Customer Lifecycle Marketing: 5 Tips for Effective Welcome Emails

Posted by Philip Storey on 06/10/17 10:19
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Philip Storey

Welcome emails in the customer lifecycle

Email marketing remains a highly-effective channel for nurturing customer relationships and by focusing on the customer lifecycle, you can pinpoint the key touchpoints at which to target your subscribers with relevant and engaging messages. Welcome emails are your first chance to connect with your customers and it's vital to make a big impression!

In the first in a series of blogs looking on the key stages in the customer lifecycle, here are 5 top tips for creating effective welcome emails, including great examples from top brands: 

1. Create an inviting subject line

You might think that the subject line for your opening email to new customers and subscribers isn't that important, as it's likely to be an auto-responder email to confirm a purchase or sign-up and the recipients are expecting the message – therefore it's a no-brainer that they'll open the email. 

Firstly, this opening email subject line is key for setting the tone of your marketing and the content you're hoping your users to engage with. If it's too generic or uninviting, why would recipients respond in the future?

Secondly, there's no guarantee that customers will open and engage with your welcome email, as they may have already had a onsite thank you message confirming that a transaction or action has been successful and have no pressing need to read a subsequent email. 

Make your welcome subject line inviting and give subscribers a promise of more than just a confirmation email. Here are a few examples below:

  • Welcome to Shutterfly! Enjoy your three free gifts – Shutterfly
  • Welcome to Macy's. Enjoy an extra 15% off! – Macy's
  • Welcome to Frank & Oak. Here's A Special Gift To Get You Started – Frank & Oak
  • Welcome to Premium: Tip 1 of 3 – Spotify

2. Make subscribers feel part of something

Again, the purpose of your welcome email shouldn't just be to confirm something you've already communicated with customers on your website or via another channel. Demonstrate the value of your email content from the very beginning.

A great way to do this, is to give your emails a sense of belonging, as though subscribers are becoming part of a club by entering into this customer relationship. Customers these days want to feel closer to their brands, hence the growing trend of brand storytelling and immersive marketing. 

Check out the sense of adventure and membership about the following Airbnb welcome email:

Welcome email from Airbnb


3. Automate your emails to send right away 

We mentioned auto-responders earlier and this is crucial for your welcome emails. It's not good customer experience to delay your welcome emails or send them manually. An instant automated email will meet users' expectations and connect with customers at the time they're most engaged. Get their attention early and nudge them towards other useful and relevant content and products.

4. Sprinkle with personalisation

A little personalisation can go a long way in setting a friendly tone in your initial interactions with new customers and subscribers. Adding personalisation tokens, pulling relevant customer data from fields in your email database will add relevancy and the personal touch.

If you're smart and it makes sense for your product/service offering, you could set automated rules to send different welcome emails to different users, depending on their demographics or relevant data at your disposal, which starts them on a tailored customer journey with your brand.

Check out this warm, personalised welcome from Cafe Nero:

Subject line: Welcome to the family - Cafe Nero

Welcome email Cafe Nero


5. Encourage and incentivise subscribers

An effective tactic in welcome emails is to give subscribers compelling reasons to click through to further content (to web pages, landing pages or social media accounts) or interact on an ongoing basis, in the form of incentives. These could be referral incentives, discounts, customer feedback, product reviews or the start of a loyalty scheme. There are lots of options to utilise, depending on the products or services you provide.

The example below, from Levi's, incentivises its new customers to visit its website with a 20% off and free shiping offer on next purchase:

Welcome email from Levi's


If you want more great inspiration about welcome emails, Campaign Monitor have a handy infographic to help you with your approach: Welcome Email Infographic

Wrapping up

Remember, welcome emails are your first chance to engage with customers, so making a good impression is key. We hope these examples and email marketing tactics have shown you how to do this and put the foundations in place for lasting customer relationships.

Find out more about how to use email to enhance your customer lifecycle, with our free guide, How to Revolutionise the Customer Lifecycle with Email Marketing. Go make waves with email!

Download Customer Lifecycle Strategies now

Enchant Agency is a leading UK email marketing agency, based in London. We help brands to reach their potential and create big impact by focusing on the customer lifecycle. If you need advice on email marketing campaign planning or you want to discuss a project with us, contact our email consultants and see how we can help you improve performance fast! 

Topics: automation, customer lifecycle, Customer relationships, Email automation, Email Marketing, Email marketing automation, Email subject lines, Marketing Automation, Personalisation, subject lines, subscribers, touchpoints, Marketing tips, email strategy, email marketing subject lines, Welcome Emails

Philip Storey

Written by Philip Storey

Philip Storey is the Founder and CEO at Enchant Agency. Philip is an email marketing specialist in London, UK. He has enabled hundreds of brands to improve their email marketing. Beyond marketing, Philip is a business coach, personal and professional development coach and mentor to business leaders and senior marketers.

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