How to get welcome emails right

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4 min read

Your welcome emails play a key role in setting the tone for future interaction and communication with past, present and future clients in your database. They’re one of the first important steps towards long term success in email marketing and enduring client loyalty.

Studies show the average open rate for welcome emails is 50 per cent, making them 86 per cent more effective than the average newsletter or promotional email.

So, whether you’re subscribing a client to receive weekly listing updates, your quarterly market update or your monthly e-newsletter, you’ll be more likely to keep them engaged and stop them from hitting unsubscribe if you have an effective onboarding procedure.

Here are four important steps to getting your welcome emails right.

Step 1. Timeliness.

When it comes to the timing of your welcome email it is a case of ‘time is of the essence’. Studies show the most effective welcome emails are ones sent promptly on the same day the person subscribed.

The reason welcome emails work so well is because they arrive when the subscriber’s interest in your service is peaked and front of mind, where if you wait a few days their interest is likely to diminish resulting in lower open rates and less eagerness to engage with the content you’re sending.

So, you should have an immediate automated welcome message set up confirming their subscription to your blog updates or whenever you add a client to your new listings or just sold email list.

Step 2. A ‘read me’ subject line.

Welcome emails work best when they have an engaging and succinct subject line. It’s also wise to use ‘welcome’ up front so the intro email doesn’t get lost in a crowded inbox.

Using personalised subject lines in your welcome emails is an easy way to increase the likelihood of your subscribers opening and interacting with your content.

Studies have shown using a recipient’s first name in the subject line increases the chance of the email being opened by 14.68 per cent. Catch their eye by working their name, and/or a specific location or type of property they’ve shown interest in into the subject line and watch those open rates rise.

For example:

‘Welcome Tim. Here are 6 new pet-friendly rentals in Carnegie.’

‘Welcome Christina! Could this be the perfect 3-bedroom family-friendly house in Caulfield?’

 For sale:  913 Glen Huntly Road, Caulfield, VIC
For sale: 913 Glen Huntly Road, Caulfield, VIC

Step 3. Set expectations.

From the get go let new subscribers know exactly what they’re in for in terms of the content and frequency of the emails they’ve signed up for. It can be especially frustrating for clients to get inundated with emails every second day when they weren’t informed they would be.

For instance, when I was searching to buy a home as a first home buyer after attending a weekend inspection I received six emails over the course of the next seven days. Worse yet, they weren’t relevant to me as a buyer. I received emails asking ‘What’s your nest egg worth?’ and offering me free appraisals. As a renter, this had me seeking the unsubscribe button quick smart.

A proven way to increase readership and reduce unsubscribes is to let subscribers know how frequently you’ll be touching base and what valuable and relevant content you’ll be providing them in due course.

For example:

‘Hi Alex, thank you for subscribing to our blog. We look forward to sending you weekly property news and helpful tips. Here are some popular blog articles that may be of interest to you…’

It’s a good idea to add in a request for your subscribers to start following you on social media in your welcome email. This way if they unsubscribe from your email list down the track you’ll still have another channel of communication and a presence in their life.

Step 4. Value add.

Welcome emails are a good opportunity to talk about the benefits and insights clients will get from being on your mail list, and provide links to free renter, buyer and seller resources (like your blog and sold data). This shows your subscribers they’ve made a good decision by signing up and makes them feel like they’re a part of a special club.

Let buyers and renters know they’ll get first look at new listings in your weekly updates. It’s also worthwhile to add a call to action like ‘Find a new place to call home’ to drive customers back to all your website listings.

Always ensure your reply email address is linked up properly so your VIPs can easily get in touch. It’s not a good look to send out a welcome email from a no reply email address, as it sends a subtle message to people that you don’t want to hear back from them. Don’t forget to add in your contact number and personal email address in the signature to make getting in contact as easy as possible.

Don’t get too bogged down in formulating the perfect welcome email. At the end of the day the most important thing is new subscribers feel welcomed and valued to lay the foundation for a long term mutually beneficial professional relationship.

For more email marketing advice check out our guide to writing winning subject lines and four ways to stay in touch with past clients.

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Larissa Gardner
Larissa Gardner is the Marketing Manager at arguably Australia’s best looking real estate website With a superb devotion to product innovation, user-centred design and innovative marketing platforms for real estate agents, helps millions of Australians find their next home.

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