Chapter 6: Optimizing Your Welcome Flows


When someone signs up for your email list, they’ve given you permission to tell them more about your brand, products, and company. That’s where your Welcome Flow comes in.

Your Welcome Flow greets new subscribers as they join your master list, and helps you secure new customers and introduce them to your brand and products. Your welcome flow should be one of your highest-converting flows, after purely sales behavior-driven ones like your abandoned cart flow.

You can get an in-depth look at setting up this flow in Module 3 of the Email Intensive Course.

This chapter has some additional advice and key tips that will help you maximize it.

The goals of your Welcome Flow are to:

  1. Greet your new subscribers.
  2. Introduce your brand.
  3. Introduce your products.
  4. Get a sale.

By doing these four things, you position yourself to have a great long-term relationship with your subscribers, keep unsubscribes low, and convert lots of first-time customers. Here are some examples of how to do this very well, and the brands I like.

1) Greet people coming into your list

Often you’ll have attached some kind of incentive or offer to joining your list (ie: 10% off) (get more info about setting up a strong opt-in here). Make sure it’s clear, front and center in the email subject and body. You want this process to be as easy as possible for them.

Herschel does a great job with this, by quickly introducing what you’ll get by being on their list, and then offering the discount code and a link back into the store.


Another brand that takes a fun spin on this is Magic Spoon, who has some very colorful illustrations and includes a free shipping code in the first email, and then introduces their social channels as well.


TIP: You can reduce checkout friction by making the links in these emails automatically apply a discount code.

For example, in the above email they can set the button link to be: “”. This link, when visited, will apply the welcomemagic discount code and send them to the collections page.

This way, you don’t need to worry about people needing to potentially bounce between the email and your store again, increasing friction and reducing the chance they successfully check out in that session.

2) Introduce your brand

Use part of the email to share more about your brand and why it matters. How much, and in what way you want to exercise this is up to you. You can use photos or videos to share who your team is and why you started this company, and why you care about your products.

Beardbrand is one of the consistently best examples of this. They use content marketing heavily to get new subscribers familiar with their guides to beard care and grooming, and introduce their products through that content.


eReplacementParts sends out this short first welcome message, just explaining what you’ll get soon and a timely message about shipping during COVID-19:


3) Advertise your social channels or community

In addition to your brand introduction, another good step is to welcome people into the other channels where they can engage with you. Lush does another great job here, by not just showing some social icons, but actually showing what you’ll see when you visit those pages. That’s way more enticing than an Instagram icon.


4) Introduce your products

Especially if using an incentive, this is a great opportunity to introduce your best products for first-time customers. If you have a core product or something that’s the most popular item, show it off in this spot. Lush cosmetics has a variety of products to introduce – whether for bath, body lotion, and so on.


5) Get a sale (Implement a buy or die discount ladder)

Even if you do everything above right, you’ll always have some subscribers who make it to the end of your welcome flow without purchasing. At this point, if you’re a brand that’s comfortable discounting, you can put them into a discount ladder to see if that drives a first-time sale.

A discount ladder is a series of emails, sent close together, with an escalating discount code each day to drive action. For example, you could send a 10% code, then a 15% code, then a 20% code, to see what motivates a sale finally.


Chapter 3 of the Email Intensive goes even deeper on this. Check it out here.

Further reading:

Optional: Removing people from your Welcome Flow when they buy

Some brands, which have a welcome series solely focused on getting a sale, will stop sending their welcome series out after a customer buys. They do this through using a flow filter like this. I generally don’t recommend people do that, so that you can fully introduce your new customers to your brand. If you do want to do this, here’s what it should look like:


Optional: Don’t send campaign emails to people in your welcome flow

The other common change I see on Welcome Flows, is to not send campaign emails while someone is in the Welcome Flow. This is usually because there’s a specific set of instructions or onboarding that you want your customers to have, and campaign emails could be confusing or distract from that. The best way to do this is to use a profile property to exclude people in your welcome flow from your campaign sending segment. To accomplish this, there are a few customizations to make, but they’re pretty easy to follow.

First, add this step to the start of your welcome flow:


This sets a profile property on people entering your welcome flow, which we’ll use to exclude them from your sending campaign segment by adding a new condition to the bottom of that segment:


So, your finished sending segment looks something like this:


And then, create a short flow that resets that welcome flow status when someone buys. In this flow, if someone is in the welcome flow, and buys for the first time, we set their welcome flow status to false. This puts them back into your campaign sending segment, and the Placed Order count being 1 removes them from the Welcome Flow.


Finally, you will also have some people who make it to the end of your welcome flow without purchasing, and you want them to get those campaign emails now instead. At the end of your flow path, add that same update step to set them to false. If you’re using the Buy or Die Discount Ladder, you only need to add it after the No branch – someone going down the Yes branch will trigger our other flow above for removing the status. You don’t need to do it in both places.