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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Welcome Email

The Good The Bad And The Ugly

This article is about Welcome Emails or Welcome Programmes. I will describe, what in my opinion good, bad and ugly Welcome communication is. There will be few images to download, so brace yourself if you’re reading this on your mobile phone.

So here we go…

Let’s start with “The Ugly”

Absolutely the worst case scenario of Welcome Email is lack of it. Just imagine this situation, it can’t get worse, because there is nothing to be worse than no Welcome Email whatsoever.
I’ve been receiving Welcome Emails for years and there are some that don’t stand out, even a little. For me, the least attractive are text based Welcome Emails. I know they may work for B2B, but we are talking B2C here.


FancieDress Welcome Email is somehow useful but it could be better, I think. In includes basic personalisation, brief information on services, contact email address and personal greeting, which is always a nice thing.

FancieDress Welcome Email

2. Hobbycraft

This Welcome Email stands out from this group of emails. It includes 15% discount code that can be redeemed online or in store – something for me that I can use straight away. Welcome Survey is present which is always nice thing to have at this point of customer journey.

Hobbycraft Welcome Email

2. Gressingham Duck

The worst Welcome Email in this group. It comes from no-reply@ with Newsletter in Subject Line. Pretty bad, isn’t it? On top of that, email body include only one line of text – Thank you for signing up to our newsletter. I don’t think it gets worse than this.

Gressingham Duck Welcome Email


Ending on a good note, Gressingham Duck responded to my tweet, and after a short conversation I was told that they will update their Welcome Email. I like when brands are listening to what their customers have to say.



All of the emails above are lacking some extras that customers would like to see. What should be included? In my opinion, there should be some more information about a brand: offers, social network links, mobile app if you have one, and clear CTAs. Even in Hobbycraft email, with discount code, there is no clear link to their website. Welcome Email is one of the best converting email programmes, but these guys don’t make it easy for customer to make a purchase or even visit their website. Also, include unsubscribe link in your emails. It helps to land your email in customer’s inbox, as well as allows your customer to unsubscribe with an ease.


How about “The Bad”?

Emails below I really like. These are not exactly bad, but they’re lacking some finesse. Let me explain what’s on my mind.

1. Dorothy Perkins

Good looking Welcome Email, offering up to 20% or up to 25% discount based on what you’ll spend. It contains CTAs and Nav Bar, add to contacts message, reasons to buy, mobile app link, and social icons, but… Yes, there is a “but”, and it’s not a small one. Almost the whole email is based on images. There is a line of text at the top (If you are having trouble viewing this email, please click here.), and Ts&Cs at the bottom. Between them there is 383kb of images to download. That’s a lot of bandwidth… BTW, image below is “only” 258kb, so further compression was possible.

Dorothy Perkins Welcome Email

2. Groupon

Everyone knows Groupon and knows what to expect from it. After a short intro text, they go straight to deals. Image to text balance is good, and CTAs are clear, but this is more “down and dirty”, deals based email, rather than Welcome communication. This email is so long that is doesn’t fully display in webmail – I had to press “See full message” link. I’m sure, I don’t even have to explain how bad it is on mobile phone. It lands in “The Bad” part (which isn’t bad really) because of its accessibility and targeting. Pretty good job from that point of view.

Groupon Welcome Email



Very neat and tidy Welcome Email. I like a simplicity of it with clear CTA – what a pity there is only one included. I really like their manifesto stated in intro text, but what is the reason to repeat it once again at the bottom of the email. I would be nice to see some product range CTAs in there, so there is more opportunity to click. Welcome Email


In my opinion, this is the best Welcome email in this group. Plenty of opportunity to click and visit the website. I really like “make it personal” section on which you can click and update your preferences, making sure you’re getting exactly what you want. Also, The Outnet is using very catchy Subject Line, I like it a lot. The downside is number of images – they use far too many, which makes this email less accessible while on the go.

The Outnet Welcome Email


Overall, emails above are good, but require some more work. It would be nice to see better image to text balance, as well as more CTAs, or CTAs that are text based. Bulletproof buttons is something that should be used, but if you decide to use images, include text link as well. It’s all about accessibility, and user friendly email communication.


La crème de la crème – “The Good”

This is what it should be. If it isn’t Welcome Email Programme, it is very comprehensive Welcome Email. Have a look.

1. John Lewis

John Lewis has the most comprehensive Welcome Email out of them all. It includes plenty CTAs, image to text balance is perfect, and it is very informative at the same time. They cover every aspect of their business. Form a creative point of view, it is very clean, and mobile optimised piece of work. It’s a winner!

John Lewis Welcome Email

2. Debenhams

Another great Welcome Email with plenty opportunities for ladies and gents to click. Image to text balance is good, but it lacks clear CTAs. “Welcome to the family” line at the top of the email (this will appear as pre-header on mobile devices) is a nice touch – very personal and inviting. I really like “Meet the designers” section, which makes this email even more friendly. What a pity it isn’t mobile optimised.

Debenhams Welcome Email


This is first example of Welcome Email Programme. While the first email is fairly basic, it offers some opportunities to click. As I registered just before Father’s Day, relevant section was included – these guys populate their Welcome Email with relevant content. Also, they included a reassuring message that they won’t give out your email address or personal details to anyone else without your agreement. This is great! Welcome Email

Here comes a friendly helper with “It’s what we do” in Subject Line. In the following day from receiving Welcome Email, I received a follow-up email with some information on what is, with some useful links at the bottom. This email is well designed and it looks great, I think. Unfortunately, with that complexity, it is difficult to optimise it for mobile, but the text to image balance is good. Well done, I’d say! Follow-up Email


As per examples above, you can see that Welcome Email/Programme can be done differently. Make sure you have something in place, as it’s very important from Customer Journey point of view. Also, make sure that it is optimised (mobile, text to image balance, etc.) with plenty opportunities to click. Don’t base your email on images only and have some mercy on your customers who open email on their mobile phones. If it happens that your customer open this email while commuting to work, it is going to open slow. According to Litmus, 53% of your customers open your emails on mobile devices. This number can be higher for some – it is a bit higher for audience I talk to via email.

Remember, first impression is important. If you will fail to impress, your email KPIs may drop going forward. Think about it!

I hope you enjoyed reading this. It is my opinion, so agree or disagree, but leave a comment below. Thanks!


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