How to Write a Strong Welcome Email: 5 Keys to Getting It Right

Email marketing can be intimidating. You've got this list that's supposedly the foundation for all your business marketing . . . but what are you even supposed to send your subscribers? 

Before you can ever ask for a sale, you need to make a strong first impression with your welcome email. The welcome email sets the tone for all your future email sendouts. It's kind of a big deal. 

Make sure your welcome email is actually, well, welcoming with these 5 tips.

How to Write a Strong Welcome Email: 5 Keys to Getting It Right

1. Use a sender name subscribers will recognize

New subscribers often sign up for your list but don't check their email until later. If they don't recognize the sender name, they'll probably delete your welcome email without ever opening it to confirm their subscription. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten a welcome email and had no idea who it was from!

Some people use their name as their business brand while others have a business name that stands on its own. Make sure the sender name in your email matches what new subscribers are familiar with. If you use an abbreviation for your business (like FTFP for the Freelance to Freedom Project), you might want to spell it out for this first email until new subscribers are more familiar with your brand.

When in doubt, use the formula "[NAME] from/at [BUSINESS]" (like when I send emails as Ashley at Brooks Editorial). That way there's no confusion about who you are.

2. Write a catchy subject

You may think you can't get creative with the subject of a welcome email, but you'd be wrong. Most welcome emails are boring, and some subject lines that used to be fun have become overused ("Welcome to the club!"). The subject line is a great chance to show your personality and assure your new subscriber that your emails are worth getting.

Try these tips to make your welcome subject irresistible:

  • Use emojis 
  • Ask a question (Example: "Wanna have a virtual coffee date?" This is my own welcome email subject.)
  • Personalize it (Example: "Glad to have you on board, Sally!")
  • Pique their curiosity (Example: "You're one click away from discovering the secret to _______.")

3. Offer high value

It should be clear and easy for your new subscriber to access their opt-in freebie. Tools like ConvertKit [referral link] make this freebie delivery a snap, while others like Mailchimp might require a bit of finagling. Either way, make sure you test your own welcome email to make sure the opt-in delivery works properly.

If your opt-in is something that's delivered over time, like an email drip course, use that first email to tell subscribers when they can expect their content.

Speaking of expectations, the welcome email is the time to tell subscribers how you'll continue offering them value through your emails. How often can they expect to hear from you? What will you be sending them? Remember, you're building a relationship with your list. If the value ends after they download the freebie, you're setting yourself up for a lot of unsubscribes.


4. Create connection

Your welcome email should briefly remind subscribers who you are and why they're letting you into their inbox. Be professional, but let your personality through. If there's ever a place to be more personal or vulnerable in your content, it's in your emails. Share your story and explain how your experience can help them.

Relationships aren't one-sided, so a strong welcome email will also invite new subscribers to hit reply and tell you about themselves. You don't have to learn all their deepest fears and secrets here . . . you're just getting to know each other! Ask a casual question, like what their favorite coffee or tea is, or what they're currently bingeing on Netflix. 

Once they've responded and opened up the conversation, be sure you actually reply to them. Showing them that you're a real person who genuinely wants to get to know them is a great way to build trust fast.

5. Follow up

Your welcome email shouldn't really be one email---it should be a sequence. Most email platforms allow for automations (Mailchimp just made theirs free!), so there's no excuse for letting those new subscribers forget all about you.

New friendships need to be nurtured. If you only see someone once a month in a professional setting, you're unlikely to truly get to know one another (and if you do, it's going to take a really long time).

A welcome sequence is like meeting your new subscribers for coffee a few times a week. It gives you a chance to get to know each other, and it keeps your name at the top of their mind so they don't have time to forget about you before your next regular email newsletter. (This is especially true if you only send emails once a month.)

Start sending those welcome emails!

It's weird to think of setting up an automatic welcome email if you've never done it before. Following these 5 tips will help you keep it natural and genuine . . . not a salesy email in sight! Your new followers will be thrilled to see you in their inbox.