Welcome Emails Need Unsubscribe Links

At iPost, we get a lot of questions about welcome emails, the purpose of welcome emails, and whether you should include an unsubscribe link or not in your welcome email to make it easier for people to leave your email list.

Some email marketers even say that if you don’t include an unsubscribe link, you’re killing your list.

But do welcome emails need an unsubscribe link? And why does it matter? Let’s talk about it!

What is required in my welcome emails?

Pro-tip, one of the greatest misconceptions of welcome emails is that they are transactional and, therefore, not subject to Can-Spam compliance of having an email opt-out in them. While accurate in concept, treating a welcome email as transactional means that you, as the brand, go about it the wrong way when your email system sends a welcome email.

Do welcome emails need an unsubscribe link? Or a privacy policy link? The short answer is that they’re not required by law, but they do give you a better chance of keeping your email subscribers.

If you’ve received a lot of complaints about your newsletters or sales emails, it’s possible that one of these two pieces of information are missing from your messages.

Here’s what you need to know about welcome email laws…

One important aspect of your business emails will be including an unsubscribe option for those who want to opt out. This gives people control over their inboxes, which increases trust and consumer confidence.

Not having that option can lead to trouble; in some cases, you may have violated CAN-SPAM rules if you send out more than 10 unsolicited messages within 24 hours (the recommended amount of time between mailings).

Welcome Emails Unsubscribe – Why?

The welcome email often garners the highest open rates and engagement numbers out of the entire program and, therefore, should not be treated as a “transactional” email. It is often the first email that a new subscriber gets and is the first impression and first attempt at building trust for the brand.

Thus, the email should contain information of a promotional nature such as advertising services or products of the company. It should also include things to nurture and educate the subscriber about what they just signed up for and what to expect going forward. Anything less is you leaving both revenue and brand equity on the table.

Welcome Email Tip

One of the most important elements to include in your welcome email is an explanation of what you’ll be sending in future emails.

It might not seem like a big deal to let people know they can expect an email every other Tuesday with tips on saving money, but people won’t take you seriously if you don’t! It’s also helpful to make sure that your welcome email doesn’t look exactly like one of your future emails—sparing people from feeling like they’re getting too many emails from you in a row.

If you follow this best practice, not only will you get more subscribers, but those who do subscribe will have a positive experience and become regular readers.

Long Term Impact of Welcome Emails

It’s in their best interest to stay informed about your company and events that are coming up that might be of interest to them. It may seem like a no-brainer, but many businesses don’t send these emails out consistently or regularly.

You know your customers better than anyone else. Look at where they signed up for information and use that data to inform your email strategy going forward. For example, if someone joins a waiting list for products or services, it would be beneficial to offer them additional content related to that product or service when they opt-in for updates.


Today, not next week or next month, go and look at your welcome email. Then ask yourself if this email was put onto the front page of every newspaper or on screen for 30 seconds during the Super Bowl, is it high quality, and does it fulfill your brand promise? Will the email series convert?

If not, engage with an expert email strategist either internally or here at iPost and work on optimizing your email templates. The optimization of this email, email links, and future email can be the difference in thousands or even millions in revenue.

Additional Email Link Resource:

How Many Email Links Should I Have? How to Link an Email.