By the time your welcome email hits your community member’s inbox, you may think your job to sell your membership is done: they’ve subscribed and are on the list! What else is there to do?
But this overlooked space can be the difference between instant churn (unsubscribe or inactive) and upsell from free to paying subscribers. The welcome email can bring your community member deeper into your community from the get-go and deliver on the promise of your welcome page and your About page—both instrumental in converting browsing community members to signups.
While the boilerplate copy created by Pensil for your community onboarding is a good guide for length and content, some simple and personal tweaks to your current community onboarding experience can make all the difference. Here are some tips to maximize your welcome email, as well as examples from other community managers. To edit the welcome email, head to your dashboard Settings and look for “welcome email” under Basics.
Imagine your welcome email is how your community member might like to be greeted on entering a party you’ve put on for subscribers only. What’s the atmosphere and feeling in your reader you want to exclusively create?
CMX, a community to help community builders like you thrive , addresses her community members personally in welcome email, acknowledging they know who community member is, and the result is incredibly effective:
Leap.club, a network built for only women follows the same strategy
There is never a good time to invite subscribers to upgrade. From day one, you can start the messages you want free subscribers to hear.
Our team advises including an upgrade button “above the fold” of the email, along with details of the paid benefits laying out the differences for free and paid subscribers.
Here’s an example from The Prodcut Folks
Here’s an example from Leap.club
Easy to understand and act upon. Example: Join our community, Sign up to get exclusive access
The welcome email is also an opportunity to get your new community member into the swing of engaging within the community your posts every time they see an email from you.
Some community managers like to include links to foundational posts, to archives, events happening or to previous posts in a series they are currently running gets readers straight to the goods by sharing a list of his “greatest hits”:
Showcase some of the best content from the community - these could be around outcomes or creations by the community, includes a link to her latest post, with a question to readers inviting them to join in the comments
Now is a perfect chance to get to know the person behind an unknown email address.
Some community managers ask their readers to reply to the welcome email with why they signed up, invite them to a Chat or introductory post to share more about where they are in the world and why they subscribed, or send them a DM on whichever community platform you run the community on.
asks his new subscribers to answer a key question: Why did they sign up?
When asked about this call to action, community managers told us: “Someone recently asked me how many people reply. So around 75% of folks reply.”
Here’s another example from Lenny's Slack Community
While the About page’s goal is to establish credibility with your community members while showing off your writing voice and style, the welcome email’s is to acknowledge their presence on your email list.
Rather than selling your community to a newcomer, it’s a chance to reiterate that this subscriber is “in the right place.” That also gives you space to be more creative, but also more intimate, personal, and private.
Hot tip: The welcome email doesn’t appear on your community site—so this email will be totally private to those who subscribe.
Example from Leap.club with a more informal welcome email that’s different in tone to About page
FAQs section and an easy way for members to reach out to someone (admins/moderators) for any questions
Try not to make the welcome email feel too formal or like it’s been autogenerated. If you took time to write it, make it yours!
If you are running a discount code or group subscriptions, your welcome email is a great place to give the details.
Recognise the champions of your community on the landing page
The tricky part is that it’s challenging to elevate all these engagement metrics simultaneously, especially when onboarding a new subscriber. People don’t like reading instruction manuals or needing to take several actions to use your product. We want to avoid bombarding new folks with tons of emails/notifications, tooltips, and calls to action.
What are your favorite welcome emails? What tips do you think we are missing from this list? Be sure to add your own insights in the comments.
Learn how to create and manage online communities for various purposes with Pensil
Pensil is a platform that lets you create and manage your own online community with ease and efficiency. Unlike Zoom, Pensil offers you more features, customization, and engagement options to make your community stand out and thrive.`