The Importance of a Strong Welcome Email
You never get a second chance at a first impression.
While the statement rings true for interactions in the real world too, it’s especially relevant in your email program. That first impression can be the difference between creating a lasting email relationship with your subscribers and causing those subscribers to race for your “unsubscribe” link.
For many email programs, the welcome email is responsible for making the first impression on your new subscribers. That’s why it’s one of the most important emails you’ll send.
If you’re sending one, that is.
If you’re not sending a welcome email, you’re missing out on a critical point of engagement with your new subscribers. Here are just five of the ways a welcome email can help build your email relationships—and your email program as a whole.
1) The welcome email sets the tone of the relationship.
While getting your audience’s email address gives you a direct connection to those audience members, sometimes it can be tough to truly build a relationship with them. The welcome email can be a casual, conversational space to extend a friendly greeting to your new audience. Done correctly, that greeting might convince them to keep opening your next emails.
2) It sets expectations for the emails that follow.
Ideally, your email capture process lets your audience know what they’re signing up for, but it helps to reinforce these expectations in your first send. That way, your new subscribers can see your promises in action. Of course, it’s up to you to follow through on the expectations you set. After all, the welcome email is just the first of (hopefully) many emails you’ll send to them. Don’t forget as part of your email collection process you also want to always make sure you are using email verification on all your data entry areas.
3) Audiences tend to expect a welcome email.
About three-fourths of email users expect to receive a welcome email upon signing up. An immediate welcome email provides confirmation that the process was successful, which gives new subscribers a sense of completion. It makes them feel good, which should make you feel good too. Why? Because when audiences are actively expecting to receive a certain email, they’re also more likely to open it. That makes it an easy win for your email program.
4) A welcome email gives you an opportunity to engage with your audience at the height of their interest.
When a site visitor signs up for your email list, they’re actively opting into your communication. That means they’re actively interested in what you have to say. By sending a welcome email at this moment, you get a chance to make sure they stay interested.
According to Hubspot, welcome emails tend to command a 50% open rate. Depending on your vertical, that number can be double the open rate of your typical newsletter—or even higher! When you know your audience is likely to open this email, not sending a welcome email is a wasted engagement opportunity.
5) Welcome emails can improve your email program’s deliverability.
While every ISP determines inbox placement differently, engagement metrics play a large role in getting your email to the inbox. That means the more your audience engages with your email, the more likely your emails are to avoid the spam folder.
When subscribers engage with the first email you send them, it sends positive signals to the ISP. By sending a welcome email—which, again, tends to get higher engagement rates than regular newsletters—you increase the chances of future emails landing in the inbox. This can help prevent the deliverability problems that plague so many email programs.
A few tips for sending effective welcome emails.
Of course, it’s not enough just to send any old welcome email. To reap the benefits of a successful first email, you have to do it right. So what goes into an effective welcome message?
Timing: You have your audience’s attention, so get the email to them promptly, while they’re still thinking about you. ESPs like PostUp allow you to automate your email program, ensuring the email reaches your audience at the height of their interest.
Clarity: Set clear expectations for what type of content your audience will receive and how often they’ll get it. Be conversational, but be concise.
Incentives: They’ve engaged with your content, so give them incentives to keep engaging. Bring them back to your site with relevant articles or a discount.
Design: Good email design can go a long way to making your first email a memorable one. Some audiences respond well to beautiful creative, while other audiences may prefer a simpler experience. Make sure your welcome email creative fits your audience.