Jonas from MailerLite

Jonas11 min readTips and resourcesNovember 21, 2018

How to WOW new subscribers with your welcome emails

How to WOW new subscribers with your welcome emails

Have you heard the saying "You never get a second chance at a first impression?" Well, that couldn't be truer than with welcome emails.

A welcome email is the first email you send to new subscribers, customers or clients. It's your chance to let them know more about you, your business and what they can expect.  

Welcome emails are the first step in building a long-lasting relationship with your subscribers.

On average, welcome emails have 4x the open rate and 5x the click-through rate of a standard email marketing campaign.

Are you getting the most out of your welcome emails?

In this post, we'll share the five main elements of an effective welcome email and include welcome email subject lines and real examples to help you create a powerful first impression.

1. Set the right expectations and deliver

Your welcome email is like a first date. It’s your chance to establish a relationship of trust. 

The first step is to acknowledge the other person, thank them for agreeing to receive your emails and make sure you deliver on your promise. If you promised something on your signup page like an ebook, discount or email course, then you need to make sure you get it to your subscriber ASAP.

If you don’t deliver on your promise, your subscriber will feel cheated and most likely unsubscribe immediately.

The first welcome email is also the best time to explain what they should expect. Tell them how often you'll email them and the type of emails they will receive from you.

In the example below, Birchbox does an excellent job establishing rapport by acknowledging the new relationship and explains what you should expect from their newsletters.

welcome email example 1

When you establish how the relationship will play out, your subscribers will be more receptive to your future emails, resulting in higher engagement and fewer spam complaints.

2. Add your brand identity to the welcome email

The welcome email is your first chance to show your subscribers who you are. You are unique. You offer something special. Make sure your emails are instantly recognizable.

Nintendo has a distinct brand identity, and they make sure it comes through in their welcome email below. Everything from the colors, icons, and tone of voice contribute to communicating their unique brand. And of course, Super Mario makes this email instantly recognizable.

welcome email example 2

Your subscribers are receiving dozens of emails every day. When you establish your distinct look in your welcome email, your subscribers will know exactly what to look for in future emails.

3. Personalize your welcome email

Email marketing 101: The more personal you make your welcome emails, the more engagement you'll get. But personalizing welcome emails goes beyond just using your name and your subscriber's name.

Make your emails more personal by integrating your subscriber data into your welcome email.

For example, if your signup form included fields for their interests, you can use that information within your welcome emails. When the subscriber sees that you know something about them, they will look forward to hearing what you have to say.

You can personalize your emails in MailerLite by using the custom fields feature. Here’s how it works. 

If you don't have any data to personalize your welcome emails, use the welcome email itself to get more valuable information from your subscribers by simply letting them select their email preferences.

4. Introduce subscribers to your social media channels

Reader engagement is higher with welcome emails because the relationship is new. Recipients are curious and interested in your brand.

Don't let the extra attention go to waste. Instead of starting with the hard sell, deepen the relationship by inviting them to connect on social media. They’ll get to experience another side of your brand and learn more about your values.

This CB2 welcome email starts with a welcome message, but the call-to-action focuses on getting their new customers on social media. 

welcome email example 3

Fostering a community of subscribers is a multifaceted process that requires more than one channel. The powerful synergy of email marketing and social media helps build stronger relationships.

5. Improve your engagement rate with automation

When someone subscribes, they expect to receive a welcome email immediately. In fact, according to Experian, welcome emails sent in real time can lead to more than 10x the transaction rates and revenue per email over batched welcome mailings.

experian email chart

The only way to send your subscribers their welcome email in real time is to create an automation.  Although it sounds technical, automating emails with MailerLite is not complicated at all. Here’s an automation video tutorial to help you get started.

You have a lot riding on your welcome email, so take some extra time to get the subject line just right. You want your personality to shine through, but at the same time, you want to be clear that the email is a welcome message to kick off something special.

We’ve analyzed several successful subject lines and noticed a common structure.

Welcome email subject lines have two parts – the welcome greeting + something special.

The something special part of the subject line can be anything that piques the reader’s interest. It can be an incentive, a personal message or something that creates curiosity or urgency. Here are some welcome email subject line examples to illustrate the one-two punch.

Subject Line #1: Welcome to TULA! Enjoy 20% off your first purchase.

TULA uses an incentive to pique interest. Offering a promotion or coupon is one of the most effective ways to improve open rates.

Subject Line #2: Welcome to Holland & Barrett… Let’s get to know each other

Holland & Barrett follow up their welcome message with an invitation to share personal details. It’s unclear how they will do it, which is why you’ll open the email to see.

Subject Line #3: Hi Dave, it's Thue from KISSmetrics

KISSmetrics combines their welcome message with a personal touch. This subject line uses both the sender and the recipient's real name.

Subject Line #4: You’re In. Welcome to Adidas

Adidas augments their welcome message with an acknowledgment that the recipient is now included in a special community.

Subject Line #5: Welcome to the SEMrush family!

SEMrush’s welcome message adds a warm sentiment without getting too personal. This approach lets the recipient know that SEMrush treats every subscriber like a part of the family.

Subject Line #6: Welcome! How can I make Indie Hackers more helpful to You?

Indie Hackers wants to help you. By asking a question in the subject line, the reader will open the email if they want to answer it.

Subject Line #7: Welcome to my inner circle. Here's where to start

Syed Balkhi
 of OptinMonster takes an inclusive approach with a promise of insider information and advice. He follows the welcome message with a call-to-action.

Subject Line #8: Welcome! What this says about you.

Nerd Marketing piques curiosity by explaining that signing up with them means something about you. What could it be? You’ll have to open to find out.

Subject Line #9: Welcome to AdWords. Potential customers are waiting for you

Google uses a straightforward message, but it’s exactly what people who signed up for AdWords want to hear.

All of these subject lines do a good job establishing a welcome message while adding something a little extra.

You should test your subject lines

We’ve written a guide about email subject lines best practices that you can apply to your welcome emails, but we also recommend testing your subject line ideas to see what works best.

MailerLite provides a specific setting to test subject lines in the A/B split testing feature. You can see how to implement it in this 3-minute video.

There’s no perfect subject line, but there are good, better and best subject lines. Try a bunch of approaches and test them to see what works for you.

So far we've talked about why welcome emails are important and we've given you guidelines on how to make them better. Now we're going to show examples of well-executed welcome emails.

1. Let your readers select their preferences

Alex from Groove personalizes his welcome emails by giving subscribers a chance to pick the type of content they're interested in.

welcome email example 4

Alex uses a simple text format, allowing the reader to self-select the stage of their business, and signs off with his name and title. The email feels like it was written just for the one subscriber and empowers them to dictate the type of content they want to receive.

Peloton: Lets subscribers take a quiz to find the perfect coach.

welcome email example 5
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Our free plan includes access to the features you need like automation and landing pages. WOW your new subscribers!


Garmin: Puts all their focus on asking the subscriber to choose their interests.

welcome email example 6

2. Show your unique personality

Bryan Harris of Videofruit uses humor and a funny Gif to establish his company’s personality. It’s an unexpected tactic that will put a smile on readers’ faces.

welcome email example 7

Bryan sets the tone with an informal greeting, "Howdy" and includes a funny joke about a party invitation. That said, it’s important to notice that also includes some important information including a welcome message and a note about receiving their gift for opting in.

Prettylittlething: Unicorns and a unique tone of voice set this email apart.

welcome email example 8

Lovely Notes: An eye-catching design gives this welcome email a distinct personality.

welcome email example 9

3. Use a video when you have a lot to say

Welcome emails should be short. While the rule of thumb is to keep it around 100 words, you can probably get away with 200 if you break up the text with images and offers.

If you have a lot to say, there is another solution: use a video. Check out Beardbrand's welcome email that includes a video to keep engagement high.

welcome email example 10

Beardbrand is all about community. So rather than create a long email explaining their values, they added a link to a video that covers all they want to say.

More welcome emails using video examples: Spark

welcome email example 11

TradeGecko Welcome Email

welcome email example 12

Welcome emails can solidify long-term relationships

When it comes to a welcome email, don’t just lay out the welcome mat. Roll out the red carpet! Your welcome email is the first step to truly connecting with your audience and sets the tone for your entire relationship.

Make sure you deliver on your promises, show your values and personality, and use personalization and automation to increase engagement.

Do you send a welcome email? If yes, what do you say in it? Share in the comments below.

Jonas Fischer

Hi, my name is Jonas. I’m not the 4th Jonas Brother, but I do write content for MailerLite (which is similar to being a teen heartthrob). After writing for a bunch of companies over the years, I discovered my professional passion—helping add some humanity to B2B marketing. Email is the perfect place to start!