How to Write a Killer Welcome Email

Imagine you open your inbox to find you have twelve new emails, including several marketing ones.

You open one from your employer about an upcoming work event, then glance at one from your kid’s school. Maybe you like the $10-off coupon being advertised in its subject line from your favorite Asian joint, so you open that one as well. But the chances that you’ll look at any of the other marketing emails are slim to none.

Statistically, you’ll delete the others without a second glance.

Seventy-five percent of all emails are never even opened, and only 15 percent of marketing emails are. But there is good news! When it’s a welcome email, the statistic rises to 35–50 percent. It’s also five times more likely that someone will click through a welcome email than any other kind of marketing email. If you do things right, you stand to make a great impression on potential customers!

Here is some advice on writing a killer email that not only grabs the attention of the recipient but keeps them coming back for more:

Write a Straightforward and Interesting Subject Line

If they don’t know what it is or who it’s from, they’re not going to click on it.

That’s why it’s essential to be straightforward in the subject line of your welcome email. Make sure you welcome them, immediately indicate your brand, and offer some kind of incentive or benefit in the title. (We’ll talk more about incentives later.) It’s also okay to be casual and interesting, but make sure you stay true to the voice of your brand. People signed up for emails because they liked your brand, which means they appreciate how you present your brand as well! If your brand is mature and serious, make sure your subject line reflects that. If your brand is goofy and lighthearted, then that’s great too.

Here are a few examples of what a good email looks like (using make-believe companies):

  • Frank’s Fish welcomes you! Get your free fish ’n’ chips.
  • Welcome! How to get started with Reader Haven Library.
  • Welcome to Sassy Style Booth. Here’s a free surprise!

These might not be as good:

  • Yay! We’re glad to have you on board. (On board what? And who is this from?)
  • Welcome to Baby Clothes. (It’s branded, and that’s good, but why would someone open your email? What are you offering? What benefit can you bring them?)
  • Welcome to Pizza & Friends. You r g8! 😀 🙂 <3 (It’s okay to be casual, but there is a fine line between casual and unprofessional. Use reasonably good grammar, and don’t use emojis unless your brand really calls for it. They are often copyrighted, anyways.)

Keep the Body of Your Email Straightforward and Interesting and Use Images

Welcome emails are generally short. In just 50–150 words, you’ve got to captivate the interest of the recipient and give him or her personal value. But don’t try to accomplish too much in one go. Offering a coupon, giving instructions for how to use your site, and being verbose in your welcome all at once is probably too much for one email and could confuse the recipient. Keeping your message straightforward makes it easier for the recipient to understand what benefit you’re going to give them.

Also, remember the saying a picture is worth a thousand words? If you can, include applicable icons and images in your email. Images improve readability and appearance. But again, keep it simple and interesting. Don’t choose icons that are confusing or hard to understand. Be colorful and use things that remind the recipient of your brand.

Incentives and Benefits

There are plenty of ideas for what to include in a welcome email in order to provide benefit to the recipient. In fact, the recipient may have subscribed to receive emails from your business because they were attracted to an incentive or benefit in the first place. A coupon is always a good idea. The coupon could be an offer for money off, a percentage off, or a buy-one-get-one. You can also offer some sort of free gift. This could be a downloadable cheat sheet, an ebook, a T-shirt, greater access to your website, etc. If you aren’t interested in offering them an incentive, give them a benefit: Provide directions on how to use your website. Welcome them to your blog and direct them to some of your most popular articles. Answer questions they may have. Whatever you do, make sure to include something the recipient will be excited about.

A Few Final Tips

Send your welcome email the day a new subscriber signs up. The longer you wait, the less likely they are to open it. Provide a link inviting them to join your social media pages. This gives you more opportunities to interact. And allow them a way out! It is a courtesy to include an Unsubscribe button.


  • Always be interesting and straightforward in your subject line. Being vague can sink your ship.
  • Keep your email messages concise, and use eye-catching, relevant images.
  • Offer an incentive or benefit.

Imagine you sell cat cushions. A die-hard cat fan opens his inbox. He sees a few emails he’s interested in, but there are others he doesn’t care about. Is your welcome email going to make the cut? Will he open it? Will he read it? Follow these simple guidelines, and yours will be killer!

Have you sent a killer welcome email?  Do you have more questions on sending successful marketing emails? Please let us know in the comments below.

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Categories: Emails How To Marketing
About Michelle Carpenter

Amy Michelle Carpenter co-owns a 3D printing business called STEM Garage. She is a national blogger, YA editor, and professional marketer. She also teaches children in China at 4 in the morning because she thinks its fun.