There’s no underestimating the benefits of a good first impression.

When it comes to email marketing, welcome emails are a fantastic way to say “hello” to new subscribers and pave the way for a great ongoing relationship. Aside from the long-term benefits, they also generate five times more clicks and four times more opens than other types of email marketing campaigns — oh, and 320% more revenue per message.

Think of welcome emails as a tenet of good hospitality in the digital space. They not only make your new subscribers feel like they belong, but they also show them that you recognize and appreciate their presence. And both of these things go a long way toward that stellar first impression.

All that being said, here are some tips for a terrific (and effective) welcome email.

Tell Your Subscribers What They Can Expect

First and foremost, cue your subscribers into what your brand stands for, what your mission statement is, what your emails are about, and how you help your customers. Keep it casual and straightforward (and avoid getting too technical or wordy), but do try to hit on the major value propositions that you want your readers to be aware of. This will set the tone for your messages going forward and can also jumpstart your efforts to guide your readers down the funnel.

Keep Your Promises

Once you set out who your brand is and what you have to offer, it’s crucial that you deliver. If you talk a big talk in your welcome email and then change course, you’ll lose any trust and goodwill that you generated off the bat. Productive brand-consumer relationships are built on trust, and this is the time to start putting those building blocks in place.

Automate Your Message

A rushed, substance-lacking welcome email is almost as bad as no welcome email at all. So how do you get your welcome emails out in a timely manner without rushing through them? Automation, of course.

When you automate your welcome messages, you’re able to take your time in writing them and save time in sending them. Put lots of thought and effort into writing your brand’s welcome email, and then automate it from there so you know it’s getting sent out right when it should be.

Think Outside the Box

There are no rules saying that you have to send just one welcome email. Consider creating a series of welcome emails that gradually introduce subscribers to your brand. In addition to letting you roll out your message over time, this strategy also helps keep you top of mind with prospects at a crucial stage in their journey. This is also an instance in which automation can be your best friend in making it happen.

Tell a Story

Consider welcoming your new subscribers with a compelling case study or a well-written, narrative-driven story about how your product or service helped one of your customers. This lends instant legitimacy to what you do, and storytelling, in general, is a useful way to have your content resonate with your audience and tap into their emotions.

Include a Call to Action

There’s certainly room for conversions in a welcome email, so go ahead and tack on a call to action. Since these types of messages already tend to bring in higher open rates, including a CTA now is a way to shoot your shot and make the most of an increased viewership.

While you’re at it, include a special welcome promotion and make it time-sensitive. This will add some urgency and will further your mission of letting your new subscribers know just how important they are to you.

Segment Your Contacts

Segmentation is just as important for welcome emails as it is for campaigns sent to leads in other stages of the buyer’s journey, so don’t be afraid to send different welcome emails to different audiences.

You have to put your leads into context, meeting them where they’re at with content that’s most likely to appeal and apply to them. Since not every new subscriber is going to be in the same place with the same perspective, it makes sense to optimize your messages based on their unique needs and interests.

The Bottom Line on Welcome Emails

You’ve got lots of flexibility in how you do your welcome emails and lots to gain from doing them right. As with any email marketing tactic, A/B test some different strategies to see what tracks best with your audience. Play around with the content, the format, and the CTA, and hone in on what makes the warmest welcome for your subscribers.

And if you don’t have one already, find an email marketing automation platform, like Benchmark Email, that can take the guesswork out of segmenting your contacts and getting your welcome emails sent out at just the right pace. It will make all the difference in simplifying the process and doing more with less.