand experience on the right foot. 

To do this, ensure that your welcome email reflects all the key elements of your company’s branding. Of course, this should stay consistent in the rest of your email marketing strategy as well.

Here are the key branding elements you need to keep in mind to make sure you deliver the best possible branding experience to your new subscribers:

5. Make a great first impression with powerful images

Your welcome email should be impactful and memorable; something that will impress your new subscribers and make them want to learn more about your business and everything you have to offer.

Words are great, but there’s nothing that leaves a lasting impression quite like a powerful image. In fact, human brains process images about 60,000 times faster than text.

We love the image that Ira Briones chose for her welcome email. It’s a strong portrait of herself that puts her positivity, confidence, and approachable nature on display. Coupled with the phrase “how courage changes your life and business,” it would certainly pique any reader’s interest.

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6. Add personalization

Hyper-personalization is one of the biggest email marketing trends moving into 2022. Its popularity makes absolute sense because personalizing your emails to your customers has a huge impact on their overall success.

Personalized emails feel relevant and detail-oriented, as well as contributing to a great customer experience overall. They also tend to produce much higher conversions, as well as more open rates, click rates, engagement, and even sales.

There are several different ways to personalize emails, so here are just a few ideas:

  • In your welcome email, it’s always a good idea to personalize either your subject line or your email greeting with your new subscribers’ first name if possible.
  • Ask your subscribers to customize their preferences and identify the kind of email content they want to receive.
  • Set up advanced marketing automations and segment your new members as soon as they opt into your email list.

7. Introduce yourself

Regardless of whether you’re a solopreneur, small business or larger organization, subscribers feel good when they’re able to put a face to the name and get to know you. Sending a welcome email is a great opportunity to introduce yourself and share some personal information with your audience.

Rather than sending out emails that feel like they’re from your company, they should feel personal and like they’re coming from a fellow human being. 

7 Wayfinders is a family of seven that has dedicated themselves to traveling the world and is passionate about showing their community how to do the same. They do a good job of introducing themselves in their welcome email above, and we love that they’ve provided a sweet family photo as well.

8. Tell your subscribers what to expect from future emails

If a new subscriber is receiving your welcome email, they’ve most often just joined your email list. This makes it a great opportunity to set expectations and explain exactly what kind of content they can expect to receive from you.

In the welcome email example above, Myrtle does a great job in letting their subscribers know what to expect for their email list. Alongside communicating that they’re going to be sharing their latest updates, arrivals, and styling tips, they also provide new subscribers with a discount code.

9. Offer a reward to your subscribers

A very popular and effective way to show thanks to your subscribers for joining your email list is by offering them some kind of freebie, reward or discount code. This is also an effective strategy to use to build your email list because you can promote it to encourage new leads to opt in.

The most common gift to offer new subscribers is a discount code for their first purchase. However, there are many different kinds of rewards you give out as well.

Food La La is a membership community that teaches its members how to cook by providing everything from recipes to an online shop to virtual events and classes. Their welcome email is a great example because they provide a month of their Food La La Cooking club as a free gift to new subscribers. This is a great alternative to the typical discount code.

10. Include a call-to-action

In order to engage customers, all marketing emails should include some kind of call-to-action. Welcome emails are no exception. Similar to establishing your email objective, it’s important to ask yourself what you want your subscribers to do after reading your email. For example:

  • Do you want them to make a purchase with your discount code?
  • What about downloading one of your helpful resources?
  • Maybe you want them to follow you on your social media channels?

Whatever the case may be, it’s important to focus on one call-to-action in a welcome email so that you can make it the focus of your email content.

11. Show your credibility

If someone has just joined your email list, in all likelihood they don’t know very much about your business. This gives you a great opportunity to not only introduce yourself, but also build your credibility and show them that you’re an expert in your chosen field.

There are several ways to build credibility, but we love Alyssa Nguyen Design’s approach. Alyssa Nguyen is a design expert, so she uses her welcome email as a space where she can show her subscribers that she knows her stuff regarding design. Right off the bat, she explains what a brand is in very simple terms that anyone could understand.

Some other ways you can show your credibility in your welcome email are:

  • Including reviews and testimonials
  • Highlighting your professional experience and/or qualifications
  • Adding information about prominent brands you’ve worked with

12. Highlight your social media pages

This tip might seem obvious, but it gets overlooked all too often. Ideally, you want your email subscribers to be connected with your brand on all your most prominent channels, and that includes social media.

Don’t forget to highlight the social media channels where your business has a presence in your first email (and all the emails you send after that). Make it easy for new subscribers to follow you on Instagram with just a couple clicks. You can even mention the kind of helpful content they can expect on your social media channels to make it extra enticing.

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13. Make it mobile responsive

A constantly increasing amount of people check their emails on their mobile phones instead of on a desktop. In fact, about half of people opt to view their emails on their phones instead of their computers nowadays. Even more important, that number will just keep increasing.

Due to this trend, it’s more important than ever to make sure that all the marketing emails you send out are responsive to all devices. If not, you’ll run the risk of people becoming frustrated with slow loading times and poor formatting and deleting your message right away.

Fortunately, great email marketing software like Flodesk makes sure that all the emails you send out will look great on any device.

14. Ask subscribers about their preferences

One of the best ways to ensure that the content you send out aligns with your subscribers’ interests is by asking them! Welcome emails are the perfect moment to ask new subscribers about their preferences and allow them to select the kind of content they’re most interested in receiving. This will both maximize customer experience and minimize unnecessary complaints and unsubscribes.

Most businesses achieve this by including a link where subscribers can select their content preferences towards the bottom of their welcome email. 

15. Provide a space for feedback

Last but not least, be sure to foster two-way communication with your subscribers! Even though email marketing often feels like a one-way conversation, it doesn’t have to be that way. Encouraging your customers to respond to your emails and share their thoughts and opinions not only enriches long-term client relationships but also creates engaged subscribers.

The best way to do this is by including a space for your customers to send you their genuine feedback. Make sure that your new subscribers know about it right away in your welcome email! A little bit of genuine customer feedback (integrated correctly) can make all the difference in the products and services you deliver.

Welcome email best practices

Now that we’ve covered our 15 elements for welcome email success, you’re almost ready to get started creating your own. Before you go, check out these key welcome email best practices to keep in mind during your development process. 

Consult welcome email examples you love

If you’re not sure where to get started when writing your own welcome email, you don’t have to look too far for inspiration. Remember, you and your target audience probably have a lot in common. If you need to get those creative juices flowing, simply take a look at some of your favorite brand’s welcome emails.

Whether you’ve never created a welcome email or are just looking for some new ideas, we’ve got a great exercise for you to try out. Look through your inbox and compile a few welcome emails that you’ve received in the past. If you don’t have any available, opt into the mailing lists of some of your favorite brands and wait for their welcome emails to arrive in your inbox.

Once you’ve gotten a selection together, take the time to look at each email and make notes about what you like and what you don’t. This can be very helpful in informing the design of your own welcome email.

Decide on your welcome email strategy early on

Before you even start working on your welcome email, it’s important to decide on exactly what you want your approach to be. Some companies opt for single welcome emails whereas others send out a whole series of them. In order to determine what the best choice will be for your business, reflect on how much information you want to deliver to your new subscribers.

If you have a lot of content that you want to share with your email subscribers, it’s a good idea to opt for multiple welcome emails. You don’t want to overwhelm your new subscribers with too much information all at once.

In addition, many companies operate with a double opt-in system to stay compliant with local regulations (or just to make sure their subscribers really want to join their email lists). This means that they send out a confirmation email once someone opts in to receiving their communications. 

Because of this, some companies choose to combine confirmation emails with welcome messages.

Prioritize great design

When it comes to email marketing, great design is everything. At least that’s what Flodesk thinks based on our experience in the industry. In fact, beautiful, modern design is what keeps us getting out of bed in the morning!

Sending your subscribers beautiful emails that they’ll love to receive just makes sense. The impression they get when they look at one of your emails is the impression they’ll have of your brand overall, after all. It’s just not worth sending out something that doesn’t look great or stand out from the crowd.

The easiest way to prioritize great design in your welcome emails and beyond is by using an email marketing software that has stunning templates available for you to use. That way, you’ll save tons of time and be able to put together truly memorable emails that’ll stand out in someone’s inbox with minimal effort.

Luckily, Flodesk does just that and more. We have incredibly high design standards and our large gallery of email templates stay true to that. If you want to see for yourself with our 30-day free trial, click here.

Test out different welcome email templates with email subscribers

There’s no one perfect way to put together a welcome email. The best way to do it for your business will depend a lot on your specific objectives, preferences, industry, target audience, and priorities.

If you’re not sure exactly how you want your welcome email to look, why not test out different templates and see which one appeals to you the most? If you’re using a software like Flodesk, you’ll have tons of beautiful template options to choose from. It’s easy to put together a couple different versions of a welcome email together and compare and contrast them before making your final decision.

Pro Tip: If you really want to be sure you’ve made the right decision and created a highly engaging welcome email, you can even try sending out different versions to new subscribers. Then you’ll be able to compare email statistics to help with your decision making process.

Update your welcome email periodically

Successful businesses are in a perpetual state of growth and development. This means that they’re dynamic and regularly go through changes. So, if your business is constantly evolving, that means that your welcome email should be as well.

Even once you’ve designed and started sending out the perfect welcome email, it shouldn’t stay the same forever. Be sure to revisit it regularly and make necessary updates so that it accurately reflects the current state of your business.

Since your welcome email is one of the key ways you’ll be introducing new leads to your brand, its information should be as captivating and up-to-date as possible.

Keep new subscribers coming back with your welcome emails

As you can see, welcome emails are vital parts of both your long-term email marketing strategy and your business’s reputation as a whole. More than just confirming that a new subscriber opted into your email list, they kick off your relationship with your customers and provide a first look into your brand experience. For that reason and more, it’s important to knock it out of the park!

If you follow the key steps and best practices that we outlined in this guide, we’re sure that you’ll create a truly excellent welcome email that will keep your new subscribers coming back for years to come.

If you’re looking for an email marketing software that will help you put together unforgettable welcome emails and beyond, give Flodesk a try. We’re passionate about helping small to medium-sized businesses take their success to the next level with email marketing and have a 30-day free trial to boot. 

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