Whether you get new email subscribers via your website, a social media contest, at an event, or through some other method, they all have one thing in common: they actively want to be on your email list. It’s no wonder, then, that welcome emails — that initial communication sent out to say thanks for signing up — have an open rate of 50%. That’s significantly higher than the open rate of regular email newsletters, so you’ll want to make your welcome email count!


The pressure is on: what should you say? What should it look like? And how can you make your welcome email appealing so that your new subscribers will continue to open your messages rather than trash them on sight or, even worse, click the unsubscribe link? Here are eight tips for creating a welcome email that shines.


  1. Choose your subject line well.

You’ll certainly want to say welcome, but be creative and add a little more. Phrases like “we’re glad you’ve joined us,” “we have a lot in store for you,” and the like set a positive tone. Also, if you want your new subscribers to double opt-in, be sure to use a word like “confirm” in your subject line.


  1. Personalize it.

If you get your new subscribers’ names when they sign up, use them; a message that reads, “Welcome, Jane” is more appealing than one that simply reads, “Welcome.” You’ll also want to briefly reference how you got their email address, whether they signed up on your website, entered a contest, or came to you by another way.


  1. Keep it simple.

Your welcome email should have lots of visual appeal and shouldn’t be too long. Use one strong photo, a short and well-written message, and one or two links to specific pages on your website. Remember, your main purpose here is to say welcome and thanks for subscribing; you don’t want to overwhelm your new recipients with information that they probably won’t read.


  1. Send a promised reward.

If you’ve enticed new subscribers with a discount off their first purchase, a free ebook, access to exclusive content, or some other reward, send it in your welcome email. By making good on your promises right off the bat, you help to keep your subscribers loyal and interested.


  1. Let them know what to expect.

How often will you send out emails? It’s not a bad idea to share your email frequency so new recipients know what to expect. For example, you might say something like, “Every Thursday, you’ll receive our newsletter, which is packed with great tips and information.”


  1. Request to be added as a contact.

This “whitelists” your email address and keeps all future messages from you in your subscribers’ inboxes and away from junk or spam folders.


  1. Make sure it’s responsive.

More than two thirds of emails are opened on a mobile device, so you’ll want to make sure your welcome email looks good on a smartphone screen. If it doesn’t, it’ll probably get deleted quickly.


  1. Send it out right away.

Provide your subscribers with a welcome email when the act of signing up for your mailing list is still fresh in their minds. If the sign up is through your website, the email should be sent out immediately. If it’s collected at an event, get it out as soon as possible, and certainly within 24 hours.


Craft and Send!

Of course, if you don’t have any welcome emails in place, now is the time to create some. Remember: first impressions count. Do what you can to make your first contact a strong and positive one. It’s an opportunity to catch your recipients’ eyes, to improve your overall engagement with your followers, and hopefully, to give your business an overall boost.