So it’s time to make an automated confirmation email for new email subscribers. Or perhaps a seasonal revamp to keep communications fresh and on-brand. Either way, setting up this automation strategically can result in greater brand resonance with new customers and a higher conversion. In my experience, promo codes associated with a customer’s first purchase, delivered in a tasteful and on-brand subscription confirmation email, are the most lucrative promo codes for e-commerce businesses.
Below I listed out some of my favorite welcome email templates. Though I do not work in-house with any of these companies, and therefore have no KPIs to demonstrate the emails’ effectiveness, I break down why these designs and communications appealed to me as a marketer and a consumer.
There are a list of decisions that each brand needs to make for this email:
How long or short should it be? What should the subject line say? Promo code or no promo code? What should the calls to action (CTA) be and which landing pages should they lead to?
Let this be a guide for the different directions you can take for your welcome email. This is an arena where you can be playful, try different strategies, and tinker, but above all , stay true to your brand, highlight your value proposition, and be clear and actionable.
Subject Line: Welcome to Everlane
Promo Code: No
CTA: Shop Men’s, Shop Women’s
Why it’s Featured: This email clearly explains Everlane value proposition (quality products sold transparently to consumers) through a cost-break down infographic and lifestyle shots of their products.
Subject Line: Welcome to Team OV
Promo Code: $20 off first purchase of $100 or more sent in a separate email 6 days after email signup.
CTA: Get to Know Us
Why It’s Featured: Outdoor Voices does a phenomenal job of incorporating a sense of community early in the customer journey. Before the subscriber even buys anything, you are welcomed to the team.
The verbiage coupled with the diverse group of women cultivate a feeling of belonging and inclusivity which is compelling, but also risks potentially isolating their male customer base (which is admittedly smaller). That being said, this email was a result of subscribing via the OV site footer which does not specify gender preference. Their site subscription pop up does ask for birthday and gender and may provide a different male-oriented version of the newsletter for those that specify.
Subject Line: Welcome to Feedly
Promo Code: No
CTA: Personalize Your Feedly
Why It’s Featured: There is no need to create a lofty welcome email with excessive imagery and an editorial layout. Feedly mastered the art of the personalized email (one that is ‘from the Founder’ no less) and did a spectacular job of providing resources to new users (linking to an article on how to use the platform and providing a way for customers to receive immediate support). Providing directions and resources seems to be the #1 strategy for SaaS and tech companies. Offering a communication channel with one of the founders is also a great way of humanizing the brand and demonstrating that the founder proudly stands behind the product.
4. Best Made
Subject Line: Welcome to Best Made
Promo Code: Yes, 15% off next order
CTA: This email has an undefined CTA. The majority of the email is linked to the homepage.
Why It’s Featured: Along with the very deliberate design details, this email clearly narrates the brand history and paints a literal picture of what comprises the ‘Best Made World’. The brand story articulated by the founder creates a sense of nostalgia toward the brand for even new customers that have just been introduced to the brand. Very impressive. The imagery, letter copy, and ‘Courage!’ sign-off all contribute to the association between Best Made and unbridled adventure. In sum, this email is at once aspirational (‘I want to lead an adventurous life’) and rooted in their brand story and commitment to quality.
Final Thought: I would be remiss if I did not mention that a more clear CTA may lead to better click-throughs and conversions for Best Made. Even adding a border to the promo code (signifying a clickable button) and linking to a specific landing page (not the home page) gives customers clear direction with how they can interact with the brand next.
After distilling some of this email creative inspiration and crafting an email that is uniquely on-brand, how do you know if you’ve been successful?
Here are a list of metrics to track as you tinker on copy, design, subject line, and time lag:
Open Rate: of the people that received your email, the percentage of people that open it
Click-through Rate: of the people that open your email, the percentage of readers that click-through to any link on the email
Conversion Rate: of the people that successfully received your email, the percentage of readers that make a purchase or complete the desired action
Promo Code: the number of times a discount code was applied at checkout and the sales associated with the promo; this info should be available on your e-commerce platform
To see if your rates are considered ‘successful’ and bringing your brand engagement and return, these averages provide a good benchmark.