A welcome campaign is quite an integral piece of email marketing. This is the place it all begins. These emails are where relationships and trust is built.
In this blog, I’m looking at examples of the first welcome email different companies send in their welcome email series. You’ll get to see what that first email looks like, what the content is and what it feels like. I’ll talk you through what they’re doing right and I’m not shying away from pointing out what they’re doing wrong either.
Before I start, let it be clear
DON’T JUST SEND ONE EMAIL IN YOUR WELCOME CAMPAIGN. It ain’t called an email welcome series for nothing.
The majority of businesses only send one welcome email, and I want to give them a slap on the wrist for that. Having a series of emails which welcome your leads is such an opportunity to relationship build, and that can’t just happen in one email.
One welcome email just won’t cut the mustard. We suggest sending between 3-5 welcome emails, each delivered 5 days apart.
So what makes a good welcome email series?
A good welcome email series makes your reader:
- Feel like you’re giving them a warm welcome.
- Feel like they’re experiencing a great first impression with your business.
- Feel like it’s the start of an engaging relationship.
- Feel a little bit wowed!
- Feel keen to open and consume your emails.
- Feel inspired and motivated.
Who is sent your welcome email series?
Your welcome email recipients will be the people who sign up to be on your list, and have never bought from you. They’re leads.
We have a wonderful blog which drills down into the whys of the entire welcome email campaign. To validate the strategy and get fully clued up on what a welcome series is all about check out 'what is a welcome campaign?'
The first email in your welcome campaign is the very first opportunity you get to land nicely in that inbox. You need to do it right.
Remember, these are the very first emails sent from each company. The first point of contact in a longer welcome email campaign.
At the end of my examples, I’ll give you a little checklist of all the things your welcome campaign should contain
Let’s dive in with the first example:
Welcome Email Example 1: Function of Beauty
Function of Beauty creates customisable hair, skin and body care products. They do this clever thing where they create custom-formula products, tailored to your needs and fragrance preferences, and print your name on the bottle to make it truly unique and fancy.
Function of Beauty is HOT on modern-marketing - I see a lot of Instagram influencers promoting their products... I was curious to see what their email marketing was like.
Example 1 - the great bits
Here’s what their welcome email looked like when it landed in my inbox:
Sweet subject line
I think this subject line is very sweet! The subject line and preview text combined is a nice balance of being about me, and about them too.
Onto the email itself, let’s take a look:
I love ‘welcome to the fam’ as their header text. That’s so colloquial, modern and do you notice how it’s not too cheesy. Perfect!
I usually don’t like background colours in an email but this works so well. The email is clean, fresh, clear and colourful. I also love the length of this email. It’s a nice pop of the brand, a warm welcome (tick!) and a great first impression (tick!)
Handwriting and lovely image of the team
The email feels very human. I love the handwriting which tells you the founders’ names, and that image is perfect - so friendly.
The information about the founders is succinctly conveying who they are. Notice how they’re inviting you to read ‘our story’ front and centre? We like this. If I click to read this, I’m going to feel very engaged with the brand.
Telling us what to expect next from them
It’s great to know what to expect next, and they’re teasing the content to me with this line: “You’ll be hearing from us again real soon with insider info.” Consumers love insider info!
Conveying that they’re experts
Notice how the copy shows their expertise, but without showing off. It’s gentle and friendly. They’re also telling us that they have a blog - a nod towards (what I’ll assume is) content with a lot of value and insight.
Notice there’s not much blurb around taking the quiz. This makes it intriguing, and feels like a logical next step I would take - that’s them inviting me to take action.
This here quiz, my friends, is where Function of Beauty will no doubt be segmenting me.
If I click that link and take the quiz, they will then hold all the info they need on what my hair/skin/body care preferences are - down to the texture of my hair and how I like my shampoo to smell.
Statement about what they do
They’ve added this in the section about taking the quiz: “Give your skin the world’s most customizable care” which is a strong statement about what they do.
I’d love to see them adding a ‘We’ to this, which would turn it from a call to action into a bold statement, but we’re getting a little swings and roundabouts here.
Product images but no sales messaging
I love how they’re doing this, they’re showing off their aesthetically pleasing product, but I don’t feel at all sold to - and feeling sold to is a welcome email campaign no no.
Example 1 - missed opportunities
It’s important to point out the stuff that’s not so great, right!
Not sending from a human
Sending from ‘Function of Beauty’ rather than ‘Lucy at Function of Beauty’ makes the email a bit less human.
We like to encourage businesses to send from a personal name and email address in their welcome emails and FOB are sending this from a hello@ email address - not great, but I’ll forgive them because the email as a whole feels very human.
There’s no sign off
I feel like one last line of ‘speak soon’ or something equally open and friendly is missing from the bottom of this email.
Maybe another way to do this could be making the ‘have any questions’ section less of a footer a more an integral part of the email, and to have followed that with the 3 founders signing off would have been:
And one more thing…
No asking the lead to respond direct
On that ‘Contact us/FAQ area, yes have invited us to contact them with any questions, but I’d like to see this a little more humanised.
Asking contacts to reply directly to emails is a stellar tactic to gain insight and improve sendability.
Just adding in some copy like this: ‘hit reply with any other questions which you don’t see in the FAQ’ could really get trust built, whether people do reply and ask, or if they don’t. They feel like there's a real human behind the email.
Example 1 - in summary
- I feel wowed by a beautiful email.
- It works for me that it’s clear, succinct and invites me to find out more rather than having the whole story of the brand right there in the first of a series of welcome emails.
- I like seeing (beautiful!) images of the product, but not being pushed to buy it.
- It felt quite personal (but they could dial this up more)
- I feel compelled to take the quiz (love a quiz!) and that’s the gold-dust which will enable Function of Beauty to seamlessly sell to me a little further down the line.
Welcome Email Example 2: Screen/Life Balance
What is Screen/Life Balance?
Created by sports journalist Catherine Price, and in her own words: “Screen/Life Balance is a platform I created that’s devoted to helping people scroll less and live more”. She’s known quite well for her book ‘How to Break Up With Your Phone’. I recently took part in the free ‘3-Day Phone Breakup Challenge’ and I loved it. She has other paid-for courses and a #funsquad community too.
Catherine is doing great things! Here’s her welcome email sitting pretty in my inbox:
A welcoming subject line
Simple does it best and this subject is spot on. The preview text is utilised and it encourages me to open - I want to know what this #funsquad is!
Most importantly here, the email looks like it is sent from Catherine herself. From: ‘Catherine Price and Screen/Life Balance’. This is what we recommend. ‘X at X company’ is much more human than just ‘X company’.
BUT! As you’ll see in the next image, the email address used to send is ’newsletters@’ which is disappointing. I want to see that human element in the email address itself.
You wouldn’t want to send from your actual email address here, as that inbox may be flooded with replies, bounce notifications and out of office emails…
We suggest setting up a different address which contains your name (or someone’s name! Make them up if you like!) and having someone filter through it, forwarding on/replying to any important emails, or another way to do this is to filter replies from emails to the list like this one into a folder of your own inbox.
That detail aside, let’s run through the email itself...
And what a nice chunky welcome email it is! She’s giving some great value from the outset.
Genuine human connection
“I’m so happy you’re here” That line feels so genuine and warm. Considering that people signing up to receive emails from Screen/Life Balance are not just interested in, but wanting support in getting a screen/life balance, that line feels just like soothing words from a therapist!
Intro to the person behind the brand
Lovely image here, and nice personal “I created SLB because…” paragraph which shares her own experience.
We can relate to her easily and feel trust being built because it feels like we’re all in this together. She really feels like an expert to me.
Boy am I on-board with how she talks about our awareness of screen time and what she believes in around that. She’s making it very clear how she does things and it’s setting us up nicely for the tips and teachings she shares in her content.
She’s telling us boldly what Screen Life Balance believes in and it’s motivational...
Telling us what to expect from being on the list
“by signing up for our list, you’ll get…” is the perfect wording. Nab it! Nothing is a surprise now, we know what we’re going to be getting.
And it’s exciting! I want all these things.
Limited sales messaging
This bit is always a bit hard to determine - how much sales messaging should there be in our welcome emails?
Most of the time, it’s best to have none, but depending on your brand and your product, sometimes a little mention feels fine.
It’s all about how it comes across (don’t be pushy), whether it feels right for the rest of the content, and if it’s being sensitive to your audience. This is where you need to be clear on where they are in their awareness journey and what they are asking for right now.
In the case of this initial welcome campaign email, it’s pretty subtle. I like how she says “You’ll also get access to exclusive discounts to our paid courses, starting right now”.
his feels like it’s appropriate to include because her message (of addressing your screen/life balance) is so strong that I think that a lot of people who’ve signed up and are getting this email will feel motivated to take action already, and will snatch her up on that 15% off.
If you think back to Function of Beauty, if they told me it’s 15% off a shampoo, that would feel too salesy for me as I would not yet feel motivated to take action (but notice that I was however totally ready for their quiz!)
So I feel like Screen/Life Balance are doing good here and the sales messaging feels right.
The order of the buttons feels a *little* clunky - I think it would flow better if there was a button for each product directly under the copy which mentions that product, and one more thing - smaller buttons would look better and feel a bit more subtle.
These are quite intriguing, and each image clicks through to the product page which helps me to understand the offering a bit more, without it being spelled out in this email.
The images in themselves do not give enough info on the product, so would be no good for segmentation. (You need to be super clear what you’re offering if you’re using that link click action as a way to segment people.)
Clarity around different email series
I like this clear wording around the difference between the #FunSquad emails and the welcome email they’re currently reading. It’s very human, conversational and sets up the reader.
Never be afraid to be really clear like this. I found that this part of the email encouraged me to join the fun squad too because I already feel FOMO from not signing up for it already!
Asking for contribution
I love this mention of the survey. There’s valuable insight they’ll garner from those survey responses and being asked makes us feel part of the community and the fact that they’re asking builds trust and makes us feel like they’re truly interested in us.
Asking for direct replies to the email
Tick tick tick! I love how they’ve done this, how the wording of it relates to their brand values: “it may take us a while to get back to you (we do or best to practice what we preach) - but we read and appreciate them all.” It’s perfect.
Here’s an example of how the welcome email can be a way for companies to get to know what we’re interested in...
By clicking the article relating to Covid-19 (and assuming that they have this automation in place) we are self-segmenting ourselves. Screen/Life Balance will know it’s likely to be relevant for them to send more resources/content relating to Covid-19, and leading onto that, there’s an opportunity to send relevant sales messaging.
More possible segmentation
The ‘buy the book’ section (which I feel works well in this email) is another chance for us to self-segment ourselves too. We’ll be showing them that we have an interest in the book, so any sales messaging tailored to that knowledge (after the welcome series is complete) would likely be well received and quite successful.
Example 2 - missed opportunities
There were a few things I noticed which SLB could make better:
Does the wooden background need to be wide like that at the top of the email? Nah, I think it would look cleaner without it. This is the first first bit of the email, and it’s important to make use of that valuable space with the best possible first impression.
Asking for donations
This was the big thing which didn’t work for me in this email. Asking us to become patrons feels very premature. I don’t feel like this belongs in the welcome series at all, let alone in the first email of it!
There was no mention of what’s next
It’s good practice to tell your readers in these welcome emails when you’ll be in touch next and what that email will contain.
You want to set up that consumption routine, getting your contacts trained to open your emails every time because they’re not only expecting them but they’re also eager to receive the next email because the content has been teased to them.
So for example, in this email Catherine could have said “You’ll next hear from me in 3 days, I want to share my 3 biggest learnings from x”.
Example 2 - in summary
- I feel inspired to take some control over my screen time.
- I feel like Screen/Life Balance is just the resource I need, it’s really clear what they’re about and how they can help me.
- I’m eager to know more, and I’m tempted to get that 15% off and also to purchase the book.
- I feel like Catherine is THE expert.
Welcome Email Example 3: Newspaper Club
Newspaper Club is a company which helps people make and print their own newspapers. They work with a lot of big brands as well as smaller creatives. I love them.
How did their welcome email land in my inbox?
A welcoming subject line
LOVE that subject line: “What’s your story” This immediately positions them as a company which cares about me.
They’re making use of the preview section too… The usage of an emoji lightens and brightens and would make the email stand out in a sea of unreads. The copy here is from the first couple of lines of the email , and that’s all good.
Inspiring product image
They kick things off with an image of their product. It’s inspirational to me and what’s important here is that it shows the variety of what they create, which made me feel excited to learn more as I love the look of their finished products.
They’re telling us what they do with this image, and the second image further down the email is equally great!
A warm welcome
“It’s great to have you here” - that copy is lush. I feel warmly welcomed.
Telling us what’s next
It’s really important to manage expectations around what emails people will be getting now they signed up to your list. I love this lining up of what to expect from their emails, and I feel excited to see their customer stories next.
Share the story
Newspaper Club does a great job of this. The story is succinct and tells you interesting and important information about them. Specifically in this case, I liked the mentions of when the biz was founded, that it was founded by three friends, where they’re based and how many newspapers they’ve printed.
I also liked them mentioning some of the brands they’ve worked with. That final element really positions them as experts. This image in the email is a moving .GIF and brings the email to life, breaking up the story.
Gently talking about how great they are
Notice that there is some horn tooting, but it’s in a conversational way, and doesn’t feel like they’re showing off. That’s how it’s done! They’re not going into too much detail about all their accolades, which may have felt a bit yucky.
Bold statement about who they are
The “We believe print should be sustainable” paragraph talks about what they find important and some of what the business values. We like this, it’s painting a real picture of this brand.
Gently calling to action
The offer of a free sample newspaper is perfect, it’s very appropriate for the awareness level a new lead may have, and I like that it’s not the main message in this email. Nicely done Newspaper Club. It’s subtle and it’s compelling.
Example 3 - missed opportunities
Signposting to specific content
They are telling us to check out their blog - and yes, I do want to get inspired by what others are making - so that’s a great call to action.
BUT! Where is the self segmentation? I really hope it’s coming in their further welcome emails, but Newspaper Club are missing a trick here.
I know I’m hammering this home to you now, but it really is so important, and if you have paid good money for a marketing automation platform, it really makes sense to make the most of it and segment your leads.
Not only does mentioning SPECIFIC content signpost their readers to useful articles/podcasts/website pages which will help them to understand the brand more/get clear on what they need /answer their questions as a consumer, but it’s two-fold, the brand get that sweet opportunity to learn valuable info on their leads.
The company will learn what the lead needs now (which is useful when it comes to sales campaigns a little further in the customer journey), what their pains are, (which allows them to send more specific content about those pains - which again could move into sales) and specifically in this case, Newspaper Club would work out what type of lead they are - are they a small business? A student? A bigger brand?
You can garner all of this by sending welcome emails which link your leads to specific content and tracking those link clicks.
Instead of “Until then, check out our blog to get inspired by what others are making” They could get more specific… here’s some of the content titles I’ve picked out from their blog which they could have included separate links to:
- How to take better photos of your newspaper.
- Everything you need to know about printing a poster newspaper (with videos!).
- 5 print projects to kick-start your creativity in quarantine.
- 5 steps to creating packaging your customers can’t wait to open.
Email is not sent from a personal email address
As I’ve mentioned in the first two examples in this blog, welcome emails benefit from the email being sent from a personal email address. Newspaper Club missed the mark here.
Where are the faces?
This email is really missing an image of the team, the human faces behind the brand. They would really bring to life the lovely wording in their sign off: “Your Newspaper Club team”.
The final thing this email is missing is that it doesn’t ask a question to start a conversation. I talked about this in the Function of Beauty example, and it makes me sad that they missed out on this.
Including a specific conversation starter as a PS is the least they could do.
Example 3 - in summary
- I feel wowed by their product and loved seeing the variety of newspapers they can create
- I felt these emails showed a lot of personality
- The story behind the brand was so well delivered. I liked hearing about their accolades and I feel like they’re real experts
- I’d like to see some more faces of the people behind the brand, not just the product they make.
- I’m excited for the next email
One slap on the wrist to all three brands
All of these brands failed to ask and make use of my first name in their initial welcome emails. Including someone’s first name in a merge field is a super simple and effective personalisation trick which we recommend you utilise in your welcome email series.
Where are you at with your email welcome series?
Have you written your first welcome email, but you’re not sure if it’s tip top? You could ask someone impartial to read through your welcome email - ask them for some notes on how it felt.
Do you have your perfect welcome email campaign written and ready to build the campaign in your marketing automation platform? We have the article for you. check it out: How to build a welcome campaign in your email marketing platform
Do you want to start writing but feel a little confronted? There is support for you in our Marketing Automation Academy. We teach everything you need to know about welcome email campaigns as well as tonnes of elements of digital marketing. (Creating lead magnets, devising a customer journey, writing sales copy to name a few). We love showing our members how to do the things as well as giving critique to get it perfect.
The academy is only £49 per month, with easy cancellation. Try it out - you can join us by hitting the button below:
So now I’ve run you through three examples of what the first welcome email in your welcome campaign could look like, I’d like to share this mega-list I’ve put together for you which will come in very handy for writing this first welcome email.
Checklist - what to include in the first email in your welcome campaign:
How does your welcome email feel?
- Does it feel conversational?
- Are you going into too much detail (you can save some of that for the next welcome emails in the series)
- Are you bringing your email to life with images?
- Are you breaking the text up by utilising bolded text/colour/spacing?
- Does it feel personal? (include their first name!)
I hope you found that useful and you’re ready to tackle your first welcome email in your welcome series.
Perhaps that’s optimising your current one, or maybe you’re writing from scratch. I wish you luck! And I really recommend you get some fresh sets of eyes on it because it can be really hard to get the balance right.
- DON’T talk too much about yourself. No one likes a horn-tooter who toots to loud. Yes, you might be a guru, but it won’t help your new relationship if you go on about it too much!
- DON’T jump into sales. Your welcome campaign contain either zero sales of a tiny but, subtly delivered.