8 tips for creating effective welcome emails

In email marketing, there is no better time to contact the potential customer than immediately after their newsletter subscription. Why? Because, through their permission, the subscriber has signaled a clear interest in your brand and products – and is awaiting your first email.

Welcome emails can be one of the easiest and most effective ways to bring prospective customers closer to your products or services. Nevertheless, these types of welcome campaigns are still only used by a relatively small number of companies.

The first few weeks after someone subscribes to your newsletter is the perfect time to present your brand and start a dialogue with them. A welcome email series can easily be set up with an email marketing software to automatically send the campaign emails according to predefined settings. Hint: you can set up email series by simple drag and drop using new Episerver Campaign 😉. We recommend implementing a multistep welcome series over a period of up to 30 days. After this period, contact with subscribers should shift to regularly scheduled communication.

1. Timing: prompt and staggered

Welcome emails should be sent promptly and in an automated manner – immediately following the newsletter subscription confirmation. If you’re looking for a more personalized communication style, the first welcome email could be slightly delayed in order to convey the impression of a personal response – as opposed to an automated email. A staggered approach is also justified if you don’t want to send three emails within a short timeframe (double opt-in, confirmation, welcome).

2. Design: ensure easy recognition

New subscribers should get an idea of the look and feel of your future newsletters in the welcome emails. Ensure easy recognition by using a catchy and understandable sender name. Furthermore, you should start using the email address that will be used in the following regularly scheduled communication. An attractive design of the upper area of welcome emails is particularly important for memorable branding. This can include an email header with a prominently positioned logo, a logical, recurring email structure, and a uniform color scheme.

3. Subject line: friendly and active

The use of active words at the beginning of welcome email subject lines, such as “Welcome” or “Thank you”, have proven to be effective. They provide an immediate impression of friendliness and help generate interest.

4. Consistency: email testing and previews

The welcome emails should ideally look the same in every internet browser and email service, as well as on every end-user device. Most email marketing software enables you to test this in several ways. If you require even more detailed testing, I would recommend using Litmus or Return Path.

5. Setting the right expectations

At the start of the campaign, you should determine what content will be made available in the future and the frequency of emails. If your subscribers are expecting to receive exclusive offers, these should also be communicated clearly in advance. Your welcome emails should always serve to confirm the subscriber’s decision to register for the newsletter and confirm their positive attitude towards the company and its products. However, an option to unsubscribe at any time is essential at this stage. A note informing that all data is kept securely and used responsibly should also be included.

6. Added value: offers and customer service

Give your new contacts useful information and great offers. We’d recommend you start right away with discount coupons, bestseller lists, management of profile options via a preference center, and links to social networks. Information on services and support, customer programs, ordering options and conditions of delivery are other things that could be of interest. Also useful are video tutorials and website tours on how to navigate the website.

7. Clear calls to action

The clearer the better. Your recipients should be able to answer the question of “What should I do?” immediately after opening the first welcome email. This is followed by the question of “What now?” which is answered through a string of specific calls to action. The next question posed is usually “What use is it to me?” You must respond to this by clearly communicating the advantages. The answers must be carefully formulated and relevant to your offers and services. When you have several topics, a multistep email series with shorter, bite-sized information is preferable to a single welcome email with a block of text including everything.

8. Testing the results

Even with welcome emails, there’s no getting around regular testing of the campaign. Changes should always first be tested on smaller recipient groups. Furthermore, the following rule of thumb should be kept in mind: What worked today may – under certain circumstances – not work in six to nine months from now. To help you get it right, your email marketing software should be able help with testing and analyzing options.

What Episerver Campaign does

Episerver Campaign is a multichannel campaign management tool that enables you to easily create, automate and deliver engaging campaigns across multiple channels including email, text messages and push notifications.

You can add Episerver Campaign to your Episerver platform to leverage marketing automation, email marketing and deep analytics without the hassles of system integrations - your familiar platform simply grows more powerful.  

Learn more about Episerver Campaign