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Earlier this year, we added autoresponders to the Campaign Monitor app. Since then, our customers have applied them to purposes good and brave, however what’s impressed us most have been the often gorgeous, sometimes funny and always clever welcome emails. However, before we launch into sharing a few examples and handy tips for sending your own welcome emails, lets look at why you should be sending them yourself.

Why send welcome emails to your subscribers?

Whoever coined the phrase, ‘Strike while the iron is hot’ was on to something.

Have you ever received an email immediately after subscribing for a newsletter, or purchasing an item, then found it compelled you to revisit a site, stop by a brand’s ‘likes’ page or even buy something? If your answer is ‘yes’, then consider yourself in good company. According to a recent white paper* from our friends at Experian Cheetahmail, welcome emails were to shown to generate over 4 times as many opens as other regular promotional mailings, plus considerably more clicks and conversions.

What’s more, welcome emails that were sent immediately after someone signed up received on average 33% more opens and 40% more clicks than welcome emails that were sent in bulk, after the event.

With our autoresponders, you can send immediate welcome emails, complete with link tracking and nice reports. Plus, if you’re on a monthly plan, they don’t cost an additional cent to run. That’s some good news.

That said, creating your own compelling welcome email might not seem like a walk in the park, so lets get started on the right footing with these spot-on ideas.

Welcome email, or welcome series?

If you’ve been watching the Australian television version of ‘The Biggest Loser’ (like me), then you probably know fitness trainer and superwoman, Michelle Bridges. Our talented friends at Newism put some muscle into the ‘Michelle Bridges’ 12 Week Body Transformation’ campaign with not only a welcome email, but 12 weeks of fat-burning fitness updates:

Michelle Bridges' Welcome Series

What we love about this welcome email is that it not only provides a dose of excitement, but primes new registrants for what’s to come. That’s right, 12 weeks of tips, encouragement and specially-targeted campaigns. It goes to show that welcome emails don’t have to be one-off, but can be used to establish an ongoing relationship with the reader.

Make it personal

The team at Takk Takk turned what could of been a daunting brief into delightful work. Commissioned to promote tourism in Iceland, they turned to the web, email and social media to launch a campaign bent on giving an entire country a friendly, quirky personality. Here’s the welcome email you receive when you sign up for their newsletters:

A welcome email from Iceland

We’re delighted by the map drawn by ‘my friend Helga’, the friendly unsubscribe instructions and offbeat language. But for the most part, we love how personal it is – you’re now penpals with Iceland! How much more engaging can an email be?

Make it automatic

In this example, the creative team at Onque used their welcome emails as mysterious invitations to the first of their burlesque nights hosted by Madame Zabou:

Almost Forbidden email invitation

Getting folks to sign-up for party invitations is a pretty cost-effective idea in the lead-up to an event. By sending an initial email to existing subscribers, then setting up autoresponders to ‘invite’ new signups, everyone can receive the same campaign in a timely manner (without you having to pay for two or more separate sends to cover the new folks). Just don’t forget to turn off this kind of autoresponder when ticket sales close for the event!

If this has inspired you to get started with building a welcome email, we recommend you also check out Performable’s guide to ‘Writing the Perfect Welcome Email’ for tips on getting the copy just right.

Finally, what are your recommendations when it comes to creating a watertight welcome email? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.

* Experian Cheetahmail, “The welcome email report: Benchmark data and analysis for engaging new subscribers through email marketing.” Published 19/10/10. Register to download (accessed 25/10/10).

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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