First impressions count. It may sound like a cliché, but it’s true. One study even suggests it takes a tenth of a second for someone to make a first impression.
As marketers, we want to create a great impression as soon as someone makes a purchase or signs up for your email list for the first time.
That’s what a welcome email is all about. If you don’t know what it is and how to use one for your Shopify store, guess what? In the next ten minutes, you are about to learn that and much more.
Let’s get started.
What is a welcome email?
A welcome email represents any email your brand sends after someone becomes an email subscriber or a customer.
Source: Really Good Emails
As the name implies, this email type introduces the person to:
- Your brand’s mission and purpose
- Its value proposition
- The products it sells
A company can use a welcome email as one-time marketing communication or a sequence of emails that nurture the recipient over time (something called a “welcome email sequence”).
Generally speaking, a welcome email sequence can be more effective for online stores as it allows them to create long-lasting relationships with their subscribers and customers. In this sense, such a sequence works like a nurturing campaign rather than a simple introductory message.
What is a welcome email sequence used for?
Welcome emails aren’t only useful for Shopify stores. In fact, they are popular among SaaS and subscription-based ecommerce businesses that need to convert their new users into paying, loyal customers.
Source: HTML EMAIL GALLERY
A welcome email sequence can also help you introduce the people who run your brand — its employees, founders, or customers — and explain what makes your brand special. Notice how a welcome email from Rue’ CEO looks both like an introduction and a personal note 👇
Besides welcoming people, you want to showcase your products. As a matter of fact, if your business sells a few products, you can even create a welcome sequence for each product and educate the buyer about it. In this sense, a welcome sequence works as a traditional post-purchase sequence, albeit with a friendlier and less commercial focus.
Source: Email Mastery
Casper's campaign is awe-inspiring as they send that email on the third day after a subscriber signed up. Casper team doesn't assume subscribers are ready to buy at that point, so they nurture them patiently. Such is the power of welcome emails.
Last but not least, you can also use a welcome email to send out special discounts and offers. Companies sometimes use this approach when they position their email list as a loyalty program, such as Funfit does.
Source: My Emma
Why you need a welcome email in your ecommerce marketing strategy
Like any other type of email marketing campaign, welcome emails have proven their effectiveness many times over.
Another study by Omnisend found that the three highest-converting automated messages of 2020 were welcome (51.9%), cart abandonment (33.9%), and “lapsed-purchaser” messages (21.3%).
They also positioned welcome email click rates at the third position with 20.53% after birthday and cart abandonment campaigns, while open rates reach an average of 30.69%.
How to create an effective welcome email sequence
Now that we’ve covered the basics, we need to write those emails. Before you begin putting your copy together, we need to get two things out of the way.
The first one is that you can set up one welcome email — a literal greeting in email form — and call it a day. But for better results, it’s best if you try to set up a sequence of two to three emails.
The point of a welcome email sequence is to warm up your audience, to get them to know your brand, its products, and value proposition.
Most importantly, each email must have a specific goal in mind, such as:
- In the first email, you introduce your brand
- In the second, you showcase your value proposition
- In the third, you educate your audience
Each email can be spaced between one to five days. It’s important to set it up so that your recipients don’t get multiple sequences at the same time (e.g., an abandoned cart email campaign, a promotional campaign, and so on).
The second point is that any email marketing software for ecommerce can do this work for you.
If you’re on Shopify and you aren’t using any of these tools yet, you can even consider the Shopify Email app. It may be less sophisticated than its competitors, but it can help you get started.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at five tips that will help you craft a killer welcome email for your Shopify store.
Introduce your brand
Have you ever made an expensive purchase like a car or a sofa, and after you decide to shake hands with the seller, you feel lighter and happier? You even start to treat the seller as a friend, asking them personal questions and laughing at their jokes (something you didn’t dare to do minutes earlier).
Whether a new email subscriber enters your list after downloading a lead magnet or making a purchase, at that moment, your company has an opportunity to introduce itself and create a long-lasting relationship with them.
You need to welcome your subscriber to your brand, literally. Such is the previous case of Rue or Glossier, as shown below.
💡It may seem like an afterthought, but how often do online retailers take their subscribers from the sign-up to a first-time buyer’s coupon? It may definitely work for brands with a budget allocated for such promos!
Finally, you need your brand to connect with your subscribers, transmitting your excitement to have them on your list, as Beardbrand does with their video and copy.
Source: Really Good Emails
All of the previous welcome email examples are special because besides welcoming their audiences, they are personal.
For some brands, this means the founder is the one sending the message and signing the email. For others, it means talking to subscribers as if they were talking to a friend. Whatever the case, consider positioning your email as if it was a personal message.
What’s more, talk about your brand’s story and its purpose. If possible, show them who’s behind the brand — I’m talking about displaying the faces of those who run the company, like in the case of Beardbrand as shown above or The White Company as shown below.
This is a risky move for some companies, but as you saw, you need to engage your audience. Breaking the spell of the “big brand that talks to the feeble consumer” can work wonders, especially in an era where mistrust in companies and advertising is at an all-time high.
Highlight your value proposition
Welcoming your subscribers personally is all nice and dandy, but that won’t make a strong impression. To truly awe your audience, tell them what makes your brand unique. That’s your value proposition.
Most companies analyzed here use a bullet list called “Here’s what you’ll get” that explains their value proposition. In each point, explain how that relates to the recipient; what’s in it for them, as copywriters like to say.
In the case of Casper, it’s being up-to-date with the latest products, early access to promotions, news, and free shipping. For companies like Bite, it’s the way their products are manufactured, their quality, and their mission.
Source: Really Good Emails
Although the two examples shown here are from the first email these companies sent, you can continue highlighting your value proposition throughout your sequence. This is particularly powerful if you offer something that requires an email of its own.
Show them the next steps
After an introduction and a value proposition showcase, you have warmed up your recipients to the point they may be inclined to take significant action.
“What’s a significant action?” you may ask. In this context, that would be anything that benefits your subscribers and your company simultaneously. For example:
- Following your business on social media
- Reading your blog (in the following tip, you’ll see why this is important)
- Consenting to give you their personal information
- Shopping (like in the example below)
- Making a purchase
Marketers are trained to always think about the next steps their target audience needs to take. In a similar way, you should think about what else your audience needs to do that makes sense for both of you.
Source: Mail Bakery
The value of free education is often overlooked in the ecommerce industry. For your company, this shouldn’t be the case.
In the first email of your sequence, you want to keep it simple; follow the first two or three tips shared before, and you will be good to go.
But in the second and third emails, educate your audience. This can take different shapes, such as:
- Giving them tips on the product category of your products (that’s the case of Beardbrand seen below)
- Sending them a tutorial that explains how to use your product (that’s useful if you sell only one product or created a sequence for one)
Ignoring to educate your audience is a mistake because it can be easily tied to your products. You could tell your audience how to fulfill their needs, with your products being the tools they need to do so, like Harry’s does in one of their emails
Source: Really Good Emails
When they finish reading your educational content, they will be more likely to consider buying your products to bring your tutorial into action.
Write your killer welcome email campaign
What makes welcome emails exceptional is that they are relatively easy to write and set up. You don’t need to use dynamic content, like abandoned cart email campaigns, or complex automations, like nurturing campaigns.
You simply need to send one to three emails, and you are good to go. With the five tips we showed you today, you are ready to get started writing your welcome email sequence.
Ivan Kreimer is a freelance content writer for hire who creates educational content for SaaS businesses like Leadfeeder and Campaign Monitor. In his pastime, he likes to help people become freelance writers. Besides writing for smart people who read sites like Getsitecontrol, Ivan has also written in sites like Entrepreneur, MarketingProfs, TheNextWeb, and many other influential websites.
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