Writing Confirmation and Welcome Emails People Love

Not sure what to write in your confirmation and welcome email messages? Read on to learn more about what you should include in your first emails to subscribers.

Your confirmation and welcome email are your first impression. They set the tone for your relationship with subscribers and can improve engagement for future emails.

But to make them successful, there are two things you need to do: automate them and write them well.

By automating them, you can connect with your subscribers immediately and automatically. (Plus, save your time!) And with the correct writing strategies, your emails will be compelling and sound human, instead of robotic.

Ready to craft engaging confirmed-opt in and welcome emails? In this post, you’ll learn exactly how to write them.

(Learn how to write compelling emails all the time with our FREE What to Write courseYou’ll get 45+ content templates. Use them for inspiration, or just fill in the blanks!)

Why you should use a confirmed opt-in email

There are a few different kinds of confirmation emails – like purchase confirmation emails, email subscription confirmation emails, and confirmed opt-in emails.

In this post, we’re focusing on confirmed opt-in (COI) emails –– the email automatically sent to your subscribers after they fill out your sign up form. It contains a link or button that your subscribers must click to confirm they want to be subscribed to your list.

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You don’t have to send a COI email to your subscribers. But, I strongly recommend you do for a few very good reasons:

  • It prevents mistyped and fake email addresses from cluttering up your list.
  • It improves deliverability. When you are using a COI email, all subscribers are opting into your list twice. This is called double opt-in, and it can often lead to more emails reaching your subscribers’ inboxes.
  • It can lower spam complaints, and this often results in higher deliverability as well.

What should I include in my confirmed opt-in email?

1. Make it clear what you want subscribers to do

Tell your subscribers exactly what you’d like them to do. Explain what’ll happen when they click to confirm their subscription, tell them why they’re receiving this message, and keep it short. Your content should make confirming their subscription a breeze.

Check out Chipotle’s confirmed opt-in email below. They explain why subscribers are receiving this message and exactly what they should do. Plus, their headline provides some humor and a fun tone. You’re not just confirming your email address; you’re confirming your “burrito love.”

2. Briefly explain the benefits of being on your list

If you’re doing email marketing the right way, being on your list should be an awesome experience for your subscribers. Sure, you’ll promote your products or services. But besides promotional content, subscribers should receive valuable and educational content that benefits them.

Explain the benefits of being on your list in your confirmed opt-in email. This will make subscribers more likely to follow through and click the “confirm” button.

In the confirmed opt-in email for our AWeber Blog Newsletter below, we tell subscribers about the benefits of being on our list (free blog posts, courses and ebooks!). This helps to improve the conversion rate of our confirmed opt-in email.

Why you NEED to have a welcome email

Welcome emails — the first email subscribers receive once they confirm their subscription — get amazing results. In fact, they see open rates 4 times higher and click-through rates 5 times higher than other emails, according to Experian

Here at AWeber, our welcome emails often attain open rates above 90 percent and click-through rates above 50 percent. That’s amazing!

Welcome emails claim such great results because they arrive in your subscriber’s inbox at the peak of their interest – when they’ve just signed up for your email list. And often, welcome emails contain the incentives businesses promise on their sign up forms. So subscribers are eagerly awaiting those emails and their freebies.

At other times, subscribers are excited about signing up for a newsletter, and the welcome email gives them a sneak peek into what they’ll be receiving.

Whatever the scenario is, welcome emails consistently perform well and can do a lot towards improving your email marketing strategy. For example, a great welcome email will:

  • Help to improve your email deliverability
  • Get more emails to subscribers’ primary inboxes
  • Boost open rates and click-through rates for future emails
  • Decrease spam complaints and unsubscribes
  • Help you sell your product or service

And more.

But there are a few key things you should do in your welcome email to earn these kinds of results. In fact, there are five things every welcome email should include. Keep reading to learn about them.

(Your welcome email is just the beginning. Learn how to craft perfect emails all the time with our FREE What to Write course.)

5 things every welcome email should do

1. Deliver your incentive

If you promise a freebie or incentive on your sign up form, your welcome email should deliver it. You should design and structure your email in such a way that the incentive is prominent when subscribers open the email.

Making sure that subscribers see your incentive is important, because it builds trust by delivering on your sign-up-form promise. Additionally, a good incentive can get people excited about receiving more content from you – which can lead to higher open rates and click-through rates down the road.

For example, on the sign up form for our course and guide “What to Write in Your Emails” we promise a guide and email course in exchange for subscribing:

To make sure we’re delivering on that promise right away, we give subscribers the guide in the second line of our welcome email, which subscribers receive seconds after they join the list:

When you deliver your incentive in your welcome email, you can use hyperlinked text like we did above, or an eye-catching button. Either way, your incentive should be easy to find in your welcome email.

If you don’t promise an incentive on your sign up form, then you don’t need to worry about this step. Instead, try sharing a popular blog post or another piece of content that provides value to your audience.

2. Ask subscribers to whitelist you

Earlier in this post, I mentioned that welcome emails can increase deliverability and help more of your emails reach the primary inbox.

To make this happen, ask subscribers to whitelist you in the copy of your welcome email.

Whitelisting is when a subscriber adds your sender name to their email contacts. When an email provider such as Gmail recognizes that you’re in the subscriber’s contacts, they’ll be sure to deliver your email.

You can ask someone to whitelist you by providing instructions for how to do so.

For example, Further provides subscribers instructions on how to whitelist in this welcome email below:

3. Set expectations

Setting expectations in your welcome email is a great way to decrease spam complaints and discourage unsubscribes.

You can set expectations by explaining how frequently subscribers will receive emails from you and by walking them through the kind of content they’ll receive.

If you tell subscribers up front that you’ll be emailing them daily, for example, they’ll be less likely to mark your emails as spam, because they’ll be expecting daily emails.

Additionally, when you inform subscribers of the kind of content they’ll get from you and you stick to those guidelines, subscribers may be less likely to mark your emails as spam or unsubscribe, because they’re aware of the kind of content you send.

Take a look at how Farnam Street does this in the welcome email below by explaining that subscribers will receive an email each Sunday with the best brain food from the week:

4. Introduce yourself

Typically, you should not try to sell anything in your welcome email. It’s way too early in your relationship with this new subscriber. That’d be like asking someone to marry you on the first date!

However, the welcome email is a good opportunity to begin establishing a relationship that can lead to sales later on.

By introducing your company (or brand) and mission in your welcome email, your subscriber can begin to become familiar with you. This familiarity can carry over to later emails and make your subscriber more likely to purchase since they know who you are.

In a section of her welcome email, Jill Angie of Not Your Average Runner introduces herself through a short and compelling story.

This is a short story  — but it’s compelling! Jill uses a conversational tone and is super likeable. You can do this too in your own emails.

5. Build excitement

Your welcome email plays an essential role in establishing your relationship with a subscriber and in setting up how they interact with your emails in the time after they subscribe. A well-written welcome email can increase open rates and click-through rates for months after your subscriber receives it.

One way it does this is by building excitement for the emails that’ll be arriving later on.You can accomplish this by explaining the benefits of being on your list and teasing the content that subscribers will be getting from you.

This is similar to setting expectations, except that the goal is to use language, sentences and words that’ll get your subscribers as excited about receiving your content as a child is excited about opening their birthday presents.

Nomadic Matt, a travel blogger, builds excitement in his welcome email by telling subscribers they’ll get, “amazing tips, tricks, and deals sent to you so you can travel more on less.” He then allows them to choose the type of travel content they want to receive from him by having them select the country they want to travel to next.

This is just the beginning. It’s time to master email automation.

These 2 emails are the first automated messages you should send to subscribers. But they’re just the tip of the iceberg. You can leverage the power of email automation to create a marketing machine that’ll promote your product and increase your revenue. And the best part? This machine will run on autopilot, making money for you while you do other things.

Get started with email automation! Create your FREE account with AWeber today, and change the way you send emails forever.


  1. Brian Aldridge

    2/25/2015 11:28 pm

    Great stuff, Monica – I’m just now getting started on the Welcome Emails and wanted to make sure I made few (if any) mistakes on this crucial step. Thanks!

  2. Simon Cave

    3/5/2015 6:08 am

    Nice article Monica! I would also add: Invite them to join you on social medias. The welcome email is one of the few emails that get a high open rates so it’s a great opportunity to build an audience on social medias too!

  3. Monica Montesa

    3/5/2015 9:00 am

    Thank you, Simon.

    That’s a great tip! Including include social follow/share buttons within your emails is a great way to continue the communication with your fans in other areas as well.

    – Monica