For many, the first time they’ll personally hear directly from the brand is after they purchase a product. True, they’ve seen your marketing and worked through the checkout process on your website, but may have never heard from you in a one-on-one context.
This is what makes the Welcome E-mail so important. It’s here that you make a personal connection with the buyer, show interest in the relationship, and set the tone for going forward. It’s also in the Welcome E-mail that you can mitigate future customer service requests and improve overall customer experience, just in a few short sentences.
The Basics: Tone, Timing, and Purpose
So what is the Welcome E-mail? This is the first message you send customers after they’ve purchased or signed up for a product or newsletter. For a quick example, enter your email into the Subscription School newsletter sign up at the top of the page. In a few short minutes, you’ll be delivered a brief email from the team, welcoming you to the community.
Similarly, here’s the welcome email from Cratejoy merchant Prospurly:
When thinking about your own email consider these basic elements:
- Tone: Tone should always be welcoming, kind, and excited. Avoid being pushy or aggressive – you simply need to reinforce the great decision they’ve made by becoming a patron of your product. Have fun with this and make sure you stay in your brand voice while focusing on the customer (you) versus yourself (I). Also, keep it personal – people love hearing from other people!
- Timing: Timing is everything with a Welcome E-mail. Personally, I suggest having one automatically sent after checkout is completed – almost instantaneously. This is for a few reasons:
- Ensures customer that sign up went correctly.
- Shows attention on your end, and that you prioritize your messaging to customers.
- Instant gratification – the sooner the customer knows the product is on its way, the sooner they feel excited.
- Purpose: The purpose of your welcome message may seem like it should just be to welcome customers, but there is a bit more to it than that. In fact, you should focus on some major points when crafting your welcome email:
1. Set Expectations
The Welcome E-mail is an ideal place to set expectations. Because your customers have just signed up for a recurring monthly service, you should pay special attention to the dates, deliveries, and billing practices on your side of things. There’s no need to be exhaustive in your explanation, and be sure to format these points in digestible ways, like use of bullet points.
Welcome to the Subscription School community! You’re on your way to learning everything you need to know about subscription businesses, and we can’t wait to be a part of your journey.
- Weekly newsletters, crafted by real business owners
- Q+A with professionals
- Simple, complete guides for every aspect of your business.
In this example, some very basic points come up in a digestible way. Customers now expect weekly newsletters and specific types of content. With a clear expectation in mind, customers are more likely to avoid confusion (that means a better customer experience). Here are some examples of what you could include:
- Types of products they’ll receive
- Renewal date
2. Choose One Central “Call to Action”
The Welcome E-mail may also be a place you want your customers to complete some other action. If so, it’s suggested you focus on only one call to action – not multiple calls to action.
In your case, it may be sharing a photo or link in effort to get their next delivery free, or filling out a survey that you may use to better curate their boxes. If they’ve just signed up for your newsletter, perhaps that call to action is to subscribe to the recurring subscription. Whatever it is, make sure it is clear, visually attractive in the email, and simple to do as a customer. Otherwise, you run the risk of customers not noticing or not having enough desire to actually fulfill the action.
3. Include Contact and Social Media Information
Lastly, the Welcome E-mail is also a great place to clearly direct your customers to your customer service contact and social media profiles. Along the bottom of the email, for example, is a great place to simply list the social icons and click-to-email support email address for customers. In case they have any questions about the content in the Welcome E-mail, this makes it easy for them to reach out to your company. Similarly, it gives them the opportunity to connect with your brand in more ways over social media.
(Ps. These are often useful in most marketing emails as well!).
A Powerful Welcome E-mail
Armed with a great Welcome E-mail, your customers are more likely to better understand your service, how it works, and how it will affect their schedules and expectations. Reflect on your Welcome E-mail constantly, and if your operations or specifics of business change, be sure to make adjustments in your Welcome E-mail to reflect these changes. Remember: by increasing the amount your customer knows, the less they will need to ask you or your team down the line!