ecommerce welcome email flow

Ecommerce Welcome Email Flow No One Told You About

If you have been sending out just one email to new customers and subscribers, this ecommerce welcome email flow will supercharge your revenue. 

Have you ever wanted to know the secret to writing a killer welcome email campaign?

After all, how you send your first email after a user signs up is probably the most important email you’ll ever send.

Most online stores have an automated welcome email that gets sent out when someone subscribes to a newsletter or an alert. But there are many others that don’t send a welcome email to those visitors who come to your store and make a purchase, thinking the order confirmation is enough.

That’s where they go wrong.

What’s even worse is that they miss out on the opportunity to increase the chances of repeat purchases by sending out welcome emails that are more than just confirmation emails.

By taking advantage of this opportunity, you can build stronger relationships with your subscribers and customers, which will help you acquire new customers, retain existing customers and drive more revenue for your business.

Welcome Emails hold the potential to not just confirm a subscription or an order, but to build a relationship with your subscribers and customers, by providing value in their inboxes.

With the changing times, you need more than just the basic welcome email. The most impactful way to build a relationship with consumers is through an email series. That’s why it’s important to ditch the standard welcome email and plan a multiple email workflow to engage with your customers effectively.

Welcome emails – Status quo

Did you know that approximately 72% of ecommerce stores have an automated welcome email workflow set up?

But most of them just send one plain ‘ol boring email. It usually says something like “Welcome to [store name]! We’re so glad you’re here!” and then leave it at that.

And we get it—if your store is new, you might not have the time or resources to invest in something more sophisticated.

But what if we said you could do more by tweaking your welcome email campaign just a little bit?

Welcome email flow that unlocks better engagement

One of the biggest challenges to creating a memorable welcome email series is figuring out what content to actually put in your emails. Lucky for you, there’s a time-tested framework that can help you plan your email workflow: the various stages of consumer awareness.

In his classic book Breakthrough Advertising, Eugene Schwartz breaks down the 5 types of online prospects and how they can be divided into five distinct phases of awareness:

  1. Completely Unaware: No knowledge of anything except, perhaps, his own identity or opinion.
  2. Problem Aware: Your prospect senses he has a problem but doesn’t know there’s a solution.
  3. Solution Aware: Your prospect knows the result he wants, but not that your product provides it.
  4. Product Aware: Your prospect knows what you sell, but isn’t sure it’s right for him.
  5. The Most Aware: Your prospect knows your product, and only needs to know “the deal.”

But why is it important to understand this?

Because your online prospects are most likely going to fall in one of these categories.

And your welcome email flow needs to be designed to move your reader from their current stage to the last stage of awareness: The most aware.

After A/B testing with numerous businesses, we’ve created a welcome email flow that not only unlocks better engagement from subscribers but also enhances your chances of securing repeat purchases in the future.

Here is how the 4 email welcome flow can be visualized over a period of 5 days:

Let’s look at what to put in each email of the welcome series:

1. Welcome Email # 1: Welcome to the brand

A well-crafted welcome email is the key to getting off on the right foot with your new subscribers. Sent as soon as a new user signs up, it’s your chance to make a good impression, build trust, and get your leads excited about what you have to offer.

Your 1st welcome email should include three basic elements:

  1. Introduce yourself and thank the person for signing up.
  2. Give them the information they signed up for – this could be a link to a free download or other content.
  3. Tell them what to expect next – will you be sending them more tips? How often? When should they expect the next email from you?

And if you really want to take advantage of that first impression, decide what specific action you want your reader to take after reading your welcome email. This comes down to two things: giving people the thing they expected (their free download, or other information), and telling people what to expect next (inviting them to do something with all the new information they just got).

You can use welcome emails in a variety of ways to deliver value and kickstart the subscriber relationship:

  1. Deliver lead magnets so people can jump right into learning more about whatever they’re interested in—whether it’s a free ebook or a video series
  2. Get people to actually use your products (especially useful if you have a ton of features but customers seem hesitant to try them out)
  3. Give people helpful information that makes their lives easier (for example, customer service hours or the location of the nearest coffee shop)
  4. Introduce people to your brand story and share your vision and values with new customers so they know what they’re getting into
  5. Ask people what they want from your product or service (so you can send it to them!)

For instance, SurfStitch’s welcome email uses good brand imagery, content to build credibility, personalized touch by using the reader’s first name, and custom coupons to provide an incentive.

2. Welcome Email # 2: Woo them with your brand story

The second welcome email is a great place to go more in-depth about your brand, and get the user engaged. This email can be used as an opportunity to introduce your products or share your brand story using a demo video. Ideally, this email should be sent 24 hours after your first welcome email and 48 hours after the user has signed up with you.

Go in-depth on what makes your brand unique. Include a review or testimonial from an established customer. This will give you more credibility and help build trust. You can invite users to follow you on social media to stay updated with your brand’s latest happenings.

This email is also a good opportunity to find out more about your users’ preferences, and make the most of the data they’ve given you. This can help you improve their experience on your website by:

  • Recommending content that’s tailored to their interests.
  • Ask them to provide more detailed information about themselves.
  • Giving them the option to fine-tune their preferences

You also want to make sure you give them opportunities to figure out how else they can get the most out of their new account. You might:

  • Provide links to helpful resources, like FAQs and tutorials.
  • Tell them how they can get in touch with customer support if they have any questions or comments

For example, check out how Royalty Soaps reinforces the benefits of subscribing to the newsletter to their customers. The newsletters help them advertise the benefits of their existing collection and introduce new products as soon as they are launched.

3. Welcome Email # 3: Give Them an Incentive to Buy

Your third welcome series email should be sent 24 hours after the second one. This email is a great opportunity to get people excited about the products you offer and give them an incentive to buy. You want your customers to start browsing your store as soon as they get on your mailing list.

Welcome emails with offers can boost revenue by 30% per email — compared to welcome emails without. ​​Use this email to offer a discount or promo code for their first purchase, and then send them links to the collections or products that best align with their interests. It’s also a good idea to include an ongoing offer on-site so they have something to look forward to when they check their inbox.

For example, Glossier’s welcome email uses attractive product imagery in its header to capture its shoppers’ interest. This is followed by a well-crafted brand pitch and a CTA button encouraging the reader to act on the curiosity they’ve instilled.

4. Welcome Email # 4: Get personal

Your 4th welcome email is your final attempt at turning your new subscriber into a repeat customer. This email can be a text mail from the company’s founder along with a limited-time offer to present as the last opportunity to buy from the brand. It should ideally be sent 2 days after the third welcome email.

Welcome emails from founders come across as personalized and increase trust and loyalty to the brand by creating the feeling of a one-on-one purchasing experience. In fact, brands that present their promotional emails as coming from a real team member (such as the company’s founder or CEO) witness 27% higher unique click rates than those who send emails from a marketing ID.

For example, Modalyst sends this personalized welcome email “written” by their CEO Jill Sherman. The email elaborates on details about why the company was formed:


While welcome emails are no doubt a valuable tool for companies, it’s important to keep an eye on what your audience wants. Times change, and with them so do consumer preferences.

It’s important to realize that the welcome email is a valuable extension of your brand, because it’s the opening interaction with your most important subscriber. It’s their first chance to get a feel for what you do and why they should care. That’s why these emails are so important; the right welcome email can welcome a customer into your world and start a lifelong business relationship.

Eager to level up your email marketing game? Check out RetainIQ’s welcome email flow and book a demo now to see how it can work for your brand.

Book a demo.