4 welcome email mistakes to avoid

So I’ve been doing more email marketing consulting recently.

I’m always fascinated to see how differently companies approach the same channel. This work has sprung many thoughts and discoveries for me, so I wanted to share them with you hoping that my learnings will be helpful in your work.

So, today’s topic is:

Welcome emails

You have one, right?

Welcome email is vital in optimizing subscribers’ engagement, so long story short, it’s a must.

I’ve learned that many marketers have a welcome email because… well, you’re supposed to have one, right?

Right, but there are very specific reasons for why you need one. Effective welcome emails are strategic, and they must attempt to accomplish a few things:

  • introduce your sender persona;
  • set expectations for when and how often you’ll be in touch;
  • ask subscribers to add you as a safe sender (drag to “Primary” tab if on Gmail);
  • ask to customize their email settings, i.e. choose interests (if applicable).

To see some of the best welcome emails in action, download my personal collection. I’ve been saving the best welcome emails in a folder on my computer, and now you too can use them as templates and inspiration:

Best examples of welcome emails from my Vault | how to write the best welcome email | best welcome emails

Mistakes to avoid when crafting welcome emails

An effective welcome email will accomplish at least a few things on the bullet-point list above.

This might sound like a no-brainer, but small mistakes that create a big disconnect often creep in somewhere along the way.

Let’s tackle them one by one.

  1. Different sender name or email address

Here’s what I’ve seen happen:

Upon email subscription, the company founder sends the most beautiful, sincere welcome email. That email has the founder’s first and last name as the sender name and a special “from” email address that is supposed to encourage replies (such as “sayhi@company.com).

Normally that’s cool, but not if that’s the only email from the company that has that sender name and email address (while the rest of the emails use different “from” name and email address).

4 Welcome Email Mistakes to Avoid. What makes a welcome email effective? There are 4 strategic goals you must attempt to accomplish with your welcome messages. | best welcome emails

I can’t show you a real example from my client, but hopefully this reversal example paints the picture.


I know this was done with the best intentions of giving a very personal welcome to the new subscriber, but this strategy defeats the purpose of welcome emails on several accounts.

A welcome email is the best opportunity to start building brand recognition, because it gets some of the highest open rates. Sender name is part of the brand recognition, so make sure it matches whichever one you’ll be using to send emails to your subscribers.

Also, if you ask new subscribers to whitelist your email address, it’s kind of important that the “from” email address matches the one in your future emails.

  1. Welcome email is not on-brand

Make sure you use your logo and brand colors in your welcome email.

Similar to the point made above, some marketers concentrate so much on being personal in their welcome emails that they forget that they need to be creating strong brand associations throughout their email marketing.

  1. Welcome email timing is delayed.

You need to send your welcome email immediately after someone signs up.

One of the reasons welcome emails are so effective is because they are so timely: people receive them at the peak of their interest in your brand, so they are very likely to be opened. If you delay a welcome email (and send it every day at a certain time instead of sending it immediately after a signup), you’re diminishing its effect.

  1. Welcome email doesn’t accomplish strategic engagement goals

Finally, introducing yourself and building brand recognition is just half of what welcome emails can do for you.

They can also improve future engagement if you get the new subscriber to add you to their contact list or, if they use Gmail, move your message to the Primary tab. Additionally, if you segment your list based on subscriber interests, a welcome email is one of the best places to ask them to indicate their preferences.

Welcome email vault

I hope this welcome email break-down was helpful! Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Being email marketing geek as I am, I’ve been saving the best examples of welcome emails in a special folder on my computer (and trust me, I’m subscribed to a loooooot of email lists). Today I’m sharing the best of the best with you, so you have some tangible models and inspiration for your own welcome emails.

Click here to download examples from my welcome email vault.

Best examples of welcome emails from my Vault | how to write the best welcome email | best welcome email

In the comments below, please share what you’ve found the most useful in this post — this will help me tailor content better next time.