Effective “welcome” emails–the ones that go out just after a customer signs up for your email list–get twice the opens and three times the clicks of the usual marketing email messages, says a new study from YesMail. And it stands to reason: You’re catching customers at a peak of interest in your business.

Don’t waste the moment. In particular, don’t let your first impression be an auto-generated confirmation email that’s all business and no bonding.

Don’t (Only) Do This

Plain Email Confirmation Message

Sad! (Though yes, all your messages should have an unsubscribe button, just not one so demanding as this example.)

Follow up quickly with a welcome email that’s truly welcoming, using some of these strategies:

Promise and Deliver on a Deal

No matter what the format of your subscriber email–daily deals or monthly newsletter–your clients are looking for inside information, most likely about saving or making money.  If you’re offering a deal, tell them what it is, tell them it’s coming, and tell them it’s here. Like this sequence from workout clothing shops Sweaty Betty:

Sweaty Betty Signup Form Sweaty Betty Confirmation Sweaty Betty Subject Line

Show the Ongoing Benefits of a Subscription

1-800-PetMeds effectively makes the benes the focus of the welcome.

Also important: Personalization, though annoying to some email recipients in business-as-usual mailings, seems right at home in a welcome email message.

1800PetMeds Welcome Email Message

Welcome New Members to a Club

Congratulate new subscribers by inducting them into a group of the few, the proud, the savvy.

Like this example from the welcome message from L’Occitane skin-care shops:

LOccitane Welcome Message 2

Or this from the Kayla Itsines fitness course:

Kayla Itsines Welcome Message

Also important: Always give users something to click right away, to take them to your site or social media.

Engage Them with a Story

While you have their concentrated attention, this is a good time to build your brand with a back-story that shows a personality and humanizes your company.

Like this example, in the voice of the company founder:

Sweaty Betty Welcome Message from Founder

Or this totally ridiculous but totally on-brand welcome letter from The Hustle, a cheeky business-news website and email service:

Welcome Message from The Hustle

Sign Your Name to It

To cement the bond, many welcome messages are signed by the company leader, a powerful message that an identifiable person is accountable for the service the subscriber just signed up for.

Sweaty Betty Welcome Message SignatureThe Hustle Welcome Message Signature
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