Win Over Your New Customers with an Engaging Welcome Series  

Eric Melchor

When new leads opt-in to your email list, you want to keep them around.

Seems pretty obvious, right? But getting new contacts engaged means striking the right balance in your content. You need to pinpoint the ideal approach for your specific audience.

The right welcome email series sent at the right time can keep your leads invested in your brand from the get-go. Your initial approach can even spark a faster purchase decision. So keep your first messages helpful, authentic and engaging. 

To help, here's your guide to creating the perfect welcome emails.

What is a welcome email?

A welcome email is the first thing sent out after someone chooses to sign up for your email list. They are used to establish an early connection with your new subscriber.

Your welcome email should:

  • Be short: show you respect your audience's time
  • Introduce the brand: Use your branded tone and imagery
  • Show appreciation: Thank the lead for choosing to subscribe
  • Set expectations: Tell your audience what kind of frequency they can expect
  • Promise value: Describe the latest content, special promotions/discounts, contests, etc.

Here’s a great welcome email example from Blinkist.

Why you should send a welcome series

A timely first email helps remind your contact why they opted-in. It should solidify that future messages from your brand are not spam. 

Your subscribers will only take a few seconds to decide how they feel about your brand based on the first message. After that, you are either fighting an uphill battle to regain their interest or maintaining the momentum started with the sign-up.

That makes it pretty important to get the welcome email right.

This early email content should move your subscriber from the early stages of the buyer's funnel toward the next stage. A welcome email series offers the perfect opportunity to introduce your brand to your audience for a deeper connection.

Benefits of a welcome series

Take advantage of this opportunity. Welcome emails offer several key benefits to your brand.

More likely to be opened

Welcome emails get 4x more opens and 5x more clicks than a standard email campaign. This means a 50% open rate, which is 86% more effective than a broadcast email.

Make a thoughtful first impression

This early series will set the tone for your brand. Rather than dump them into your current content rotation, a welcome email offers a thoughtful introduction to get them started.

Builds a connection

Use your first point of contact with your lead to build a meaningful connection. Email can offer a much more intimate space than social media or your company's website. Introduce your new subscriber to the unique aspects of your brand. Show why your company deserves to be part of their lives.

Sets the tone moving forward

Your email's look, content, and language set the tone for your email marketing strategy. A carefully crafted welcome email can get your brand started off on the right foot with your audience.

Offers an automation opportunity

Are you looking for ways to automate your marketing? Automating your welcome emails should be a no-brainer. Trigger this series to go out with every sign-up. Not only will this save you time, but your brand will also look more responsive and offer connection while the lead is still warm.

How to build an engaging welcome email series

There are four basic steps you need to take to make your emails persuasive and engaging.

1 - Determine your email strategy

Welcome emails receive the highest open rates of any emails you will ever send. This is your chance to introduce people to your brand. So, ask yourself:

  • What do you want them to know?
  • What do you want them to do?
  • How do you want them to feel?

2 - Know your target audience

To increase engagement for higher open rates and click-throughs, you need to really understand your audience. When you know who you are marketing to, you will have a clearer picture of what motivates them.

3 - Include these elements to get even more clicks

Incorporate some (or all!) of these elements into your welcome emails to get higher open rates and click-throughs.

Write an interesting subject line: 

How are you going to stand out in the inbox? Write a clear and attention-grabbing headline to increase your open rate.

Connect to the initial trigger: 

Use messaging and imagery that reminds the lead why they subscribed.

Personalize your emails: 

Include elements that adapt to user actions, like images of the last items they looked at on your site. 

Create a beneficial CTA (call to action): 

Always give your audience a clear "next step" that takes them further down the sales funnel. Your CTA doesn't always have to be sales-focused. Consider asking users to do other actions valuable for your brand, like following you on social media or reading more on a targeted landing page.

Onboard with videos:

Using videos in your welcome email is a great way to instantly connect with your audience.

You can use your welcome video to show your new customer how to set up an account, to introduce yourself, or to provide valuable tips and tricks.

Optimize for mobile: 

Responsive design is more likely to increase clicks for those using mobile devices. And in 2020, mobile devices made up over 50% of all global website traffic.

4 - Track your results

Don't assume your preferences will work best. Instead, perform A/B testing and try a single variation (like a different subject line or lead-in sentence) to see how your metrics change.

Types of welcome series content

Here are three of the most common welcome series email types you should incorporate and what you should include in each.

Newsletter sign up

If your audience signed up for newsletters, then you can welcome them with a special introductory newsletter. 

  • Thank them for signing up for your newsletter
  • Set the expectations regarding how often they will receive your newsletters. Is this daily, weekly or monthly?
  • Explain what kind of content they can expect. This could be written in the email or with a personalized video. 

Here’s an example of AWeber’s newsletter sign up email. 

Lead magnet

If your lead signed up to get a free offer (like a discount coupon or downloadable guide), then your welcome email should take this into account. 

  • First and foremost, provide them what they signed up for - ebook, discount codes, etc.
  • Highlight what they can expect in future emails. Is it special offers, content, discount codes?
  • Since the main reason they provided their email address was for the special offer, you should add a welcome email video to reinforce your brand and future offers. 

Post purchase

Since this customer already bought something from you, a post purchase welcome email is the one email where you could have an offer. 

You may want to offer supportive content—like tutorials or a rewards program. Don't treat a first-time buyer like a regular subscriber or like someone just hitting the awareness stage of your buyer's funnel. 

Craft content that lands on middle ground, helping this first-time buyer become a loyal member.

  • Thank them for their purchase.
  • Use the welcome email as a receipt for what they just purchased.
  • If the item is being shipped, provide a tracking number.
  • Provide a cross-sell, by offering your customers a complimentary product.

Bonus Tip: Maximize your cross-selling revenue by using a personalized video in your post purchase welcome email.

Where do you start

You can save time with AWeber by using their pre-built welcome email series. Plus when you integrate AWeber with Bonjoro you can build an even stronger relationship with your new customers by incorporating personalized videos within your welcome emails.

Growth tips
About the author
Eric Melchor
Partnerships Ambassador & Chief Giver of Bear Hugs
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