Welcome Email Best Practices: For your competition mailing list

By Lex Haringman

Every time a person subscribes to your mailing list, you are beginning a new relationship with them. Sending out a welcome email is a great way to say that first hello, introduce yourself and add a touch of personalisation to your marketing strategy.

As the competition industry relies heavily on building a strong relationship with customers, it’s important that your business creates a great first impression with subscribers. The first email you send sets their expectations for any future emails sent. With a high average open rate of 50%, welcome emails will often reach and be read by more people than any other type of email campaign.

Sounds like a lot of pressure, doesn’t it?

But don’t worry – Team Zap has got your back! Here are some welcome email best practices to keep in mind, which will help convert those curious subscribers into customers for your competitions.


Thank your new subscriber.

You should always start your welcome email by thanking the person who signed up to your mailing list. Letting your subscribers know that you appreciate them is key in building brand loyalty. It also adds a human quality to your email.

Make it personal by using the subscriber’s first name when thanking them. This is more likely to catch their attention and increase engagement than emails which don’t use any personalisation.

Did you know that “thanks” is one of the most effective words you can use in your email copy?



Introduce them to your brand.

Your welcome email is the perfect opportunity to show your subscribers what makes you unique and let them know what they can expect from you. The tone of the email should match your brand’s voice, but also be conversational.

In a few lines, tell your followers about how your company came about, who’s behind it, your goals and mission statement (if you have one). Donating to a charity? This is a great time to introduce the charity to your new subscribers who may not know about your great work yet.

Explain what kind of emails you’ll be sending them. Will you be contacting them each time a new competition is added to the site? Are you going to send out emails reminding your subscribers to attend your Live Draws? If you have a mailing schedule, let your subscribers know what day and time to look out for an email from you.

If people know what to expect from your email content, they’re less likely to unsubscribe or complain about spam. It also gives you the opportunity to get your subscribers excited about what’s to come.


Be transparent.

It’s always a good idea to mention where you got an email from. This is important for building trust with your subscribers.

You might also want to ask your subscribers for more information about their preferences, allowing them to opt-in or out of certain communications. The more you know about their preferences, the more likely they are to engage with your future emails. This makes it easier to send out targeted emails, as you can organise your mailing list based around these preferences.



Be social.

As well as including your company’s contact information, don’t forget to add links to your social pages in your welcome email. This encourages your subscribers to get involved with your business on social media and will support any campaigns you are running on these platforms.

Did you know that Facebook Ads can be set up to target subscribers on your mailing list? This is a service we offer as part of our competition web design services.


Automate your welcome emails.

Using automation software to send out a welcome email each time a new subscriber joins your mailing list can save you a lot of time and hassle. It also allows you to respond in real-time. A report by Experian shows that “real-time welcomes” have a better conversion rate than welcome emails sent in bulk.



Include an offer.

To encourage more people to subscribe to your mailing list, you might want to tempt them with an offer. Examples include entry into a free draw, discount on the first ticket purchased or an extra entry into a competition.

If you’ve used an offer to get a new subscriber, make sure you deliver on that promise! If you don’t, you’ll leave your subscribers frustrated and lose their trust.

The Experian report also shows that a welcome email sent with an offer in real-time is the most effective way to prompt subscribers to take action and buy.


Make it mobile-friendly.

The latest email marketing stats show that around half of email opens happen from mobile devices. For some companies, this may be even higher.

If you are using analytics for your email marketing and have noticed a high percentage of mobile opens, now is the time to make sure that your welcome emails (and all emails which follow) are accessible on mobile devices.

This includes keeping your subject line below 30 characters, your copy short and focused, making sure that your email is click-friendly with CTA buttons and a good amount of spacing.



Keep it focused.

Most of your subscribers will be scanning your emails rather than paying close attention to your copy. High quality writing is still important (or else you’ll come across as unprofessional), but you don’t want to fill up a screen with a wall of text people won’t read.

Lead with a bold image and a strong headline. Images are effective because our brains can process them 60,000 times faster than text. This helps people to scan your emails and pick out the information that interests them.

If you want to deliver more content to your subscribers, include links to the areas of your site you think will be of value to them. For example, you may want to direct them to your latest promotion or most popular competitions. Including a video is another way to get a lot of information across without overloading your welcome email with text.


Keep it going.

Nurtured leads are more likely to respond than those you’ve let go cold. So keep the communication going and remind your subscribers of the value your company has to offer.

Your welcome email should feature a strong Call to Action, letting your subscribers know what to do next. This is important when it comes to converting your subscribers into paying customers.

It’s also a good idea to sign off your welcome email from someone in the team rather than as a whole company. This makes the email more personal and your brand more approachable. For example, instead of “from Zap Competitions”, “from Lex, at Zap Competitions”.

Any future emails you send must be in line with your subscribers’ contact preferences (see Be Transparent). Be careful about spamming them with emails that don’t interest them as they may stop paying attention, or even prompt them to unsubscribe.


Looking for a web design service which specialises in competitions AND can help you with your email marketing strategy? Contact Team Zap to find out more.