First impressions are everything and you only get one chance to do it well! Not only are first impressions important for human relationships, they are crucial in setting the tone with your clients through welcome emails.  Welcome emails should be well timed and carefully crafted to cater to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with prospective customers. In the following post, we will be covering exactly how to succeed in this area and be remembered favorably from the very first glance.

What is a welcome email?

It’s all in the name! A welcome email is a message sent to new customers after signing up to your service or product, with the purpose of introducing them to your brand. A welcome email commonly gives subscribers a glimpse into what they’re getting into, and tells them what your business is all about and what you have to offer them.

8 best practices to follow

1. Timing is everything

A welcome email reaches customers at a time when they expect to hear from you, making them more likely to be opened. When signing up to your service, customers expect to get an immediate confirmation to have done so. If that confirmation is delayed, they might start to wonder whether they did something wrong or your system isn’t working right. This is why your welcome emails should be triggered and sent immediately after sign up.

2. Use the right From email address

You need to think about who you want to send your welcome email from, whoever is going to be signed at the bottom of the email should also be its sender. Whether it’s the CEO, the account manager, the entire company or the support team, just make sure to send the email from their address. And always remember: you certainly shouldn’t send your emails from a no-reply address - you’d actually be happy to hear back from customers.

3. Write a clear subject line

The subject line is the very first thing the customers see when you send them your welcome email, and it can determine whether or not your email will even be opened. An effective subject line should reflect your brand’s intentions as clearly as possible as well as grab the subscribers’ attention. A simple “Welcome to <insert product name here>!” can definitely do the trick, but if as part of the onboarding process, users are required to do something, or if there are different journeys for differing user segments, you may want to start it in the welcome email subject line. Just remember to keep it short and to the point.

4. Make it personal

Everyone likes to feel special, and that is exactly how your welcome email should make your new customers feel. Emails with personalized greetings are much more likely to be read, use your customer’s name to achieve that effect. Doesn’t “Hey Daniel” feel much nicer than “Hey there”? Even if your name isn't Daniel ;) If you already know a thing or two about this customer just from the sign up page, you may want to use it as well, to provide the user with information that’s specifically interesting for her.

5. Don’t forget to introduce yourself

After you’ve decided on the right time to send your welcome emails, chose the optimal subject line and referred to your customer by name, it’s time to introduce yourself. Start by telling your customers about your company and what’s your unique value proposition, or how you stand out from the competition.

6. Tell customers what’s in it for them

Make sure your customers know the benefits your product or service has to offer. Inform them what to expect in the future. Did they just start a trial? Tell them when the trial ends (preferably, tell them what date exactly. Don’t use a relative “your trial ends in 7 days” as some users will read it 3 days after you sent it) and what happens when it does. Should they expect more emails from you throughout the trial? Are there ways for them to turbocharge the experience and accelate time to value? Now’s the time to say how! Do they need to invite others in order to gain more from your product?

7. Add a call-to-action

A welcome email can be much more than a signup confirmation email. The odds of a welcome email being opened as well as read are in your favor - use that to your advantage and include a call-to-action. Use a clear, bold CTA button that is hard to miss in order to increase the chances of higher click-through rates.

To decide on an effective call-to-action you should be asking yourself “What is the first thing I want my customers to do?”. For example, in Mailer To Go the first thing our customers have to do in order to send emails is add a domain, for that reason our call-to-action can be “Add a domain”. Another good example can be found in Slack’s welcome email: a good call to action in their welcome email is as simple as “Invite your co-workers to chat”.

8. No need for an opt-out button, but do tell your customers why they are receiving this email

Your welcome email shouldn’t be a marketing email, but an informative, transactional email. When sending transactional emails, adding an opt-out button isn’t required (you can read more about it here). We do, however, recommend mentioning at the bottom of your transactional emails the reason for sending them. For example, add to your welcome email: “The reason you’re receiving this email is that we’d like to make sure you know that your email was used to sign up to our product. Don’t worry, we’re not gonna blast your email with spam”.


Post photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash