Email is one of the best channels at your disposal for marketing your online store. Emails drive traffic, supplement your content marketing, and outperform both Twitter and Facebook for generating sales.
This post is about one of the most important types of emails that you can send out: the “Welcome.” They’re the types of emails you get usually when you submit your email address to an online store.
According to the director of Epsilon’s strategic and analytic consulting group, welcome emails typically have the highest open rates of any marketing emails: 50 to 60%. In addition, customers who receive welcome emails are more likely to engage with a brand over the long term than those who have not.
That’s why you should make your welcome emails great. To make it easy for you, we’ve put together 13 examples of amazing welcome emails (including their subject lines), as well as three templates that you can steal, and finally the apps you can deploy to make your emails the best that they can be.
Let’s dive in.
The Welcome Emails
We’ve collected 13 of the best welcome emails on the web. They’re from companies both large and small, from a family-run store in Utah that sells paper products to the world’s largest furniture retailer.
Huckberry stands out for two reasons: It’s a terrifically well-designed store and it devotes enormous attention to email marketing. Take a look at Huckberry’s home page. Gorgeous photographs cycle through, but over each photograph two boxes stay the same: “Sign up with email,” and “Connect with Facebook.” Email is Huckberry’s primary channel for letting people know about its exclusive goods.
2. Ann Taylor
There’s a lot going on in Ann Taylor’s email. Pay attention to three things in particular: the subject line, “A Gift to Welcome You to Ann Taylor”; a message that you’re special enough to make “The List”; and finally a 25%-off coupon on your next purchase. There are a lot of very enticing elements here.
3. Ralph Lauren
The email from Ralph Lauren also offers a special deal: Free shipping on your next order. In addition to a brief paragraph about its band, it includes only two other links: One to its online store, and the other a way to search for a physical store.
ModCloth uses its welcome email to introduce itself and its designs. See how it uses the word “FREE” twice, and both times in all-caps. Note also that it features “Pick from dozens of new arrivals at 12 p.m. every day!,” which is not something that you’ll find on its homepage.
You won’t find many exclamation marks and all-caps in Tiffany’s welcome email. Tiffany’s is more subdued and elegant in the way it presents itself. That’s very appropriate for its brand.
Here’s one more example of a beautifully-written email that focuses on communicating the brand of the company. It’s fitting for a paper company to pay attention to its words. You see that Sycamore Street Press shares three kinds of updates: Paper (company update), Life (a peek at the lifestyle of its founders), and Love (the things they’re inspired by).
Instead of offering special deals on new products, NOMAD chooses instead to talk about its history as a crowdfunded company, its willingness to accept offers, and finally its products. Best of all, it includes a signature of a real person.
Chubbies has its own way of telling its story, though you’d be hard-pressed to call it elegant: “BOOMSHAKALAKA” it says, “Your subscription to the Chubster National Mailing list has been confirmed.”
IKEA’s welcome email is busy, perhaps too busy. It shares its recent blog posts, some of its new items on its catalogue, and most interestingly, the stores closest to me when I entered my zip code upon sign-up. IKEA isn’t exactly as common as Dunkin’ Donuts, and it’s helpful to know where the closest store is.
Note also the big orange box asking you to join IKEA as a member.
Ugmonk’s welcome email is short and simple: You know now that it will share news on what it’s working on, what’s next for the brand, and on special sales. It also features a video that you can play directly in your email: If you’ve got a great brand video, consider including it. People love videos.
Are some of the collections of your products better suited for different groups of people? Take a look at Lululemon’s welcome email: It’s got separate links for men and women.
Not every online store has mobile apps to cross-promote in their welcome emails, but the lesson from Fab is that if you can promote another platform you own, then do it. At a minimum you can also link to your Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Pay attention also to its big red box about setting email preferences. Most people wouldn’t want you to unsubscribe or dial down the number of emails; Fab builds trust by making it easy for its subscribers to stop emails anytime you think it becomes spam.
Overstock takes its emails so seriously that it’s come up with its own term for them: “Omail.” This omail announces 5% rewards and a free shipping offer, as well as a 10%-off coupon.
Welcome Email Templates
These emails don’t have a great deal of text, do they? Hardly any of them have paragraphs; most of them are strong offers paired with great visuals.
The visuals may be tricky. But perhaps you can put something together that’s quite compelling without a great deal of effort. Take a look first at some DIY photo editing tools. Use a piece of photo editing software like GIMP to write a big “Welcome” over one of your hero images and use that as a banner of your email. Or, use the collage tool of PicMonkey to put all of your products together into a cool-looking collage.
Now, the templates. You’ll see that the emails above fit generally into three themes: 1) telling a story of the store (and communicating the brand), 2) showcasing its products, or 3) making special offers. We’ll give you the templates for all three. Although you’ll probably want to customize these quite a bit, here are some barebones that you can structure an email around.
1. Your story
Dear (customer’s first name),
May I tell you the story of how we were founded? I started (your store name) in (the year of founding) with (your cofounders, if you have any). We were in the market for a better product to (one or two special functionalities of your product), but were frustrated that we couldn’t find any. That’s why we founded this store, to offer what we lacked.
And look at us now. Check out (product 1), which can (describe product 1); and (product 2), which is (describe product 2).
Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter. We hope that you enjoy everything about (your store name) as much as we do.
2. Showcasing your products
Hey (customer’s first name)!
Have you checked out our collection of (your products)?
It’s (describe a very special feature of those products), and we’re so pleased to tell you about that.
Take a look. And if you like it, make sure to check out (another product).
3. A special deal
Hi (customer’s first name),
Thank you for your subscription to (your store name’s) newsletter.
We’re very glad that you’re interested in our updates. Please take this (code for 15% off your next purchase OR free shipping on your next order) as a token of appreciation.
And let us know if there’s anything that we can help you out with.
Welcome Email Apps
The Shopify App Store has all the apps you need to improve your store, and email marketing is one of the functionalities that are especially well-covered.
Here are three free apps that will help you generate automated welcome emails when someone signs for your email list. Click through to the apps to understand how they work and how they can be integrated to your store.
Not on Shopify? You have other options. Check out:
The apps are easy to integrate into your store, and there’s a lot that you can do to send out great emails.
Welcome emails are really effective. It’s the first ever piece of communication that someone will receive from you in their inbox. They’re likely to click through, so make it count. We’ve given you beautiful examples, some text you can use, and the free apps you can use to make it really amazing. And once you’ve put together an amazing welcome email, get to work on those email newsletters.
– Dan Wang
About the Author: Dan Wang is a Content Specialist at Shopify. Get more from Dan on Twitter.