8 Email Welcome Series Best Practices + Examples

minute/s reading time

I'm sure you have heard, "First impression is the last impression". Many people don't realize that this saying also holds true for email marketing. Just like you wouldn't show up to a job interview in ripped jeans and a t-shirt, your new subscribers shouldn't be met with a generic "Hi, thanks for subscribing!" message. Instead, you should take the time to create a well-crafted email welcome series that will make a lasting impression on your new subscribers.

A welcome email series can be an effective way to engage with your potential and current customers. Because welcome emails have a 50% open rate, recipients are over 75% more likely to open these messages than other marketing emails. You can use this opportunity to introduce them to your products or services and encourage them to take action.

My personal experience with email welcome series: my content website that I operate in the financial service industry successfully uses a lead magnet to get subscribers on our email nurturing list. We get about 2,000 subscribers per week. I find that the welcome series we send over the first week can have a major impact on the conversion rate of our email list, and long term value of our subscribers. In short, it is much more prosperous if we can quickly engage and connect with the subscriber in our welcome series!

But now, how can you ensure that the first impression will be good? In this blog, I will share the blueprints of a welcome email series that will engage your email subscribers. But first, let's talk about welcome emails.

Do note for this blog post, we will be talking in terms of welcome emails for subscribers to an email list, but the same principles apply for welcome emails in retail after a customer purchases.

What is a Welcome Email?

A welcome email is the first email you send to subscribers after they've signed up for your list. It's an important email because it's an opportunity to make a great first impression, build rapport, and build a relationship with your new potential customer. It's not a sales pitch but a way to introduce yourself and your business.

Think about it this way: when you meet someone for the first time, you wouldn't immediately start talking about yourself or trying to sell them something. Instead, you would take the time to get to know them and build a rapport. The same principle applies to welcome emails.

Why are Welcome Emails Important?

As I have shared above, it has an open rate of 50%, which means that your email has a higher chance of being seen than other marketing emails. Modern consumers expect a personalized experience, and a welcome email is a perfect opportunity to deliver it. Welcome emails also allow you to nurture your relationship with your new subscriber from the beginning.

You can use this opportunity to build trust and credibility with your further contact. By delivering value-packed welcome emails, you will set the tone for future interactions and build the foundation for a long-lasting relationship.

What is an Email Welcome Series?

A welcome email series is a sequence of automated emails sent to new subscribers after signing up for your email list. A welcome series aims to introduce your brand and build relationships with your new subscribers.

Typically, a welcome series includes 3-5 emails, and each email builds on the previous one. Every email will be different, but they all work together to create a cohesive sequence. Let's see the sequence:

  • The first email will introduce your brand and explain what your subscribers can expect.
  • The second email might provide more information about your products or services.
  • And the third email might offer a discount or other incentive to encourage subscribers to make a purchase.

By taking the time to create a well-designed email welcome series, you can make a great first impression and turn new subscribers into lifelong customers.

Best Practices to Optimize Your Email Welcome Series

When crafting welcome emails, there are a few best practices you should keep in mind to ensure that your messages are effective.

1. Include Video

I know it sounds cliché, but video is the best way to engage most audiences. What should you say in the video? I like to make a simple introduction with a thank you and then let them know why you’re passionate about whatever you’re sharing. Passion resonates and differentiates you from many others serving bland email content.

Finally direct them through your content. Mention your best podcasts, videos, blog posts or other resources you mention online.

2. Use Compelling Subject Lines

The first thing a customer sees when receiving your email is the subject line. You only have a few seconds to make a good impression. To ensure that your emails are opened and read, you need to use compelling subject lines that accurately reflect the content of your email.

Your subject line should be brief, precise, and to the point. It should also be exciting and relevant to your new subscriber. Avoid using generic phrases like "welcome to our newsletter list" or "thanks for subscribing!". Instead, use something that will grab their attention and make them want to read more.

Some examples of great welcome email subject lines are:

  • Welcome to the club
  • Ready to start your journey
  • It's time to get started
  • Finally, you are here
  • We are so excited to have you
  • There's so much to explore
  • Welcome to [brand name]! Enjoy £10 off your next order

3. A Warm Greeting

You cannot start your first line by saying "our service or product is the best." Instead, you must find a way to connect with the reader by using a story or creating a likeable character. You also want to ensure that your email looks and feels like it's coming from a real person.

This means avoiding generic phrases like "dear valued customer" or "hello friend." Instead, use the subscriber's first name to make the email feel more personal. Your goal is to create an email that feels like it's coming from a friend, not a faceless corporation. Introduce yourself and the brand you represent to develop a connection with the reader. Emails with personalized greetings are 25% more likely to be opened by readers.

4. Give Consumers Something to Do

You get your subscriber's attention with an interesting subject line and a personalized greeting. The next step is to give them something to do. It can be in several ways depending on your business. Following are a few you can use as inspiration:

  • SaaS company: You can give them a tour of your popular product and how to use it.
  • E-commerce store: You can provide them with discount codes for their first purchase.
  • Blog: You can give them a list of your most popular articles.
  • Podcast: You can provide them with a list of your most popular episodes.

The goal here is to introduce your new subscriber to what you have to offer and encourage them to take action. The more value you can provide, the more likely they will stay engaged with your brand.

5. Include Some Personalization

Your subscribers may be new, but you know a little bit about them already. You know their first name, email address, and perhaps even where they're from. Use this information to your advantage by personalizing your emails. Including a subscriber's first name in an email's subject line or body can increase open rates by 26%. So, if you have the information, be sure to use it.

Let's say a man has purchased something from your store. Now you have something that he might be interested in again. For example, let's say you sell shoes. You can send an email a few weeks later saying, "We noticed you purchased a pair of our dress shoes. Here are some other styles we think you'll like." This is just one example of how you can use personalization to increase engagement with your subscribers.

6. Don’t Stress Over the Design

Sometimes, less is more. When it comes to email design, you don't need to overcomplicate things. In fact, keeping your emails simple and easy to read can actually be more effective. You want your subscribers to be able to quickly scan your email and understand what it's about.

So, avoid using large blocks of text or complex images. Stick to a simple layout with clear headlines and easy-to-read fonts. You should also consider using a responsive design for your emails. Your email will adjust to fit whatever screen size it's being viewed on, whether it's a phone, tablet, or laptop. With more people reading emails on their mobile devices, ensuring that your emails are optimized for all screen sizes is essential.

7. Use the Best Timing for Your Welcome Email

Strike while the iron's hot. That means sending your first email as soon as somebody subscribes. Not the next day, not even an hour later. If you wait too long, your welcome email may get lost in the shuffle or forgotten altogether. It's best to send it right away while your subscriber is still interested in hearing from you.

After that you can strategize the timing of your remaining emails. But generally, it's best to space them out for at least two days. This gives your subscriber time to digest the information in each email and take action on it.

Sending too many emails too close together can be overwhelming for your subscribers. And if they feel like being bombarded with information, they're likely to unsubscribe. So, it's important to balance sending too many and too few emails.

8. Make it Easy to Unsubscribe

You might be thinking, "why would I want to make it easy for my subscribers to unsubscribe from my email list?". But it is a law to allow users to opt out at any time. Not to mention, if someone wants to unsubscribe from your emails, they will probably not engage with your brand anyway. So, it's best to make it easy for them to unsubscribe rather than risk having your emails marked as spam.

To ensure that your emails comply with the law, you should include an unsubscribe link in every email you send. This link should be clearly visible and easy to find. You should also make sure that unsubscribing only takes a few clicks. Don't make your subscribers jump through hoops just to get off your list.

What Does an Email Welcome Series Look Like?

Now you might wonder, what does an email welcome series look like in action? Following are a few examples of how you can structure your email welcome series.

1. Introduction or Welcome

The first email from your email series is essential as it can set the tone for your relationship with your new subscribers. In this email, you should introduce yourself and your business. It should look like it was sent from a real person rather than a faceless company. Be sure to include a personalized photo of yourself so your subscribers can get to know you.

Example of welcome email:

Hey [name],

I’m [name], the founder of [company name], and I’d like to thank you for signing up for our service.

We established [company name] in order to [mission/values of company]. I’d love to hear what you think of [product] and if there is anything we can improve. If you have any questions, please reply to this email. I’m always happy to help!


PS: You can unsubscribe anytime by clicking on the link at the bottom of every email we send.

The first email should be simple and straightforward. Keep it short and sweet, and include a call-to-action so your subscribers know what to do next.

2. Give Something as an Appreciation

After welcoming and saying thank you to your subscribers, it's time to give something to them as an appreciation. You can offer a discount, free shipping or anything else you think your customers would appreciate.

Example of appreciation email:

Hi [name],

Welcome to [business name]! We're glad you're here. As a thank you for subscribing here's 10% off your first bouquet. Enter the code at checkout, or show this email in-store. Use code: [code]


If you have any questions, reply to this email and we'll be in touch. Thanks again for shopping with us.

[Your name]

P.S. You can unsubscribe anytime by clicking on the link at the bottom of every email we send.

[Recommended products]

As you can see the second email is also simple. Still, in the end, there is an option for recommended products for your subscribers.

3. Explain why they Should Buy from You

Now giving a discount does not mean they will buy from you, so in the third email it's time to explain to your subscribers why they should buy your product. You can talk about your company's mission and values or how your product differs from other similar products on the market.

Example of why email:

Hi [name],

I hope you are doing well and great. When [business name] first started, we decided to be different.

Instead of using fresh flowers, we only use dried ornamental plants. Dry flowers can last several years, whereas fresh flowers only last about 10 days. Our team is dedicated to creating the most beautiful, sustainable ornamental designs. Because we use dried plants, our arrangements are eco-friendly and require no water.

We're so confident in the quality of our products that we offer a lifetime guarantee. If you're unhappy with your purchase, simply contact us, and we will replace it or refund your order, no questions asked.

Read more about our story: [link]

[Your name]

P.S. You can unsubscribe anytime by clicking on the link at the bottom of every email we send.

As you can see when you offer a discount + guarantee, there is no way they can say no. Because in the end, it is all about giving value to your subscribers.

4. Discount Reminder

Sometimes they just add the product into the cart but forget to check out. In the fourth email, you can remind your subscriber that their discount is about to expire soon.

Example of reminder email:

Hi there, I just wanted to drop a quick reminder that your 10% off coupon expires in 48 hours. Check out our most popular collections:

[Recommended products]

All you need to do is enter the code at checkout. Here’s the code again in case you need it.

Use code: [code]

If you have any questions, please reply to this email and I’ll be happy to help.

[Your name]

P.S. You can unsubscribe anytime by clicking on the link at the bottom of every email we send.

5. Give Something More

After giving a discount, it's time to convert your subscriber into your social media follower. Engaging subscribers on social media can help promote your brand and increase sales. You can offer a free e-book, an exclusive video or anything else that you think would be valuable to your subscribers.

Example of giveaway email:

Hi [name], I hope you are doing well and great. Our social media channels are a great way to stay up-to-date on new arrivals, sales, and exclusive offers. Plus, it's a great way to get to know the people behind the scenes here at [company name].

We're giving away a $50 gift card to one lucky winner to show our appreciation. All you have to do is follow us on social media and share this email with your friends.

Here's how to enter:

1. Follow us on Instagram.
2. Like us on Facebook.
3. Share this email with your friends.

The winner will be announced on Friday, March 5th. Good luck!

[Your name]

P.S. You can unsubscribe anytime by clicking on the link at the bottom of every email we send.

Above are some great examples of a welcome email series that you can use to increase sales and engagement with your subscribers. But now let's see how you can optimize your welcome email series for the best results.

Final Thoughts

Whether you're just getting started with email marketing or you've been doing it for awhile, creating a welcome series is a great way to increase engagement with your subscribers. By following the tips and examples in this article, you can create an effective email welcome series that will help you build relationships with your subscribers and encourage them to stay engaged with your brand.

And the best part is, once you've set up your welcome series, it's automated! So, you can set it and forget it, and focus on other aspects of your business.

About the Author

I have been in the 'online business' space since 2009 when I started an eCommerce business selling motorcycle parts (sold in 2012). Since then I have owned and operated several successful online business (and had a fair share of failures), along with owning offline home services businesses. Currently my focus is online businesses that are profitable with paid traffic. As a 'self employed individual' I do not use Linkedin, but you can connect with my on my personal instagram and youtube which largely revolve around my mountain biking passion!