How to Create a High-Performing eCommerce Email Welcome Sequence

First impressions matter. And often, the first step in your journey to turn a cold lead into a loyal customer is email marketing. 

When someone signs up for your mailing list, they expect answers to the most important questions there are:

Why should they trust you? What makes you different from your competitors? Why should they buy from you?

A welcome email series is the perfect way to address those questions, and turn your leads into customers.

So today, I’m going to show you how to create a welcome email sequence for your eCommerce brand. 

The Benefits of Welcome Emails

When your email lands in your prospects’ inboxes, you have the closest thing to their undivided attention. In fact, 74% of people are waiting for it, as they expect to receive a welcome email from brands right away. 

Additionally, welcome emails have an open rate of 50%. This makes them 86% more effective than regular newsletters.

And if you send a series of three welcome emails, you might generate 90% more orders.

People are at their most motivated when they first subscribe to your mailing list. They’ve likely just discovered your brand, and they want to know what you can offer them. This is why welcome emails’ click through-rates are around 14.4%, as opposed to the standard emails’ 2.7%.

In short, welcome emails help you:

  • Increase trust and present your eCommerce brand properly
  • Gather more information about your subscribers
  • Start a relationship with your prospects

What Should Your Welcome Email Sequence Contain?

Engaging Subject Lines


Source: CoSchedule

The very first email should have a clear subject line that reminds subscribers who you are, and (if applicable) why they subscribed:

  • Welcome to [your brand name]!
  • Welcome to [your brand name]! Here’s your [lead magnet]!
  • Welcome to [your brand name]! Enjoy [discount amount] off your first order!

The next emails in the series will give you more room for creativity

For example, if you’re sharing your mission or your brand story with your subscribers, you can craft something more creative:


Brookline plays with the word ‘sheet’
Source: SleekNote

You can invoke curiosity, pose a question, reference your story or social proof... I recommend A/B testing different approaches to see which one works best.

Contextually Relevant Content

If your subscribers come from different channels (e.g. someone subscribed to get a lead magnet, someone else subscribed through social media), you can customize subject lines and content to meet their expectations.

In general, personalised emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates, so they’re always a good idea. But it’s especially important for your welcome email series to start the relationship on the right note. 


Goodfor’s email would be great for leads generated through ads that showcase testimonials

If you’re opting for a more personal approach (e.g. you’re prominent as the brand founder), personalising the subject name can work wonders.

Value Proposition

One of the first things you should do in your welcome email series is explain your unique value proposition:

  • What does your eCommerce brand offer?
  • Why is your offer different from your competitors’? 
  • What makes you special?


The Ritual’s welcome email highlights their most important offer - a course - and uses beautiful visuals to invite subscribers to purchase and connect with them on social media

Open Spaces’ welcome email explains the value of the newsletter, and builds trust

If you have a brand story, include it in your welcome emails. 

It doesn’t have to be in the first email, but it can be, especially if you want your subscribers to connect with you emotionally.


In My Shoes does a wonderful job of telling a story with their emails

Intent Reinforcement and Next Steps

If someone signed up to download your lead magnet, this is fairly straightforward. Deliver them what they signed up for.

Explain how your email content will help them achieve their goals.


Miro reminds subscribers why they subscribed - it’s all about end benefits and overarching goals

You can also outline the next steps for your customers. Tell your customers what action you want them to take - it creates micro-commitments.


Noteagraphy tells subscribers what to do next - this warms them up and ensures they keep engaging with the brand

Welcome emails are also a great opportunity to tell your subscribers what they can expect:

  • What kind of content will they receive?
  • How often will you email them?

Incentives: Discounts and Social Proof

While you shouldn’t devalue your product by offering too many discounts, a welcome email is the perfect opportunity to give something special to your subscribers and turn them into customers.


Supergoop! shares their brand story and offers a discount

If your product isn’t exactly affordable, customers may be looking for more proof that their purchase will pay off. In that case, you can share social proof in the form of testimonials or the benefits existing customers have realised with your products.


Everlane shares a select quote from a customer, then continues to list other reviews under the product image

Up-sells and Down-sells

Know what action you want your subscribers to take when reading every email you send.

However, be prepared in the event that they don’t take it. Don’t lose their engagement. 

Instead, use a secondary call-to-action.


Hubspot uses a secondary CTA to invite subscribers to get free tips, and a tertiary CTA for social sharing

In welcome emails, your primary CTA can be:

  • Buying a popular product
  • Redeeming a 10% discount

However, if the subscriber isn’t ready to take that kind of action just yet, give them a secondary CTA to:

  • Connect with you on social media
  • Get additional resources
  • Send you a message with their questions
  • Buy a starter product

How Many Emails Do You Need in Your eCommerce Welcome Sequence?

The precise amount of welcome emails in your sequence depends on your brand and your audience.

In general, 4-6 welcome emails work best. 

This gives you ample room to welcome your subscribers, present your brand, showcase your most popular products and social proof, as well as incentivise them.

Awareness Stages

CopyHackers have a phenomenal system for adapting your email copy to your subscribers’ awareness stages:

For example, if your customers are not yet fully aware of their problems, you might need a few more emails. Your emails should address their pain points, and explain how your products can help.

What Is a Good Cadence for eCommerce Welcome Emails?

Your welcome emails have to be timely in order to drive the highest impact. 

Your very first welcome email should be triggered automatically and immediately. As soon as someone subscribes to your mailing list, they should get the introductory email.

Generally, you don’t want your emails to be too spaced out. The initial momentum might be lost if you wait three days between sending each welcome email.

Aim for sending one email per day. If you have a really intensive email sequence, wait one day between each email.

Your exact mailing frequency will depend on your audience, so I recommend testing it until you find the perfect cadence.

The Importance of Visuals in eCommerce Welcome Email Series

When someone first subscribes to your mailing list, they are excited. And they expect you to sustain that excitement.

The simplest way to do it is with strong and eye-catching visuals.

Human brains process visual stimuli differently, and we process it quicker than we process textual content. By pairing strong visuals with good email content, you’ll be able to truly excite and delight your subscribers.

Your email visuals can also reinforce your point.


Casper uses beautiful and relaxing illustrations in welcome emails

If your written content tells your story, your visuals show it.

What Kind of Visuals Should You Use in Your Welcome Emails?

  • Color palettes that fit your brand
  • Well-lit and exciting product photography
  • Engaging illustrations, gifs, or videos

Welcome Email Sequence Template

If you’re not sure how to get started, you can use the following welcome email series template to start welcoming your subscribers:

First Email: Welcome + Discount

Tattly welcomes their new subscribers with a discount based on the newsletter signup. 

For example, you can offer 10% off.

Second Email: Our Mission / “Who We Are”

Bearbrand welcomes their new subscribers with a video

In the second email, you can introduce your brand, explain who your team is, and why you were motivated to create your products. 

Third Email: Social Proof / “What People Are Saying About Us”


Ritual addresses major benefits and objections

Your third email is a great opportunity to showcase testimonials. You can carefully pick testimonials that address the most common objections.

Fourth Email: Product Details

Wonderful visuals from Magic Spoon Cereal

The fourth email in your welcome sequence should showcase your product(s)

If you have a diverse audience, you might even personalise this email to show subscribers the products they’re most likely to be interested in. 

And just like the example above illustrates: eye-catching visuals matter. 

Fifth Email: Special Offer

Ritual’s discount offer

By now, your subscribers are sufficiently warmed up, so if they haven’t used the first discount code, you can send them another. Make sure you personalise this email, and offer the specific product(s) each subscriber is most interested in.

Incredible Welcome Email Examples

Nutrafruit’s welcome email (first in the sequence) targets subscribers who are interested in specific products, and it elaborates on all the benefits of the products.

The Newsette’s messaging makes subscribers excited to be “a part of the club.” It uses striking visuals and outlines the next steps.

Brilliant Earth’s email is perfect for the fourth or the fifth email in the sequence, in which you elaborate on product details and demonstrate why buying from your brand is better than buying from your competitors.

If you want to share your brand story, make sure you use visuals of your founders. This welcome email is a combination of the first email in the sequence, and your brand story email. 

Fetching Fields’ email is a beautiful example of how you can share the impact of your brand, as well as your testimonials, in one of your welcome emails. This is perfect for the third email in your sequence: social proof. 

Once you’ve informed your customers of your products, it’s time to send them the ones they’re going to love - with a discount they’re going to love even more!

Bose does this well - they incorporate reviews, product details, discounts, as well as prominent CTAs. 

Finally, don’t forget that you can use your welcome emails to learn more about your subscribers. 

MVMT likely keeps track of who clicked “Shop Men’s” or “Shop Women’s” to subtly adjust their mailing preferences and personalise their future content.

Tools for Welcome Email Sequences

The Best Tool for Welcome Email Series: Klaviyo

Klaviyo is the best email marketing tool for eCommerce brands. 

It’s very easy to set up your welcome email sequence with Klaviyo. They even offer template sequences. 

In addition to basic email marketing features, it offers powerful audience segmentation, embedded forms, and automation.

You can get started for free for up to 250 contacts.

MailChimp

Alternatively, you could use MailChimp to create and automate your welcome email sequence. 

MailChimp is a good alternative to Klaviyo. However, it can get complex, as they’ve started focusing on all-in-one marketing automation.

Rejoiner

Rejoiner was made with eCommerce in mind. 

However, it’s very complex, so it can be hard to get started right away. 

Welcome Emails Lay the Foundations for Your Success

Ultimately, welcome emails are an excellent way to show your leads what makes your eCommerce brand special. 

Instead of becoming just another brand, you’ll become a brand your customers are loyal to. 

The first step, of course, is offering your hand and telling your subscribers:

Hello! We’re really happy you’re here. 

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