Your welcome email sets the tone for interaction with your readers and is an essential tool for engaging them. As the name implies, your goal is to enthusiastically welcome readers to your community, point to the lead magnet they signed up to receive (or other offers), and give them one low-risk call to action to keep them engaged. It will help you keep your subscribers happy so you can grow your email list. Email marketing is your direct access to readers and consistently tops social media for selling books and other products and services. Regardless of what happens with a particular social media platform or algorithms of search engines, your email subscribers are the key to growing your author business and selling more books.

Fortunately, your email service provider (MailChimp, Constant Contact, Active Campaign, etc.) gives you the ability to automate the welcome email that works for you around the clock without you having to manually send the email to your new subscribers. Take the time to write it once and let the program do its thing.

There are several basic parts of the welcome email that have a function in creating a bond with your subscriber. The stronger the bond, the more you can count on them to read your next email, buy your book, and tell their friends about you.

Subject line

Before your new subscriber reads your email, they need to feel compelled to open it. That’s the job of your subject line. Unlike a subheading in a blog post like this, the subject line is not only informative; it’s compelling.

Here are a few examples:

Welcome to the community!

Welcome! I’m so glad you’ve joined us!

I’ve got a question to ask you…

Here’s your first chapter of [your book]!

The subject line can either indicate the subscriber as new to the community, remind them to get their download, or otherwise draw them in for curiosity’s sake. If you find you aren’t getting the open rate you expect, try altering the subject line to compare results.

Elements of a welcome email

Once your subscriber opens your email, there are a few things you can do to keep them engaged. Using your voice and writer/author brand, choose from these elements to compose your welcome email. There are many things you can include but consider your subscribers. A long email that includes everything may overwhelm or discourage readers from opening subsequent emails or put off reading your emails until they have “more time.” Here are some elements that you can include in your welcome email.

  • Welcome/Thanks for subscribing
  • You are receiving this email because [your reason]/Here is the [first chapter] of [your book]
  • Describe who you are and/or what you value
  • What they’ll receive in subsequent newsletters/emails and how often
  • Links to your most popular blog posts
  • A question like:
    • Who’s your favorite character in [your book]? (if you are promoting a sequel)
    • What is your favorite book?
    • What do you love to read?
    • …and encouragement to reply to the email
  • Links and invitations to connect via social media
  • Photo of you
  • Closing greeting/looking forward to next time
  • P.S. – a reminder to add you to their address book or safe senders list

As you can see, there are a lot of things you can say in your welcome email. Add just enough to establish a connection and use a follow-up automated series or your regular newsletter to continue building a lasting relationship to grow readers and fans.

Here are 3 examples to get you started.

Welcome email sample #1

Hi there!

Welcome to the community!

I’m excited to share the first chapter from my book [book title]. It’s the [first in the series called – name of series]. It’s about [one-two sentence (very short) description]. You can get your chapter download here (use a link or direct them to the download).

If you love the first chapter, you can order the entire book here. (Give store links to all versions.)

You’ll receive emails about once a month as I share exciting new stories, a behind-the-scenes peek at my writing life, and find out more about what you love reading.

Happy Reading!

[Your name]

Welcome email sample #2

Welcome!

I’m [your name], and I [very short bio].

Thanks for joining the community and learning more about [your topic]. You’ll learn/experience [more about your topic] so you can [desired result]. I’ll share lots of [tips/stories] in a weekly newsletter.

So, I’m curious. What’s your biggest struggle with [your topic]? Just reply to this email and let me know how I can help you [get to your desired result].

Keep the conversation going on Facebook and Instagram (use links to your pages) where you connect with [like-minded/enthusiastic, etc.] people and find out more about [topic].

Until next time,

[Your name]

P.S. Don’t forget to add me to your contacts or safe senders list so you don’t miss out!

Welcome email sample #3

Hey there, fellow reader!

Welcome to the [tribe/family/community]! I’m so glad you joined in with our other awesome writers!

As a writer, I’m passionate about your passion. That’s right—reading and writing [genre]! We’ll talk about books that are rockin’ our world and what authors are doing to write them. I’ll share [weekly] insights and inspiration to keep you going all year long!

So you don’t miss out on the good stuff, here are the five most popular blog posts:

Now, head over to our Facebook group and introduce yourself. We’d love to meet you!

See you next time!

[Your name]

[Your photo]

P.S. Don’t miss a word! Please add me to your contacts, safe senders, or VIP list so we don’t get relegated to the promotions box — or worse!

The final word

Your welcome email sets the stage for your future interactions with your fans. As with all of your writing, use your unique voice to welcome, inform, and engage your audience for a long-term connection. If your email open rate falters or engagement wanes, experiment with the subject line and other elements to create a valuable asset for growing your author business.

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