You probably know about the power of email marketing to boost your sales, inspire people to take action, and build relationships. And yet, many businesses send Welcome emails that say little more than “thanks for signing up — please whitelist our email address”. With Welcome emails getting 86% higher open rates than other newsletter emails, that’s a tragic loss of a brilliant opportunity to leave a strong first impression and engage readers from the get-go. So in this definitive guide, we’ve assembled 39 tips and techniques that will help you make your Thank-You email count. Some are quick wins. Others take a bit more thought. And others are a matter of taste — both your own and that of your audience. But they’re all here. Bonus: nailed your Welcome email but not sure what to write next? Download our free checklist with 30 creative newsletter ideas here.
Make your subject line more inviting by giving meaning to their subscription. Sian Conway does this beautifully with her Welcome email at Ethical Hour:
This will boost your open rates and demonstrate that you’re the kind of business that keeps its promises. (If you’re in B2B, check out Andrew Yedlin’s in-depth guide to writing a nurture sequence on Conversion XL.) Never bury your freebie at the end of the email:
If you’re inviting people to be part of the change you’re creating, reaffirm that change in your subject line.
A lot of people offer tricks and “magical secrets” to writing “the right” subject lines. None of that’s really necessary though.
If you can, let someone on your team own these emails and add their name too.
The trust your readers feel when they read this info is the single biggest factor affecting your open rates.
For example, in a more formal culture, including your last name might be a wise decision.
9.If you decide to use your name only,
Jake Crump at Product Hunt does this, too. It helps people to recall the context of your email.
If your signup form asks for their first name, use it. That way, your gratitude feels more genuine and a little less cut and paste.
Celebrate with your new reader, or congratulate them for the step they’ve taken. Show them the bigger scheme of things and remind them of the purpose you’re striving for, together. (Check out this podcast with Ry Schwartz for more on how this works.)
It really helps to emphasise your personal relationship to your reader.
For example, look at Marisa Corcoran’s Welcome email at Copy Chat:
Stick to it when writing your sign-up form as well as your emails. For example, if you ask people to sign up to be part of your community, then don’t bait and switch by talking about your newsletter in the Welcome email.
A list of subscribers is a group of people with one thing in common: their connection with the brand.In contrast, building a tribe or a community means enabling a relationship that is more or less horizontal. A community doesn’t need the brand as a go-between. They can be in touch with each other, they communicate with each other. Yes, the brand may provide the framework, the founder may create something like a Facebook group, or a pop-up event, or a Slack channel. But once that infrastructure exists, people experience community with each other and not just with the brand.
If you’ve been toying with the idea of building that kind of community, and you haven’t yet fully decided on how to make it happen, then maybe you just need to be a bit clearer about the fact that you are still in the process of building this.To whet people’s appetites, mention the benefits that you’re planning for — for example, being able to swap ideas and tips on how to reduce plastic waste, or recycling tips, or whatever else you want to connect to your theme.On the other hand, if you don’t actually want to put effort into building a new community, then maybe it’s better to pare it back and just talk about the newsletter.
For example, Coromandel Coast welcomes readers to their “growing” tribe. This tells the reader that Coromandel Coast is a successful brand and that they’re part of a growing movement.
It’s tempting to start every sentence in a personal introduction with “I”. But your readers will want to know what’s in it for them, now that they’ve subscribed. Rephrase at least half of those sentences so they say “you” instead of “I”. This turns the information you want to share about yourself around — so your reader understands how it benefits them.
(Did you know that captions are some of the most-read bits of copy?)
For example, offer a quick summary in your very first email, then link to a blog post with more information. Or write a gripping story for your nurture sequence.
Tell readers about the useful content to expect in future emails.
That’s what Ethical Brand Marketing does. It makes your Welcome sequence feel a bit more like a course, where each email helps the reader move forward in a specific way.It’s a pattern often used by tech startups to introduce new trial users to the functionality of the platform.But any business that thinks deeply about the needs of their customers can benefit from this approach — no matter the industry.
Each email should stick to one big idea, one promise and one offer for one reader (or group of readers). This helps you avoid confusion and drop-offs from jumping too much between different topics.
… and not just with your beneficiaries. How is your subscriber’s life going to be better if they support your work? Getting clear on this question will help set up the sale. Making an offer will feel less pushy, and the call to action will appear like the logical next step.
For example, you can personalise your salutations if you know people’s first names — a detail best included in your sign-up form. On the other hand, if you want to know which books people are currently reading, that question is more easily asked via email (because you’ll get lots of free text replies).
(and train yourself to ask them to do something!) at the end of each email by including a button, an open-ended question or a link to more information.
Ask your readers to tell you about their lives, their work or a challenge they’re struggling with.
For example: “What’s your vision for the better world you’re trying to create? Hit reply and let me know.” Or give them a sentence starter and say, ‘Tell me what your Big Why looks like. Hit reply and let me know: “My vision for the better world I’m trying to create is…”’This reduces the perceived effort of answering the question, and they’re more likely to take action.
You’ll be able to tag them according to what they clicked and send them more relevant emails in future. Segmentation has also been shown to increase open rates by up to 14.3% and click-through rates by up to 54%.