Skip to content
Talk With US
Talk With US
User onboarding welcome emails
Srushti Shah10/3/23 6:28 AM7 min read

7 Ways to Boost Open Rates and CTR for User Onboarding Welcome Emails

A welcome email is a crucial part of onboarding for any company, whether it’s a SaaS, an ecommerce store, or something else. It’s likely to be the first interaction with a client who has just registered on your website, and it can be very important for making the first impression.

Like with other forms of email marketing, you can measure the effectiveness of your onboarding welcome emails with metrics like open rate, click-through rate, click-to-open rate, conversion rate, and other statistics.

The first two metrics are arguably the most crucial for user onboarding welcome emails since you’re not really trying to sell anything with these messages.

Arriving at a good open rate for welcome emails is tricky, but some recent studies put the number between 63% and 82%. The CTR for welcome emails ranges between 14% and 43%, depending on the study.

If your metrics are far lower than that, it means it’s time to learn how to increase the open rate and click-through rate in onboarding welcome emails for SEO and marketing purposes.

Provide value within the email

Your best bet at improving the click-through rate in engagement emails is to provide real value. A welcome email is a nice gesture to a newly registered user, but simply saying thank you isn’t where the email should end.

You could give the user some options of what they can do with your company. Provide them with navigation links to the site, showcase your recent content, or educate them on the product.

Some companies start their welcome email with a brief introduction to what the company does. You can do it in the form of a short video.

Source: AdEspresso

Another thing you could do is present a couple of converting actions that make sense for a person who just subscribed to your platform.


You can even go a bit further with this and provide customers with more unique value. For instance, if you run an email marketing company, point your new users to ebooks or webinars you’ve created.

Or, if you run an SEO agency, you can run the new client’s website through the SE Ranking SEO Checker and give them some advice on how to optimize it fast. SE Ranking can do a quick analysis of your user’s website and suggest what things can be changed on the site to improve its ranking. It only takes a few minutes for each client, so it’s a great way to give value to your new subscribers from day one.

Personalize the content

On this note, another thing you could do to improve CTR is to personalize the content of your welcome email. If you do that, your email will likely sound less robotic and more empathetic. This, in turn, can improve the click-through rate by up to 139%.

The easiest way to personalize the email is by addressing the user by their name. It’s easy to implement in the absolute majority of onboarding email templates, and it can have an immediate effect on CTR.

Source: Netrocket

You can place the user’s name either in the subject line or in the first sentence of the engagement email so it can show up on the preview. This may increase the open rate as well.

Apart from simply using the name of the user in the welcome email, you can personalize the message as well. If you’ve gathered the user’s preferences when they were signing up for your service, you can send a welcome email that caters to them.

For instance, you could serve different content recommendations to CEOs and managers or link to different services for people from companies of different sizes.

Segment the email list

An important element of personalization is segmenting the subscriber list. Segmentation is most accurate when you have a lot of data, typically when users have been with your company for quite a while. Even though segmenting the user list for onboarding welcome emails is rather tricky because you’re not working with that much data, it can be done.

The three main inputs you’ll be working with are demographic data, psychographic data from questionnaires or surveys, and user behavior data.

The first two inputs can be obtained when a user is registering on your website. Leave a short form that they can fill out. Ask them about the type of business they’re running, their position, their main problems, and their interests in the industry.

If you can, you may use data on their behavior prior to signing up. This could also give you a hint at what they may be interested in.

With this data, even though it’s far from being a complete picture of your audience, you can do a quick segmentation and serve your users recommendations that are more appealing to them.

Pick the right time

It may seem like a minor improvement, but the time at which you send your welcome email matters. The inbox of most of your clients is flooded with promotional material, pitches, and company communications. You want your engagement emails to arrive at a time when the customer is more likely to look at them. Otherwise, they run the risk of being lost in the inbox.

The most important thing here is to communicate immediately. Send them a welcome email as soon as they register; this way, it’s more likely to be read. To do this, you’ll need to have a good automation system to immediately segment and personalize the email.

If you’re sending a welcome email sequence over the course of several days, you’ll have to be more aware of timing. Your best option is to either send the emails around after the lunch break or after 6 p.m. Emails that arrive early in the morning are more likely to be ignored because people tend to have a lot of urgent matters to attend to.

When you’re configuring the automatic email system, make sure you’re sending the email in the customer’s time zone.

Use a clear CTA

Another key feature of a welcome email that can influence click-through rate is the call to action that you use in the email. A lot of welcome emails have a high open-rate but a very low CTR because users may not expect the welcome email to offer something apart from thanking them for subscribing.

Make sure you make it crystal clear to the recipient that you’re offering them to click on something in the email and explore more. You can improve CTR even further by highlighting the buttons that lead to desired actions with a contrasted color and using descriptive words as button text.

Source: SE Ranking

If your main goal with the welcome email is to entice the user to make their first purchase and you’re offering a discount, make it front and center in the email and show a couple of best-selling products after it.

Experiment with the subject line

Most of these tips are centered around improving the click-through rate. But you have to think about the open rate for the welcome emails as well. Typically, the open rate is much higher than with standard promotional emails because users have just registered and are interested in receiving the welcome email.

The best welcome email subject line is a simple one like “Welcome, {Name}!” This subject line both shows personalization and lets the user know what type of email it is.

Try different subject lines that follow these principles, and A/B test them to see what works best for your brand and your customers. It’s best to experiment with different segments of the audience as well to learn whether different subject lines work better for different types of customers.

Track results and optimize

The most important thing you can do to streamline the onboarding process started with welcome emails is to track the results and continuously optimize them. Use your email marketing software to track these two metrics, as well as other important ones, for the welcome emails campaign. Here’s what you can track.

  • Open rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Unsubscribe rate
  • Deliverability rate
  • ROI

When a metric is lower than you expect it to be, try to change some aspects of the email and see whether that makes a difference. If nothing works, you can try creating a few email options from the ground up and A/B testing them to see which works best.


Even though, statistically speaking, welcome emails enjoy some of the highest open rates and click-through rates; this is not the case for every individual campaign. If your welcome email campaign is struggling to engage users and bring in revenue, follow these strategies.

Keep in mind that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions in marketing, and you will have to experiment on your own, track your results, and lead your email campaign to success.

Experiment and create new approaches using these strategies, and you’ll convert your subscribers into customers.



Srushti Shah

Srushti Shah is an ambitious, passionate, and out-of-the-box thinking woman having vast exposure in Digital Marketing. Her key focus is to serve her clients with the latest innovation in her field leading to fast and effective results. Working beyond expectations and delivering the best possible results in her professional motto. Other than work, she loves traveling, exploring new things, and spending quality time with family. Reach out to Srushti Shah on Twitter or LinkedIn