The art of the Welcome Email

Feb 17, 2019 | Email marketing

Have you ever signed up to a mailing list and only received your first email from them months later? I bet you’d forgotten signing up in the first place and you might even have unsubscribed.

Melaina Gross


Today I’d like to talk about welcome emails. A welcome email is the first email your new subscriber receives. And it is your chance to build trust. Think about it: when someone joins your mailing list they have done so because they want to hear more from you. Immediacy is key for a good welcome email. In email marketing terms this translates into your new subscriber being more likely to open an email from you.

Your first welcome email should go out immediately after a new subscriber signs up

This opportunity to be in the limelight is too good to pass up. New subscribers are also more likely to buy from you:

45% of first-time ecommerce purchases by new subscribers happen within 24 hours of sign-up. Listrak

Here are some good examples of welcome emails:

Strava fitness app

Stravas welcome email’s purpose is to educate new users about the Strava fitness app and sports community. Icons and short snippets of information are used to explain the features and benefits of the app. Social icons are used to encourage new users to connect with the Strava community. Fitbit also has a fantastic welcome email – what a great way to get customers started on the right foot on their fitness journey

Poppin office supplies company

Poppin’s welcome email shows their product categories and tries to maximise sales. They offer their new subscriber a discount off their first order. Welcome emails enjoy an open rate greater than 50%. It is a good opportunity for an ecommerce store to drive sales.

Red Wing work boots

Red Wing is a tough industrial strength work boot brand. They tell the history of their brand in their welcome email. They also enhance brand credibility by including a link to video testimonials given by actual customers. As they do not sell their products online they encourage subscribers to visit one of the retail stores.

Incidentally, adding video to your emails can increase click rates by 300%. Host your video online and add a screenshot with a play button to your email. Wistia

OpenAgent property services

OpenAgent is a service company that matches property buyers / sellers with the most suitable estate agent. They explain their process in their welcome email. OpenAgent’s subscribers know what to anticipate next in their interaction with the company. Their welcome email increased the conversion at sales qualification call stage for leads who received the email by 5% over leads who didn’t. The Compare Agents call to action (button) in the email offers a self-service option for those who don’t want wait to receive a phone or would prefer a self-serve style of interaction.

I chose these examples because they show how different businesses and industries use their welcome email. A traditional retail brand, ecommerce store, fitness app, and property sales service couldn’t be more different from each other. My point is regardless of your industry or business you definitely have something to share with your new subscribers in your welcome email.

Welcome emails are automated emails. They are triggered to send automatically when a new subscriber signs up. Automated emails are a big part of marketing automation, which is all about catching people at the right moment when they’re ready to act.

Automated emails get 152% higher click rates than broadcast emails. EPSILON

Have a lot to share?

If one email is not enough you can build out your welcome email into a series of emails. Remember people prefer to skim-read their emails so it’s important not to cram your welcome email with too much information because you’ll lose their attention. 

If you don’t have a welcome email going out to new subscribers, get one in place as soon as possible. You are missing out on a chance to deliver a great first impression and an opportunity to make sales.


Welcome featured image credit: Photo by Henry & Co. on Unsplash


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