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Originally published on March, 2017, updated on July 2019

Let’s be honest, in marketing (and even in the professional world), first impressions mean everything. It can be the difference between landing a sale and missing out one. As an email marketer, you need to ensure you’re sending relevant welcome email content to showcase your brand and engage new subscribers.

While you may be tempted to simply add new subscribers to your email list, and not send them anything until your next email goes out, this can be a big mistake and a lost opportunity. With an average 50% open rate, welcome emails get some of the highest rates of engagement of any emails.

When a new subscriber signs up for your list, they’re already engaged with your brand. Welcome emails offer the perfect chance to strike while the iron’s hot, engaging new subscribers and convincing them to take action.

While it’s true every engaged subscriber is a hot lead, welcome email leads can quickly turn to your competitors if you don’t communicate effectively. Let’s dive into ten essentials that every welcome email should have to capitalize on a new subscriber’s momentum.

10 things every effective welcome email needs

Engage subscribers from the start with an awesome welcome email content that includes these ten elements.

welcome email essentials

1. Fresh delivery—sent immediately

Send your welcome email right after someone signs up while your business is still top of mind. Subscribers who sign up on their own are already excited about your brand and need to be acted on quickly to capture a sale.

Tip: Use marketing automation to send a welcome email each time a new subscriber joins your list.

2. Welcome—a subject line that’s clear and engaging.

Welcome emails perform best when they are clearly identified and engaging. Your subject line might even be the reason a subscriber reads (or doesn’t read) your email. Make it count by writing short copy that displays personalization and urgency.

Tip: Many marketers use the word “Welcome” right up front in the subject line.

3. Dear Julie—a personal greeting

A welcome email is an ideal time to use a subscriber’s name to make a personal connection from the start. People love feeling like you care about them individually and they’re not just a name on a massive list.

Tip: Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.

4. Next—tells recipients what to do next

Don’t make new subscribers wait. Instead, use your welcome email to recommend your very best content to keep them engaged for future email campaigns.

Tip: Add links to your archived newsletters, best blog posts, eBooks, videos, or other valuable content.

5. For you—gives your subscribers something

Welcome emails are an ideal place to give new subscribers something special to seal the deal.

Tip: Many welcome emails contain an offer for a discount on a first purchase or a free shipping code.

6. The social butterfly—ask for a follow

Including links to your social media networks in your welcome email is a good start, but it’s even better to ask new subscribers to follow your business on your preferred social platform. If they decide to follow you, you can ensure they’re always connected with your brand’s highlights.

Tip: Give new subscribers a reason to follow you such as exclusive offers, sneak peeks, and other perks that will keep them engaged with future welcome email content.

7. Add us—asks subscribers to add you to their “safe senders” or contact list

This will help your deliverability rates and make it easier for subscribers to find your emails in the future.

Tip: Use simple verbiage like “Add us to your Contacts to ensure you always get our emails.”

8. Bye bye—includes an unsubscribe link

Even as you onboard and welcome subscribers, you have to make it easy for them to unsubscribe at any time according to the GPDR privacy law.

Tip: Using a preference center can help subscribers choose exactly what they want to get from your company. A preference center not only improves your engagement rates but offers also your subscribers a better customer experience.

9. Go tell a friend—asks subscribers to refer-a-friend

Just as referred clients and customers tend to be high-value, referred email subscribers tend to be more engaged than subscribers from other sources.

Tip: Include a refer-a-friend link to make it easy for subscribers to pay it forward.

 10. Wow—has visuals that pop

Use colorful and attention-grabbing visuals in your welcome email template that create an engaging experience.

Tip: Different colors evoke different emotional reactions. Stay true to your branding but don’t be afraid to color outside the lines for visual appeal. With people receiving hundreds of emails every day, it’s important to stand out in the inbox with a bold, responsive design.

Wrap up

By following the tips in this infographic, you can create an engaging welcome email that hooks your subscribers from the start, and ensures your future emails get opened and acted on. If you’re ready to start creating your own great welcome email, try the following:

Send the right email to the right person at the right time with automation and personalization

Develop an engaging subject line followed by high-quality content that keeps subscribers engaged

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