Crickets.

The response I often get when I sign up for someone’s email list. I fill out their form, hit submit and then…left wondering “did I do it right?”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve experienced this, especially for entrepreneurs just starting their email list. It’s a shame too because a Welcome email is the single most important email you can have in place. 

Not only does it have a 331% higher open rate than any other email (overall open rate for North America is 19% / 26% for Europe), but this is a big chance to make a deeper impression.

Think about the path your subscriber took to get on your email list. They likely follow you on social media, or someone referred them to you. The more invested they are in knowing you, learning from you and being a part of what you do, the more steps they will take to connect with you. It doesn’t take a lot of invested energy to scroll through their social feed and see your latest post, or click over to watch your latest story, but it takes sincere intent to navigate to your bio, find your url and sign up for your email list.

If social media is the handshake and meet up for happy hour relationship status, coming to your website and joining your email list is the coming over for dinner, I’m ready to let you in my circle relationship status. They trust you and they want more.

As Seth Godin writes in his book, Linchpin, your followers and your customers are craving connection at a deeper level. Keep in mind, this book was written nearly a decade ago, and this is more true now than ever before.

If you don’t have a Welcome email set up to welcome a new subscriber to your tribe, you’re not only missing out on telling them the bare minimum they’re “in” and everything worked as it should, but you’re missing a huge opportunity to connect with them.  

Your Welcome email should build on the relationship you already created on social media, or make a good first impression with the person referred to you. 

How to create a Welcome email that connects 

There are 3 basic guidelines:

  1. Your Welcome email should be triggered to send immediately after someone signs up.
  2. Be genuine. Please don’t start off by saying “Get my SECRETS”. There are no secrets and everything’s been done before. 
  3. Write your copy just like you talk. Your emails should be a natural extension of your social media and your 1:1 interactions with people. If you’re witty and fun on social, do the same in your emails. Not a big fan of writing? Make a quick video. 

A lot of Welcome emails look like this one below. It’s the easy way. It’s quick and doesn’t take much thought or effort. It checks off all the technical boxes, however, it’s a big missed opportunity.

 

What’s missing? Taking the time to connect and show the person on the other end they matter to you.

 

Here’s how to craft a great Welcome email. One that sounds like you, connects with your new subscriber, and sets the stage for what’s to come. 

  1. Introduce yourself & share something the two of you can connect over

Are you a pizza lover? Maybe you’ve watched Bohemian Rhapsody 108 times like the girl my son just told me about. Do you have kids? Dogs? What’s your main hobby? 

The point is, you want to remind them you’re a human on the other end. Your email is automated and they know it, but you still want to “feel” like a human.

You could say something like this: 

I just want to take a hot minute and say hello. If we haven’t met before, I’m Sarah and I’m so freaking excited you’re here.

I’m a hardcore nerd and spent over 10 years working in the lab with mice, among other creatures I won’t go into. But I really felt this pull to help people directly, so I left the 9-5 grind and started my own practice {and found yoga along the way}. 

I’m super passionate about sharing my knowledge with you. I’ll always give you science-based information, so you can make educated decisions on the food and products you bring into your home. 

Here’s the Free Download you asked for, with my Top 10 Nutrition Products I Always Keep on Hand. 

Keep in mind, you want this to be brief. This is about THEM, not YOU. On that note, tip #2.

 

2. Use the word YOU as many times as you can

Not only is “you” a powerful word and there are studies proving it will grab your audience’s attention, it’s a reminder to YOU when you’re writing copy to write directly to one person. A lot of people will write “you guys” or write as if it’s going to a big anonymous group. Email is 1:1. There is a person sitting at home, reading your email as their dinner cooks and their children run rampant. 

Write to one person.

By focusing on the word you, you’ll keep the focus on your subscriber and make it about them – how will you help them, what will they learn from you, what experiences will you share. That’s the important piece.

 

3. Deliver on your promise

If you promoted a lead magnet (free eBook, free download, new subscriber coupon) in exchange for their email, you’ll deliver it. Not a lot to say here, but just make sure you test your links and the download works. This isn’t a part to rush through. Broken link = bad first impression. Not that we won’t make mistakes, but slowing down and checking everything first goes a long way. 

4. Let them know what to expect 

How often will you be emailing them? Are you sending a special guide tomorrow? Are you just starting out and not sure when you can pull this whole email thing off?  It’s all ok — just be honest.

For example, one of my clients rarely emails, so we put this in his Welcome email: “I don’t email often, but when I do, it’s gooooooood.” 

Other things to keep in mind is WHY they signed up for your email list.

  • What knowledge do you have that will benefit them?
  • What do they want and how do you help them get it?
  • Do they share frustrations and your experiences can help them?  

 

The point is to communicate so they know what to expect, and you reaffirm their decision to join your email list.

You could say something like this:

Check your inbox tomorrow — I’ll be sending you my Free Guide for staying on track while traveling and eating out. I give this same guide to all my clients and they swear by it. 

 

5. Ask them to reply

This immediately makes your emails more personal and gives your subscriber access to you. Accessibility is a huge benefit to your subscriber. You might not be able to reply back to every email due to your work schedule and keeping sanity, but you can commit to reading every one. 

Something like this:

Let me know what you think of the Guide and Bonus pantry checklist, or if you have any questions. I read every email and I’ll answer as many of your questions as I can. 

Adding this simple touch sets you apart. You’re showing them you recognize they are a person on the other end, and you want to have a conversation with them. 

If you’re just starting out, getting an email reply is equivalent to 3,000 likes on Instagram. It takes effort to sit down and write to you, so if you get a reply – celebrate and feel good about your efforts.

6. What about the design?

I encourage most of my clients to use simple text. The reality is, you likely don’t have a designer contracted, nor should you spend your money (or time) designing fancy templates. Start simple so you can launch, and then go back and get fancy later.

Simple text is perfect because it reads just like an email you’d send a friend from your Gmail or Outlook. Plus the deliverability is better than emails with heavy graphics.

7. Up for a challenge?

See if you can write your subject line without saying “Welcome”. This will make you stand out from the beginning. Here’s some ideas to get you started…you can say:

  • You’re in
  • Yes, let’s get this party started
  • Here’s the information I promised you
  • Dang, you’re smart
  • I hope this makes your day

Have some fun with it. Being an entrepreneur means you don’t have to follow the corporate play book. You get to write your own rules and build your own map. 

 

Some final thoughts.

Email marketing is hard work. A colleague of mine lovingly called it the “red-headed step-sister” of marketing. I fought many a fight over the importance of email during my time at Bowflex. New, and more exciting technology emerges daily, but email will continue to be fundamental for online business. It doesn’t have as many moments of instant glory like social media does, but it’s a channel you have full control over, where you can personalize your communication down to a single subscriber and when you get to the point of running a big launch — email is your powerhouse. 

In fact, for one of my clients, we drove 60% of the promotional revenue this past Black Friday and Cyber Monday from email (and it was a 6-figure number). Not to mention, it’s been shown time and time again: Email delivers the highest ROI for marketers.

When TikTok takes over and Facebook is old news, YOU will have a direct line to your audience because you worked hard setting up your email list. #emailrocks