One of the most common questions I get regarding email marketing is “what do I put in a welcome email?” Sometimes that comes after the statement: “what, I need a welcome email????”

Yes, you do need one. When someone gives you their email address, they are trusting you with a valuable asset. Likely, they’re a little nervous about what is going to start showing up in their inbox. I know I am.

The welcome email, and welcome series, nurtures trust and lets this person know that you are going to treat them well.

I believe that people are okay with just about any type of marketing or message you send as long as they are expecting to get it. Knowledge is power!

The welcome email tells your new subscriber exactly what to expect from being on your list, and invites them to opt-out at any time if they don’t want that type of information. In every business where I have helped implement a welcome series, this one small act has increased engagement and open rates for all emails.

In my husband’s massage clinic, the welcome email gets an almost 50% open rate, and all subsequent messages get around 30% opens (yeah, we’ll take those numbers). In my own series, I have a 54% open rate for the welcome email. The remainder of my welcome series has 50% opens.

Yes, we get people opting out because we encourage them to do so if they don’t want the information. The result of that is a more engaged list overall… and that’s better for business.

Enough of the pitch for why to do it. Let’s dive into the anatomy of a welcome email, shall we?

Anatomy of a Welcome Email

Here is a list of components a good welcome email includes. I’ve noted which ones are must-dos; the rest use them if they make sense for your business. (I’ve included the welcome email for our massage clinic as an example.) Note: this is the first message in the welcome email series template, and is an absolute must. The rest of the template, in my opinion, depends on your specific business and how people got on your list in the first place (that’s another post for another day).

anatomy of a welcome email
  1. Subject line. Use a direct subject line and pre-header that explains what the email contains. I’m a fan of using the word Welcome and the person’s first name (if that is something you collect on your sign up forms). The reason? This email is not about selling; it’s about setting expectations. I find direct is always better.
  2. Personalization. Personalized emails make people feel more connected to you. Using a first name feels warmer than Hey You. That’s why I collect first names on my opt-in forms.
  3.  Thank your new subscriber. In your opening paragraph welcome them to your list and let them know how much you appreciate them. Acknowledge that you get it’s a big deal to have them on your list and you are grateful.
  4. Tell them who you are. What is your core belief that drives everything you do? There is a chance your subscriber doesn’t know it, so tell them. It will help them understand your motivation, and it will make them feel connected. It’s about getting them emotionally invested in the journey.
  5. Set expectations. Knowledge is power, so tell your subscribers what to expect from you. How often will they hear from you? Why? Do you send out gifts or bonuses? Do you ever launch programs? Do you send out emails daily, weekly, or monthly? Lay it all out. They’ll appreciate it. THEN give them the option to unsubscribe if none of that interests them. This simple act demonstrates that you have their best interests at heart—you don’t want to send them things they don’t want. It’s powerful.
  6. Get a micro commitment in your call to action. Once someone says yes and acts, they are more likely to stay engaged and, ultimately, to buy. This email is a great place to get that small commitment simply by asking them to let you know what they need or connecting on social media. Something small that is an easy yes.

The Freebie email

Some email marketing people will tell you to include the welcome email copy when you send your subscriber the incentive they signed up for. I do not agree. I think the welcome message is important enough to be it’s own thing. My process is:

> the person signs up for a resource

> I send them the resource with a big THANK YOU and an invitation to contact me if they have any questions about it

> One day later I send the welcome email

> A few days after that, I send a follow up email.

My advice is to do what feels right for your business. For me, I like to keep it separate.

Want to see a welcome email (and whole series) in action? Get on my list. Here’s an idea: download email subject lines for inspiration on how to keep your audience engaged. You’ll get a valuable tool to use AND you’ll get on my list!

how to write a welcome email