After working at an email company for close to three years, something will change in you and you’ll never look at your inbox the same way again. Jury’s out on whether it’s for the better or worse, but when my alarm goes off in the morning and I grab my phone off of my nightstand to scan what I missed (hey, no judgement—it’s been almost a whole eight hours!) my inbox is my first destination.

It takes a lot to make my heart go aflutter as I’m scrolling through, but the welcome email below from Airbnb did just that.

This email delivers a thoughtful and pleasing experience for its recipient because it answers the questions recipients mentally check off when skimming a message:

#1. Who are you?

You never want to send an email that doesn’t look and feel like your brand! From the logo at the top of the message, to the font and color scheme, all the way down to the “Sent with <3 from Airbnb,” the customer is assured that this email is legitimate and was crafted with care.

#2. What’s this email for?

It’s clear this is a welcome email by the direct header “Welcome to Airbnb.” We love welcome emails, because they send the perfect message to the recipient that a) you’re happy they joined you and b) this isn’t going to be a one-way street of communication. A welcome email acknowledges “hey, you’re new!,” makes people feel welcome (crazy concept, I know), and explains to the recipient how to be successful using your product/service.

#3. What’s this content about?

The use of fun, quirky icons adds to the flare and personality of this email. Not only do they help guide the user to understand the different sections (and therefore different directives) within the email, they’re in line with the design and color scheme, and keep me scrolling to see the content below the fold!

#4. What do you want me to do?

Though we typically recommend focusing your email on one clear call to action, there are exceptions to the rule. A welcome email is a message that can act as a directory to help new customers/subscribers understand how to navigate your site and can also help new users get onboarded. In this case, new Airbnb users need to complete two steps before they become an active user. By “Adding a Photo” and “Adding Verification,” new users are setting themselves up for success, which in turn makes Airbnb more successful! (For more information on CTAs, check out our recent blog post Your Top Email Calls To Action (CTAs) Questions, Answered.)

#5. Not so fast there, do I really want these emails?

You can’t please everyone, so you may as well make it a simple, one-click opt-out process. Don’t further frustrate a subscriber who is already on their way out the door by making it a complicated process, but to the same degree, make it easy for people to re-subscribe just in case they accidentally clicked the link.

Hats off to Airbnb for their welcome email, I can’t wait to see what they’ll send to my inbox next! For a step-by-step breakdown of the components that make up a marketing email, watch our webcast Anatomy of a Marketing Email on-demand.

Kate Schmeisser
When Kate isn't trying to teach herself the ukelele, make it through the mountain of books on her nightstand, or figure out if they are actually being serious about suggested serving sizes on ice cream, she is the Creative Content Manager.