Writing Welcome Series Subject Lines That Actually Convert

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Welcome Email Subject Lines

Your welcome email series flow is the first email your customer receives from you — It’s a friendly welcome message for customers that will encourage them to interact with your product or service, and if done well, will lead to increased customer retention (we’ve written a great blog post on how to write fresh welcome email content here).

So it’s important that you make it count.

Did you know that the average open rate for a welcome email is 50%? That means that before your customer even open your email, they’re scanning the subject line to see if your offer appeals to them.

Media is always changing, and that includes emails. There have been numerous blogs over the years that claim to hold the secrets to writing high-converting subject lines and promise that if you use this certain word, or capitalize the right amount of letters, your email will get opened.

While this may be true to an extent, there’s no actual science to writing the perfect subject line. What we do have are formulas that prove, time and time again, customers are drawn to certain aspects of a subject line that makes them want to click.

We’re going to break down the [6] best subject writing formulas, show you some welcome email subject lines samples, and some other tips that are going to help you write great subject lines for your very own welcome email series subject lines.

First, you want to make a great impression.

When your client subscribes to your email list, they’re engaging with your brand, and want to learn more about your offer, and why they should give you the time of day.

For many brands, your welcome flow is a great way to introduce your potential customer to your brand, to familiarize them with your product’s benefits, and what makes YOU stand out from the crowd.

If the client had subscribed to your list, you’ve already won. And now, you just need to reel them in.

Take Airbnb as an example — their welcome email subject line is simply How does Airbnb work?

Uncertainty is a conversion killer. Airbnb’s welcome email subject line alleviates anxiety by addressing your fear: how the heck does this company work?

Another great example would be Asana’s, which is Welcome to Asana. Short, sweet, and simple. Asana welcomes the user to their brand. And who doesn’t want to be welcomed?

Now, let’s get into what type of subject lines are out there…

Hint: there’s a lot.

When it comes to how many emails an average person receives in a day, it’s more than 100 emails for work. As if this is not enough, this number does not include spam.

Apart from the obvious “explain your offer” and hope someone clicks, there are tons of ways to create a unique subject line.

You also want to make sure that your welcome email will actually make it to the recipient’s inbox and not get flagged as spam. That means you’ll need to watch your headlines carefully for spam triggers: words and phrases typically used in unwanted emails.

The Don’t’s of Subject Lines

  • Don’t use all caps.
  • One-Word subject lines? Those don’t work either
  • Multiple! Exclamation! Points!

The Do’s of Subject Lines

  • Use emojis. According to a report, 56% of companies boosted their email open rates using emojis.
  • Create a sense of urgency. If you want your readers to take immediate action, give them a reason. You can promote limited-time deals, highlight the scarcity of your products, or include an expiration date in the subject line.
  • Add personalization. Try adding the recipient’s first name to the email subject line. You also can use the subject line to ask questions that are specific to each reader and the particular email campaigns. Be sure to highlight your customers’ interests.
  • Write catchy email subject lines. Catchy email subject lines arouse the recipient’s curiosity without being spammy. They increase open rates because readers want to learn more about what you have to offer.
  • Enhance readability for mobile devices. Seventy-five percent of email recipients use their mobile devices to check their email accounts. So, write short email subject lines and get straight to the point.

10 Action Words for Your Subject Lines

  • Improve/Improved
  • Increase
  • Update
  • Join
  • Congratulations
  • Last Chance
  • Subscriber Name
  • Ultimate
  • Offer
  • Sale

7 Words to Avoid in Your Subject Lines

  • Cheap
  • Free
  • Rich
  • Urgent
  • $$$
  • CBD
  • Secret

Now that you know what you should and shouldn’t use to create an amazing subject line, we can look at some welcome email subject line samples to get the ball rolling.

Curiosity Driven Subject Lines:

  • You shouldn’t open this email
  • Check out our new hair dye options…
  • Meet the newest addition to our team!
  • A surprise service discount for you!
  • Take a virtual tour of our new facility
  • Is your dog making these noises?
  • Does the inside of your AC look like this?
  • Here’s the most efficient garden tool in the world…
  • Guess what’s in this email?
  • We really shouldn’t tell you this but…

Examples from real brands:

  • Allbirds: Have You Seen Sheep Dance?
  • Birchbox: You’re Invited
  • Frank and Oak: THIS is: High-performance ✅ sustainable ✅ already our best seller ✅
  • Johnny Cupcakes: When life gives you cupcakes…
  • Huckberry: It’s Arrived.
  • ESQIDO: Shhh… Don’t tell anyone
  • Death Wish Coffee: Is it your lucky day?
  • Glossier: You can’t come in
  • Crocs: They did WHAT with a pair of Crocs?
  • Function of Beauty: Your hair care routine is missing something…
  • Recess: they said it couldn’t be done
  • Away: What you’ve been waiting for 🌈
  • Shinesty: You’ve never seen a suit this color…

Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) Subject Lines:

FOMO Subject Lines

  • Your welcome gift is expiring soon
  • You’re missing out on our exclusive deals…
  • Only one day left to claim your offer!
  • Join our service club before it’s too late
  • We only have 3 memberships left
  • This could be your final opportunity to save
  • Don’t miss this great deal on multi-light LEDs!
  • Exclusive deal on select hedge-trimmers…
  • Are you taking advantage of our service specials?
  • Your membership plan ends soon…

Personal Subject Lines:

Personal Subject Lines

  • Steve, check out our new services
  • Happy Birthday, Steve! See what we got you.
  • It’s your birthday, Steve! Time to celebrate with an offer.
  • Take a look at our September specials, Steve
  • Thanks for buying your new dryer with us, Steve
  • Celebrate with a complimentary service appointment
  • Hello Steve. Have you extended your warranty yet?
  • Is your air conditioner ready for the summer, Steve?
  • When was the last time you serviced your heater, Steve?
  • Enjoy this complimentary service as a birthday gift, Steve

Examples from real brands:

  • Flat Tummy Co: 😏 Rikke – ready to move a few stubborn LBS?! 😏
  • Birchbox: Rikke! A Free Birchbox for You When You Gift
  • Vinomofo: Can’t decide, Rikke? Get Shiraz & Co NEW mix!
  • ColourPop Cosmetics: Rikke, you don’t want to miss this…
  • Fabletics: Hey Seray, we picked these for you!
  • (Fenty Beauty): Only the best for you, Seray
  • Fabletics: Seray, this is so you and it’s 70% off!
  • Torrid: Hey Seray, ready for some Disney magic?
  • Joybird: We’d love your feedback, Seray!

Important note: if your popup or lead magnet doesn’t collect your customer’s first name, you can use a generic pronoun as a placeholder i.e. friend, pal.

Funny Subject Lines:

Funny Subject Lines

  • Still losing socks in the dryer?
  • Savings that make us proud (Unlike our cousin, Joe)
  • Are icicles forming in your home?
  • There are no service coupons in this email
  • We really don’t expect you to open this email
  • Is your heater broken? We have extra blankets.
  • Your dog is going to love this!
  • What’s the weather like in Fiji?
  • We know what your friend did last summer
  • Hot or cold? Pick one.

Examples from real brands:

  • Happy Socks: How d’ya like your socks in the morning? 🍳
  • Sweaty Betty: “Does this come in black?”
  • Sunski: It’s finally (mostly) sunny!
  • Studio Neat: Great, another email!
  • Chubbies: Call me Thigh Fieri
  • Huckberry: “Ahhhhhhh.”—Your feet
  • Beardbrand: [True or False]: Your beard loves to lift, bro.
  • Bonobos: SAAALE! Extra 40%! Sorry for yelling!
  • Patpat: Forget Your Troubles, Come On Get Matchy!
  • AYR: the fresh pants of bel-AYR

Subject Lines That Ask a Question:

  • Are you ready to save 15% on select garden tools?
  • Is your air conditioner ready for the summer heat?
  • Have you joined our customer loyalty program?
  • How’s your new air conditioner working?
  • Do you need plumbing services?
  • Have you prepared your yard for the winter?
  • Are you looking for a certified electrician?
  • Have you scheduled your heating service yet?
  • Want to save 25% on your next bill?
  • Is your furnace at least 10 years old?

Subject Lines That Address Pain Points:

  • Install your heater without breaking the bank
  • Get more cabinet space with these easy ideas
  • Stop wasting money with an inefficient heater
  • Your heating problems are now solved!
  • How to survive cold winter nights
  • How to stay comfortable in the summer heat
  • Learn how to save hundreds of dollars in repair costs
  • Tired of wasting money on high heating bills?
  • Finally, the best solutions for frozen pipes
  • How to find an affordable electrician

Clever/Witty Subject Lines:

Clever Subject Lines

  • Do we know each other from somewhere?
  • Kick your shoes off.
  • Kon’nichiwa.
  • We’ve been looking everywhere for you.
  • Howdy Doody.
  • It’s about damn time.
  • We figured you’d show, sooner or later.
  • We’ve been expecting you
  • Make yourself at home.
  • We’d be happy as hell if you stayed for tea
  • We hope you’re not reading this on the toilet.

Examples from real brands:

  • Torrid: It’s a plaid, plaid world
  • Sock Fancy: You Doughn’t Want to Miss Out on This Pair! 🍪
  • Lush: Flick here for vegan eyeliners ⚡
  • Function of Beauty: so long, milk(shea)ke 👋
  • Death Wish Coffee: Sun’s out, mugs out
  • Chubbies: ereht ih
  • Shinesty: Rum-pum-pum-pump up the holiday jams
  • Recess: 10/10 would not wormhole again
  • Poo~Pourri: Ready. Sit. GO! ✈️🚗🏖️💩
  • ThinkGeek: A Sale of ❄ and 🔥

Limited Time Only Subject Lines:

Limited Time Subject Lines

  • Your welcome gift is available for the next 24 hours
  • Ready to save? Claim your welcome gift now! 
  • Uh oh, there’s only 24 hours to claim your discount!
  • This electric heater? It’s only available until tomorrow…
  • Still thinking about an upgrade? Better make a move…
  • We hate to admit it — you’re running out of time!
  • This email will self destruct in 24 hours
  • Claim your offer in 3…2…1…
  • Limited time offer — claim your welcome gift NOW
  • Do you hear that? Your discount code expiring! 

Examples from real brands:

  • Tarte: say goodbye to your exclusive 20% offer
  • Violet Grey: There’s Still Time To Save On These Exclusives
  • Urban Outfitters: Clock’s ticking ⏲ 50% OFF 500+ items
  • Torrid: BOGO free clearance is over in 5…4…3…
  • ThinkGeek: Buy One Get One Free OR ELSE
  • The Spinsterz: It’s there and then it’s GONE. POOF. 💥
  • Snowe: URGENT: Need by EOD 😉
  • Proven: bye, bye, bye
  • Third Love: Don’t miss out on 30% off!
  • west elm: Ho Ho HURRY. There’s 20% off Christmas decorations ⛄

Social Proof Subject Lines:

Social Proof Subject Lines

  • Top reviewed styles from customers like you…
  • Pssst… your friends are cooking up a storm!
  • You deserve some new styles this week (top picks inside)
  • Most popular recipes this week 
  • This guy makes 6 figures a month? 
  • Simple recipes from popular chefs
  • 5 homes that are trending right now
  • See what our clients are saying…
  • The people have spoken — these are their faves
  • Whoah… these are the most wanted tops this season! 

Examples from real brands:

  • MAC Cosmetics: Fans are getting REAL about new Studio Fix Stick 👀
  • Framebridge: Don’t just take our word for it.
  • Birchbox: We’ve Heard Some Good Things… 😊
  • Morphe: Yeah, what they said
  • Beauty Bay: Guess what Olivia Buckland is wearing? 👀🔥
  • Aerie: “Crown jewel of sweatshirts.”
  • Origins: Find Out Why This Fave Is Sold Every 10 Secs…
  • Huckberry: “Want.” — everyone
  • Warby Parker: You might have some questions
  • IGK: Rumor has it…

Self Love Subject Lines:

Self Love Subject Lines

  • Don’t wear last season’s pumps
  • Age-defying skincare you’ll want to get a hold of
  • Intuitive skincare that works with your body
  • Your butt will look great in these!
  • Third-grade you would be proud of who you are today
  • Have you heard? We think you look great today
  • Products that even Kim K recommends 
  • Don’t give up on looking & feeling your best!
  • Ready for that wardrobe upgrade? Here’s what we recommend…
  • Congrats, you caught us staring…

Subject Lines With a Great Offer:

  • Buy one, get one, just for you!
  • A brand new product just dropped…
  • New must-haves for your Summer wardrobe
  • Meet your new favorite jeans…
  • 25% off your favorites for a limited time!
  • Get a complimentary gift with your purchase! 
  • Your one-page cheat-sheet to everything new & hot
  • Get a head start on Summer lawn & garden care
  • Want priority access? You got it
  • Early access for our VIPs only…

Examples from real brands:

  • L’Occitane: Beauty You’ve Had Your 👀 on, Now with $20 OFF!
  • United by Blue: This is Not a Sale. It’s a Celebration.
  • Kate Spade: open to see our top picks of the sale
  • Miss Selfridge: Stop EVERYTHING! Up to 50% off ALL Dresses 🚨👗
  • Aerie: 50% off a bra that feels good. It’s REAL.
  • Dollar Shave Club: Save money. Don’t leave the couch.
  • Hollister: Your favorite jeans are 20% off 🙌
  • THE ICONIC: The sale’s on SALE! 😱
  • Moo: This sale’s too BIG for subject li–
  • west elm: 💡 THIS SALE IS LIT 💡 20% off all lighting

Cliffhanger Subject Lines:

Cliffhanger Subject Lines

  • Welcome to the team! Join us inside for…
  • Bring these home…
  • Pair your new jeans with…
  • Time is running out on…
  • Because you deserve this…
  • Have you heard? Shannon said…
  • Our manager didn’t know we sent this…
  • Want to save 20%? All you have to do is…
  • Your cat said this about you…
  • Your brand new wardrobe, available…

Subject Lines that Use the Word “Welcome”

  • Welcome to our family!
  • Thanks for joining us — welcome!
  • Welcome, we’re so glad you’re here
  • Fancy meeting you here — welcome on in
  • Welcome in, take a load off
  • Welcome, welcome!
  • A warm welcome from our family to yours
  • Yay, you’re here! Welcome to our brand
  • Your welcome gift is inside! 
  • Welcome & thanks for being here 

Examples from real brands:

  • Azazie: Welcome to the Family Gorgeous
  • Alex Cattori: betcha didn’t know this
  • MoreRewards: You’re almost there! Welcome to More Rewards!
  • Bevtri: Cheers, and Welcome!
  • Petsecure: Registration: Welcome to your Online Account
  • KOSMIC Rewards: Welcome to the party!
  • Go Fast Don’t Die: Welcome to the big leagues, John
  • Vessi: Welcome (more info inside!)
  • Silver Phantom Jewelry: Welcome to the crew! Ready to rock?
  • SHEIN: Welcome aboard!

TIP: when crafting your welcome email subject line, make sure it sounds like your brand. 

Once you’ve figured out which type of subject line matches your brand, you can start A/B testing.

What is A/B testing? For those who are unaware, A/B testing in the context of email is the process of sending one variation of your campaign to a subset of your subscribers and a different variation to another subset of subscribers, with the ultimate goal of working out which variation of the campaign garners the best results.

We always recommend testing subject lines, because this gives you the best chance of narrowing down your most clickable option. Don’t be afraid to stop there — do the same with the body copy, too, so that you’ll know which messages encourage click-throughs.

Oh, and one last Welcome Email Subject Line tip before we go…

Pay attention to the preview!

The email preview that follows the subject line is a valuable piece of property, and yet so many businesses ignore it or let it get filled with garbage text. Tie your preview text into your subject line, and make it mean something. 

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About Author

Chris sent his first email campaign in 1995. He’s worked directly with Fortune 500 companies, retail giants, nonprofits, SMBs and government agencies in all facets of their email marketing and marketing automation programs. He’s also a BIG baseball fan, loves a good steak, and is mildly obsessed with zombie movies.

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