The best way to engage a new user or subscriber is to give them tools and resources to get up and running quickly. While welcome emails are often considered transactional as opposed to promotional, they are highly influential in creating a positive first impression of your product, service or brand. In fact, Experian found that welcome emails generate three times more revenue than promotional emails.
The slideshow below is loaded with great information about welcome emails and contains a few great examples. It’s a bit outdated, however, so we took a look at a few recent welcome emails to see what businesses are doing right, and where they need to step it up. So take a look at these 54 slides, then see what you think of our examples below.
Example 1: VSCO Keys
Short for Visual Supply CO., VSCO Keys is a helpful piece of software that enables a number of keyboard shortcuts for photographers using Adobe Lightroom. It’s an incredibly useful tool and VSCO offers a free trial to encourage people see for themselves how powerful it can be. Here is a look at their welcome email:
As you might expect, the Visual Supply Co. emphasizes the look and feel of their marketing. This email is consistent with their branding, which is designed to be creative, inspiring, a touch nostalgic and always beautiful. Here are a few things I really like about this welcome email:
- It comes from firstname.lastname@example.org. They recognize that new software can be daunting for some users. This gives the email a personal feel right off the bat. (Remember also that your “from” address is part of your subject line!)
- The purpose of this email is abundantly clear. The word “Welcome” – which appears several times – has been used to accept guests and newcomers for nearly 1,000 years. The connotations of the word are overwhelmingly positive; the VSCO team is wise to emphasize it.
- There isn’t much copy in this email – I count just over 100 words – but there are several subtle reminders that I’ve signed up for a free trial and will need to make a purchase in order to continue using this product. The single call to action is bold and clear.
- The section of resources is laid out in a simple grid and clearly labeled. I’ve come back to this email several times to find these resources.
- I find the use of a celebrity image (basketball player Kobe Bryant) interesting but quite effective. It tells me that this software is good enough for professional sports photographers, so it’s good enough for me too.
- VSCO does content marketing really well. They use visual content to inspire readers, and they include links to their social outlets where users can find art created by other VSCO users for inspiration.
This is a hearty email – it’s chock full of information. It’s appropriate, however, for a software free trial since the user has just 14 days to learn why this tool is worth $59. Overall, VSCO has done an excellent job executing both the transactional and promotional elements of this email.
Example 2: Plated
When I saw Plated on “Shark Tank“, I rushed to their website to learn more. It’s a cool service that sends you all the ingredients you need to make high end meals. I signed up for the newsletter immediately, and here’s the welcome email I received:
This email is welcoming me to a newsletter subscription rather than a free trial, so it’s entirely different than the VSCO email above. Because Plated wants me to make purchases on a regular basis, they are aiming to grab my attention on a weekly basis.
Here are a few things I liked and didn’t like about this email:
- The theme is this email is clearly food. Beginning with the “From” address (email@example.com) and continuing through the body of the email (“the most delicious emails on the web”), they repeatedly stimulate my brain with thoughts of a tasty meal. This strategy is often a corny and lazy alternative to really strong copywriting but they pull it off nicely.
- When I signed up for this newsletter, there was no field for my name, yet this email is personalized. Simple forms make it easier to sign up for newsletters but it’s important not to personalize an email without a name.
The failed personalization:
- I appreciate that they tell me exactly what to expect from this newsletter (their weekly menu and recipe suggestions). Transparency builds trust.
- The link to “this week’s menu” is dynamic, so anytime I click that link, I get the most recent menu offerings from Plated. This ensures that I never get a 404 (as often happens with email landing pages a month or two after the email is sent) and the link brings me to a page where I can make a purchase immediately.
- Do you send your emails from an address that you regularly check? Chances are, people are responding to your promotional and transactional emails. Plated makes it easy to get help by encouraging people to respond to their emails when they need help.
- The links to their social networks will overwhelm you with food porn. Enough said.
Well done, Plated!
Example 3: CloudMagic
CloudMagic is an email app for iOS and Android that is looking for attention in an incredibly crowded market. They say email is broken, but that they have a solution. In order to keep the attention of the world’s 2.4 billion email users, they need to get their users really excited about the product. Did they pull it off?
The first two examples were near-perfect welcome emails. This one left a lot to be desired – especially considering the company’s mission – but it’s a good opportunity to explore how it could easily be improved.
- The header of this email is the CloudMagic logo (an envelope). People don’t know CloudMagic yet, so the logo doesn’t mean anything. Smaller companies should use opportunities like this brand themselves. In this case, simply putting the name of the company alongside the logo would help users begin to associate the two.
- The first sentence of an email is where marketers need to hook the reader. The first sentence of this email – “Thank you for choosing CloudMagic.” – is too dry. It builds no excitement. Tell me about how this app could change my life and save me hours each day. Without the “wow” factor, they risk missing the opportunity to inspire their users.
- The real draw of this app is its integration with other services like Trello, Zendesk, Salesforce and Pocket. This is a huge selling point and CloudMagic should leverage the existing brand awareness of these products. At the very least, the other apps should be broken out into bullet points so the reader can see which services integrate.
- There is one link in this email and it’s in the postscript. To get new users engaged – especially with software – they need tutorials, videos, case studies and success stories. The sole link helps me setup an account but I still have no information about how to actually use this app.
A weak welcome email isn’t a death sentence. I still tried the app but I had to figure everything out myself and, more importantly, I never felt a sense of excitement about it. I’m onto the next thing. Without a group of raving fans, this app is going to have a hard time getting attention.
We want to know how you are using welcome emails. What’s working? What’s not? Let us know in the comments.