How To Write A High Converting Welcome Email Sequence For Your Ecommerce Brand
Written by Ryan Turner
“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

You’ve heard this before, right?

It’s a sound bit of wisdom for people from all walks of life – and especially so for Ecommerce business owners and marketers. Email welcome sequences give brands the perfect opportunity to make the best first impression possible with new prospects.

One you've figured out how to build up your store’s email list quickly and effectively, the next natural step is to talk these people through your welcome sequence after they’ve signed up.

In most instances, your welcome email series is the first real interaction you have with your customers. Sure, they’ve seen your Facebook ads and clicked around your website, but most of them don’t really know your company or what it’s all about.

An email welcome sequence gives you an invaluable chance to communicate your message and value and, when it’s done properly, wins you scores of new customers in the process.

Here’s how to write a winning welcome email sequence for your Ecommerce brand.

Note: Not sure which email platform is best for your brand? The only one we use and recommend is Klaviyo. Get a free trial account here and see why Klaviyo is the market leader.

First - Grow Your Email List With Intelligent Lead Capture
It doesn’t matter how great your welcome series is – if it’s not being sent to anyone, it’s not going to make you money.

There are two basic ways most Ecommerce stores go about growing their subscriber lists:

1. Relegating their newsletter signup form to the footer of their website and hoping would-be customers will take the initiative to opt in.

2. Capturing visitors’ attention with a timely, often-incentivized popup based on their specific website activity, via tools such as JustUno, Privy or OptinMonster.

Which approach do you think is more successful?

There’s a reason popup forms appear on so many successful Ecommerce brands’ websites: they work.

Below you’ll examples of 3 Ecommerce Stores - Furbo, Ellen Degeneres Show Shop, and Nested Bean, to deliver different types of opt-in campaigns to grow their email lists.

ecommerce welcome popups for email
They don’t require visitors to search for sign up forms, they immediately grab attention, and can be easily customized and triggered based on a variety of factors. Ever gone to close a website only to see a popup offering you a discount code if you subscribe before leaving? That’s an exit-intent trigger in action.

If you do decide to implement a popup subscribe form on your website, you’ll want to do two things to get maximum value out of it…

They don’t require visitors to search for sign up forms, they immediately grab attention, and can be easily customized and triggered based on a variety of factors. Ever gone to close a website only to see a popup offering you a discount code if you subscribe before leaving? That’s an exit-intent trigger in action.

If you do decide to implement a popup subscribe form on your website, you’ll want to do two things to get maximum value out of it…

Incentivize Your Welcome Email Opt-In Form and A/B Test It
People are growing increasingly protective over their inboxes, which is why tying an offer to your signup form is so important.

It doesn’t have to be gratuitous – 10% off the first purchase will typically suffice – but you need it to give visitors a reason to divulge their contact information. (This is also immensely helpful in turning new subscribers into loyal purchasers. More on that later.) Popups can definitely work without a monetary or discount-based incentives too, just expect the conversion rate to be lower.

You’ll also want to split-test your popup to get optimal results. There is a myriad of different tests you can conduct with Privy, from the text and image used to the amount of time a user spends on your website before the popup is triggered.

Isolate one variable, test two different versions, declare a winner, then repeat the process.

You’ll have a high-converting opt-in form in no time.

Now let’s talk about the welcome email sequence to convert these new leads into first time customers.

Ecommerce Welcome Series Email #1: Getting Straight To The Point
When people opt-in through your incentivized popup, they don’t want to get smacked in the face by a wall of text outlining how wonderful your company is.

They want their discount. And they want it immediately.

So configure this first email to send automatically the second a new subscriber joins your list, make the coupon code and any conditions clear and obvious, and include a little thank you note at the end.

Hey **first name**, thanks for signing up!
Here’s your 10% discount: **discount code**

We’re thrilled to have you on board and know you’re going to love our **products**. Stay tuned for exclusive subscriber-only news, deals and more! Check out these current best sellers below.

Simplicity is the name of the game in this first email – send what you promised and leave it at that.

Note: We strongly recommend setting the code to expire a few days from the date of issuance and communicating this in your first message. This will help you build urgency throughout the rest of your sequence.

Ecommerce Welcome Series Emails #2 Through #4: Telling Your Story
Once you’ve delivered the goods in your first email, it’s time to nurture these leads into paying customers if they haven’t bought already. We’ll break down strategies to do just that in a moment, but before we go any further, please note that conditional automation will play a huge role in determining who actually receives the rest of these emails. Well respected Ecommerce email solutions such as Klaviyo allow you to do this with ease.

When you begin configuring the conditional logic for your welcome series, it’s important to keep one thing in: your ultimate goal here is to turn subscribers into customers without turning them off to your brand.

You accomplish this by setting rules in your series to ensure the emails you’re sending are relevant to where your subscribers are at in the buying process. 

Maintaining Relevance with Smart Automation

Let’s assume someone hits your website, subscribes to your list to receive a discount code, and immediately uses it to make a purchase. Should they receive the next four emails in your sequence reminding them to use their discount before it expires? Absolutely not.

Not only will these emails be irrelevant to someone who’s already redeemed their coupon, but they’ll also make your company seem unprofessional, lessening the likelihood of the recipient staying subscribed to your emails and continuing to purchase from you. You want to capture their business with the fewest amount of emails possible. If that only takes a single email, more power to you!

Setting up the logic necessary to keep your emails relevant is fairly simple. Most ESPs have intuitive filters that make it easy to exclude purchasers from receiving subsequent emails, regardless of how many total emails are in your welcome series.

Take Klaviyo, for example. By using the “Placed Order” metric and setting it to zero times since starting the flow, you’re able to send your emails only to those subsets of your list who have not made a purchase since starting the welcome sequence.

welcome sequence triggers in Klaviyo
The best part of this kind of filtering is that it’s rechecked before each email is scheduled to send. If a recipient makes a purchase after Email #3, the ESP will identify this before sending Email #4 and exclude them accordingly. Pretty cool stuff.

Overcoming Obstacles

With your filters in place, it’s time to create emails that will help your recipients take the plunge and purchase your products. Emails #2 - #4 are a great opportunity to tell your subscribers about your company’s ethos and history, to showcase social proof that backs up your claims, and to create urgency by reminding them that their discount will expire soon.

Email #2

Since the first email in this sequence is a bit truncated by design, Email #2 is a logical place to provide background on your company and to officially welcome subscribers to your tribe/family/whatever you choose to call your collective group of customers and subscribers.

Use it to highlight your USP and to begin the process of establishing the tone you’ll be using in all future communications. You really want to build your brand’s personality so your recipients feel like they “know” your company – this will make them much less hesitant to ultimately purchase from you

Mention the discount near the end of the email but be subtle about it. Don’t undo all the brand building you’ve done throughout the email by sounding like a used-car salesman at the end of it.

Email #3

While the second email is where you’ll be telling people about your company, the third is where you’ll be showing it to them. Use this as a chance to highlight and describe some of your best-selling items and remind recipients that they can get them at a discounted price if they act fast. Make it easy for them to reach product pages by including multiple CTAs throughout.

Email #4

Two words: social proof.

You can of course use social proof throughout your welcome sequence emails, but focusing one email solely on social proof and nothing else can be a great idea.

Why?

Because if your recipient hasn’t made a purchase at this stage in your welcome series, they still need to be convinced that your products are as great as you say they are.

Who better to accomplish this than your past customers?

Find a few reviews on your website or Facebook page that do a good job of addressing the concerns a hesitant shopper likely has: things like product quality, customer service, and delivery time. Your goal in including these is two-fold: to make them want what you’re selling and to alleviate any misgivings they may have about doing business with a company they have yet to purchase from.

Include images of the reviews if possible and be sure to link out to the corresponding product pages. Press home the fact that their discount is expiring soon and that if they want to get 10% off the item Alex or Jimmy was raving about, they only have a little time left to do so.

Ecommerce Welcome Series Email #5: Go For Broke
This is crunch time.

At this point, your new subscriber has already received four emails from you and they still haven’t taken the bait.

Let them know that their discount is going to expire in a few hours, and that once it does, their opportunity to save on the **your product here** of their dreams is gone for good. And always use real scarcity where possible, with coupon codes that DO actually expire.
 
If it fits your brand, use phrases that are going to create urgency and move them to take action: “You’re about to be left behind”, “You’re missing out”, etc.

As always, include CTAs that link out to individual product pages, not your homepage, in order to eliminate unnecessary friction in the buying process.

Final Thoughts On Your Welcome Series
In addition to split-testing your opt-in form, you should also aim to split-test within the welcome series itself. Factors like subject line, content, CTA, email frequency, and discount offered will play a big role in determining how well your welcome sequence performs.

There is no shortcut to determining what’s optimal, just testing to do. Make sure that whatever decisions you make are accurately represented in your emails - don’t tell customers on day one that they have 48 hours to redeem their coupon code and then remind them a week later that time is running out to use it.

Finally, don’t rush through creating your welcome sequence just to get it done. This is a powerful opportunity to make a lasting impression on your would-be customers, so you need to make it count. You won’t get everything right the first time around (hence the constant split-testing), but you will position yourself to be successful in the long run.

While there are no one-size-fits-all approaches to email marketing, by following the steps outlined in this article you’ll be well-equipped to turn your new email subscribers into paying customers.
Working With An Ecommerce Email Marketing Agency
Implementing all of this, along with all of the other automated flows and promotional campaigns which are necessary in an effective email strategy, can be a lot of work.

If you're interested working with us to build out a comprehensive email marketing program for your Ecommerce brand using Klaviyo, you can learn more on The Email Funnels Agency home page. If you like what you see, just submit your information and book a free consultation call.

About Us
The Email Funnels Agency helps successful Ecommerce brands profitably grow sales using the latest Klaviyo email marketing strategies

Ryan Turner

Ryan is a 10+ year Ecommerce veteran and Klaviyo specialist
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The Email Funnels Agency helps successful Ecommerce brands profitably grow sales with Klaviyo email marketing
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