The Princess Bride Formula for Memorable Welcome Emails

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Sure, welcome emails are vital.

They help acquire that critical feeling of trust that anchors a stronger customer relationship. Research by ReturnPath even shows that welcome messages not only boost engagement but predict long-term subscriber behavior and revenue potential.

But the blank page is always nerve-racking, especially when you’re trying so hard to create a really great first impression. So we’ve gathered examples of 5 different types of welcome emails that many businesses use — with copy templates you can use and adapt to get started.

5 Types of Welcome Emails

Welcomes arise in many situations. People meet businesses in many different ways — which calls for more than one type of email greeting.

Here’s a rundown of the 5 types of welcome emails:

  1. General product / service: The basic welcome message from a business, app, or website once you sign up for an account.
  2. Newsletter Subscription: A welcome to your marketing world, whether the goal is to nurture leads, build an audience, engage existing customers, or promote sales.
  3. Personal outreach: New signups automatically receive a personal welcome email from someone in the company. This has become a standard email practice for many startups.

    The following 2 types are less common but still important to categorize as welcome emails and treat with the same care.

  4. Free Sample Welcome: Companies often offer free content in exchange for an email address — it’s just as crucial to make a memorable first impression here.
  5. Invitation: When a teammate or group member invites others to a product or service.

First, review our tactics for how to create a trustworthy first impression plus the 3-part Princess Bride formula you need in all welcome emails.

Also consider the context, timing, and flow of your welcome emails — in relationship with each other and other messages. For example, if you have a verification step to confirm an email address, will that be in a separate email or combined with the welcome message? What’s the action that triggers the welcome — a signup, purchase, promotion, or contest — and how will that inform your approach?

Now let’s look at examples and copy templates that you can start using today. The templates refer to an imaginary productivity app called Prioritizer.

5 Welcome Email Templates

1. General Product / Service Welcome Email

Example Email - Evernote
Subject: Get Started with Evernote

Evernote Welcome Email

Evernote’s welcome email is short but gets all the right points across, telling you why it exists, how it will help you, and a clear CTA. What’s the most important action for the reader to take next? In your quest to be helpful and informative, don’t bury the next step.

Some quick subject line idea from my inbox:

  • Welcome to Blue Apron (the basic bread and butter of welcome email subject lines)
  • Welcome to Mention Janet! (the personalization variation)
  • Thanks for joining! Let’s get started. [CNET Insider]
  • Welcome to Bigstock Free Trial (specifying context of signup)
  • We’re pleased to meet you [Headspace]
  • Wistia Powers, Activate!

General Welcome Email

[greeting]

Hi Bob!

Welcome to Prioritizer! Thanks so much for joining us. You’re on your way to super-productivity and beyond!

[who we are; our mission/ what we help you do; how it works]
Prioritizer is a task management app that helps you focus on the important things in life by only allowing you to add 3 items a day. Set and track daily, weekly, and monthly priorities — and get the stuff that matters done.

[what to do next that will set you up for success]
Our number one tip to get the most out of Prioritizer is to download our browser extension and give it a whirl. [how it helps] It’ll make sticking to your priorities super simple and just a click away.

[CTA](Download the extension)

[open communication channel for questions, conversations, and help]
Have any questions? Just shoot us an email! We’re always here to help.

Cheerfully yours,
The Prioritizer Team

Grab your editable template here.

2. Newsletter Welcome

Example Email: Zapier Blog
Subject line: Thanks for Subscribing to the Zapier blog!

Zapier welcome email part 1

Zapier’s email welcoming new subscribers to its blog is great. The most important information is at the top — setting expectations about type of content and frequency of emails. Presumably people sign up for recurring newsletters for a reason — and this is your chance to make sure those reasons are mutual and they won’t mark you as spam down the line.

Zapier welcome email part 2

Many newsletter welcome emails offer a collection of proven material to give new subscribers a sense of the quality content they’ve just signed up for. Others may offer a freebie or bonus content as a thank you for signing up that reflects the content to come.

Finally what makes Zapier stand out here — that many businesses don’t do well — is taking the time to introduce the company behind the blog is and what it does.

Quick things to consider:

  • What’s going to be in the newsletter? What type of content will it link to?
  • How often and when will subscribers get newsletter emails?
  • If your blog publishes multiple times a week, will you send an email with every new post or offer to set email frequency preferences?
  • Are you going to share a best-of collection of reads or a freebie?

Subject line ideas from my inbox:

  • Welcome to the Sunday Dispatches [Paul Jarvis newsletter]
  • Thanks for subscribing! Let’s get started with some free resources [Campaign Monitor]
  • [Groove’s Startup Journey] You’re subscribed to the Groove blog :-)
  • Subscription confirmed! Welcome to the Buffer email club!
  • Thanks for subscribing! Here’s some free stuff [Invision]

Newsletter Welcome Template

[greeting]
Hi Linda!

Thanks so much for signing up for the Prioritizer newsletter! [set up expectations/make personal connection] You’re joining an amazing community of folks who love nerding out about productivity.

[set up expectations re: frequency + type of content]
You’re joining an amazing community of folks who love nerding out about productivity. Here’s what to expect: every Tuesday you’ll get an email with a collection of our best content with actionable advice and food for thought to help you get more done.

[who we are / why company exists]
Oh, by the way, let’s introduce ourselves before we get going. Prioritizer is a task management app that helps you focus on the important things in life by only allowing you to add 3 items a day. Our goal with the newsletter and our content is to create and share content that will help you be more effective with your time!

[best content / freebies to build trust + affinity]
As you wait for the next issue, check out some of our most popular posts. They’re a great place to get started. (links)

[openness to conversation]
We’d love to chat. Just hit reply to this email or any of our newsletters to get in touch with feedback, questions, or ideas for us!

Have an awesome day!
Louise, Prioritizer Marketing Manager

[secondary call to action can go here, or a trust-winning reminder how easy it it is to unsubscribe]
p.s. Want to check out our Prioritizer app? Head here to sign up for a free trial.

Grab your editable template here.

3. Personal Outreach Welcome

The personal outreach email isn’t just for introductions. It fits in at any point in a customer lifecycle — whether it’s to ask for feedback, “check in to see how things are going,” or offer help after periods of inactivity. Here we’ll focus on the personal outreach email for the specific purpose of welcoming people aboard.

Quick things to think about:

  • Be personal, as if you were sending an email to a friend. Use simple formatting and plain design.
  • Consider flow. If this is the only welcome email you’re sending, incorporate all the elements in the general product/service welcome. If this message is part of a welcome or onboarding series, consider timing and goals.

Example Email: Farmigo
Subject line: Hope you love it!

Farmigo personal welcome email

I got this personal outreach email from Benzi Ronen, the founder of Farmigo. What does it do well? It arrived in my inbox 10 days after the general welcome and, more pertinently, a day after my first order. So the interaction felt personal and responsive to my individual behavior, even though it was most likely triggered automatically.

The message also reiterates Farmigo’s missions while soliciting customer feedback. The coupon incentive in the postscript didn’t hurt either — I used it to make my next purchase.

At this point, you’re not going to stand out for sending a general personal outreach email. While it’s important to offer your customers a chance to provide feedback and kickstart a conversation, this message is an opportunity to both cement your business identity and give new users a nudge in the right direction.

Personal Outreach Welcome Template

[greeting]
Hi Gene!

I’m Louise Belcher, CEO of Prioritizer. I’d like to personally thank you for signing up. Welcome aboard our journey towards smarter task management and happier productivity!

[explain mission / common goal; personally connect with the reader]
We started Prioritizer because we’ve always had trouble keeping a realistic to-do list that made sure important priorities got done. So much of your day escapes you because you end up doing reactive work that feels more urgent.

[lead into what you’d like the reader to do next]
Our mission is to help people keep on track with valuable goals. So I wanted to make sure you get the most out of your trial. [CTA] Check out our 5 top tips for success with Prioritizer.

[open door to support and feedback]
I’d love to hear whether you think Prioritizer helps fulfill your big goals or what we can do to improve. If you have any questions about getting started, I’m happy to help. Just reply to this email!

Let’s do great things together!
Louise Belcher

[postscript call to action - great spot to get a little more salesy, offer an incentive, ask a specific question to elicit a response, or express extra personality]
p.s. I love reading about productivity but hate wasting time finding quality stuff. What’s your favorite source of good reads?

Grab your editable template here.

4. Free Sample Welcome

Companies, especially many SaaS businesses, offer free content, such as e-books, guides, reports, and other goodies to increase their visibility and collect email addresses.

One common mistake I see over and over is that this email includes a download link or quick thanks and not much else. Yet this is often your first point of contact with people who’ve just expressed interest in a field in which you’re probably selling.

It’s worth your time to make a great first impression here and take advantage of the opportunity to make a meaningful connection, set expectations if they get put on a marketing email list, or include a more specific call to action with enough context to persuade.

Example Email: Litmus
Subject line: You read the 2015 State of Email Report. Now what?

Litmus download email

Litmus offers its 2015 State of Email Report as an instant download. While the email I got doesn’t specifically say “welcome”, the message acknowledges the fact that I may be new to the Litmus universe. Litmus already knows that I’m interested in email because I downloaded their report — so I’m likely more receptive to their nudge to start a free trial.

What I especially like about this email is the explicit “Now what?”. If you’re sending freebies and resource downloads to grow your lists, come right out and answer the “Now what?” question. Will you send more emails? Do you want them to start a trial? Would you like them to share the resource?

One quick tip: be specific in your subject line. Instead of “Here’s your ebook,” include details. People are more motivated to open and read an email from a relative stranger if the subject line is clear. Here’s a nice example from Copyhackers: Yay! You’ve got your free persuasion ebook + this (you’ll love it).

Free Sample Welcome Email Template

[greeting & gratitude]
Hi Bob,

Thanks so much for your interest in our 50 Most Successful Productivity Lifehacks book! [access to resource] Here’s your download link.

[what’s next?]
You’ll also start receiving weekly emails with thoughtfully human-curated content and our best blog posts full of actionable advice and food for thought to help you get more done. If that’s not your jam, no worries - just click the unsubscribe link.

[explain who you are, make a short pitch to give context for your call to action] At Prioritizer, we’re only interested in lifehacks that make it easier to focus on accomplishing great goals — so much so that we made an app for it! We help you keep a realistic to-do list of priorities.

[CTA] Check out our 30-day free trial!
(Start being more productive)

Always here if you have any questions,
The Prioritizer Team

[postscript - a nice spot to ask for a visibility boost for your content]
p.s. Think this guide is helpful? Just click here to share with friends and colleagues.

Grab your editable template here

5. Invitation Welcome Emails

Invitation (and referral) emails can be the first time someone meets your business. In order to make a trustworthy impression and appealing introduction, make sure your invitation email includes this information:

  • Who invited the reader or created the account?
  • Who are you and why should the reader also sign up?
  • What’s next?

Example Email: HelpScout
Subject line: Welcome to HelpScout

HelpScout invitation email

HelpScout’s invitation email is short and covers all the bases. It’s clear about who extended the invitation and explains why the tool is helpful. The call to action should be rather straightforward here — to set a password or create/activate a new account. The overall goal, as with all welcome emails, is to create trust and motivate those key first actions.

Invitation Welcome Email Template

[greeting]
Hi Bob!

Tina Belcher invited you to join The Burger Team on Prioritizer! Welcome to the crew!

[who you are; what you do; why should reader care?]
Prioritizer is an app that helps teams collaborate to accomplish big goals. Your teammates need you!

[what to do next]
All you have to do is finish setting up your account to join your team. [CTA](Set password)

[help getting started]
Find out more about Prioritizer with our 5-minute walkthrough or just reply to this email with any questions! We’re always here to help.

Cheers,
Your friends at Prioritizer

[secondary CTA]
p.s. Once you’re all set up, we recommend downloading our browser extension. It makes Prioritizer a lot more useful!

Grab your editable template here.


welcome Ami!Learn more about the vital art of first impressions with our free online class: 3 Steps to Striking Welcome Emails!

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