The simplest question on welcome emails is also the most complicated to answer: “How do you write converting welcome emails?”
Is the answer simply catchy subject lines? Well-placed calls to action?
These strategies help, but only when used correctly. A catchy subject line, for instance, won’t matter if it triggers spam filters and sends your well-crafted message straight to the bin.
To help answer this question, we’ve gathered five tips to improve your writing. We’ve also included some of our favorite welcome emails to inspire you. As we go over them, you’ll learn:
Without engaging subject lines, all the work you put into crafting your welcome emails goes to waste as no one will read them.
This make-or-break situation is because email users receive an overwhelming amount of messages each day. They simply don’t have the time to go through them all and need a quick way of evaluating and prioritizing them.
It’s not surprising that one study of email users found that 69% of users mark messages as spam based solely on subject lines.
To get the most out of your subject lines, stay up to date on best practices and avoid using spam trigger words such as:
These generic and overused phrases do little to entice readers and only lead to a poor sender reputation and low open rates for your subsequent emails.
Instead, personalize your subject lines. Use words that communicate an understanding of your audience and their specific needs, such as names and problem statements.
Here’s an example: “Mary, your shopper’s card is ready. Check out these stores.”
The name adds a personal touch that instantly draws in your reader and encourages click-through. It also creates the perception that “Because this email addresses Mary directly, it must be tailored to Mary’s specific needs.”
Meanwhile, “Check out these stores” communicates your understanding of the difficulty in finding the best places to use the shopper’s card. It comes as a welcomed solution that attracts the reader.
Many subscribers who opt into your brand will remain inactive without clear recommendations on what to do next.
This inactivity comes from your audience’s engagement levels, which start dropping after subscription.
Think of someone subscribing to your newsletter, for instance.
This person will have gone through your website and social pages and will be at the height of engagement when opting into your brand.
However, after subscribing to your newsletter, what next? Wait for your next release?
Strike while the iron is hot. Include compelling recommendations in your welcome emails to trigger customer action when they’re most excited about your brand.
In our previous example, “Mary, your shopper’s card is ready. Check out these stores,” the recommendation to “Check out these stores” comes right when the user is excited about receiving the card.
The placement is an excellent example of harnessing engagement levels for better customer action.
Now consider if the welcome email only reads, “Mary, your shopper’s card is ready.”
Mary would have to research for herself where to use the card, triggering procrastination. As time elapses, the excitement over the shopper’s card will have worn out, leading to inaction.
It might seem counter-intuitive to include an opt-out button in your onboarding email, however, this helps avoid triggering spam filters and violating the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing).
This Act requires all commercial emails to have clear and conspicuous opt-out buttons or links, which must be honored within ten business days of a request.
Violating this Act attracts a penalty of up to $46,517 per email.
Imagine the cost of non-compliance for bulk emails!
Here’s an example of an opt-out link from Skwala Fishing (green arrow).
Notice how the link is clear and conspicuous with a contrasting color to the background and underlining.
Another reason to feature opt-out buttons is that they help you measure the deliverability of your email campaign with a definite explanation.
Unsubscriptions signal a lack of engagement after a read-through, suggesting content problems like depth and usefulness.
This explanation is hard to glean solely from low read-through rates, which could be down to non-content factors like email timing and mistargeting.
For your new subscribers, discovering that they are part of a larger community keeps them engaged with your brand and encourages loyalty.
This concept is known as the social identity theory, where consumers form deep psychological connections with brands from perceived membership to a community (including virtual ones).
These communities usually comprise individuals with similar hobbies, interests, and professions that align with your brand.
Here’s an example from Wave, the accounting platform.
From this email, customers will be excited to know they’re joining fellow entrepreneurs or freelancers on this platform. This excitement keeps the consumers engaged and motivates them to explore Wave (customer action).
Also, notice how this welcome email features a recommendation with, “There’s so much you can do in Wave.” This statement comes right when the readers are excited about joining fellow entrepreneurs or freelancers on the platform, encouraging click-through.
Don’t just send one welcome email.
Use a series of emails (possibly three), but over some time to avoid bombarding your new customers with information and calls to action.
This strategy helps your welcome emails stay brief with one action request, encouraging read-through.
One effective way of using multiple welcome emails is to tailor your messages to your customers’ stage of the sales funnel, for instance:
The following table summarizes the key ideas discussed above to help us analyze a few examples of welcome emails.
This welcome email works because it creates a sense of community around Oboz Footwear with, “For people like us, free-spirited adventurers exploring some of the most amazing places.”
The email follows with a recommendation to browse the brand’s best-seller, right when the reader is excited about being part of a community of free-spirited adventurers.
West Paw approaches welcome emails with a focus on time efficiency.
This strategy appreciates that email users have too many messages in their inboxes with little time to pour over all of them. As such, the message is brief and to-the-point to encourage read-through and customer action.
Notice how the email promises a faster checkout next time. It shows how West Paw focuses on time optimization for its audience.
This strategy works because it uses personalization to grab a reader’s attention and encourage click-through.
This personal touch comes from the phrasing, “You’ve been selected to receive an exclusive promotion.” This creates the perception of tailored solutions that entices any reader. It’s the same effect with a personalized subject line that includes the reader’s name.
This email does an excellent job at building fascination around Outdoor Research and encouraging customer action.
Knowing that the brand has been at it since 1981 piques any reader’s interest, compelling them to visit Outdoor Research and experience their products.
This email creates a sense of community around Montana Silversmiths by welcoming the reader to the “Montana Family.” It follows this up with personalization by asking the readers to input their special day.
Both strategies build engagement around Montana that’s sure to encourage customer action.
Also, notice how the message is brief to facilitate read-through.
So, there are our five tips for writing your welcome emails. While these tips are a great place to start, it's also important to consider other factors such as email deliverability and list growth strategies.
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