Crafting a welcome email subject line that’ll have your subscribers kicking off their shoes.

A brand strategist living in Norwich by the name of Penelope tweeted me a little while back with…

“I’ve never fallen for a marketer’s tone of voice so hard. You had me at ‘You’re Late’…”

She was referring to the welcome email subject line she received in her inbox shortly after subscribing to my weekly marketing and copywriting newsletter, Sticky Notes.

You’re late.

To date, Penelope and thousands of other marketers and entrepreneurs have been welcomed into the tiny creative writing shop that is Honey Copy with the above two words.

54% of the folks who receive this welcome email subject line open it and another 29% of those who open it click the links they find within.

For those not privy to the world of email marketing, this is good ( damn good). And, in this semi-short article, I will explain to you how to craft a welcome email subject line that performs just as good or, perhaps, even better.

Make a good first impression.

If your welcome email is like having coffee with someone for the first time, your welcome email subject line is the initial “hello” and handshake.

While this might sound simple in theory, it’s not.

Think back to the dozens and dozens of moments you’ve met somebody for the first time… and think about the individuals who drew you in, who roused your curiosity, who made you feel comfortable.

In many ways, the initial handshake and the brief dialogue shared between the two of you dictated the rest of the conversation and left you with some sort of impression.

I liken this first impression to the welcome email subject line. It tells the subscriber (in not so many words, of course) who you are and whether or not they should be intrigued.

Calling bullshit?

If you think we’re getting too in the weeds here, take a moment and picture the types of companies that would send the following welcome email subject lines…

These feel bland, ambiguous and I’d even go as far as to say disingenuous — they leave the recipient with thoughts clattering around their head like…

Are you actually glad I’m here… because I’m pretty sure you use this same line on everyone who signs up for your email?

That or the email just goes unopened.

Never use the word “welcome” in your welcome email.

Type the word “welcome” into your email search bar and I guarantee dozens and dozens of branded emails will appear.

So, my first piece of advice would be…

Don’t ever use the word “welcome” in your welcome email subject line.

But, to add a bit of context here…

David Ogilvy, the gent who started Ogilvy & Mather, once wrote, The customer isn’t stupid, she’s your wife.”

What he meant was that advertising needs to be intelligent to appeal to humans. I would argue his words are just as relevant now when it comes to email marketing as it was back in the golden age of advertising.

When your customer receives an email from you, it’s important to remember they’re not idiots. They know you’re sending the same email to hundreds of other people. So, instead of trying to pretend the email is being sent to just them… cut the shit and just say something interesting.

With that said, here are a few email subject lines I find wildly interesting…

Welcome email subject lines worth stealing.

When you sign up for, a daily newsletter covering all things tech and business, you receive a welcome email to your inbox with the following subject line…

“Look what you did…”

It’s a brilliant introduction to the witty, clever, slightly edgy brand that’ll be popping up in your inbox moving forward. Here are a few other welcome email subject lines I really like…

  • 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 (stole this from vintage Basecamp).
  • Make yourself at home.
  • We’d be happy as hell if you stayed for tea ( Bon Iver lyric).
  • We hope you’re not reading this on the toilet.

I’ll leave you with one last gem.

When crafting your welcome email subject line, make sure it sounds like your brand.

For example, while The Hustle’s line is brilliant, could you picture Tom’s sending you an email with the subject line… “Look what you did…”?


It would feel like a 7th grader having never skated before in his life carrying around a skateboard and wearing Vans… a poser.

Perhaps that’s what all this comes down to…

Don’t be a poser.

By Cole Schafer.

You gotta check this out — Sticky Notes is my email list reserved strictly for entrepreneurs and creatives looking to sell like a Florida Snow Cone Vendor on the hottest day of the year.

I write pretty words and sometimes sell things.

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