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How to Send a Welcome Email That Actually Converts

ecommerce business

In our Email FAQs series, we answer your email marketing questions! In this episode, Daniel Kohn, the Founder of SmartMail, answers this email marketing question he gets asked all the time by online retailers: How can I actually convert sales through the welcome email I send out to new subscribers on my eCommerce site?

You’ve worked hard to effectively grow your subscribers list. Now what?

Sending a Welcome email is a nice gesture to acknowledge your shoppers that signed up. But it can also be a great tool for converting more sales.

Watch the video below to find out how and why and what the main elements are for a Welcome Email that actually converts! You can also read the full article or listen to the audio at the bottom of the post.

Hey, everybody. Welcome back to another episode of eCommerce Email FAQs. My name is Daniel Kohn. And today we’re gonna be looking at what are the main elements for a great welcome email.

Welcome emails are really powerful for eCommerce business, because, obviously, you’re trying to welcome a new person into your brand. Trying to convert a new customer is much harder than trying to get a repeating customer to come back and make another purchase.

This is why a lot of effort goes into welcome emails, and a lot of people ask us all the time about, you know, how to implement a really good-performing welcome email. So here are a couple of tips that I’d like to share with you.

Give Your Shoppers What They Want (And Signed Up For)

The first thing that you wanna really think about that really sort of creates this fork in the road is what kind of campaign did you do to actually generate that email, meaning if you had a pop-up, and it just said, “Get 20% off on your first purchase,” and people put in their email, and then they get, I guess, the welcome email, because you’re targeting new visitors, then the most important thing is really displaying that coupon and that incentive as high up as possible in the email.

When they’ve asked for something, and they’re actually in the shopping pattern, the one thing that you actually wanna do is give them what they’ve requested as quickly as possible.

Take Precautions to Avoid Spam Filters

You really wanna make sure you don’t have any delivery issues on that welcome email, because if it goes into spam or if it goes into a different folder, what it does is it takes someone off your site and it leaves them off your site for a lot longer than necessary, because then they’re trying to fidget with their Gmail settings and trying to find that coupon.

Make sure the delivery of your welcome email is delivering to the inbox. That is prime, most important thing.

Display Incentives Prominently in Your Welcome Email

The next thing about the welcome email is that if you are offering an incentive it has to be really big and it has to be really prominent.

Imagery is really important, and the imagery really needs to convey your brand, because you gotta remember this is the first time you’re communicating with your audience. The most important thing is getting that incentive and getting the coupon as high as possible.

Showcase Your eCommerce Brand and Value Propositions

Now, the next stage of importance in welcome campaigns, I guess, is being able to showcase what your brand is all about and the value that you can add as a brand to help them in their shopping experience.

For example…

If you have a special return and shipping policy, you really wanna talk about that in the email.

If you have, like, a private Facebook page or you’ve got something that you do on Instagram, you know, frequently, you wanna talk about that, and usually what you wanna do is include these as bullets.

So, basically, in the email, at the very top, you’ve got the incentive, and you’ve got the actual reason why someone decided to put in their email in the first place.

They can take that and leave if they want, and if they’re interested, they can continue reading further down the email and read about how great your brand is, or how great, you know, your pricing policy is, or whatever it is that makes you better than your competitors or makes it interesting to shop with you over, you know, other companies in the same space.

Come up with those value propositions and have them written out as well and make them nice and clear.

The One Thing You May Think is Important…But Isn’t Really

Now, one thing that isn’t so important for welcome emails is it doesn’t all have to be so image-heavy.

We’ve tested welcome emails that are just plain text and welcome emails that are very image-heavy, and the click-through rate isn’t dramatically different.

If you’re a brand and you’re really trying to showcase and build your brand up, then imagery is going to be more important, so you do want some more imagery, and you wanna convey some of the things that we were just talking about in the sequential order that we were talking about earlier.

But if you’re not so concerned about imagery, I think it’s usually nice to have some sort of image at the top, some sort of hero graphic that really defines and depicts your brand.

Imagery really isn’t a primary focus or a primary importance if your business is not focused on building your brand and building that brand as like an image-based, like, fashion kind of iconic brand.

So that’s something you can figure out for yourselves when it comes to running these welcome emails.

Send Email Sequences to Convert More Subscribers Into Customers

The last thing that I wanted to mention as well is sequencing.

Now, when we spoke in the very beginning about welcome emails being a series, a welcome email series, the idea of this series is to build, say, three emails over a five to seven-day period, right?

And what you wanna do is tell a story over those different emails.

So the first email you’re really just, like, giving the coupon away, and you wanna get them to actually make their first purchase.

The second email might be specifically around your social media presence, and you might wanna get them to connect with you or with your Facebook page, or to like, or to do something with some of your social media marketing efforts.

And then the third email might be related to your top-selling products. So sometimes with welcome emails you might wanna have specific products that you can mark down exclusively just for this particular email campaign and make exclusive welcome offers just for those people.

And it makes them feel good.

It makes them feel like they’re getting something of even greater value, they’re getting a coupon and exclusive deals, and, basically, you’re taking people through a story of your brand over a three-email sequence.

If you just send the same email three times over five days, you’re not gonna get much engagement on the follow-up emails.

Segment Shoppers for Increased Conversions

Now, another advanced tip that you could really look at, and this is something we do at SmartMail and we teach in the ChimpExpress for all of the companies that we work with, is when you’re sending email two and three, you wanna be able to run these campaigns in a platform.

In ChimpExpress we show you how to do this in MailChimp, and in SmartMail we show you how to do this in the platform that we use.

But you don’t wanna send consecutive follow-up emails promoting that coupon to make their first purchase if they’ve already made their order, right?

So one of the filters that you wanna use, and this is a bit of an advanced trick, is if they’ve already made their purchase, do not send the second email, or if you’ve sent the second email, and before you send the third email, they’ve made their purchase, don’t send the third email, because that causes a bad user experience.

And so that’s a bit of an advanced kind of technique, and that basically requires behavioral triggers, and that’s something that we cover in SmartMail. Check out SmartMail and we can talk to you more about that on how we can do things like that.


Those are the main elements of what makes a great welcome email. Check out some great Welcome Email examples here.

Thanks for watching. I hope this video was helpful, and if you wanna learn more about how to send more effective welcome emails, then we’ll provide some more information below or on this page on how you can learn more about that as well, because they really are very, very important campaigns.

And, out of the whole mix of lifecycle campaigns, it’s one campaign you don’t wanna get wrong, because you’re really nurturing brand-new customers, shoppers that you wanna turn into customers. So thanks for watching, and I look forward to seeing you on the next episode.

ecommerce email marketing template

Listen to the full audio here:

ecommerce business