How to create an email welcome flow: 5 top tips

welcome flow email

With extremely high open and conversion rates, welcome flows are one of the most important marketing points in the customer lifecycle and present an opportunity you can’t afford to miss. 

Read on to learn how to get the most out of your welcome flow.

What is a welcome email flow?

A welcome email flow is a sequence or series of emails sent to people when they first subscribe to your newsletter, join your customer club or sign up for subscription services. The goal is to establish brand awareness and educate them on your product or service. 

Almost 75% of people expect to receive a welcome email when they subscribe to a newsletter. Open rates are double that of any other marketing email you’ll send, and customers spend 58% more money when they’re converted through a welcome message. 

Needless to say… it’s crucial to nail your welcome flow.

Most welcome flows are 5-7 emails long and run for 30 days. 

Why does your brand need a welcome email series?

A welcome email series (welcome drip campaign) is where the process of building a relationship with your customers begins. It’s the first step in turning a random person into your loyal customer

Think about the welcome flow as the start of a long, long relationship — how you begin matters. 

As we mentioned above, people are expecting a welcome email. That means you have a captive audience, one primed and ready to hear from your brand. 

Is there a difference between a welcome email and a welcome series?

A welcome email is the first email in a welcome series. It’s where you welcome someone to your brand, thank them for signing up and tell them what to expect in your communication. 

A welcome series builds on that first email and is typically 5-7 emails long, lasting 1-2 months.

Think of it as nurturing your customer. 

You’re dripping relevant, value-driven content as you build relationships with them. 

Research shows that most consumers need 8 touchpoints to remember a brand and become a viable sales lead. If they already saw your ad on social media, clicked over to your IG profile to see that you’re not spam and then Googled you to see your products, then a 5 email welcome series can build a relationship. 

Smaller, e-commerce companies might use a 2-3 email welcome series, spanning a few weeks. Larger, B2B companies may opt for more since the sales cycle is longer and more complex. 

The welcome email series is also different from an onboarding flow or series. Onboarding emails are more for when someone has already purchased your product or service and you want to educate them on how to use it. 

Most welcome email series evolve into a nurture email flow (or campaign) that continues growing the relationship. These are emails sent weekly or monthly that continue to offer value to the consumer, remind them that you’re here, and try to secure the sale. 

When deciding how long your welcome email flow should be, ask yourself: 

  • Does your audience need to be more educated about your product and why it‘s good for them? 
  • Or do they know they need it, but are simply lacking a relationship with your brand? 
  • Are they ready to buy but just need that final nudge, like a discount or free shipping? These “nudges” can be some of the steps they need to take, and are therefore integral parts of your welcome series.

What to include in your welcome flow emails?

When designing your welcome flow, start by identifying your goals. 

What do you want your new subscribers to gain from your communications, and what do you want to gain from them? This will vary based on which touchpoint you’re attracting subscribers from, the nature of your industry and product, and more. 

Here’s a breakdown of 5 emails to add to your welcome flow:

  • Email 1: Welcome email — Welcome to our brand. Here is what you can expect.  
  • Email 2: Product/Service overview — Provide an overview of your product or service, including its features and benefits. This is a great opportunity to educate your subscribers and showcase what makes your brand unique. Use case studies and testimonials to support your claims. 
  • Email 3: Personalised Recommendations — Use data from their sign-up form to personalise your recommendations based on their preferences or interests. This can help build engagement and loyalty. With Agillic, you can even customise the product feed for each customer, showing them exactly what they’re interested in. 
  • Email 4: Social Proof/Testimonials — Share customer success stories or testimonials to show the value of your product or service and build trust with your subscribers. Video and images are key here. 
  • Email 5: Call-to-Action — Encourage subscribers to take a specific action, such as making a purchase, scheduling a call to learn more or even following your brand on social media.

5 top tips to achieve your welcome flow goals

1. Build expectations

Add value immediately. Use your welcome flow to tell new subscribers what’s in store — how frequently you will be sending emails, what they can expect to gain from them — and then follow through on those promises.

Welcome flows are also an opportunity to present your company. Tell your new subscribers who you are, what you do and why they should be a part of that.  

Tell and sell your core brand story, key differentiators from competitors, and provide information on different aspects of your offering and track what they click on to learn more about what they care about.

2. Deliver on your promises and provide helpful resources

If you made promises to your subscribers, such as a piece of gated content or a discount, deliver on it as fast as possible. This will show that you pay attention and react when you express interest.

After providing what they came for, anticipate what they might want from you next by sending supplementary content or upselling.

3. Nail the timing 

Now that you’ve gotten them to subscribe, you have no time to waste. New sign-ups are expecting a welcome message from you right away, so set your first communication to send out instantly. Don’t let it end there with only one touchpoint – make a flow spanning across channels over several weeks to several months, and time it in tandem with the sales cycle. The longer the sales cycle for your product, the longer the welcome flow should be.

Find the frequency balance – you don’t want to spam your subscribers, but you don’t want to contact them too little, especially when their interest in your brand is at its peak. Be intentional with how often you contact your subscribers, and make sure that each touchpoint adds value and moves them further in the customer journey. 

4. Be personal

Most people don’t sign up for a newsletter at the first touchpoint. Collect data on how, where and why customers interact before they sign up, and use it to send the right message. Employ A/B testing on different subject lines and messages to ensure you send the best one.

As always, include a personal touch: use their name in your message, show them personalised product recommendations based on their viewing history on your website, and show the human side of your brand. You can also take the opportunity to ask for more information about subscriber preferences which will allow you to show them more of what they want to see from the start. 

Make sure to communicate with them across channels, and track their engagements, to create an unforgettable customer experience across touchpoints. Remember, you’re building a relationship with your welcome flow. If you do it right, the sales will come.

5. Stay connected

Leverage subscribers’ interest towards your social channels so they stay up-to-date across touchpoints, and you can boost SoMe traffic. Take the opportunity to collect consent for communicating with recipients across other channels, such as SMS. Make your welcome emails interactive and allow users to reply and provide feedback, making it clear where they can reach you. 

A relationship is reciprocal, and the better in touch you are with your subscribers, the better you know how to communicate with them going forward.