Writing emails that can't be ignored

Email marketing for musicians: What makes a good welcome email?

A welcome email is the message that you set your email program to send out automatically as soon as a new fan subscribes to your list. It is one of THE most highly opened emails. Average email-list open rates are between 15% and 25%, while open rates for welcome emails can get up to around 80%! There’s a simple reason for that: people want the thing they signed up for, whether a bundle of songs, a checklist, an insider video, or simply more emails from you.

We have a huuuuuge opportunity to make the most of our welcome email. So what do we really need to put in it?

Some common mistakes I see in a welcome email:

  • There’s a link to download something, but nothing else.
  • There’s the musician’s ENTIRE LIFE STORY.
  • It’s not properly formatted, so multiple colors and fonts are making me confused about their brand.
  • The email is addressed to multiple people, rather than one person (me).

All of these take away from fostering your fan relationship, rather than build on it. Which, ultimately, is the point of an email list.

So let’s break this down and craft a perfect welcome email.

5 things to include in your welcome email


They just did the thing you wanted them to. Now thank them. Acknowledge and praise that great thing they did, reminding them that they took the action, and re-invoking the feelings they had in that moment.

People like praise. And people like to be heroes. Trust me.

What to do now.

They may need directions to get the thing you promised them. Make sure these instructions are clear. If it’s a downloadable .zip file, where will it most likely end up? What will happen when they click the “Download” link?

Give them clear directions, make them feel comfortable, and you’ll be on your way to relationship fan bliss.

Request that they do something.

This could be: click on your website, share the signup link with their social sites, anything. When you request that an action be taken and they actually take it, you’re establishing yourself as a trustworthy authority. This further builds that fan relationship.

Also, once they’ve engaged with you, first by opening the email, next by clicking something in it, you’ve successfully started training them to be engaged long term.

What to expect.

You’re going to continue emailing them.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you’ve segmented your list so that people from the EU are getting a separate welcome email, this would be where you ask them if you can send them additional emails, thus complying with GDPR. Need more info on that? Read THIS.

You want to let your subscriber know that they can expect some awesome content including song stories, band member profiles, opportunities to be a part of the creative process, etc.

You want to make sure they’re expecting emails and that you’ll probably be asking them to purchase CDs, tickets, or to join your Patreon page. When that email DOES come, it’s not an interruption, but an expectation. (Again, if you’re lost with how to lay out this content, let alone create it, get your butt to the Rock Your Email List course, and we’ll get all of that handled.)

An irresistible subject line.

You want the subject to get the person to open the email. If they just signed up to get something, you want to be crystal clear that this email gives them access to that thing.

Don’t be fancy or cute here, or you may miss some opens. If people don’t open, they won’t click on your freebie. If they don’t click on your freebie, they won’t get to know you and your music better. So it’s all about the subject line here.

Don’t be long-winded!

Lastly, make sure that your welcome email is short and sweet. Not pages and pages of scrolling to get to the download button. You want to write in your voice, and write as if you’re speaking to ONE PERSON. (I see a lot of musicians writing to me like I’m a crowd — “Thank you all so much for your support and for signing up for my list. You guys are are the reason I do music…” blah blah blah.) Read it out loud, if it feels like you’re talking to your friend, it probably will read like that to your fan.

And YOU is what people signed up for in the first place. Your welcome email is the perfect place to put your best foot forward and move your fan relationship in the right direction.

If you want to see the welcome email Cheryl’s been using for her fans, it’s available to you in her fabulous Rock Your Email List program, which walks you through ALL this email jazz, from start to finish. At the very least, download her free email list workbook at inthekey.co/masteringemail.