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Engage new customers with a welcome email series

Fortnum and Mason welcome email

Fortnum and Mason’s simple welcome email uses imagery to tempt customers back to browse through its product range.

How do you keep new customers and subscribers excited about your brand for longer? When should you start talking to new email subscribers? And what do the best email welcome series include? Read on to find out.

For the best results, you should start a conversation as soon as they sign up. Research has repeatedly shown that real-time welcome emails have higher engagement than other types of email marketing – they typically achieve an open rate of around 50%.

Why welcome emails work

Welcome emails arrive at a crucial time. Your customers and prospects are interested in your brand, you’re on their minds and they’re actually waiting for you to email them. So much so, that some consumers actually expect a welcome email after subscribing.

Provide them instant gratification and start building a relationship right when they’re open to hearing from you – and make the most of that interest before it tails off.

When should the first email arrive?

You should send a welcome email within moments of the user submitting their email address. Using automation you can send an individually-triggered email to each subscriber.

Why you should use a welcome series

Don’t make that first email a one-off. See it as the start of a conversation. The best welcome programs use a series of emails to build and maintain customer interest.

What to include in a welcome email series:

  • Explain some of the benefits of being on your mailing list, e.g. if they’ll be first to hear about new products or promotions.
  • Tell them about your business and highlight reasons to make a purchase, e.g. free shipping.
  • Include clear calls to action with click-through links.
  • Send a time-limited promotional code for a discount on their first order – it’s a compelling incentive to make a purchase.
  • Ask them to add you to their address book so they’ll get future emails.
  • Use a preference center to find out more about their interests are and what they would like to hear from you.


Tips to consider

Welcome emails affect how your customers think and feel about your business. Here’s how to make a good impression:

  • Craft a killer subject line. “Email sign-up confirmation” just won’t cut it. Remember this is your chance to set the tone.
  • Use your customer’s name. “Hello Sarah” feels so much more personal than “Hello there”.
  • Keep it simple. Don’t try to cram all you have to say or offer into one email. That’s why a series of emails is much more suited.

Some examples for inspiration

Hackett’s welcome email features stylish graphics and a clear list of mailing-list benefits, such as special event invites. It also invites readers to use a discount code on the website.

Hackett welcome email

The Threadless emails does a great job at suggesting the next steps a new subscriber can take, be it interacting with its vibrant community or rating T-shirt designs.

Threadless welcome email

Key takeaways

  1. Welcome emails are more effective than other marketing emails because they arrive right when your customer is interested in hearing from you.
  2. Keep momentum going with a series of emails. Don’t just send a one-off.
  3. Include clear calls to action. Tell subscribers why it’s worth opening your emails and give them reasons to click through to your site.

Sainsbury’s welcome email is personalized, and includes a lot of practical elements like a link to resetting your password, benefits of shopping online and a video for customers nervous about getting started with grocery shopping online.

Sainsbury's welcome email

Kate Spade creates the feeling that customers have joined an exclusive club, with a discount code to use “as a special treat”.

Kate Spade welcome email

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  • Jaina

    Pinterest and Evernote have a great set of on-boarding emails where you’re drip-fed bit by bit different information on the platform, with each welcome email highlighting a different service or hint/tip. Welcome emails have evolved beyond just the initial welcome email, which is great. A nice series keeps you in mind of the new customer.

    • adestramarketing

      That’s a great point, Jaina! Also, helping customers make sense of a new product or service can help a brand keep those customers for a longer time, because it eases that overwhelming feeling of getting started with something new.

      • Jaina

        Exactly. Because sometimes there’s just too much information for one email. And I guess it could be a good way to suss out which customers are generally into your brand/company/service by seeing, out of all subscribers, who at the end of the welcome series are still opening and engaging with the emails.