Never underestimate the Welcome Email

Most people (and businesses) don’t think much about their welcome email. They see it as just confirmation to the recipient that the signup process has been completed.

I’ve seen many people even send the default confirmation email provided by the ESP.

Who can blame them, right? After all, the welcome email is just a transaction. It’s just to say… welcome.


And here is why the welcome email is the most underestimated piece of content in your business.


The welcome email has the potential no other email has.

According to a study conducted by EasySMTP, the welcome email represents:

  • 86% higher unique open rates than any other email campaign
  • 196% higher unique clicks

Remember this graph from an earlier lesson in the module? The difference between email #1 (the welcome email) and email #2 is about 4,000 people.

Welcome email impact

This is one of the only emails you will see is opened by the majority of your subscribers. For SocialMouths, the open rate for the welcome email is currently 76% and then it immediately drops to 52%.

This means 2 things:

1) Expectation

If there is one thing for sure in email marketing is that once a person has subscribed to a list, a welcome email will be received.

People know this and they expect it.

2) They’re open

They are open to receiving and opening this email. They also know there are probably a couple of things to do, since they are starting something.

In other words, people are expecting your email with their bunny ears. What are you going to say?

“Welcome to my list”? That’s it?

What to do with the welcome email

There are actually a few things you can do with your welcome email, besides welcoming your subscribers.

1) Get whitelisted

As we covered in an earlier lesson on the course, getting your subscribers to whitelist your address is one of the most important things you can do for the health of your list and your delivery rate.

2) Ask a question

Ask an open question to get them engaged, this helps you:

  • Get qualitative data to get to know them better
  • Getting people to reply on your campaign can open the door wide to the inbox and reduce the chances of landing on the spam folder
  • Get people used to taking action on your campaigns early on

3) Set expectations

We also talked about how setting expectations can help you increase open rates.

Tell them what’s coming, when and how. This is the honeymoon period and your subscribers are listening.


Let’s look at some good examples of welcome emails.

1) Enchanting Marketing

Henneke Duistermaat puts a lot of weight into setting expectations right from the beginning, not just about frequency and stuff like that, but about what you’re going to get and when.

Welcome email - set expectations

2) Social Triggers

Derek Halpern asks you to take a quick survey or simply reply to the email.

Welcome email - survey

3) Trello

Trello has a call to action that focuses on getting the user to start using the services.

Welcome from Trello

Multiple goals?

But, why are some marketers out there sending welcome emails with multiple calls to action? Didn’t we mention the “One Goal Rule” was very important before?

Yes, but the welcome email is a whole different story. As you can see in the results above, the engagement in this type of emails is huge. If there is a time to ask your subscribers to do something, it’s now.

Let’s look at some examples of welcome emails with multiple goals:

Design for Hackers

David Kadavi does 7 things:

  1. Freebie delivery
  2. Social proof (He used to design for oDesk, UserVoice and PBworks)
  3. Engagement: Asks people to reply
  4. Social proof: He includes his TED Talk
  5. Sets expectations
  6. Asks people to share a tweet
  7. He even goes for a soft pitch of his premium product

Welcome email - multiple goals

Digital Marketer

Here is something similar from Ryan Deiss:

  1. Sets expectations
  2. Links to a page on his website
  3. Asks subscribers to whitelist him and provides instructions
  4. Asks for a social connection
  5. Sets expectations (2)

Welcome email - multiple goals


And if you think only marketers do this kind of stuff, here is one from Canva:

  1. Delivers the freebie
  2. Asks people for a reply (Struggle question)
  3. Asks for a social connection

Welcome email - Canva


First things first…

  1. Go and take a look at your current welcome email. Reeeally look at it and see if you’re wasting its potential
  2. Look at the analytics. What’s the open and click rates?

Now it’s time to put this thing to work for you:

  1. Set a goal (or 2 or 3): Get whitelisted, deliver my ebook and get a reply
  2. Write it
  3. Publish it
  4. Compare the results with your old welcome email