The open rates for purchase receipt emails are 4 times higher than marketing emails because customers have invited the email via a direct action (a purchase) and expect to receive it. The expectation of an email makes it much more likely that customers will read your email and take action from it.
Welcome emails are another “expected” email that you can use to both introduce customers to your store and encourage actions, whether these are purchase actions or other actions on your site (reading a welcome post, subscribing to marketing emails, etc).
Since welcome emails are opened more frequently than marketing emails, you can use them to sell your most popular products or a storewide membership package while including useful information for your new customers.
…welcome emails have 320% more revenue per email than other promotional emails.
Not only can welcome emails provide a good marketing opportunity for you, they can give customers valuable information about your store and community.
If your welcome email is simply a marketing shill for a certain product or upsell on your site, customers may be turned off by the email and become less likely to read your emails in the future. In order to make your welcome emails valuable, they should be helpful for your new customer, and introduce your company and brand. You can include:
- a sincere thank you for registering
- what information is available only to registered customers (show value from having the account, e.g., you can securely add saved payment methods for easy checkout)
- links to valuable resources about order fulfillment, shipping, and returns
- link to your company blog or most popular articles
- a welcome promotion or discount for the next purchase
- how to sign up for referral program and become a brand advocate
Using the “1-2-3 formula” is great for welcome emails — give users three things that they may find useful, or three steps toward a desired action. For example: (1) log in (2) visit your account (3) view your personal promo codes.
If you run a membership site, welcome or customer registration emails are a great place to give new members information about the site and membership itself. You could tell members:
- how often they may hear from you
- where to find members-only content
- what perks the membership offers each month / week / year / etc
- what other memberships or products you offer
- how they can get the most out of the membership
If any of this content feels long for a welcome email, you can also link to static content on your site.
Your welcome emails should help your customers while giving you the opportunity to play host: thank customers for becoming a part of your community, and give them the tour of your brand or eCommerce store.
Now let’s talk about how you can send new customers a welcome email when they register for an account on your site, depending on which eCommerce plugin you use.
If you use WooCommerce, there are a couple ways to edit the emails sent to new customers when they register for an account on your site. By default, WooCommerce will disable the general WordPress “new user” email and replace it with one of its own templates when a customer registers.
New Account Email Template
If you want to use the core WooCommerce email for new customers, you can view its information by going to WooCommerce > Settings > Emails. There’s one problem, though:
You can’t edit the content of this email easily. If you want to customize this email for your store, you need to be familiar with editing WooCommerce template files and have some HTML (and maybe PHP) knowledge.
If you do, then you can override the new account email template in your theme, then go nuts! Add whatever information you want to this email.
If you don’t know how to edit templates, then you’ll either need the help of a developer, or you can take another route.
Send an Additional New Customer Email
One of the plugins I find super useful for WooCommerce is AutomateWoo. This lets you trigger workflows based on actions that happen in your store, such as orders, or fortunately enough, new user accounts. We can trigger workflows based on a user creating a “customer” type account, and either replace the WooCommerce new account email, or send emails in addition to it.
I’ve set up a workflow to send an email to new customers 15 minutes after registration. First, customers will get the WooCommerce core email that contains their username and password (but you could disable this email if desired). Second, customers will get my AutomateWoo email 15 minutes later with more welcome details, such as helpful links, and a heartfelt thanks for joining my store.
You could include a discount in this email if desired, but as a customer, I really hate getting a discount right after I buy something, which may be the case for a new registration (it could happen at checkout). Instead, I’ll create another workflow in AutomateWoo with a longer delay; 3 days later I’ll send another email as a follow up with a shiny new discount code.
AutomateWoo makes it really easy to add your own emails with customized triggers so that you don’t have to edit your WooCommerce templates, and can take your welcome emails even further with automatically generated coupon codes.
If you use Easy Digital Downloads, you can access your email settings from Downloads > Settings > Emails. You’ll notice, however, that there’s no “New account” or “New customer” email:
You can customize your purchase receipt email text, but Easy Digital Downloads doesn’t replace the WordPress “new user” email, and instead sends this to customers when they register for an account on your site.
Instead of editing templates, you can use a general WordPress plugin to customize this welcome email for your customers. Just be aware that this will customize all new user emails sent through WordPress, so if you have other users besides customers registering (or you manually create users), they’ll get the same email (which probably won’t happen for many stores).
The free SB Welcome Email Editor plugin gives you a way to edit your WordPress new user emails, and you can add your additional welcome details here. You’ll need to be familiar with basic HTML to do this. If you’re not, you may find it helpful to write your email as a blog post draft using the “Visual” editor, then switch to “Text” editor (in the top right of the post editor), and copy the HTML it generates for you.
You can then use this to edit your email under Settings > SB Welcome Email:
Now when a new customer (or any user) registers on your site, they’ll be sent your updated and improved welcome email, while still allowing them to set the password and get username details.
The SB Welcome Email Editor will work for almost any other eCommerce or membership plugin, as most of them use the default WordPress emails for user registration.
If you want an HTML template to start from, here’s one I used while testing:
<p>Hi there [first_name],</p> <p>Thanks so much for creating an account with [blog_name]! I appreciate you becoming a part of our community, and I'd love to give you some information about our store.</p> <p>First, the important stuff:</p> <ul><li>Username: [user_login]</li> <li>Password: [reset_pass_link]</li> <li>You can login here: [login_url]</li></ul> <p>A few helpful links:</p> <ul><li>Your <a href="ACCOUNT_URL">account page</a> gives you information on your past orders, downloadable files, and more.</li> <li>You can find our <a href="RETURN_URL">our return policy here</a>, which guarantees your satisfaction for 45 days after your purchase.</li> <li>Our <a href="BLOG_URL">company blog</a> will give you tips on getting the most out of our products.</li></ul> <p>If you have any questions about an order or any of our products, we're always happy to help, and our customer service team is only an email away 🙂 You can reach us here: [admin_email]</p> <p>Thanks again!</p> <p>[blog_name]</p>
Your welcome emails for new customers give you the opportunity to help customers get familiar with your brand, learn how to get the most from your site, and give them important account information. So long as your welcome emails are helpful, they also present a great opportunity to encourage customers to take a desired action or upsell your products, as they have very high open and engagement rates.
If you want some examples or more tips in customizing your welcome emails for new customers, here are some additional resources:
- Grasshopper has some tips on crafting the perfect welcome email, including tips on formatting and word choice.
- Customer.io has a 5 types of welcome email templates that are great for gathering some welcome email component ideas.
- Get Vero has some breakdowns of tons of welcome emails that examine good and bad points from each. Their main point? Welcome emails must deliver value to customers.