Posted on Jun 19, 2015

How to Optimize Your Welcome Emails So They Rock

Your welcome email is the first time that you’ll make direct contact with a new subscriber. The good news is that your emails can get real results when they’re optimized. You can improve open rates by almost 35 percent just by adding a simple word to the subject line. And you can get 10 times better engagement if you get the timing of your email right.

Your welcome email determines the effectiveness of the rest of your campaign – get it wrong, and the subscriber will ignore the rest of your emails. You can avoid this by optimizing your welcome emails so they rock.

And when we say rock, we mean Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child O’ Mine opening guitar riff rock. That song has a simple riff but when you hear it you want more. That is how you should approach your welcome emails – follow these simple steps and leave your audience wanting more.

Subject Line

If your subscribers don’t open your welcome email, you’ll have an uphill struggle trying to win them back. Research has found that if a subscriber reads your welcome email they will read about 40 percent of the other emails that you send them. If they don’t read the welcome email, that percentage drops drastically to 10 percent.

When you can get your subscribers to read your welcome email, you begin a conversation. And the conversation starts with…you guessed it…the subject line of your email.

For a start, tell your readers that it’s a welcome message in the subject line. Research shows that emails clearly identified as welcome messages have an 86 percent increase in open rates. They also generate 320 percent more income than any other type of email you will send.

A simple message you can use is “Thanks for joining”, but feel free to get creative. Adding additional trigger words can increase the open rates even further. Words you should use are:

  • News – increases open rates by 35 percent
  • Sale – increases open rates by 23 percent
  • Video – increases open rates by 19 percent

These words are pretty cliche. So, feel free to throw words like “unicorn” and “cupcake” into your subject line (no matter your industry). Just kidding. Only do this if it fits the culture of your company and you like to have fun.

Other than “unicorn” and “cupcake,” here are some words that are popular, but that you should avoid:

  • Report – reduces open rates by 23 percent
  • Webinar – reduces open rates by 17 percent

Your welcome message should thank the subscriber for joining and should tell them about the news, sale information or video that they will find when they open the email.

Other Welcome Email Tips

Make sure you send your welcome emails as soon as the subscriber signs up. This will require some automation, but the engagement rates are much better – up to ten times better than if you delay the welcome email.

In terms of the email content, you should follow the usual advice for email marketing content – keep it brief, to the point, personal, and relevant to the reader. Three to four sentences is all you need, and you should ensure the “From” email address is a real person – Research has shown that this builds trust with email subscribers and increases open rates.

One final tip you should implement is to ask the subscriber to whitelist your email address. When you do this make sure you use the persuasive word “because” and give them a reason for doing so, i.e. so that they don’t miss out on future emails. Asking them to do this, using the word “because”, and explaining the reasoning is important. It will improve your chances of your readers taking the desired action (which may or may not mean buying one of your unicorns or eating one of your cupcakes).

So that’s how you write an email like a 1980s rock band with an unforgettable guitar riff (big hair and leather pants optional).