When I close a new client, I allow myself a brief moment of celebration, because winning business feels good and new business is the lifeblood of a digital marketing agency. But then I always have the same sobering thought that brings me back to reality.

Winning a client, and keeping a client, are two very different things…

When I worked (as an employee) in agencies, and media, I was often the one selling but not the one directly executing the services that I sold. This meant that the quality of that service was beyond my control, so even though I might spend weeks or months cultivating a good relationship with a prospect to convert them to a customer, they could be lost within a few weeks if the service didn’t match my sales pitch.

For smaller marketing agencies, welcoming new clients is a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd of average agency experiences by starting off the relationship on the right foot. A well-crafted welcome email can help you connect with your clients, establish rapport, set clear expectations, and kick off the onboarding process smoothly.

This will go a long, long way to retaining those clients because people LOVE working with providers who communicate well, say what they’re going to do, and then follow through cleanly and without BS.

In this post I’m going to explain in detail exactly how to create awesome welcome emails that will instantly build trust with your new clients and overcome any possibility of buyer’s remorse.

What Is The Purpose Of A Welcome Email For A Small Agency?

I create a welcome email (also known as a kickoff email) to connect with a new client quickly and provide them something they can refer back to that documents what to expect from me initially.

Setting this clearly in advance helps to avoid any buyer’s remorse and ensures that our first steps together are smooth and in lock-step.

A good welcome email is designed to achieve these goals:

  1. Establishing a Personal Connection: Use your welcome email to introduce your team (including any virtual assistants that work with clients), provide (and request) contact information, showcase your agency’s personality, and build rapport with your new client.
  2. Setting Clear Expectations: Outline the scope of work, project timelines, communication channels, and any other important details to ensure everyone is on the same page from the start.
  3. Initiating the Onboarding Process: Request access to necessary logins, documents, or other resources that you need to get started.
  4. Reinforcing the Client’s Decision: Reassure your client that they’ve made the right choice by demonstrating (show, don’t tell) your expertise and commitment to their success.

What Should A Welcome Email For A Small Agency Include?

When creating a welcome email, it only makes sense to follow a conventional template for each of your clients. This saves me time and ensures that my clients all get the same quality customer experience.

When sending a welcome email, consider including these points:

  1. Personalized Greeting: Begin your email with a warm, personalized greeting that includes the client’s name and expresses your enthusiasm to get started.
  2. Agency Introduction: Briefly introduce anyone that will be working on the account and provide their contact information.
  3. Project Overview: Provide a concise overview of the project scope, objectives, and deliverables. Every detail of this needs to match the proposal they were pitched originally. Reiterate the client’s goals and how your agency plans to achieve them.
  4. Timeline and Milestones: Outline the project timeline, or at least the next month’s worth of work, including key milestones and expected completion dates. Be clear about any deadlines or dependencies that require the client’s input or approval.
  5. Communication Preferences: Specify your preferred communication channels (e.g., email, phone, project management tools), your availability (weekdays 9-5, etc) and establish a regular meeting cadence to keep the project on track.
  6. Onboarding Steps: List the initial steps in your onboarding process, such as gathering login credentials, accessing brand assets, or scheduling a kickoff meeting. Provide clear instructions and deadlines for each step. Let the client know if you will be waiting on them for anything.
  7. Personal Sign-Off: End your email with a personal sign-off from the primary point of contact at your agency. Encourage the client to reach out with any questions or concerns.

What Are Best Practices For Welcome Emails For Small Agencies?

I always try to remember that my clients are at least as busy as I am (that’s why they hired me), so they’re not going to read anything overly long or complicated looking. Realistically, I can probably only expect them to scan it briefly and only look back at it if they have a specific reason to later on.

It’s worth extra time to make my welcome emails scannable and easy to read. This, hopefully, ensures that they retain as much as possible.

In general, I recommend following these best practices for welcome emails:

  • Don’t mince words: Be as concise as possible. Edit before you send.
  • Use bullet-points: Plus bolded headers, double spacing between sections, emojis, anything to break up the dreaded “wall of text”.
  • Stick the essentials: The point is to give them a scannable reference when they have questions. Questions become doubts, doubts become weaknesses in your relationship, and eventually clients churn because of them.
  • Cover the bases: This email replaces the kickoff meeting, so address everything you need to get started.
  • Give it a human touch: Record a welcome quick video with Loom and “embedding” it into your email (Loom handles this).
  • Don’t be too formal: Use a warm, friendly tone throughout the email to set a collaborative tone for your relationship early on.
  • Anticipate questions: Address common questions or concerns proactively in your welcome email and provide links if relevant.

How Do You Measure the Success of Your Welcome Emails?

I only have myself a a few clients to manage at the moment, so I can generally get a feel for my clients’ responsiveness and enthusiasm and I let those feelings guide my refinements. But by the time I’ve got people under me sending welcome emails to my clients, I’ll have to implement a more formal system for tracking their feedback.

Tracking these metrics provides insights into clients’ responses to the welcome emails they’re receiving and help identify areas for improvement:

  1. Open Rate: The percentage of clients who opened your welcome email. A high open rate indicates that your subject line and preview text are compelling and relevant.
  2. Response Rate: The percentage of clients who responded to your welcome email. A high response rate suggests that your email effectively encourages engagement and feedback.
  3. Onboarding Completion Rate: The percentage of clients who complete all the necessary onboarding steps outlined in your welcome email. A high completion rate indicates that your email clearly communicates expectations and action items.
  4. Client Satisfaction: Ask all your clients for feedback about their onboarding experience after they’ve been working with you for a month or two. Again, if you have the volume of clients, this will provide excellent data for you to use to improve the process.

The best feedback is direct, of course, so I’m subtly checking my client’s temperature and assessing how anxious they seem about our goals together, and their level of engagement, to determine how effective these measures really are.

This Is How You Build Strong And Lasting Client Relationships

For small marketing agencies, crafting an impactful welcome email is essential for starting client relationships on the right foot. By focusing on establishing a personal connection, setting clear expectations, and initiating a smooth onboarding process, I eliminate many of the problems that develop into trust issues and other damaging effects that cause clients to churn.

To replicate this practice for yourself, remember to keep your emails concise, personalized, and focused on the client’s needs. Continuously test and refine your approach based on client feedback and engagement metrics.

By prioritizing effective communication from the very beginning, you’ll differentiate your agency and build stronger and longer lasting relationships with your clients.

A good welcome email can directly reduce your churn rate. And that’s a difficult thing to achieve for an agency. And the key to lasting relationships is very simple: tell the client what you’re going to do, and do it.

The welcome email is step one of that process and it serves as protection against buyer’s remorse and a difficult start. I’m painfully aware that keeping clients is my path to building wealth in the agency world, and a good welcome email practice helps me do that very directly.

Tell your clients exactly what to expect from you and they’ll respect you more for it. Just don’t overpromise or underdeliver.

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About the Author

Nathan Binford

Creator & Digital Marketer

“The Mindful Marketer” 🧘‍♂️ I help people achieve freedom through marketing and mindfulness. | Develop the skills and mindset for success. Join for free at NathanBinford.com/subscribe.

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