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8 Welcome Email Tips I’ve Learned From 6 Years at Litmus

Every new email subscriber or buyer is a chance to attach…or to bother.

You need your welcome emails to be on the correct aspect of the excited vs. overbearing, or personalised vs. simply plain creepy spectrum. But there are such a lot of use circumstances for welcome emails.  How have you learnt what to ship, to whom, and when?

We’ve tried nearly each welcome and onboarding email thought you may consider within the six years I’ve been at Litmus. Here are among the most vital features that contribute to an impactful welcome journey, based mostly on what I’ve discovered first-hand.

What is a welcome email journey?

A welcome email journey, additionally known as an onboarding collection or welcome emails, helps new subscribers or clients.

The particulars of your welcome emails differ based mostly on who’s receiving them. For instance, a brand new newsletter subscriber and a free trial buyer have completely different expectations and targets after they open an email from you. For instance, a product demo GIF would appear random to somebody who thought they might see your greatest weblog posts.

The most typical methods to make use of a welcome journey are to:

  • Share your greatest content material with new publication subscribers to extend engagement and nurture leads
  • Teach free trial clients about your product to assist them attain the ‘aha’ second and improve to a paid account
  • Introduce new paid clients to your model and product line

The welcome emails you’ll use rely on what kind of group you’re at, like a SaaS vs. an e-commerce firm. Here at Litmus, we’ve two major email welcome journeys. The first is a lead nurture collection for brand new subscribers that we use to introduce Litmus and our content material. The second is a buyer onboarding collection for brand new free trial customers.

8 welcome email ideas I’ve discovered from six years at Litmus

During my time at Litmus, we’ve experimented with our welcome and onboarding emails numerous occasions, and we study one thing new every time.

Here are eight ideas and greatest practices for welcome emails that I hope may also help you and your group.

1. Create visually distinct welcome emails

Our welcome emails are visually distinct from our month-to-month Litmus publication templates. We select to make use of completely different designs for these emails for 2 important causes:

  1. It helps new subscribers differentiate the emails, since they clearly don’t know the mechanics of our email sequences.

Litmus Newsletter subscribers receive a welcome email right away with links to top content.

Newsletter subscribers obtain a welcome email immediately with hyperlinks to prime content material.

2. Visually distinctive designs assist maintain subscribers from feeling overwhelmed by emails.

The first welcome email is shipped instantly after signup. Then, they get a weekly nurture email along with the month-to-month Litmus News publication. If all of those emails look the identical, it would set the expectation that we’ll ship a number of emails every week on a regular basis (which we don’t).

2. Acknowledge trial signups instantly (in case folks neglect)

Raise your hand for those who’ve ever signed up for a free trial or publication and instantly acquired distracted by one other activity. I do know I’m responsible. Sometimes individuals who join free trials aren’t prepared to leap in, so we guarantee they’ve a reminder of their inbox. The transactional email acknowledges their free trial to allow them to log in later. Then, we ship 5 onboarding emails over the seven-day free trial. We additionally like to present people a heads-up within the preliminary email about what varieties of emails we’ll ship within the coming days.


The first free trial email lets clients know their account is prepared. 

3. Introduce content material and options based mostly on earlier actions

I as soon as obtained an onboarding email with a screenshot from deep inside a function I hadn’t touched but. It was a bit complicated to leap into what felt like the center of a narrative in progress.

Incremental progress and exploration are a lot much less intimidating than massive leaps ahead. If you may, use action-based triggers to ship welcome emails. When introducing a brand new function or use case throughout onboarding emails, attempt to tie it into one thing the shopper has already interacted with.

For instance, we wouldn’t need to introduce Litmus Email Analytics to somebody who hasn’t created a single email but. Instead, we may wait to ship an email about analyzing engagement after somebody created, examined, and despatched an email throughout their free trial. One of the primary actions we introduce throughout a free trial is seeing how your present emails look throughout greater than 300,000 potential renderings.

Each free trial welcome email has one motion for people to discover.

4. Collect buyer information to customise time-based emails

Action-based email triggers are nice, however just some groups can entry that information. That doesn’t imply you’re caught with cookie-cutter messages that look the identical for each new subscriber or buyer, although. With just a bit little bit of buyer info, you may customise the contents of the email even when everybody receives the identical kind of message on the identical schedule.

I’ll use our collection for instance. Suppose we all know a free trial consumer is an email developer. In that case, we advocate our Email Builder because it pertains to their function. Similarly, we are able to ask publication subscribers what ESP they use after which nurture them as leads based mostly on their responses.

Dynamic email content material permits you to routinely personalize emails as a substitute of making a number of variations. For instance, PrettyLittleThing makes use of Litmus Personalize to routinely replace zodiac messaging based mostly on when subscribers open their birthday message.


PrettyLittleThing’s birthday message routinely adjusts imagery when a subscriber opens the email.

5. Use clicks to find out about subscribers

If you may’t set off emails based mostly on app engagement, and also you don’t acquire buyer info at join–you’ve nonetheless acquired choices! You can use hyperlink clicks that can assist you personalize your welcome emails. Imagine you’re employed for an e-commerce model that sells specialty meals merchandise. Your welcome email may hyperlink to completely different product classes, and you may ship subsequent emails based mostly on what an individual interacted with.

Just beware that some corporations have bots that click every email link to test for safety points. So, if a subscriber opens your email at work, you would possibly get inaccurate information. Before you hinge your welcome email technique on hyperlink clicks, think about using a ‘fake link’ not seen to human readers, or monitoring your hyperlink clicks over just a few months to see if these bots are prevalent in your checklist.

6. Don’t count on the identical email efficiency between onboarding and newsletters

Let’s speak about benchmarks. While you would possibly count on email metrics like click-through charges to be excessive as folks first work together along with your firm, which may not  be the case. We’ve discovered that onboarding emails are inclined to underperform in comparison with newsletters or promotional emails.

Like I discussed earlier, typically folks join your email checklist or free trial after which neglect. Just as a result of somebody kicked off a free trial doesn’t at all times imply they’re prepared to start out instantly.

I like to recommend benchmarking your welcome journeys individually from different varieties of campaigns.

7. Send a welcome journey to everybody

We don’t use holdout teams that A/B check welcome or onboarding emails in opposition to no emails at all. For starters, you want a really excessive ship quantity to get statistically important outcomes. Plus, what for those who don’t ship a welcome email to somebody who actually wants it? While we nonetheless A/B check and experiment with our welcome emails, everybody will get some model.

8. Assess and experiment

Speaking of experimenting, folks typically marvel how usually they need to replace their welcome or onboarding emails. Barring any main modifications, like substantial product updates, sudden drops in engagement, or reductions, we don’t contact our welcome email journey all that always.

Each subscriber solely receives the collection as soon as, versus a weekly publication template, so we assess efficiency at the tip of each quarter. Then, we are able to determine at the tip of the 12 months if we need to make a change.

Some of the experiments we’ve run previously embody:

  • Sending emails ‘from’ the model vs. text-based emails ‘from’ a person
  • Updating template design
  • Changing the collection cadence
  • Pausing different varieties of emails whereas somebody is on a welcome journey

What’s subsequent to your onboarding emails?

Email advertising and marketing is at all times altering, and it’s thrilling to marvel what we’ll attempt within the new 12 months. I’ll be listening to evolving email engagement trends and getting impressed by the email group—what about you?




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