Welcome emails are some of the most important communications you’ll ever send to your recipients. After all, your welcome email is likely their first impression of your brand in their inbox. So you have to make it count!
Your perfect welcome email should do 3 things:
- Remind email subscribers why they joined (and thank them!)
- Invite engagement (through an exclusive offer or other call to action)
- Set the tone for future email communications
In short, your welcome email is your chance to win your subscribers’ loyalty—don’t waste your chance to make a good first impression. If you want them to go from a first purchase to a lifetime customer, you need to get this right.
Before we get into our favorite welcome email examples, let’s take a step back and get on the same page about what is an email example. Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:
- What a welcome email is
- What some of the best welcome emails examples look like
- How to write welcome emails
- When to send welcome emails
What is a welcome email?
A welcome email is an opportunity to introduce your brand, invite users to engage with you further, and share tips and guidance on how to be successful using your product. You want them to be armed with the know-how they need to enjoy your products and services.
You can add new users to your email sequence with a sign-up form, product landing page, or compelling lead magnet.
But don’t confuse this with a confirmation email. A confirmation email confirms subscription to your email and ensures (on your end of things) that you send emails to recipients who have opted in. Though both emails are important, they serve different purposes.
As Aristotle said, there are 3 modes of persuasion that appeal to human logic, credibility, and emotion. When done right, welcome emails can appeal to your customers’ logos, pathos, and ethos:
- Logos (logic/reasoning): Ease any onboarding concerns or friction and encourage users to continue using your product/service.
- Tip: Link to a FAQ or an onboarding process video.
- Pathos (credibility/trust): Introduce your product/service, reinforce your brand, establish credibility, and let subscribers know their inbox is safe with you.
- Tip: Include a customer quote, add well-known customer logos, and use strong branding.
- Ethos (emotion): Thank your subscriber for signing up and remind them they are valued—leave them with a warm, fuzzy feeling.
- Tip: Show gratitude (and personality!) and invite your subscribers to engage with your community by linking to your social channels.
11 best welcome email examples
Let’s take a look at some welcome emails and onboarding welcome emails that hit all the right notes in encouraging subscribers and earning their trust.
Headspace, the meditation app, excels at all 3 of the “musts” for a great welcome email shared above. First, the tone of the email is congratulatory and inviting, the design is warm and minimalist, and perfectly mimics its website, and the content is short and sweet.
Plus, this email clearly answers new customers’ (or potential customers’) questions before they ask them. Use your welcome messages to reduce sign-up anxiety and build trust for your users by following Headspace’s lead and giving your users easy instructions.
Finally, Headspace engages subscribers by employing a welcome onboarding series. The day after I received their welcome email and engaged with their app, I received a triggered second email that followed up on the action I took the day before. I felt immediately supported by the attention to my engagement, and it made me want to get right back into the app.
If you’re interested in creating a welcome email series, sign up for access to Twilio SendGrid’s email automation tool for a simple, effective tutorial to reach your new subscribers.
Nextdoor takes a straightforward, instructive but effective approach to its welcome email that gets its recipients straight into the service by outlining 3 easy ways to get started in its app. Limited scroll works in its favor here, so even though it has 3 calls to action (CTAs), users don’t feel too overwhelmed by their choices.
The neighborhood hub is also smart not to muddy its message with too many images. For example, Nextdoor uses concise text and keeps its tone welcoming.
Pro tip: Images aren’t always the answer. If you have incredible copy, don’t distract from it with unnecessary images. A picture might be worth 1,000 words, but the right words can take the place of an unnecessary picture.
Asana, the project management tool, does 2 neat things with its welcome email. The first is the eye-catching GIF that demonstrates completing tasks in its product. Incorporating GIFs in your emails is a great way to help recipients visualize your products.
The second is that the email feels like an extension of the tool. With 3 quick descriptions of how you can use Asana and a single big purple Get started CTA, the email reassures new users that the product is as easy to use as the email is to read. It also provides helpful resources for someone brand new to the product.
Pro tip: Maintaining brand standards across your email experience helps increase loyalty and brand affinity.
Anthropologie’s customer points plan, Anthro Perks, cleverly lays out exactly what recipients should expect from this program, reminding them why they signed up. Free shipping, early access, and birthday discounts? Yes, please!
While the main CTAs are toward the bottom, the whole email is clickable. For example, if you’re interested in viewing new arrivals, you can click that section of the email, which takes you to the Just in section of the website. This prevents you from losing recipients when they aren’t interested in reading the entire email.
Pro tip: Link the images in your email to make it easier for recipients to click through to your website.
Wayfair’s email, like the one for Anthropologie above, alternates the text and images from the left to right columns. This creates visual interest as your eye scans the email, bouncing back and forth.
Plus, the different images of the products help you visualize all that’s possible by shopping with Wayfair, reminding you of its offerings and inviting you to frequently engage with this welcome email.
Pro tip: Create visual interest in your emails with well-designed templates—check out these free templates.
Sephora’s welcome email gets full marks for hitting all 3 welcome requirements.
The email opens with the greeting, “It’s nice to meet you,” and reminds you that you signed up to receive special offers, info about new arrivals, and so much more. With the enticing CTA of a free birthday gift, you engage further with the email. And the next section highlights what these glamorous offerings include and when you’ll receive them.
REI checks all the boxes of a great welcome email and goes a step further by letting recipients customize their email preferences from the get-go. Take a page from them and include a preference center as part of your email subscription to reach your recipients as often as they want to hear from you.
Pro tip: You can create email preference centers for email frequency, content, or a combination of both. Learn about the different types of preference centers and decide what’s best for your email program.
8. Penguin Random House
Penguin Random House jumps right in by providing immediate value—in the form of awesome book recommendations.
By giving recipients lots of books to choose from, Penguin Random House learns what their interests are from their click history. Not to mention, it has an intriguing subject line, “You’re gonna need a bigger bookshelf”—it’s encouraging and funny.
Medium, an online publishing platform, takes a hybrid approach by listing the benefits of subscribing to its platform and providing articles at the bottom of the welcome email for subscribers to start exploring.
If there isn’t much involved in setting up an account or using the app, then it could be a good move to start providing your email content in your welcome email. This gives recipients a taste of the type of material they’ll receive as part of their subscription, and it’s a great way to collect data from new users.
Pro tip: Don’t bury the lead of your welcome email with too much exposition. Jump right in and provide value.
Havenly’s approach of including a direct, personal letter from the CEO as the main content of its message is top notch. There’s no better way to give insight into your brand than by hearing straight from the person who created it.
Pro tip: Get your subscribers invested by sharing a bit of your brand’s history. If they know where you come from, they’ll be more likely to stay on the journey with you.
Knockaround, the sunglass brand, offers an incentive for signing up for its welcome email—a 15% discount.
This email also shares a little backstory about the brand, explaining where the name Knockaround originated and more. While you read, the brightly colored images get you into the sunny frame of mind, setting the intended mood for this email.
As the first email to your recipients, the welcome email is a great place to set the stage for your brand with design, tone, and a little story about your company.
How to write welcome emails
These are the email best practices to keep in mind when sending welcome emails:
- Stay on brand: Keep your welcome emails on brand and a direct reflection of your website.
- Show enthusiasm: Be inviting and encouraging with your recipients by letting them know you’re happy to be in their inbox—go ahead and even throw in a smiling emoji (or 2).
- Keep it short and sweet: Limit your scroll and get to the point quickly. So share value fast and stick to a single CTA when possible.
- Share some history: Get your subscribers invested by sharing a bit of your brand’s story. When you build a connection early, you keep them coming back and create brand advocacy.
- Limit your graphics: Know that images aren’t always the answer. If your copy is strong, don’t distract from it with unnecessary images that hurt the welcome email design.
- Get to the point: Don’t bury the lead of your welcome email with too much exposition. Jump right in and provide the value proposition in the form of high-quality information or discounts.
- Use social proof: Don’t be afraid to showcase some testimonials early on—just make sure you don’t go overboard with it.
- Provide a clear CTA: Tell your users exactly what to do and set expectations from the get-go—don’t keep them guessing. By using a clear and obvious CTA button, you ensure they don’t miss anything.
- Automate your email marketing campaign: Set up your welcome emails to send automatically based on segmentation criteria. If you’re interested in learning how to send automated welcome emails with Twilio SendGrid, head over to our email marketing automation deep-dive page.
When to send welcome emails (and how many to send)
We know that at the time of subscription, a user’s interest in your brand is at one of the highest points in their life cycle—we call this the “honeymoon” phase.
During the honeymoon, it’s crucial to nail your first impression. But what happens when, for whatever reason, they don’t interact with that welcome message? After all, email addresses that don’t engage with a welcome message shouldn’t just get added to the regular pool of recipients. Instead, marketers should test and build a staggered, structured welcome series strategy.
Send your welcome email immediately after sign-up, or if it’s an email sequence, send them over the next few days and weeks. On the other hand, if you’re sending a series of emails, we recommend digging into your data (engagement rates, open rates, unsubscribes, etc.). This will help you determine when users begin to churn or remain inactive so that you can plan your series around those times.
Like most promotional email optimization, testing (especially A/B testing) is paramount to a successful welcome email series. It requires testing things like:
- Different day intervals for subsequent messages
- Sending time of day
- Promotional offers and incentives
- Number of messages in a series
How many welcome emails to send
In our experience, any more than 3 welcome emails can be overwhelming for a new subscriber and could cause them to unsubscribe from your email list or mark it as spam. That’s why we strongly suggest senders remove any addresses that bounce the first welcome message back. Not being hypervigilant about these bounces risks hitting different types of spam traps and deny lists and low average open rates. Not to mention, a high bounce rate can also be detrimental to your IP and domain reputation.
To increase the likelihood of users engaging with the series, testing methodologies are instrumental. Some elements you could test include:
- Different welcome email subject lines to find what compels your new subscribers to open the email
- Varying content marketing pieces that make them want to click through to your site
Conversion rates are also likely to increase during this honeymoon phase. So to help boost click rates and click-through rates, and encourage conversion with these messages, companies tend to introduce a promotional offer on the second message that increases slightly for the third and final email—to much success. This could be a coupon, discount code, or other first-time incentives.
Provide the right value proposition
For nonretail or ecommerce senders, alternatives to offers could be articulating different value propositions of the content. Use this as a follow-up opportunity to highlight different features or information and the benefits you provide users. This waterfall technique of reaching out to your customers not only helps encourage the initial interaction with your brand but also helps you understand their habits as a subscriber.
The point here is that you may actually have a few chances to make a good first impression with new subscribers:
- If you want to make your first message a good one, do it with a thank you for subscribing and a value proposition for what the user can expect as a recipient of your mail.
- If they don’t interact with that first message, you can up the ante by providing another perspective of why they would want your mail moving forward—perhaps with an introductory offer.
- If the user still doesn’t take action, you can try one last time to compel engagement, whether that means providing an increased offer or one last effort at communicating value.
Launch your welcome email campaign with Twilio SendGrid
Ready to get started? Sign up for a free Twilio SendGrid account and get your hands dirty with our automation tool—it’ll provide you with everything you need to set up a new email sequence. We also have plenty of free welcome email templates you can use.
Equally important, have fun with your welcome emails! When you put your best foot forward and test new concepts, you’ll keep your new subscribers engaged and interested.
If you’re interested in learning how to pull your welcome email into your larger email marketing strategy, check out our Email Marketing Best Practices Guide.