Many marketers believe it is important to send a prompt welcome email to everyone who signs up for your mailing list. This welcome email sets the tone for your new relationship and is a key opportunity to get the customer engaged with your content. Whether your mailing list contains leads, established customers, or a mixture of the two, these people have expressed interest by signing up with you, and now is your chance to meet or exceed those expectations with a quality welcome email.

Speaking generally, there are two basic methods that you can use to automatically send a welcome email:

  • Use a CRM Workflow to send an email to a lead, contact, or account.
  • Run a lead or contact through a nurture program by adding them to a marketing list associated with the nurture program.

Exactly when and how you use these two methods depends on what you decide works best for your business’ current processes and goals. The rest of this post is a discussion of different welcome email automation scenarios and things to look for when setting them up.

Forms and Subscription Pages

If you are using a profile management form or a subscription management page as a lead generation tool, you have a very intuitive point at which to start a welcome email automation. Someone has just given you their email address and possibly other personal information, so it is only natural that you will want to follow up with them to solidify that relationship.

However, there are some important details to consider. For example, is there a chance that your form/subscription page will receive submissions from someone that has already signed up? This is a welcome email, so you want to make sure that you are only sending it to people who have just signed up for your mailings and not sending it to people who are simply modifying their existing subscription preferences.

If your form/subscription page is only going to be submitted by new leads/contacts, (maybe this is a sign-up form on your website, and you have a separate form that you direct existing contacts to for any future updates) then you have a few options:

  • Set up an auto response action on your form/subscription page so that the welcome email is sent to the respondent immediately upon submission.
  • Set up an add to marketing list action on your form/subscription page so every respondent is added to a nurture program’s marketing list immediately upon submission.

If, on the other hand, your form/subscription page is going to receive submissions from both new and current leads and contacts, you can ensure that the welcome email is only sent to new leads and contacts by creating a workflow. In this workflow I reference posted forms and contacts, however these can be swapped out for posted subscriptions and leads as needed.

The workflow would have an organizational scope, run on the creation of a posted form, check that the posted form’s form equals [your form]. If so, ensure it times out for two minutes, then checks that the contact field contains data. Then have it check that the posted form’s related contact’s “created on” is greater than or equal to one minute before the posted form’s “created on” AND less than or equal to one minute after the posted form’s “created on”. Lastly, if all of the steps before are met, have it send the welcome email to the contact. This ensure that the welcome email is only sent to contacts that were created within one minute of the posted form.

Manual Record Creation

Perhaps your business operates such that every new customer is created as a contact in your CRM, and you would like to send a welcome email to every contact. This workflow is much simpler than the workflow outlined in the previous section. You would simply create a workflow that runs on the creation of a contact record, checks that the contact’s “email address” field contains data and then sends a welcome email to the contact.

If you want some contacts to receive different welcome emails than others based on some criteria on the contact record, you can build this into the workflow by adding some check conditions that look for the desired criteria and then sends the appropriate email. Here is an example based on the contact’s region:


Note that if you are building a workflow to send a welcome email based on some criteria, it’s important to know that a CRM workflow can only access data on the record that the workflow is running on and data on records that the primary entity has an N:1 relationship with.

While there was only room for a few specific examples in this post, the general concepts presented can be expanded to accommodate a wide variety of business processes and CRM configurations. The ability to trigger welcome emails based on both the automatic and manual creation and updating of records opens up a huge range of potential starting points for your welcome email automations.

Happy Marketing!