Sure, it sounds simple – a user signs up for emails and they instantly receive a “welcome email”.  It’s such a simple concept, yet most companies aren’t currently doing this.  Why you ask?  It’s not a topic that many marketers think about when creating their email marketing strategy for the year.  Sure, they are sending marketing campaigns on a regular basis, but what about setting up any sort of email automation?  That’s the missing part on many marketing to-do lists!  Set it up and let it roll.

It’s not just a thank you note, it’s a way of interacting with your new users as they subscribe to your list and learn more about your brand.

Here’s a few reasons why you should start creating your welcome email now:

Promo Codes and Discounts

Sure, people don’t typically like forking over their name and email address right away on a website, but they do it as a trade-off for some sort of promotion.  Most companies will use a discount code to lure these new users to hand over their info – and it’s effective!  Whether it’s a $10 off coupon, 10% off their first order, or even handing out a free whitepaper download (for those of you in the lead generation business), these tactics work great to organically build up your email address database.  And most importantly, your users are checking their inboxes for their promo codes.

Timeliness of this email is key, it better arrive quickly or you could be losing out on a customer’s first transaction.  How is this done you ask?  Email automation!  As soon as the user submits their info and added to your address list, a trigger automation needs to run instantly to send out the first email.  “Thanks for joining us, here’s your 10% off coupon on your first order!”.

Open Their Eyes to All Your Services/Products

Another reason for the Welcome Email is to introduce this new user to all of the services you offer.  Chances are high that this user hasn’t spent much time on your site yet, and the first email interaction is a fantastic place to show off all the other products you sell or services you offer.  Make sure your Welcome Email shows off all these components, and not just text but images or clickable buttons to make sure these points are quickly visually noted by the reader.  This is also a great way to introduce your new users to your email cadence and get used to receiving emails from your brand. “Thanks for checking out widgets, but we also sell a huge assortment of gadgets!”.

An Excuse to Ask More Questions

Similar to point above, this is your chance to really learn more about your new subscriber too.  You can present the options for them to “tell us about yourself” and give them the ability to self-segment into topics of interest.  Say you’re an e-commerce company selling widgets and gadgets, here is your chance to target users by letting them check boxes to subscribe to certain lists.  They you can segment your email strategy and send emails to those users who signed up for certain items, services, or product categories.  The days of “batch and blast” emails are going by the wayside, and this is a great first step in personalized email content. “We want to personalize your experience to what you want to hear most!”

It’s a Built-In Tool in Most Email Marketing Platforms

Most email marketing platforms (ESP) offer some sort of automation options in even the smallest of service plans.  These options will certainly range from ESP to ESP, but most have this component available.  Welcome emails are usually the easiest to setup – new user is added to a list, trigger email campaign.  Have a series of these emails helps too.  Just think of all the new content that this user probably doesn’t even know you have on your site yet, here’s your chance to trickle that info directly to their inbox over the first few days/weeks of knowing your brand.

There’s a few great examples of WHY you need to be doing this, as it’s significantly easier to setup than you may think, yet most marketers have this too far down on this list.  Check with your ESP and see what default automations are available, it certainly doesn’t need to be overly complex – unless you are into that sort of thing.

The benefits are great, and it’s almost set-it-and-forget-it.  Although don’t forget it!  Make sure you audit these emails every few quarters, just to make sure that all of the content is still relevant.  If you’ve added new services or product categories, make sure your emails are showing those as well.

Oh, and don’t forget to link all your emails back to your website (but that’s a whole article by itself).

Scott Lemke is a digital marketing strategist at with over 20+ years of experience in the digital marketing field. Scott helping clients and brands better their web marketing efforts via email marketing, SEO improvements, social media, PPC, traffic generation, and more. He specializes in email marketing.