The humble, venerable email is still arguably the best marketing channel at your disposal. Emails are most likely to result in leads, and on top of that they drive traffic while supplementing your content marketing, leaving social media in the dust when it comes to the bottom line – sales.

Your welcome email, the one that the subscriber receives immediately after signing up on your website, is your second and actually more important chance at making a good first impression. Yes, the website is where people come to subscribe, so they must have already came into contact with your brand – but if your website is your storefront then the welcome email is the smiling salesclerk at the counter.

The welcome email should be sent as soon as a subscriber signs up. Don’t let them dwindle and wander off into the wilds of the interwebz, get them while they are still fresh and likely interested in what you have to offer. This will also send a strong message that you are both attentive and responsive.

The initial email should be crafted in such a way as to build trust and facilitate customer involvement though an immediate call to action. Be clear and boldly state your company name, both in the sender line and in the header of the email body itself. A brief introduction will suffice, a few words of welcome and the main message organized into few informative points. A simple subscription confirmation is largely pointless. A welcome email is your first chance to deliver value to the subscriber and turn them into a satisfied customer.

Skipping the welcome email all together and delving right into promotional emails could be considered bad manners and too forceful. It is not recommended, rather try to include some promotional consent in the welcome email, striking a balance between salience and salesmanship.

In order to get the subscriber to act, you should use the information you received from sign-up. Use their name in the greeting and if you asked for their location, include some related specifics, like shipping deals for the region. The source of the subscription can also be a great criteria for determining the exact message. First time comers probably need some incentives to purchase, so highlight deals and first-time only offers, if any. Those who subscribed on check out could be your future referrals, so make sure to thank them and offer additional value, like future discounts or promotional codes. Use the context to tailor your welcome email and have it customized so that it resonate with various types of subscribers.

Design-wise, focus on the letters and clear, readable formatting, but add your company logo and pictures if appropriate. Additionally, make sure to use the template that you will be using in every email further down the line. You are building your brand, at least in one subscriber’s eyes, so be recognizable and distinguishable.

Finally, you should not get carried away and try cramming too much into one email. Keep it simple and sweet – both in showing you will care for the customer but also in the sense of focusing on the most high-value action.

The email clearly identifies that it’s from Harvey Norman and is sent immediately after sign-up. Using the subscriber’s first name along with a thank you offer builds a relationship immediately. The email articulates the benefits of signing up and sets expectations for subscribers as to what they will be receiving. The offer is sent to the subscriber with a dynamic timer, creating a sense of urgency to drive conversion.