3 Great Welcome Email Ideas for your Ecommerce Store

The moment a new visitor discovers your store and signs up for your newsletter is a special one. They’re at their most excited, yet they also don’t really know you – and we all know the importance of making a great first impression.

The welcome email aims takes this excitement and is an essential first step in nurturing visitors into customers, but it’s also one of the biggest missed opportunities for stores. According to Experian, the typical welcome email is opened 4 times more often and is clicked 5 times more often than the typical email sent. It’s been true for Klaviyo too – our welcome emails typically have open rates from 60 to 80%.

In short, you have an amazing opportunity when your customers want to hear from you and engage further with you. Why would you waste it?

What Makes an Engaging Welcome Email

Welcome emails are sent immediately after a customer signs-up for your newsletter list (they may also include multiple emails sent out over time, but for now we’ll focus just on that initial email). The goal of this post is to give you great examples of welcome emails to inspire you to implement your own welcome emails, so you can reap the benefits of your most engaged customers.

Awesome welcome emails come in different flavors and have different goals. We’ll walk through some of our favorites of each type so you have something to work from, but also so you understand what might be best for your store.

A few types of welcome emails that you should consider are welcome emails designed to:

  • Build Brand
  • Reward the Customer
  • Bring Customers Back

For each, we’ll give you a few examples to help inspire you of what might work best for your store.

Welcome Emails that Build Brand

In their simplest form, welcome emails can just be a great way to reinforce the brand you’ve already built.

For example, this email from Harry’s (subject line: “Welcome to Harry’s”) is just a simple Thank You note, an appealing little picture of a Woolly Mammoth and a few links.  It works because it leaves me with a positive impression of Harry’s and makes me want to engage more:

Harry's Welcome Email

Similarly, this next email from Bumble and Bumble (subject line: “You made the list at Bumbleandbumble.com”) uses their history and identify to build their brand.

By layering their key branding (used by professionals, innovative, trust gained from a strong history) with an appealing image (conveying their style), they further strengthen their branding in the customers mind.

Bumble and Bumble Welcome Email

The brand building email is a great way to really focus in on what makes your store unique and crystallize it in your customer’s mind. If you take this route, it’s very important to focus on your brand – the logo, images, colors, etc that reflect who you are.

If you’re just starting out, one way around this is to use your personal brand by leveraging a short and simple text email that uses a sentence or two to say what’s great about your store.

Welcome Emails that Reward the Customer

A second approach to welcome emails is to provide an incentive to try to get customers to purchase today (or soon).

Bonobos is a classic example of this.  When you visit their site for the first time, they ask you to sign-up, but in exchange offer you 20% and free shipping for 48 hours.

This is then followed-up immediately by an email (subject line: “20% off Bonobos”) including the offer details:

Bonobos Welcome Email

Rather than focus on building brand, their aim is to get you to buy – ideally right away or very soon.  While Bonobos takes a more aggressive approach (a very limited time offer and bigger discounts), many stores do a lighter version of this by giving a 10% coupon that’s good for a week.

Whether these emails are right for you really depends on your store. Unlike branding emails, they’re less reliant on having a great newsletter that nurtures leads going forward, and they are more likely to drive immediate purchases. That said, they also potentially train your customers to expect discounts going forward.

Welcome Emails that Bring Customers Back

Because newsletter sign-ups often happen on a customers first visit to your store, one approach that works great is to use the welcome email to encourage customers to come back.

The Welcome email from One Kings Lane (subject line: “Welcome to One Kings Lane!”) is a simple but effective approach to this.  It’s very explicit about the two messages it wants new sign-ups to get:

  • One Kings Lane is a unique way to shop for your home
  • Fresh Finds Every Day

The first message tells you what One Kings Lane is and the second why you should keep coming back.

One Kings Lane Welcome Email

Another approach is used by Fab. Their welcome email immediately encourages customers to install their mobile app (subject line: “Welcome to Fab!”):

Fab Welcome Emails

Because they know customers are at their most engaged when they sign-up for the newsletter, this is a great time to ask them to take the next step.

Once they have the app installed, it makes them more likely to return since they’re now exposed to Fab daily on more devices.

Finally another unique approach to bringing customers back via a great welcome email is Litmus. While not Ecommerce, their welcome email (subject line: “5 must-read email resources”) is a great example of how to use content (i.e. giving something of value to your customer) as a way to bring customers back:

Litmus Welcome Email

After delivering the core message (you’re on their newsletter), they follow-up with links to past great content that readers have liked.  By recycling this content, they give customers a reason to come back – whether they click through this email right away, or they save it to click through later.

For an Ecommerce store, this content could be great blog posts, links to recent collections that were popular, or even links to items that you know customers love.

Implementing Welcome Emails

On the simplest level, welcome emails are kind of like a shop clerk who offers to help a customer.  They reach customers at their most engaged (resulting in the incredibly high open and click through rates) and can provide a great customer experience.

The reason we see so many of the Shopify, Bigcommerce and Magento stores we talk to not sending welcome emails are some combination of:

  1. They don’t know it’s important
  2. They don’t know what to say
  3. They don’t know how to do it

This post will hopefully have you convinced of 1 and 2 (and Klaviyo provides pre-built Ecommerce emails for 3 that let you setup a welcome series in just minutes).

Once you have an idea, it should be easy to translate that into an email going out to everyone who signs up (and as long as you email like a human, your welcome emails are likely to be positively received).

Most importantly, just get started!

Making Welcome Emails Even Better

For those of you who are already sending great welcome emails, a few ideas on how to take it to the next level:

  • A/B test the different styles of welcome emails above
  • Collect more information on customers when you get their emails and used that to segment your newsletter list
  • Create a multiple email welcome series over the first few weeks until customers buy (that turns off if they do buy)
  • Optimize your welcome series with new content that you see doing well

 

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