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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Hourihan

How to Not Mess Up Your Welcome Email

5 Characteristics of a Beautiful Introduction

First impressions can make or break continuing a conversation; digital introductions can be considered uncomfortable compared to an in-person introduction. A ‘welcome email’ is the email a contact or prospect receives after subscribing to your email list or a center of influence refers them to your firm. It quite possibly be, the most important email you send them!

Compared to a regular email at an open rate of 14.4%, a welcome email’s open rate is 57.8% according to Experian’s “The Welcome Email Report”[1]. Additionally, the open rate is even higher, 88.3%,[2] if it is sent in real time with an email automation software (i.e. Infusionsoft, MailChimp, Constant Contact, HubSpot…).

So, how do we curate a lasting impression to a complete stranger? In order to set the tone for the rest of the conversation, we break it down into 5 characteristics that you can template and tailor to your advisory firm.

The Introduction

First things first in your welcome email, introducing yourself and/or your firm and also thanking them for subscribing. As you introduce your firm, it’s beneficial to include your value proposition, core values and beliefs, and anything else you would want them to know about how your firm is different from other competitors.

Set the Expectations

There is no bigger annoyance than getting trapped in an email list where the product/service was not at all what you expected. In your welcome email, explain to your new subscriber what they can expect from being on your list. Here are some ideas:

  • Industry updates in the form of blog articles, social media posts, newsletters

  • Fiduciary updates

  • Local events/seminars for plan sponsor and participant education

What’s in It for Them?

While the benefits may be very obvious to you as to why someone subscribed to your email list, it’s important to reiterate them to the new subscriber and ultimately persuade them to stay engaged with incoming emails.

Next Steps

Digital Marketer describes this as a “micro-commitment” – a seemingly small ask that moves the subscriber closer to becoming a customer without asking for the sale immediately. Providing your new subscriber with a next step can help deepen relationship immediately. “Micro-commitment” call-to-actions to consider are:

  • We’d love to hear about your business! Reply to this email and introduce yourself.

  • Quick Question: What’s your biggest struggle in operating your company retirement plan?

  • Share your most popular blog post or quarterly newsletter for them to read

Setting up the Play

You will more than likely send out more emails to your new subscriber, so let’s give them the heads up! Get them excited about what they can expect over the next few days or weeks – this will most likely increase chances of them opening your next few emails.

With these five characteristics of a great welcome email, don’t forget to be yourself! Here are a few examples of our favorite welcome emails:

Virgin Airlines:

Sir Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines has always been an advocate of transparency and trust with his employees, colleagues, and most importantly his customers. The welcome email when subscribing to Virgin includes all five characteristics and doesn’t waver from the casual, friendly tone of the company.


Utilizing a three-step checklist, AirBnb gets the subscriber started with how to navigate through their booking system. They implement two “micro-commitments” – “search now” and “download our app”, notice you don’t see “book now”. Additionally, a fun parting signature of “onwards and upwards”.


Birchbox hits the nail on the head by answering bluntly “What can you expect?” – try, learn, buy. Hinting that there will be special offers coming the subscriber’s way, their call-to-action encourages them to read their current magazine.

We hope this article has encouraged you to write your best welcome email, and even have some fun with it.

Thanks for reading and Happy Marketing!

About 401(k) Marketing

We believe the retirement plan industry can do better. Our clients are the best professional retirement plan advisors and TPAs in the business. They care deeply about saving America’s retirement future. We are proud to share their voices through industry writings, professionally-designed marketing materials (including websites), and expert content collateral. We lend support by promoting businesses through ongoing awareness campaigns.

About Retirement Plan Marketing

Retirement Plan Marketing is a product of 401(k) Marketing and is an ongoing turnkey marketing solution for retirement plan advisors. It is an easy-to-follow, consistent marketing program designed to get you noticed in your community and generate new retirement plan sales. When you deliver relevant plan sponsor content, you add value to your conversations and can work your way up to become known as the “go-to” retirement plan advisory office.

[1] United States. Experian Information Solutions, Inc. The Welcome Email Report: Benchmark data and analysis for engaging new subscribers through email marketing. Schaumburg, IL. 2010.

[2] United States. Experian Information Solutions, Inc. The Welcome Email Report: Benchmark data and analysis for engaging new subscribers through email marketing. Schaumburg, IL. 2010.

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