You’ve spent all that time and money collecting email addresses for your list. Now what?
Roll out the welcome mat by sending a welcome email. Welcome emails aren’t just a place to introduce your brand—they’re a key business opportunity. In fact, the average email open rate for a welcome email is a whopping 50%. Don’t let that once-in-a-subscriber-lifetime opportunity for engagement go to waste.
We’ve put together 18 examples of great welcome emails that check all the boxes so you can make the best first impression possible.
Your Welcome Email Subject Line Should Invite Joy and Delight
Your entire email can make an impression, and it’s your subject line that will set the tone. Even if you have legal obligations to go through like a double opt-in, it’s your very first appearance in your subscriber’s inbox, so make it count. 34% of respondents to a Litmus survey said that the subject line is the first thing they look at when deciding whether or not to open an email—and they can also impact your conversion rates.
Most of all, your subject line should make it clear what they’ve joined, whether it’s a specific series, like an email-based course, or your general email list. This email from Allbirds, the shoe company, says, “Welcome to the Flock!” With Allbirds, you’re not just buying a shoe. You’re becoming part of a “flock” of people—and they make that really clear from the very first email.
A subject line should also inspire action, like this email from Headspace, a meditation app. The subject line reads, “Ready to meditate?” which is exactly what subscribers should be excited to do. It’s simple, clear, and gives the subscriber an immediate action to take.
Leading with gratitude is another great strategy, as shown by Oru Kayak, who says, “Hey explorer! Thanks for signing up.” It offers a sense of tribe and makes the subscriber feel excited about what’s coming next.
When in doubt, test your subject line ideas against one another. You’ll send more welcome emails than any other kind, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to hone in on a subject line that works. Think about a subject line that:
- Sets the tone for your brand – what thoughts or feelings do you want to inspire?
- Clearly establishes your brand – what community are you inviting subscribers into?
- Inspires action – what’s the very first thing you want subscribers to do?
Fulfill The Reason They Joined Your Email List
If you don’t do anything else in your welcome email, you need to do this. Above all, you should be serving the needs of the subscriber first (and data compliance laws make it imperative that they know why you’re emailing them, too!) Make sure you fulfill the reason they joined your list! Whether you’re advertising exclusive content, a 10% discount, or large Viking helmets, that should be the primary message in your email.
This email from skincare brand APTO makes it easy. They offer a headline with their key value proposition, a code for free shipping, and a call to action to shop now.
Here’s another example from shoe brand Public Desire, which introduces themselves but keeps their offer sweet and simple:
If you have multiple incentives for someone to join your email list, consider creating targeted versions of your welcome email based on how someone joined. That way, you’re tailoring your message to their use case and making it super relevant.
And it’s ok to not include a discount in your welcome email—this one from Outdoor Voices does a great job of saying hello:
More than anything else, you should make sure it’s super clear to your subscribers how they came to be on your list—not just for privacy, but for setting expectations about the type of content you’ll send. Your primary message should:
- Be short and simple, with one primary call to action
- Be targeted toward a specific segment of your subscribers based on how they signed up, a specific offer campaign, or other top-of-funnel initiatives
- Make your subscribers feel welcome and excited to receive emails from you
Use Your Welcome Email to Introduce Your Brand
The bulk of your email should be about why your subscriber joined your list, but after that, you can get creative! Introduce your brand—who you are, what you stand for, and why they should know who you are—with your visuals and copy.
This welcome email from furniture company Dims offers a clear problem/solution framework so you know exactly what their brand is about. It’s no-nonsense, which seems to be perfectly on-brand.
Away, a suitcase company, starts with why they love what they do in their welcome email, telling a larger story that leads you to the perfect suitcase (theirs, of course).
Here’s another example. Casper doesn’t just sell mattresses—they sell a great night’s sleep. And this email showcases that right up front so that subscribers know what they’re about and why they should be excited to get their emails.
This is the fun part. Find creative ways to showcase your brand within your welcome email. And remember, you don’t need to be flashy or quirky if your brand isn’t flashy or quirky. Let your brand’s personality shine by:
- Adding high-quality or top-performing visuals of your products or services—if it’s good enough to be in your catalog or your Instagram, it’s good enough for your welcome email
- Tell a story about who you are and why you matter to your subscribers
- Adds a special element of surprise and delight that makes sense based on your brand
Use Your Welcome Email to Learn More
The more you know about your subscribers, the more easily you can provide personalized emails that drive higher engagement and conversion.
The welcome email is a great point to ask for more information. You just met them, after all. Have your brand new subscriber log in to your website, fill out a profile, download your app, or take a survey—anything you can use to identify what problem they’re looking to solve and how your product can best solve it.
A welcome email may be the first time you’re talking to a subscriber, but it’s also the best time to drive momentum forward in your relationship. Can you get them to take another step forward? Strava asks their new subscribers to get going and record a recent activity, pushing them back into their app:
Peloton does something similar, closing their welcome email with an invitation to take their first ride on their brand new bike:
Bellroy sends this NPS email 30 days after a subscriber purchases. This way, they can get immediate feedback on their time to value for customers:
The more you know, the more you can use to drive conversion later on. It’s a big misconception that every conversion needs to happen right away. With your welcome email flow, you’ll introduce subscribers to your brand so you can build trust and encourage repeat visits. Take this opportunity to:
- Ask for a key action that will take your subscribers further down the funnel
- Start a conversation and encourage subscribers to reply or chat on other channels
- Get real-time feedback on your products or messaging
Deepen the Subscriber Connection Through Action
Show subscribers what’s next by offering them other actions they can take to deepen the connection with you. It doesn’t have to be the obvious “Shop now.”
Showcase other ways they can join your community or get involved through softer touches like social media, nearby events, or visiting their local stores. A welcome email is the start of a relationship and not every subscriber will be ready to buy right away. Offering these lighter ways to connect first can build trust and excitement in your brand. This example from CB2 gives a great welcome and then asks subscribers to connect on social media:
This example from Jetblue is educational on their rewards program, offering other ways new members can get more points. This works particularly well considering it’s not as likely someone will be flying on a weekly or monthly basis the way you might purchase clothing or go out to a restaurant.
You can also share a piece of content they might like as an easy way to get started. This Lush email gives a fun behind-the-scenes video and some related products:
Your call-to-action is the most important part of any email, but especially in your welcome email. This may be the first and last time you ever speak to a new subscriber depending on this interaction. Show subscribers what’s next by:
- Showcasing ways subscribers can connect with members of your brand’s community
- Educate your subscribers about your products so they know what to expect
- Sharing a piece of content that adds immediate value and encourages subscribers to come back
Better Yet, Create a Welcome Series
A welcome email doesn’t have to be limited to one email.
Instead, create a welcome email series so that each email only has one clear CTA that makes it easy for subscribers to understand the next step. And only one CTA button also gives higher clickthrough rates, rather than scattering clicks across multiple shiny objects buttons.
The best way to determine which information goes where is to map out the key actions that lead to the highest lifetime customer value. Is there a correlation between a feature adoption and LTV? Or a certain price band of their first purchase? It can take some work to sift through your data, but you’re bound to find patterns in what’s going to build your business fastest.
YouWorkForThem cuts straight to the chase—a clear hello and “shop now” CTA:
Prioritize those key actions by what your customers need to know. It may be how to log in, what products you offer, or one of your value propositions like your sustainable supply chain. This one from Peloton asks subscribers to take a quiz to find their instructor. It’s higher up on the funnel for someone not quite ready to clip in and ride:
That way, every touchpoint is actionable and personal, rather than an overwhelming display of images, products, and calls to action for them to sort through in one long email. (That may not even load!)
If you really can’t choose, have your most important CTA at the top of your email and include secondary links at the bottom to other related pages. This means your main CTA will still get ~80% of the clicks. This email from Wynd is a great example of this method:
One of the biggest misconceptions is that a welcome email has to do it all. Creating a series of welcome emails offers you more flexibility with your message so you can keep every email digestible, especially if your products or services are more complicated. Keep the welcome wagon rolling by:
- Mapping out your customer journey and prioritizing the information subscribers need to know
- Making each email one part of that flow, and no more than one
- Keep each email actionable and personable so that subscribers learn more with each touchpoint
Now It’s Your Turn