Welcome emails play a crucial role in setting the tone for an e-commerce brand's relationship with new subscribers or customers.
Your welcome email branding and messaging need to be spot on because that first impression determines whether the customer will continue to engage with you or not.
Do it poorly, and you could turn off subscribers and lose customers. Nail it, and you could woo customers into a deeper relationship with you, which will lead to more purchases and delighted loyal customers who enjoy buying from you.
So, you must craft your welcome emails with utmost care.
In this post, we will define welcome emails and provide examples you should emulate.
Let's get to it.
A welcome email is the very first interaction between your business and a new subscriber or customer. Often, it's part of a series of your nurturing email sequence.
Welcome emails can boost conversions in three ways:
With a staggering average open rate of up to 82%, welcome emails give you a great opportunity to start a relationship with new customers, which will pay huge dividends later.
Welcome emails can get you immediate sales. An excellent welcome email can encourage customers back to your store to complete a purchase—similar to an abandoned cart email—if they haven’t already done so.
Welcome emails feed your funnel. Optimize them well, and you'll have more qualified leads who will buy from you once you've nurtured them.
Overall, studies show optimized welcome emails bring in 320% more revenue than promotional emails.
Welcome emails come in different shades. You can use your initial message to your customers for:
In this email, you are wanting new customers to complete a task quickly. In most cases, the task is simple. Like asking customers to follow your store on social media or whitelisting your email address.
Pink Lily uses a quick-action welcome email by asking you to follow them on their Instagram account.
Value sell emails strengthen your relationship with current customers. They aim to keep existing customers by either delivering content, showing them your products' benefits, or displaying other products in your store.
For example, women’s clothing store, Loft, showcases their “most loved” looks in a welcome email to help potential customers discover all of the different outfits and accessories they can put together.
The email isn’t trying to quickly make a sale, but rather delivers beneficial, engaging content.
Close emails are designed to entice prospects to buy from you. Their goal is to get potential customers to buy something quickly. Many times, these emails will offer an exclusive offer or a discount for new customers.
Cutter & Buck uses the close method by offering their new customers a discount to encourage them to make a purchase.
Now that we've defined welcome emails and their importance, it's time to get into the nitty-gritty. We've sifted through hundreds of e-commerce welcome emails and came up with 11 of the best examples.
CamelBak, a California outdoor equipment company, has a stellar welcome email.
Simplicity: The messaging is simple and straightforward. From the direct body messaging “We’re Glad You’re Here” to the plain call-to-action “Shop Now”, the messaging is easy for recipients to understand.
Appreciative tone: One of the most important strategies is to share with users that they are appreciated and welcomed. Users feel like they are being graciously embraced by the CamelBak community.
Short: The whole body of the email is only 19 words long, but still gets the point across. Users appreciate this because they are busy.
Another example of a well-constructed welcome email is from a high-end backpack manufacturer, Kelty.
Engaging image: The main image is very fun and welcoming. Including people in the main image helps potential customers place human faces to the Kelty brand.
Bold color: Three important messages stand out because of the bold color: The brand name, welcome greeting, and the call-to-action.
Special discount: Kelty provides a special discount to encourage new members to make their first purchase.
Iglu Ski, a U.K. travel agency that specializes in ski vacations, has an excellent welcome message that’s worth talking about.
Eye-catching visuals: Lovely images dominate this email and showcase the deals. By combining visuals with text, the persuasive power of the text rises exponentially.
Multiple links: Users are more likely to take action if an offer is repeated. Including several links in the email increases the chances of customers clicking on one of them.
Contact info: Sometimes brands miss the obvious. They forget to include their contact information. Iglu added their email address and phone numbers at the bottom to make it easy for their customers to reach out to them.
For an intriguing welcome message look no further than men's outwear brand Huckberry. Huckleberry utilizes a hero image as a way to captivate the customer’s attention.
Social proof: Huckberry validates new members' decision to join their mission by telling them they are now part of a huge 1 million+ community. This makes users secure because they are part of a large group.
Hero image: The hero image dominates the message and captures the essence of the brand... men having fun outdoors.
Humor: The cheeky dig at Jason Bourne is entertaining and instantly bonds the brand with their audience. Plus, the reference to the film makes customers quickly identify with the brand’s adventurous and thrilling mission.
Cosmetics retailer Lush knows a thing or two about crafting a winning welcome message.
Community: By using the warm expression “there's always a place on our table for new Lushies” they make users feel a sense of community and belonging. Customers feel they are not just product consumers, but part of a special tribe.
Product recommendations: Lush also does a superb job of pointing fresh users to their popular products section. Because the products are well-liked, new customers are also bound to like them.
Purchase-driven: With three “Buy now” buttons, it's clear the goal of the message is to urge users to shop right away.
Premium watches, sunglasses, and accessories store MVMT have a commendable initial email.
Minimalistic: The message covers the essentials and nothing more. It consists of a series of images, two CTAs, and a few lines of copy, but still brings the message home.
Demonstration: Instead of merely listing their products, MVMT advertises their products better by showing people using them, which is more authentic and appealing.
Unique Selling Proposition (USP): The copy at the bottom shows the store's uniqueness. They only sell top-notch products directly to the consumer without going through middlemen.
Fashion brand Ralph Lauren also knows how to do effective welcome emails.
Clarity: This email is brief, direct, and conversational. It's easy for customers to understand.
Coupon codes: Ralph Lauren uses unique coupon codes to encourage customers to take advantage of a discount and buy their products.
Exclusivity: Through smart use of expressions such as “You will be first to know” and “Exclusive offers” the email makes readers feel special because they now belong to an insider group.
Camping stove company, Solo Stove, stands out with its welcome email by detailing their shipping and return policies.
Return policy: Customers feel assured to make a purchase when a brand has an in-depth return policy. By having the policy stated in their welcome email, Solo Stove is building trust with customers.
Customer service: In the middle of the email, customers can find the customer service line. Instead of being at the end of the email, the phone number is integrated into the body copy. This makes new customers feel encouraged to call customer service when needed.
More than sales: The welcome email lets customers know that future emails will include recipes, adventure stories, and tips. Solo Stove is showing customers how they will continue adding value to their lives.
Allbirds, a New Zealand-American footwear company, has a welcome email deserving of praise.
Complementary colors and design: The email is designed in a cool and colorful way with blue and brown tones, which enhances the product image. Having a photo of the shoes and entertaining illustrations makes Allbirds come across as a friendly brand.
Brand positioning: Allbirds position themselves as more than a shoe brand. They care about the environment by saying “with the philosophy that our planet deserves better.”
Channel integration: Finally, they combine email, commerce, and social by urging customers to follow them on Instagram, thus growing their follower count.
Birchbox, a New York City-based monthly subscription service, has another admirable welcome email.
Benefits: From the get-go, BirchBox tells users they provide free shipping for orders on monthly Box Brands and $50+ orders. This lures customers into placing sizable orders.
Focus: The message has a single CTA with the unique goal of getting members to read the brand's magazine.
Casual style: From the opening “So nice to meet you” to the close “keep your eyes peeled” the brand comes across as an approachable laid back company.
American travel retail company Away Travel has a perfect welcome message.
Brand story: Away Travel uses their inaugural email as an opportunity to tell their audience how their product originated. They surveyed their audience about their bag problems and used the feedback to make the perfect suitcase.
Features: They describe their product features, not in the typical dry fashion way but by weaving them into the brand’s story. As a result, readers find it fascinating.
Context: Without a good context to set the scene, a product's brilliance won't emerge. By talking about traveling and seeing more of the world, their bags sparkle more.
A welcome email that gets results doesn't happen by chance. It takes meticulous planning, design, and audience-centered copy. Good copywriting is at the heart of successful welcome emails as Loganix points out:
"E-commerce welcome emails require specificity in copywriting: matching the message directly from the content where they signed up to the welcome email ensures they convert and lowers your unsubscribe rate."
That said, let's see how you can write welcome emails that pack a punch.
People don't buy generic goods. They are attracted to one-of-a-kind products. For prospects to pick your product from the countless options out there, you must position it, so its uniqueness shines through.
What better chance to do that than in your first message to new subscribers?
Personalization is more than using subscriber's names as a greeting.
It also means using a conversational style, so your audience warms up to you. Plus, send emails as a person, not a distant brand. And stick to a consistent brand style and tone across channels, so users can recognize it whenever they interact with your business.
It's important to send your welcome email right after customers sign-up or buy. Why?
The experience is still fresh, so:
They're very excited about knowing your brand.
They remember your business. Reinforce that.
They're likely to return to your store and buy your products.
You’ll need someone on your team to help you manage the tools you’re going to use for your welcome email workflows. Use a password manager to make it easier for them to access these tools without having to share your login information.
Use your welcome email to spell out what subscribers should expect from you. Things like:
How they landed on your email list.
How often you will email them.
Choice of content they want to receive.
Here's the thing:
You don't write emails for fun. You write to them to drive a specific action. Maybe you want your audience to:
Check out your latest product.
Buy a discounted product using a promo code.
Follow you on social media.
Answer your survey questions.
Whatever it is, present your CTA with clarity, so that your audience knows exactly what you want them to do.
What do you look at once you get an email from a brand? If the guess is right, you probably pay attention to two things: The sender and subject line.
The reason being, you want to confirm whether the email is from someone you know before you decide to click on the email to read their message.
The same applies to your subscribers. Set up emails under your website domain to increase legitimacy and trust rather than using a standard “gmail.com” address.
As a business owner, you're also familiar with how crucial subject lines are to getting business emails opened.
To win your subscribers' hearts, avoid generic subject lines such as “Your subscription has been confirmed.” Get creative. Come up with something more intriguing to pique the interest of your audience. However, when in doubt, lean towards clarity, not cleverness.
Templates are handy for creating welcome emails. So the sooner you learn how to set up an email template, the better it is for your business. Email templates can you achieve the following:
Automate your welcome series.
Create beautifully designed emails.
Help you easily brand your emails.
Now that we have explored all the intricacies of a solid welcome email, it's time to create one. Everything revolves around 3 key themes:
Every brand has a story.
When someone crosses paths with your brand for the first time, it's natural for them to want to know more about your store. Most online users will find your brand for the first time from organic search or other affiliate websites promoting you.
Business exists to sell something.
What better moment to showcase your most popular products than when a new subscriber joins your list or when they buy your product for the very first time?
Don't miss this awesome opportunity. Strike while goodwill is at its highest.
Everybody loves a good deal.
Offer new customers just the right deal and incentive. The result? They will soon be back to your store, doing what people love doing: Shopping before the sweet deal expires.
Welcome emails are a big deal for e-commerce brands.
Done right, they can kickstart a long-lasting relationship with people who trust you enough to give you access to their guarded inboxes. Handled properly from the onset, this relationship will grow. It will produce loyal customers who always rally behind your brand and buy from you repeatedly.
So give new subscribers the red carpet treatment, they will reward you handsomely with their first purchase, loyalty, and referrals.
Beatriz is a Small Business Content Marketing Specialist at BigCommerce and the fashion and lifestyle influencer behind The Letter Bea, an Austin, Texas based blog. She holds a B.A. in Communication and Sociology/Anthropology from Lake Forest College and specializes in e-commerce, marketing and merchandising strategies, influencer and branding work, and social media. When she's not curating content, Beatriz loves to travel the world, share her journey with Type 1 Diabetes, and find Austin's most Instagram friendly spots.