Effective Welcome Email Example: SlideShare

Have you taken a look at your welcome email lately? Does it…

  • Thank people for joining?
  • Point them to helpful resources, such as an article, FAQ or product/service tour?
  • Tell them how to connect/get in touch with you, and encourage them to do so?
  • Anything at all? (Do you have a welcome email?)

I was reminded of the importance of a good welcome email last week after signing up with SlideShare to post the slides of my Podcasting and Email Newsletters presentation.

Shortly after signing up and confirming my registration, I received an email welcoming me to SlideShare. And I was impressed.

Their welcome email does a lot of great things that we can all learn from and apply to our bulk email marketing campaigns.

SlideShare’s Welcome Email

Below is the email I received from SlideShare after activating my account (click the image to see the full email).

While it’s a short, simple message that anyone could write in minutes, it does a great job of getting me interested in using and exploring SlideShare.

Here are just a few things SlideShare does well in their welcome email:

Welcome New Users

Both the subject and first paragraph of the email are short and to the point: they tell me that my account is verified and welcome me to the service.

One often-overlooked purpose of welcome emails is to remind people that they signed up in the first place.

If your subscriber doesn’t check his/her email right away and/or is distracted when reading your first email, s/he may not understand why you’ve sent it, or remember signing up.

Point Out Helpful Resources

SlideShare links from their welcome email to an online tour, and their blog’s RSS feed.

On top of that, they list out a number of things that users can do with the service – in effect, pointing out extra features and benefits that the new subscriber may not have known about. (I think anyone running an email marketing campaign can see the value in doing this!)

These resources encourage users to get more value from their subscription (in this case, both immediately through the tour, and also later through the blog).

Is This a Perfect Welcome Email?

We’re doing a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison here since SlideShare’s welcome email isn’t designed specifically for an email marketing campaign, but even so…

I don’t think this is a perfect welcome email. There are a number of things I would have done differently.

I think SlideShare should promote other ways for subscribers to connect with SlideShare (through their Community section, for example, or through external social networks) and that they should link up a few other useful areas of the site (this email doesn’t even link to a login page, which is a definite “whoops” for an online service).

But those are really minor details. This welcome email does a great job of making me want to dig deeper into my new SlideShare account. And the more I do that, the more value I’m going to get out of it, and the more I’m going to tell others about it.

Your Turn: What Makes a Good Welcome Email?

  • Do you think this is a good welcome email? What would you do differently?
  • Do you do these things in your welcome emails?
  • What other companies do you think create good welcome emails (and why)?

Share your thoughts and suggestions below!