After a customer takes an action, such as purchasing something from your company, or signing up for your newsletter, it’s time to roll out the digital Welcome Wagon. A snappy and engaging welcome email thanks your new customer, and if done correctly, can keep that customer coming back for more.

The problem is too many companies go “radio silent” after a transaction is made, marketer Noah Parsons says. Parsons leads the marketing team at Palo Alto Software, an Oregon-based company. Here are some tips from Parsons on how to make that welcome email work for your business:

Ditch the “do not reply” receipt

A welcome email should not be a text-based receipt that says, “Do not reply” somewhere in the message. A welcome email can incorporate a receipt or account information, but it should also encourage the customer to interact with the company, Parsons says.

“The ‘do not reply’ email sends a message. It says, ‘Thanks for the purchase, but don’t contact us,’” Parsons says. “Why on earth would a company tell a customer not to interact with them? Customer interaction can lead to customer satisfaction, and that builds a business.”

Marketers can add a variety of content to encourage interaction, including providing links to the business’ website, encouraging the customer to like the company on Facebook to receive coupons or a calendar with information on upcoming events.

Act like a human

Your welcome email should have a personal touch. You want to design a short, conversational email that welcomes the new customer to the family. If you can use information collected during the purchase process, that’ll also avoid a “robotic feel.”

Dunked, a website that helps people create a personal portfolio of creative work, uses a conversational tone in its welcome email.

Dunked Welcome Email

“The email should be from a human to a human,” Parsons says. “In other words, use the customer’s first name in the email, use a friendly tone and make sure it’s signed by a real person at the company.”

Offer contact information

Parsons says a good welcome email should tell the customer where to go if they need help. A welcome email from Sprout, a social media management platform, does this efficiently.

Sprout Welcome Email

“Give them a phone number to call or tell them they can respond to the welcome email,” Parsons says. “The customer didn’t just buy your product, they bought the support and customer service that comes with it.”

Include a call to action

The email should end with a call to action, Parsons notes. For example, encourage the customer to watch a video, read a blog post, check out related items, register his or her new product, fill out a profile on your company site or direct them to other helpful resources. Tech giant Apple does this well. In a welcome email to iCloud users, the company includes a link to online instructions so customers can get the most from their new virtual storage space.

“The point here is to encourage more interaction,” Parsons says. “The welcome email should serve as the first step in building a long-term customer relationship.”

For other tips on what types of emails you should be sending your clients and how often, read our post on 3 Emails Your Business Should Be Sending.

Do you send a welcome email, or know of any other examples that you’d like to give kudos to? Share away in the comments.

This post contributed by guest author, Lisa Furgison. Furgison is a media maven with ten years of journalism experience and a passion for creating top-notch content