Welcome Emails

How to Craft a Killer Welcome Email

One of the easiest ways to quickly improve your email marketing results is to tweak your welcome email.

Welcome emails have, on average, four times the open rate and five times the click rate of other mailings. Improving yours can have a big impact on your bottom line.

Starbucks store front

Use your welcome email to make your brand memorable

I’m sure you visit Starbucks occasionally (you may even have a Starbucks cup in hand while reading this). So let me ask you a question: Have you ever noticed what happens every time you pass the door of a Starbucks?

You instantly smell that coffee aroma. You see the nice decoration with softened lights and big comfy armchairs. The atmosphere makes you feel at home.

Not only does Starbucks make their coffee experience memorable, they also tell you a story. The story of this young modern woman or man who lives in a vibrant city and goes to work with a coffee cup in hand like in films or sitcoms.

Woman with cup of coffee in hand

Starbucks’s story and coffee experience is part of the reason why their brand is so successful.

So what does Starbucks have to do with welcome emails?

Like Starbucks, when designing your welcome email, you must sell a story and create a unique experience.

With their high open rate and click rate, welcome emails are the perfect occasion for you to both communicate who you are and make your brand memorable. To do so you must create an experience your recipients won’t forget.

Like any email, the experience of a welcome email is based on two things:

  • Message
  • Design

Let’s start with the message.

Your message must welcome people and thank them for subscribing. You must tell them what your vision and mission is and do it in your own voice.

AbesMarket does a great job of this. Take a look at their welcome email:

AbesMarket welcome email

Even if you don’t know the brand, you can easily tell what AbesMarket’s mission is and who they are.

Mission: The company offers natural products for “anyone from gluten-free vegans to parents who keep a toxic-free house.”

Who they are: They are friendly, informal (they use slang) and “human” (their welcome email shows Jon and Richard the cofounders).

Your welcome message must explain who you are and what you do. You must set the tone and initiate a relationship with your subscribers. It’s crucial that you do it right. As the saying goes:

First impressions do not get a second chance.”

In addition to the message, the design of your welcome email is also key.

The design improves the experience of your subscribers and enhances your message, which makes it memorable. Like the paintings on the Starbucks walls and the big comfy armchairs, the design of your welcome email must create an atmosphere that people can easily recognize and relate to.

Twist does this quite well in their welcome email:

Twist welcome email

The big picture shows a cozy atmosphere. It automatically makes us feel at home and makes us want to sit down on this leather armchair to read a book while listening to music through a lightbulb (what?). The design of this email is quite simple, but effectively communicates their value proposition while featuring their product.

Surprise your recipients

You know what’s the biggest problem with emails? They don’t surprise anyone anymore.

Ten, 15 years ago, you were delighted when you received emails. It was somehow magic. Open rates were crazy back then. Today, with the information overload and the amount of mass email we receive, we just don’t care about emails anymore.

To get that delight back, we must find ways to surprise our subscribers.

Psychologically, surprises appeal to us. The human brain is wired in such a way that it turns attention to things that are new or changing. So when it comes to welcome emails, surprises can definitely increase your conversion rate.

Here are a few ways to surprise your recipients with welcome emails:

  • Discounts
  • Free shipping
  • Freebies/Goodies
  • Ebook(s)
  • Special access to something
  • Welcome video
  • Write them a personal welcome message.

Customer.io sends a traditional welcome email:

Customer.io welcome email

Then 32 minutes later, recipients receive this email:

Customer.io follow up welcome email

There are many ways you can surprise new email subscribers. Be creative and ask yourself:

If I were a new subscriber, what would surprise and delight me?

Answering this question will help you come up with ideas.

A little time spent improving your welcome emails can make a big difference. Focus on writing great copy, choosing a design that stands out and surprising your subscribers. These tactics will definitely make your brand memorable and increase your conversions down the road.

About the author

Simon Cave Simon Cave is the Community Manager of Stamplia. Stamplia is marketplace for high converting and beautifully designed email templates.



Author: Alex Ilhan

Hailing all the way from England, Alex brings his email development expertise along with an endless stream of cups of tea and British cynicism. Follow him on Twitter: @omgitsonlyalex.

2 thoughts on “How to Craft a Killer Welcome Email”

  1. Hi, I agree with every statement that you have made in the post and I really appreciate your effort in gathering up the information. Thanks for it.

  2. Thanks for using Starbucks! I’m totally a fan and LOVE the way they’ve branded their company. Your article is spot on when it comes to the welcome email. Going to make mine better moving forward.

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