Sprout Social’s Welcome Email Makes A Good First Impression

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First impressions make an impact. So, whether you send an automated plain-text or an HTML-branded welcome email, it’s the first step in an email relationship with your subscriber. Needless to say, it’s important to make a positive first impression. As Experian explains,

The key components of a welcome program are proper representation of your brand promise and the setting of overall expectations for your business’s future email communications with its subscribers.


As if that isn’t enough of a reason to optimize your welcome emails, they also “generate four times the total open rates and five times the click rates compared to other bulk promotions.” Your subscribers are opening and interacting with these emails, so it’s a perfect opportunity to make a good first impression, set the tone for future communications, and convince them to take a desired action.

Justine recently added me to the Litmus Sprout Social account and I’ve been very impressed by the two welcome emails I’ve received thus far! Let’s take a look.


Within seconds of Justine adding me to the account, I received the following email from Sprout Social:


Obviously this email isn’t visually appealing, but it was sent almost immediately and provided me with helpful information. The subject line clearly states the purpose of the email: to notify me that Justine has added me to Litmus’ Sprout Social account. The content of the email is simple: a summary of what Sprout Social does, it’s benefits and a link to log in.

There are also links to register for an informational webinar and to email them if I have any questions. Being a new user, both of these items are extremely helpful and relevant to me.

In addition, they, although vaguely, include information that I’ll be receiving emails with resources and best practices from them “periodically.” I wish they made that a bit more specific — it’s nice to know how often I’ll be receiving emails from a company!


Seven hours after receiving the plain-text email, I received another email from Sprout Social.


ExactTarget and DJ Waldow both have great lists of components of a good welcome email. Let’s look at a combination of those lists in relation to Sprout Social’s branded welcome email.


If you have someone’s attention, why wait a few hours or even days to follow up with them via email? Sprout Social almost instantaneously sends a plain-text email and, within a few hours, a branded email is sent. I’m not sure the reasoning behind having two different welcome emails (one in plain text and one branded) with similar content being sent in the same day, but, regardless, Sprout Social was definitely top of mind when I received these emails and I opened both of them.

Subject Line

DJ Waldow explains the importance of keeping your welcome email’s subject line “short, sweet, to the point and actionable.” It’s not the time to get fancy — it’s time to give me a reason to open your email.


In this email, Sprout Social uses an extremely simple and straightforward subject line: “Your New Sprout Account: Getting Started.” Since I’m a new user of this tool, I opened the email to see what tips and resources were in it to help me get started. The subject line clearly states the content of the email and definitely encouraged me to open.


Welcome emails should be chock-full of helpful and direct content. Straddling the line between too much content, and not enough, can be hard at times; be sure to include valuable, concise information!

Sprout Social has some excellent content in this email! They not only provide me with a link to register for their weekly “how-to” webinars, but they also give a brief description and link to two helpful tools that come as part of my subscription: publishing and tracking. They provide just enough detail, without being too descriptive.


Also included are links to download the Sprout Social app, which is available for iPhone/iPad and Android. I wish they used responsive elements or mobile targeting so that this call to action (CTA) didn’t render in my Gmail — it’s kind of irrelevant on my desktop!

In addition, they conclude the email with their contact information in case I have any questions. Very helpful! They also place the “Log In Now” button at the very bottom of the email. While there is a small text CTA to log in at the very top, I wish they made this CTA more prevalent earlier in the email. After all, the point of this email is to get me to start using their tool, so they should make it clear and easy for me to log in via the email!

Make it Personal

Welcome emails are, essentially, a thank you note — thanking someone for signing up for your emails, purchasing your software, etc. When you write a thank you note, you include someone’s first name, so why wouldn’t you do the same in your welcome email?


In the original, plain-text email, Sprout Social uses Justine’s name, my name, and Litmus within the subject line and the body of the email. While I know it’s an auto-generated email, it felt very personal and as if it were tailor-made for me! I wish that they had at least used my name in the HTML-branded email! If they have the information, why not use it?

Set Expectations + Be Benefit-Oriented

In order to set your subscriber’s expectations, ExactTarget suggests highlighting the anticipated frequency of your emails, and sticking as closely to it as possible. In addition, provide your subscribers with information in your welcome email about the benefits of receiving your emails. Will they receive sneak peeks of new products? Discounts? Resourceful articles? Make the benefit clear, otherwise they may (dun dun dun) unsubscribe!

Unfortunately, Sprout Social doesn’t include any information on the frequency that they send, nor the benefit of being subscribed to their emails. They should definitely consider adding that content to the email!

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