The Ultimate Guide to Building an Effective Welcome Series

Your signup form has a steady flow of new subscribers, your email list is steadily growing and your brand is resonating with your customers. What next? With 74% of consumers expecting a welcome email when they subscribe, your next step should be to set up an automated welcome series.

Instead of sending a single welcome email, entering new subscribers into a welcome series will give you time to introduce your brand and keep them engaged in the long term. They’ve already expressed interest in learning more by signing up for your newsletter - now is the time to think strategically about what content you really should be sending. From a sales perspective, welcome emails have 320% more revenue per email than other promotional emails, so it’s also the time your customers are most willing to spend.

Whether you run events or an ecommerce store, this guide will help you build an effective welcome series guaranteed to turn your new subscribers into lifelong customers.

Step 1: What do your customers care about?

No one wants to get an email about something they don’t care about. So what do your customers care about? Why are they here?

Your welcome series should share relevant content with your subscribers. Use this chance to establish yourself as the brand that will send them emails they care about - so they get in the habit of opening your emails from the start.

Common themes we’ve seen our clients consider are:

  • The story behind your brand: how did it get started?
  • Values that differentiate and set you apart from competitors
  • An introduction to your loyalty program
  • User-generated content or customer feedback
  • A welcome discount code

Step 2: Plan out your welcome series

Once you’ve figured out what content you want to share, it’s time to plan out your actual welcome series. You’ll want to decide how many emails you want to include, the goal for each email, and the time delay between each one.

Here’s a general outline you can reference when planning your own:

Welcome Email #1: Send Immediately
Subject line: Welcome to the club! Here’s your 15% off code.
Thank subscribers for signing up with a discount code! Tip: leverage this in your signup form to encourage more signups.

Welcome Email #2: Send after 1 Day
Subject line: A little more about us.
Introduce subscribers to your brand and share your story. This is a good time to link out to any social media accounts or your ‘Our Story’ page so they can learn more.

Welcome Email #3: Send after 3 Days
Subject line: Our customers love these, and we think you will too.
Share your best-selling products - chances are your subscribers will buy them too. This is a good time to include any customer feedback or user-generated content that recommends your products.

Related: 5 Welcome Emails Guaranteed to Boost Conversion

Step 3: Set up your welcome automation in your ESP

Now for the fun part - it’s time to create your templates and set up your automation! Remember, it’s important that your email design is consistent with your brand while incorporating eye-catching visual elements that help your emails stand out in the inbox.

This All Birds email is a prime example of an effective welcome email. It educates subscribers about their brand, allows them to explore their products, and includes an eye-catching GIF. Curious about using GIFs in your welcome series? Check out How to Drive Customer Engagement with GIFs.

Step 4: Consider your other email campaigns

Chances are you’re sending marketing emails to your whole list while new subscribers are dropping into your welcome series automation. You’ll want to consider whether you want new subscribers to be receiving your regular emails while they’re receiving your welcome emails. In most cases, best practise is to segment out new subscribers and exclude them when you’re sending regular emails.

Related: Perfecting Your Ecommerce Email Journey through Segmentation

Step 5: Analyze your results & don’t be afraid to refresh your series

Like any other part of your email strategy, you should check how your welcome series is performing after you’ve had the automation running for a few weeks.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Is there one email in the series that’s outperforming the rest in terms of opens, clicks, or revenue?
  • Do the order of the emails in the series affect conversion?
  • Do emails sent close together affect open rates?

Your automation’s performance will help you strategize what changes can be made to improve how effective the series is doing. Don’t be afraid to revisit your welcome series every few months - it’s important that the information is up to date and continues to be aligned with your brand.

Get Welcoming!

And that’s it - you’re ready to build a welcome series that will educate new subscribers about your brand, get them exploring your products, and turn them into long term customers! Once you’ve set up your welcome series, we recommend exploring these other email automations that will take your email marketing to the next level!