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What is a Welcome Email? (Tips and Best Practices)

Welcome emails introduce new or prospective customers to your brand. They can stand alone or be part of an onboarding email marketing campaign. They are often a chance to make a first impression with the customer after they’ve made a purchase or signed up to receive newsletters.

A welcome email is an excellent opportunity to connect with the new prospect or customer at a time when they have shown interest in your company or product. Having just completed an action, they tend to be more likely to open welcome emails and are more receptive to engaging with the information that’s provided.

Welcome emails can also set the tone for a broader email marketing campaign. They are the first opportunity to show users what your other engaging emails will look like. Your welcome series can engage your customer with other channels as well, such as SMS, push notifications, in-app messages, direct mail, and social.

Reasons to Send a Welcome Email

Welcome emails are a must. They can spell the difference between momentarily acquiring a customer and building a long-lasting customer relationship.

Engage the Customer

Welcoming a customer is often the first step to building a more personal connection with your brand. Email marketing is an especially effective avenue for engaging the customer with content that meets their exact interests as they go through each step of the customer journey until the purchase.

Introduce Your Brand

Consumers might not catch the nuances of a brand right away from their first interactions. A welcome email can set the tone of the brand and establish the customer’s expectations of what you’re offering and what your brand values.

Maximize Your Metrics

An introductory email allows the customer to make a connection with the brand and is an opportunity to prepare them for the tone and frequency of your following emails. Setting these expectations is key to the success of email marketing. Segment your audience into smaller groups when sending out a welcome email to a new list so that you can warm up your IP, paying close attention to unsubscribe rates and spam reports along the way.

Promote Customer Loyalty

Customers that sense a connection to a brand stay with the brand longer. Welcoming a customer is a great way to begin a long-term relationship by showing that you provide helpful, relevant content that’s personalized to each individual customer.

Now that we’ve discussed why to send welcome emails, let’s talk about how to ensure they are effective.

Best Practices for Welcome Emails

When sending welcome emails, it’s important to set the tone for your brand to ensure that customers feel comfortable and begin to build trust in your company. Here are some guidelines for doing that:

Send Immediately After Sign-Up

Using a marketing automation tool to set up triggered emails ensures the customer will receive their welcome email right away. Being prompt establishes trust and credibility. Timeliness also allows the relationship to be more reactive to the customer’s needs.

Show Gratitude and Attentiveness.

Customers receiving your welcome stream can be segmented based on how they entered your welcome stream. You can make a good first impression by letting your subscribers know you appreciate their interest and instill trust by calling out the channel through which they entered this series. The message of thanks can be brief and simple using an image or very short text.

Utilize the Subject Line

Subject lines should signal to the customer what they’ll find in the email. They need to be engaging enough for the subscriber to open the email. Subject lines can be tested with A/B testing to discover which generates the highest open rates, based on what resonates best with each customer.

Empower the Subscriber

The welcome email can include a touchpoint where the subscriber chooses their preferred frequency for receiving further emails. Allowing the customer to decide how often they hear from your company shows you are responsive to their needs. This proactively limits the amount of unsubscribes and spam complaints.

Preparing the customer to receive more emails communicates that your brand wants to continue a relationship, but on the customers’ terms.

Provide Value

Depending on the nature of your marketing approach, you might offer discounts, product usage tips, usage reviews, and other information that provides value to the subscriber. The additional value should encourage customers towards conversion. Providing links to helpful resources also engages the customer with the company. That can include how-to videos, product guides, and blog posts.

Make it Personal

Emails can be personalized based on the user’s previous interaction with your brand’s marketing channels. Depending on the interests of the user, emails can be sent with content that is specific to them. Whenever possible, emails should be personalized to capture the interest of the user and lead them forward in their customer journey. Via Catalog, the content can include product recommendations based on what customers have browsed or purchased.

Use a Call To Action

CTAs communicate exactly what the customer should do in the clearest and briefest way possible. For instance, “Buy Now” is an effective CTA when the customer is ready to make a purchase. But “Learn More” or “Download the App” may be more effective in a welcome series. Limit the amount of CTAs in one email to effectively guide the customer to the next step and not overwhelm them with options.

Branding is an important component of building a lasting relationship with customers and welcome emails are the first opportunity to set expectations. Over time, the customer will come to know what to expect from the company and become comfortable with the brand. Understanding the importance of welcome emails and the best practices for creating them is an excellent first step in building a successful email marketing strategy and long-lasting customer relationships. Incorporating these practices into a company’s email marketing program increases customer satisfaction, engagement, revenue, and brand loyalty.

Welcome Emails as Part of a Cross-Channel Strategy

Welcome emails can help set the tone for your marketing communications, but to deliver a truly engaging experience to your customers, you should move beyond emails alone into cross-channel sequences.

Cross-channel marketing is a best practice for reaching the customer on many devices through various digital platforms to offer relevant content. It uses sequenced marketing automation that incorporates channels such as email, SMS, push, social, and direct mail. The user's response to each touchpoint sets off the next event in the sequence to remain in line with the customer’s behavior. By pairing best-in-class welcome messages with complementary cross-channel messaging sequences, you’ll be able to deliver highly engaging and personalized experiences to all your customers.

Iterable is a cross-channel marketing platform that powers unified customer experiences and empowers marketers to create, optimize and measure relevant interactions and experiences customers love. Leading brands, like Cinemark, DoorDash, Calm, Madison Reed, and Box, choose Iterable to power world-class customer experiences throughout the entire lifecycle. Discover our growth marketing solutions for personalization, increasing customer engagement, and more. Discover our platform and schedule a demo today.