Effective Welcome Email Example: SlideShare

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

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?

Share your thoughts and suggestions below!

By:
Justin Premick is the former Director of Educational Products at AWeber.

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29 Comments

  1. Thanks! We also appreciate your feedback. We’re setting time aside to further tinker around with the various e-mails we send to users, so it’s nice to be highlighted as a good example!

    9/23/2008 12:00 pm
  2. Welcome email definitely needs to remind folks why they signed up. It’s also important to list some of the features and benefits you offer on your website.

    Based on the questions I get from my subscribers and web visitors I realize that they aren’t fully aware of all the information and services I provide.

    The challenge, however, is how to tell them without overwhelming them.

    9/23/2008 2:12 pm
  3. I’m in a narrow niche (I help people get six pack abs fast using little-known exercises and cutting-edge cardio) and I don’t have a welcome email.

    The first email I send people is content (a link to a YouTube video with special abs exercises).

    That’s what they register for, that’s what I give them. No fluff.

    9/23/2008 8:32 pm
  4. Guy

    I agree with you about the importance of a good welcome Email. I think I’ll review mine to make sure it still fits.

    However, I also understand Carl’s point.

    Perhaps a combination between the two would be in order? A link to the YouTube video plus a pleasant welcome message at the same time within the same Email.

    Sure, we want to avoid "fluff"… but people also want to know they are more than just a number to the organizations they choose to join.

    9/24/2008 9:07 am
  5. Great ideas — nice welcome template too. Thanks for that.

    9/24/2008 10:57 am
  6. This was good post. Very helpful! The more I read this blog, the more value I get from it. Thanks, I’m going to upgrade my welcome e-mails right away.

    9/24/2008 9:49 pm
  7. Thanks for the great example and for the great tips. I already have one that shows people around the site a little, just seemed a natural thing to do – but I think it bears reviewing on a regular basis.

    - Did we leave anything vital out?
    - should we set up a short intro/tour series?
    - should we add or remove anything?

    Excellent ideas – thanks! Makes my marketing job easier!

    9/25/2008 7:54 am
  8. Great welcome letter. Points right on target. I will keep this in mind when sending out my newsletter to my subscribers. Thank you for sharing!

    9/25/2008 8:02 am
  9. I like the short helpful approach to the welcome email. I always get very long emails that I never read. By bringing the new member back to why he joined your list or became a member is excellent. Highlight the benefits and reassures the person you care.

    9/25/2008 1:08 pm
  10. ts

    thanks for these tips..
    i am still stuck at setting up my email messages that it has delayed the setup of my autoresponder for months..

    9/25/2008 8:39 pm
  11. Reshmi Sinha ‘s, welcome mail is good and to the point , I also have a familiar feeling with her name ,-like knowing her- in school days -
    I am just stepping into this Internet bussiness opportunity-
    but her presentation I liked . thankyou Premik for sharing –

    9/26/2008 12:52 am
  12. At http://spreety.com, we turned off the welcome e-mail, since many people were unsubscribing based on the welcome e-mail alone. We found it to be a much better impression to wait until the uber current entertainment newsletter came out, which includes site highlights.

    9/26/2008 4:37 pm
  13. Thank you for the tips. You can be committed to delivering great information and have the best tools, but not get very far unless you also have a flawless technique. I will begin our new campaign by improving the welcome message with some of the ideas I have found here. There are also some other very useful ideas to apply at a later date. I?ll stock them in the pantry.

    9/27/2008 3:52 pm
  14. Yes, an effective opening email is important because it’s the one time when you have the most attention from your subscriber. A good first impression will keep them opening your emails.

    One thing I do with all my emails is to use Aweber’s reporting function to identify the email(s) in my autoresponder series which are generating the highest number of unsubscribes.

    For example, I discovered that over 64% of my unsubscribes came from email #4 in the autoresponder series. WOW! That’s crazy – 64% -I immediately deleted that message from the series. I guess I was a little too aggressive in that message.

    It’s little details like that which can have a huge impact on your business.

    So in short, test your first email and others in the series to determine their effectiveness. Aweber allows you to see the percentage of people who open the email, click rate, unsubscribe rate, etc. Use your resources!

    9/28/2008 9:31 am
  15. Doh! I never thought of doing that Ron! I’ll certainly check if any of my autoresponder messages are creating an unacceptably high unsubscribe rate.

    One question to everyone: what are your thoughts about including a reminder of what people signed up for in the request to verify?

    I personally find the limit on lines / number of characters very restricting when I want to encourage people to click the verify link by reminding them why they decided to join in the first place.

    9/29/2008 12:49 pm
  16. Guy

    Actually I include a line letting people know this has been requested and is not spam on the top of every Email I send out.

    9/29/2008 2:12 pm
  17. Brian

    When I clicked on the image, I was unable to read the text. I am using Windows Vista, thru IE7. I tried reducing my screen also, but was still unable to read the text.

    10/1/2008 12:06 pm
  18. This is interesting…

    What about the use of graphics vs. no graphics in the welcome email?

    Template vs. straight text?

    10/1/2008 2:15 pm
  19. Thanks for all the great info.I could not read the e-mail from slideshare but I get your message loud and clear.Keep up the good work you are the lifeline of my business

    10/2/2008 12:11 pm
  20. Thanks! This has made me really re-think my welcome email. I had thought that a welcome was enough, but I’m now seeing how vital it is to show your new subscriber the important aspects of your site. I had missed that one.

    10/9/2008 8:51 pm
  21. I publish a monthly newsletter for cat lovers. Just recently I began sending an email thanking new subscribers for signing up and including a copy of the most recent newsletter. To my surprise, over half of the people I send this to will immediately order something from my website. With the good ideas presented here, I am going to add to my email to improve it even more.

    5/2/2009 7:52 am
  22. Hey Justin,
    using an example like the one above, always helps. I use alot of examples and case studies in my materials whenever possible.

    Aweber is a top notch provider in its field.

    I’m surprised you don’t do more research on industry specific, as well as BtoB and BtoC examples of best practices for thank you, landing pages etc. in a specific field.

    I would think marketing to businesses you need a tighter stiffer approach than marketing to consumers.

    Definitely an area for exploration by your goodselves.

    5/28/2009 7:29 pm
  23. Great Ideas Guys!

    but. Does any of you can give me a clue on how can I Forward to a Friend Email using Aweber ? I sell Diets and more than 1 customer have another friend who wants to share the site.

    9/20/2009 5:56 pm
  24. Justin,
    Thank you for your email "See what others are doing with their email campaigns" I particularly found value in the reminder to offer more value in my welcome emails. I have just added more value to my welcome message.
    With gratitude,

    David

    p.s. I must say the email "See what others…" itself offered great value since it gave several ideas for me to check out at a time. I personally have found increased readership in my writing on stress management by giving readers access to more than one article inside a newsletter. More options more value given.

    10/26/2009 4:37 pm
  25. Zenny

    Its great advice Justin,Im finaly focussed of what im planning to do, so i thank you so very much.

    4/5/2010 9:37 pm
  26. I think AWeber does send good welcoming emails… and letters!

    8/25/2010 9:07 am
  27. Interesting post.

    I just posted a related article with a slightly different twist regarding welcome email.

    Feel free to comment and let me know what you think.

    http://blog.rassemblr.com/2011/01/user-registration-follow-up-email-a-check-list/

    Cheers!

    1/8/2011 12:47 pm
  28. Hi Guys, I’m a newbie and I am finding all the informations very
    helpful. Thank you.

    2/23/2011 3:03 am