What Is a Welcome Email?
A welcome email is the first contact between your business and a potential customer and it better make them feel warm and fuzzy.
When you meet someone new, first impressions matter; right?
That saying is true for meeting in person, but if you are wanting your new subscriber to connect with your business, it becomes even more important.
A new subscriber has provided your company with their email address. The ball is now in your court, and your next move should be a top notch welcome email that secures the customer and keeps them coming back.
A welcome email helps your business boost engagement with your subscribers, and are the single email that your subscribers across the board are most likely to click on. It sets the tone for communication between your business and that customer, and gives them some insight into the form that your future email communication will take.
It’s the beginning of your relationship, and you want to get off to the best start possible.
Why Send a Welcome Email?
That first contact with your customer is not only important – it could directly result in sales. In fact, 45% of purchases that your subscribers make will happen within the first 24 hours after they opt in to your email list.
That means that welcome emails can have an instant, measurable impact on sales.
Welcome emails are also the most likely of your marketing emails to be opened. They typically achieve a 50 – 60% open rate, which is far above the average for other types of marketing emails, which is in the 17-28% range.
They’re not just more likely to be read – welcome emails are much more likely to make customers click, with approximately 5x higher click-through rate than other standard marketing emails.
Opening the welcome email makes it much more likely that the subscriber will open future emails – subscribers who read that first email content read 40% more of the emails that come over the next 180 days.
With your welcome email, you are setting the tone and creating a connection with your subscribers. Because this is the email that is most likely to be opened and actioned, you will never have a better opportunity to reach each customer and introduce them to your business.
When Should You Send a Welcome Email?
Your welcome email should come as soon as possible – but take it into consideration that you want to time your email to increase your chances of the customer clicking through.
As stated before, 45% of subscriber purchases happen after they first opt in, and they generally make those purchases within that first 24 hours. That gives you an idea of the maximum time limit – you definitely want to send a welcome email no later than 24 hours after they opt in.
In general, the best time to send a welcome email is immediately. If the customer is already engaging with your content and have provided their email address, it’s a good idea to keep them interested by sending out your welcome email.
That’s especially important if your welcome email contains an incentive for signing up, such as a discount code. It’s likely that your customer has items in their cart and are waiting for that discount before purchasing. If your welcome email takes too long, they may change their mind.
However, if your welcome email doesn’t have any time sensitive content, you might want to consider the times of day that will encourage the best open rates.
The late morning and early evening are the best times to send marketing emails, and sending in these windows makes it more likely that your customer has the time on their hands to open and engage with your email marketing content.
What Should Your Email Say?
Welcome emails can take a variety of forms, depending on what the business is hoping to achieve.
You might be leading customers to sign up with added incentives, or you could simply be introducing them to how your business operates.
No matter how they got there, the customer you’re communicating with needs to feel like there is value in being involved with your company.
Having a rough idea of your general customer base allows you to set the tone for your future relationship.
It might pay to think:
- Who is your target audience?
- What content will appeal to them?
- What are they likely to take the time to engage with?
- What will make them want to know more about your company?
For example, you are always going to want to be warm and welcoming.
However, a chatty and exuberant tone with bright graphics is more likely to appeal to a younger audience, while an email that has a sleek, sophisticated appearance and an informative tone could be aimed at professionals.
Not only does your email have to appeal to your target audience, you should think about what kind of precedent your email is setting – does this email make your subscribers want to see what’s coming next?
If your emails are generally filled with lots of graphics and little writing, you probably don’t want to send a long, newsletter-style welcome email.
You can also use the opportunity to let your customers know:
- The basic format your company prefers to use
- The length of email you like to send
- The benefits of reading the emails you send
- How often the messages will come
- What your subscribers can expect to receive from you.
It’s important to start slowly. Your customers don’t need to know a minute-by-minute history of how your company started, and they do not want a hard sell where you immediately try to convince them to part with their money.
A gentle introduction into who you are and what you can offer them is the best way to get your relationship off to a good start.
If your subscribers have given you their email, it’s likely because they want something from you they can’t get without signing up.
That added incentive is what keeps them connected to your business and gives you added opportunities to entice those customers to make purchases, so it’s worth nurturing.
A common tactic is also an obvious incentive – including a discount code for first time subscribers.
Other incentives could be giving subscribers advance knowledge of sales, or giving them information that other customers don’t have.
It could be sharing your expert knowledge, or interesting curated content from other websites.
Customers need to be given a reason to connect, and a reason to stay connected. With your welcome email, you are giving them a chance to see the benefits of maintaining a relationship with your company.
The Call to Action
Finally, one of the most important features that should be included with a welcome email is the Call to Action, or CTA.
A CTA compels the customers to move past simply reading the email, and encourages them to take action.
Sometimes welcome emails can accidentally take the form of a confirmation email – instead of taking the opportunity to encourage the subscriber to take further steps to build a relationship with the company, it simply thanks them for joining, or acknowledges their subscription, without any further action encouraged or required.
A CTA is important for any marketing email, as it increases customer engagement and helps them to stay connected. For a welcome email, it is even more important.
It moves a new subscriber from simply opting in to receive emails, to a customer who is actively engaging with your company.
Some examples of a CTA that could be included in a welcome email are:
- A discount code
- A follow-through link to start shopping
- Links to social media pages
- An invitation to communicate with the business (ask questions, etc.)
- Links to different parts of the website you would like to highlight
A welcome email is your best chance to show your business to subscribers, and convert them to customers. They have expressed interest and provided their email address, and now it is up to you to hook them in.
There are many ways to design a welcome email, and yours should be unique to your business.
Every welcome email should be taking the customer base into consideration, and attempting to appeal to them by providing them with information or incentives that will establish a relationship with the company.
This is your first and best chance to get your customer involved with your business. Make the most of your welcome email, and take your best opportunity to convert subscribers to customers.