There’s no such thing as a second chance to make a first impression. That’s why you should take time to set up both a welcome email and a nurture sequence.

A welcome email, sometimes called an autoresponder, sends a subscriber an email immediately after they’ve completed a signup form. This email typically has a very high open rate, especially if it includes a freebie or lead magnet, making it valuable digital real estate.

A nurture sequence is a series of email campaigns that go out to new subscribers automatically in the days, weeks, or months after they’ve signed up. This email sequence helps your target audience familiarize themselves with who you are and what you do, and is widely acknowledged to be one of the best uses of email marketing automation.

screenshot of open rate data as a line graph

Example welcome sequence data for a given period. Welcome emails enjoy high open rates, and can be automated.

Here’s a bit more about how to both write a warm welcome email people will love and leverage nurture sequences to inspire new users.

What Are Welcome Emails?

A welcome email is a simple email automation that goes out to new subscribers or new customers after a certain action has taken place.

While there is no one perfect welcome message, most welcome emails are intended to put your new subscriber at ease and give them the information they need.

If you offer your readers a welcome gift or promo code upon signup, you would also deliver that information in this email.

My welcome email that delivers the Article Template Toolkit after new subscribers sign up.

What Should My Welcome Message Include?

A good welcome email marketing strategy will incorporate one or more of the following components:

  • A few sentences about your brand story.
  • Language that helps set expectations for future emails and communication.
  • A personal touch or personalized greeting.
  • A catchy subject line.
  • Links to social media handles.
  • Customer service contact information.
  • High-quality images, or a link to a welcome video.

Don’t include all the elements mentioned above in one email, though—you’ll overwhelm your reader.

Tip:The welcome email typically garners the highest open rate you will ever see in your email marketing. It’s not unusual for welcome emails to have open rates ranging from 50-90%. Use this to your advantage.

To cut down on spam and bots, I recommend you enable a double opt-in for your email marketing. A double opt-in means that, after users complete your signup form, they need to go back to their inbox and click a button to confirm that their email address is real before actually being signed up for your list.

While you do lose some people along the way, a double opt-in will prevent fake email addresses or bots from being added to your list, and ensure that all of your email subscribers are actual people. This helps with deliverability.

Even though the open rate of a welcome email is typically high, it’s still not 100%. For this reason, some professionals share some of this information, including your discount code or lead magnet link, on the confirmation page itself.

What Is a Nurture Sequence?

A nurture sequence, sometimes known as a welcome series or welcome email sequence, is a series of welcome messages designed to help your new subscriber get acquainted to who you are and what you do. Typically, a nurture sequence is anywhere from three to ten emails.

screenshot of activecampaign automation

Example of a nurture sequence. When users sign up for one of my freebies, they are then enrolled in an automated welcome series.

Think of this series as a way for your reader to “date” you. You don’t want to come on too strong and try to put a ring on it from the jump. But you do want to warm up potential customers to the idea of engaging with you and possibly making a purchase from you in the future.

Nurture sequences deliver consistent first impressions. It doesn’t matter where you reader arrived from when they landed on your email list—everyone receives the same emails in the same order, at a frequency you control.

What Types of Welcome Emails Go Into a Nurture Sequence?

While there is no perfect welcome email template, consider including one or more of the following in your email marketing campaigns. Here are some of the best welcome email examples to take into consideration.

Helpful Resources Emails

You truly can’t go wrong with these emails! Send an email campaign that will add value to your reader’s day. This welcome email example should include information your subscriber wants to read about.

You can include this information either in an outbound link or in the body of the email itself.

screenshot of an email

An example card from one of my welcome emails.

Brand Story Email

Share the origin story of your brand, your career, or something from your personal life. Of all your welcome emails, this one will be one of the most important, as it creates relatability and helps readers feel more connected to you.

For this welcome email example, I recommend you share your story entirely within the email body, as this helps to ensure more subscribers actually see it and read it.

Social Proof Email

If you have past media hits or some other accolade, write a welcome email that includes this information.

Past press or earned media can be a great way to establish credibility with your audience without coming off as overly arrogant, and these welcome email examples are one of the best ways to make a great first impression.

screenshot of an email

I use a GIF of a past TV appearance in my welcome email to establish credibility.

Value Proposition Email

Tell your potential customers how they can purchase from you! Too often, we forget to do this. Use one of your email templates to point to your online store or share exclusive deals using a discount code. Include a clear call to action to encourage readers to become first-time buyers.

screenshot of an email

In an early welcome email, I tease that I will promote offers occasionally. This helps calibrate expectations.

Social Media Email

If you have an active presence on a social media platform, consider using one of your welcome emails to point to your account. This can be an easy way to cross-pollinate your audience and build a presence on multiple channels.

There might come a time when readers unsubscribe simply because they want to clean up their inboxes. If they follow you on social media, this helps ensure you can still share updates with them.

How Does a Nurture Sequence Fit Into an Overall Email Marketing Strategy?

The ultimate goal of a nurture sequence is to help guide prospective customers toward making that first purchase.

Remember that we need to get in front of our prospects multiple times with our message. This is a classic advertising principle; since the internet is noisy, users need to see and hear from us multiple times in order for our message to stick.

A welcome sequence is a great way to rack up these touch points without creating more work for yourself. You subscribers will appreciate the welcome mat, too.

screenshot of a line graph showing email send rates

All of the emails in this data set were sent automatically.

Not selling anything? You should still consider a welcome sequence to help create familiarity and improve your click through rate over time. More clicks mean more subscribers are reading your work, which means you’re helping more people.

What Are Some Good Welcome Email Subject Line Ideas?

Email subject lines are incredibly important, and your welcome email subject line can make or break click through rates. Your onboarding welcome email should be straightforward and clear, but after that, get creative with compelling subject lines in future emails.

Spruce Up Your Welcome Mat (Er… Email) Today

When it comes to welcome email best practices, making your new subscribers feel comfortable is what matters most. Share helpful resources with first-time users and you’ll see customer loyalty increase over time. ◆

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