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Campaign Monitor 101

How to Create a Welcome Email


This tutorial gives a brief overview of how to set up a welcome email journey, including:

  • Examples of what you can use automated journeys for
  • Journey types, steps, and triggers
  • Welcome email best practices
  • Basic conditions/rules
  • Common pitfalls and solutions

For a live tutorial and Q&A, please join our Deep Dive Webinar: How to Create a Welcome Email.

Today we’re going to create a welcome series using Campaign Monitor’s automation feature.

Automated emails are campaigns that are triggered to send automatically. Because they can be scheduled to respond to specific events and behaviors, like a subscriber signup, they can generate high open and click-through rates, while saving you time.

Before we can send our first welcome journey email, we need to create a way to add new subscribers to our list. So first, we’re going to create a subscriber list, then ensure it only receives valid email addresses, by setting it to “confirmed opt-in.”

Next, we’ll create a simple pop-up subscribe form, to add to a website or blog.

Click on List and subscribers, then Create a new list using the button in the top right corner. We’ll call this new list “Website signups.”

New subscriber lists are single opt-in by default, which means new email addresses and data are added into the list as soon as the form is completed. While not having a confirmation step is convenient for new subscribers, it does make your signup forms vulnerable to list hygiene issues. Some issues that single opt-in lists can face include fake or mistyped email addresses, or malicious behavior such as listbombing, where a list can be flooded by junk data.

To add a confirmation step and protect your subscriber lists, we recommend changing your list type to Confirmed opt-in (confirmation required).

When someone subscribes to your list, a confirmation email will be sent to the email address that has been entered. There’s a unique link in the email that the subscriber must click to validate their address and confirm their subscription. Note that the confirmation email must be clicked, in order to trigger our automated welcome email.

With confirmed opt-in selected, you can customize the confirmation email that new subscribers will receive, as well as the success page they see when they add their email address to your form. To do this, click on Customize the subscribe process.

Go ahead and update the email messaging, keeping in mind that we will be triggering a welcome email immediately after the subscriber has confirmed their email address. For this reason, under “After someone subscribes to my list I want to… ” we’ll select Do nothing.

Now we’re ready to start customizing our pop-up subscribe form. We’ll start by clicking Signup forms.

First, we’ll select “Your form will pop-up onto your site.”

As you scroll down this first page, you can see there are many customizations you can make to the form’s branding and content—including the ability to add an “email permission” checkbox and link to your company’s privacy policy.

What we’ll customize today is the timing for when the pop-up form appears.

In the styling section of this form builder, you can click Display pop-up and choose either immediately, after 10 seconds, or after 30 seconds. We’ll select After 30 seconds. While we’re here, we’ll also make some changes to the colors and fonts used.

When we’re happy with the form, we can click Save and publish, then View code. You can add this code snippet to your site to deploy your new form. If you’re not sure how to add code to your site, contact your IT or web team for assistance.

Now, let’s create our new welcome email series that will send an email as soon as someone signs up via this subscribe form.

In Campaign Monitor, you can create journeys for your subscribers that contain one or more automated emails based on rules that you define.

When you select Create a new journey on the Automation page, you’ll see the option to discover journeys. Some of the journeys that we can help you create are:

Anniversary offers, to automatically reward your customers on a special date.
First-purchase feedback, to share a customer survey after a purchase is made.
Educational series, to provide your readers with a timed series of lessons or other useful content.

Using automation, you can put your email marketing on autopilot and see incredible engagement from your subscribers.

The most common type of journey is a welcome email series.

Welcome emails can be set up to immediately trigger after someone signs up for your list. While they can be used to just confirm the new subscription, it’s possible to schedule multiple emails over a period of time, say, to create a series of automated onboarding emails. Let’s use the Journey Designer to create a new welcome email series.

To start, select Create a new journey.

After you name your journey, you’ll choose a trigger. You can see a number of available triggers, including when someone joins a list, which is the action that kicks off a welcome email series.

Finally, select the subscriber list the journey will apply to.

Now it’s time to define the content in the first welcome email.

For a welcome series, you’ll typically send the initial email out with no time delay, so the first step will be to send an email.

We’ll name this step, give it a subject line and from name, then create the email content.

The Campaign Monitor email builder is the quickest and most effective way to build beautiful, effective, mobile-optimized email campaigns. You can launch the email builder by selecting a pre-designed template. Templates can be fully customized with your own content and brand colors.

Let’s choose a Welcome email design.

To start, you can customize this template by dragging and dropping a logo. You can adjust its size and spacing, and add a link to the image.

Now it’s time to add a hero image. Most templates come with a sample hero image. You can click in the image block to replace the image with your own. If you aren’t totally satisfied with how your image looks, you can use the image editor to apply effects, adjust cropping, resizing, and more.

You can also add or edit text in various regions in this email, including over a hero image, or in a layout. Once you’ve added some text, you can easily choose from thousands of fonts, colors, sizes, and styles.

To emphasize your call-to-action (or CTA), you can add customizable buttons to your content. And don’t forget the preheader text.

Once the first email has been added, you can add subsequent emails to the journey. We can also include time delays between emails, as well as branching logic to deliver the most relevant messaging to your subscribers.

Now we’ll add a second email to the journey for subscribers that haven’t opened the first one.

First we’ll include a time delay of 24 hours, followed by a condition. Name the condition and add a rule—in this case, our rule will be based on journey activity. Select the email that activity is linked to, select was opened, and save.

Then under No, which will indicate those subscribers that have not opened the first email, we will add a new step, Email, then create the email content as we previously did for the first email in this journey.

Once you have your journey looking the way you want, the final step is to make the journey live. Even after it’s live, you can still edit your email content or add extra emails.

While a welcome email series is the most common scenario that automation and journeys are used for, there are many other ways you can use automation to create a successful email marketing strategy.

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