Here’s a slightly unnerving thought.
You only get one chance to make a great first impression. That’s it.
Users begin to form design opinions within 0.017 seconds.
This makes welcome emails one of the most important interactions you will ever have with your customers. Yet only 42% of brands use them, according to a Salesforce study.
The value of a welcome series is underlined by the fact it generates 320% more revenue than regular emails.
So, coming up with killer welcome emails offers an excellent opportunity to get ahead of your competitors. We have put together the steps you need to take to make the most of it.
1. Key Components
In order to set up a winning welcome email template, it must have the following features:
- Ensure it’s clear who the sender is: This is the first interaction with your subscribers. So, they need to know who you are.
- Clear and focused message: Tailor your message to your audience. For new subscribers, promote the benefits of your brand. For new buyers, emphasize you are thankful for their custom.
- A strong Call to Action (CTA): The CTA should be bold and used to promote interaction. You need to provide an incentive for the subscribers to click through.
- Engaging and friendly tone: Much of the tone is set by the content, but design can play a key role too. A good template can make your brand look approachable and friendly.
- Should be personalized: There is simply no excuse not to personalize your emails. It’s the key to having a high conversion rate.
- Include social media icons: Having links to your social media pages can boost your interactions with new subscribers. It also offers another avenue to keep your audience up to date.
- Have an unsubscribe link: Not having one will downgrade your sender rating which has a negative impact on deliverability. Also, it’s a legal requirement in many countries.
Having each of those components will set you up for a successful campaign. The next steps will break it all down and ensure you have it covered.
One survey suggests 74% of subscribers expect an email as soon as they sign up. Matching or exceeding the expectations of your customers is one of the keys to business success. With some brands, the work starts before the first email is even sent.
Take a look at this from Puma:
Puma say thank you at the earliest opportunity and let the new subscriber know the first email is on the way.
No more than two minutes later, I receive this:
The email itself does not contain a huge amount of content, taking out the need to scroll down. It’s simple and focused, thanking the subscriber for signing up, listing the perks, and a link to the online store.
Puma has got its relationship with the new subscriber off to a great start. It’s surprising how many brands do not do this.
In email marketing, we often talk about using content to set the tone but design can be equally influential. Let me show you what I mean:
This welcome email from American fashion house, Kate Spade uses the envelope design to set a friendly and personal tone. “Thank You” is clearly the message the brand wants to deliver.
By placing it in big, bold letters on the envelope itself, the subscriber will feel appreciated and welcome.
You can find a similar style template at Direct IQ, where the “MyLogo” section can easily be converted to a “Thank You:”
The letter format can further deepen the personal touch. People love receiving letters in the post, so why not send it in an email format?
In setting the tone, you should think about your target audience. The above example may not be so suitable for a B2B welcome email which will be focused on the benefits of a product or service:
The tone from MarketingSherpa is friendly and professional. It’s more restrained than the design from Kate Spade with more focus on the features and benefits. This was clearly created with the business customers in mind.
Any form of marketing emails needs to be consistent with the overall brand of your business. This includes the color scheme, logo, and even the overall design.
Global apparel brand, H&M embrace this approach:
There is no mistaking who this email is from. The logo at the top is the giveaway, supported by the image, and the message below. There’s something else too:
Though not exactly the same, the style of the homepage and email is very similar. The sections along the top, with the logo, and the main image below. It’s all part of the brand and what subscribers are familiar with.
Building a brand begins with your very first interaction with your potential customers. So use a template that allows you to create an email that is consistent with your website.
This may mean using our edit your own template feature:
Found under the “Basic” tab in the “Create a Template” page, you can build a template from scratch. This gives you the freedom to tailor your welcome email to your brand and audience.
5. Subscribers, Free Trials, or New Buyers?
A key part of creating a winning welcome email template is to understand what people have signed up to. For example, if someone has simply registered to an e-newsletter, then their expectations will be different to a new buyer.
The priority for subscribers is an acknowledgment that they have signed up and how many emails they should expect to receive.
Cosmetics brand Birchbox consistently deliver brilliant marketing emails:
The email outlines the benefits of the subscription, stating how many it will send each month and what subscribers will learn from them. The template design ensures the points are easy to follow.
At DirectIQ, we offer a similar template that enables you to clearly state the details of a subscription:
For free trial emails, the emphasis should be on getting the customer to interact with your business. The reason people sign up for free trials is that they want to test your product or service. As a business, you need to make sure those new customers get the most they can out of it.
It’s in your interest to be approachable and helpful:
The template set by Sleeknote is a simple design. The letter format means there are no distractions from the friendly message. The photo of Peter at the end reinforces the approachability of the brand.
The focus here is on the message, rather than coming up with a fancy template.
As well as thanking its new buyers, cosmetics company Lush, take the opportunity to promote other products:
The line “We Think You’ll Love” is the perfect tone to strike for Lush’s audience. The clean and crisp template allows for minimal distraction from the products. The main CTA leaves the reader in no doubt where to click.
It may seem pushy, but it’s offset by the friendly tone and smart design.
To set up a winning welcome email template, you need to go back to basics. Remember the key components listed in greater detail at the beginning of the post:
- Ensure it’s clear who the sender is
- Clear and focused message
- A strong Call to Action (CTA)
- Engaging and friendly tone
- Should be personalized
- Include social media icons
- Have an unsubscribe link
You will notice each of the examples I have picked have most of, if not all, of these features.
Ensuring the recipient is clear on the identity of the sender starts in the inbox. Make sure your brand name appears in the subject line or the “From” field. It’s going to be your subscribers first email from you, so they need to know who it’s from.
Having a clear and focused message will leave a lasting impression. The last thing you want is your new or potential customers leaving your email bored or confused. The same logic can apply to CTAs. Though you may have more than one, you should ensure the primary CTA stands out and grabs the attention of the reader.
Template design can play an important role in setting the tone. Think about your audience. The younger generation is far more receptive to bright and colorful emails than those who are older. Also, consider whether your market is consumer or more business-minded. This will help you decide the balance between professionalism and friendliness.
Though this is not directly linked to the template, your emails should be personalized. Each of the brands have made an effort in one way or another. At DirectIQ, we make personalization easy.
Include social media icons within the template. The vast majority of our templates at DirectIQ already have them in place. All you need to do is add the link.
And finally, every email must include an unsubscribe link. It will ensure your emails get delivered, it’s the law, and at the end of the day, good customer service.