Onboarding emails welcome customers to your company, products or services.
As a key demonstrator of value, a great onboarding sequence should offer a helpful introduction that drives long-term loyalty and engagement.
Research by Hive found that welcome emails (aka onboarding emails) have a typical open rate of 91.43%. This makes them one of the most successful email types in existence.
If you didn’t already know, it’s possible to send onboarding emails with both GoSquared Engage and our new climate-conscious email marketing tool EcoSend by GoSquared.
So here’s an explanation of what onboarding emails are, the benefits of using them and our top tips for success.
What Is An Onboarding Email?
When someone becomes a customer of yours, it’s always nice to welcome them to the party. More to the point, to recap the value of their purchase, and show them how they can get the most out of their experience with you.
An onboarding email sequence will do exactly that. It can be triggered whenever a user completes certain actions with your company, products or services.
In short, onboarding emails are an easy, yet highly effective way to boost both engagement and satisfaction with your brand.
Onboarding Content Types
- Checklist and next steps
- Customer use cases
- Feedback forms
- Product walkthroughs
- Reminders and nudges
How To Use Onboarding Emails
If you have a pile of kitchen utensils, you probably realise each one is designed to do a different thing. Where we are going with this one, is that onboarding emails also have a specific purpose – they aren’t the same as other email types.
With onboarding emails considered one of the most important steps of the sales funnel, here’s how to use them for maximum impact.
To Say Hello 👋
When you walk into any store, or check into a hotel, you expect someone to greet you especially as a paying customer. Plus, you might have questions or need to be shown your way around.
Onboarding emails are how you offer that initial introduction to your users.
Given most of the things we buy are now digital, onboarding emails are the equivalent of a human hello and warm smile but in email form.
Give Essential Information 📫
Use onboarding emails to tell users what they need to do to get up and running.
Let’s pretend you just bought some SEO software. An onboarding email might tell you how to add new projects, search for keywords, or conduct SEO audits.
Whatever your product or service happens to do, the onboarding email should concisely explain how to start getting results. That is, after all, what your users have paid for. So the key is to make the journey from A to B as easy as possible for them.
Provide Customer Service 💁♀️
Onboarding emails act as digital customer service.
As well as being there to say hello, they can also provide points of contact should you users need any further help.
You may wish to link to your blog or YouTube channel, where users can find further resources. Though, you can also make the onboarding experience more personal, by giving social media handles, emails or even a phone number where users can reach you if need be.
What this type of interaction says is that their custom is welcomed and genuinely appreciated. It’s a key part of making a good first impression, so make sure you do it well.
Onboarding Email Examples
The style and content of an onboarding email will depend on the niche. For instance, an ecommerce onboarding email may display purchase links to other products. However, a SaaS product will likely feature how-to guides or graphics.
Here are a few onboard email examples from different niches to inspire you.
HotJar is a nifty tool. It allows you to visually see user journeys on your website through heatmapping.
This onboarding sequence does a brilliant job at introducing the product, but also allowing users to get straight to work. Underneath, HotJar included a tracking code to be added to a website, making it super easy to get the results users are in search of.
The entire email feels clean, fresh and not at all overbearing. Given how intelligent HotJar’s tools are, the simplicity of this email hits all the right notes.
If you’ve purchased a VPN, then it’s fair to say you already know exactly what it does, along with its benefits.
In their onboarding email, NordVPN have kept the content to a minimum. All they tell you is where to download their product you just bought if you haven’t already done so.
For NordVPN and their users, this format works, seen as everyone already knows what they are doing. So why overcomplicate things? Instead, this welcome email keeps to what users are truly interested in.
As a side note, the branding colours of each product also look super slick, while helping to remain distinguished from each other. Great job, NordVPN!
Nadine Merabi (Ecommerce Onboarding Emails)
Ecommerce onboarding emails completely shift gears, acting more of a landing page contained within the format of email.
This onboarding email from Nadine Merabi is a classic example. Unlike with a SaaS product, there’s no need for a how to guide or product demo. Instead, the key with welcoming someone to your ecommerce brand, is to highlight the different categories that may be of interest. The content is about getting that user to the checkout page as soon as possible, with a basket total as high as possible too.
Onboarding emails within the ecommerce space also tend to be graphics, rather than text heavy. So while they do take a little more effort to design, the end result is about reflecting your brand and ultimately, selling the aesthetic.
It’s worth sharing a different example of an ecommerce onboarding email. This one is by Space NK who are a luxury beauty retailer.
This particular onboarding email has a clear ‘block template’ design, making it easy on the eye when navigating through each section. By the same token, the reader doesn’t feel overwhelmed with products or even a long scroll to the bottom of the email.
The design of the email is also an example of how to inject personality into your onboarding emails. This particular design feels in-keeping with Space NK’s physical stores, thus helping to recap the value and brand positioning within the digital onboarding process.
Magnet have an online kitchen design tool which requires registration to use. Once you do so, Magnet sends you the following onboarding email.
Although we associate the design process with visuals, Magnet have kept their onboarding email text heavy. That said, the copy remains succinct. It clearly states the four easy steps you need to take to get from kitchen design to installation.
A nice touch at the end of the email are the ‘Which? Best Buy’ accolades. If you have any similar awards to display, it instills trust for your users – a great thing to emphasise at the start of their journey with you.
Also feeling similar to a landing page is the onboarding email for Yoast’s summer school.
This onboarding example works a little differently, in that it’s not trying to sell a product or service. Rather, it’s an itinerary for a digital workshop. So, think of it more of a lead magnet onboarding sequence.
In true Yoast style, the email look and design has a personal feel to it. The Yoast team are very visible on social media, so you really do get to know them all beyond the product itself. This is in contrast to other SEO tools such as SurferSEO and Semrush, where the emails stick to talking about the product.
There’s no right or wrong here. But all in all, onboarding emails can take many different tones which is what makes them so versatile. After all, this is your introduction to your customers.
Trainline sells train tickets via a website and app.
In this case, the Trainline onboarding email welcomes users, but directs them to download the app if they haven’t already.
With the app downloaded, it’s not just easier for customers to access their tickets, but also easier for Trainline to push notifications. So, this is one example of an onboarding email that has considered the ongoing marketing strategy at play.
Onboarding Email Benefits – They Help Create A Positive Introduction While Reducing Churn
It’s really not difficult to send an onboarding email sequence – it’s well worth your while too.
According to Wyzowl, 55% of people say they’ve returned a product because they didn’t fully understand how to use it.
If that product happens to be expensive, or there’s a lot riding on it for their business, can you blame them?
Onboarding emails can remove any blockages in the customer journey or experience. Use them to outline how to use your product, and ultimately get the most value out of it. Specifically, if you know there are any common sticking points with understanding your product, onboarding emails can break down the information in a more tangible way.
When your users fully understand how to use your product, they are more likely to be satisfied with it. Happy customers are not the ones at risk of churn.
Furthermore, Wyzol also states that 88% of users are more likely to be loyal to a business which delivers a great onboarding experience.
So there you go!
When Should You Send Onboarding Emails?
74% of users expect to receive a welcome email as soon as they subscribe – WordStream
With an email automation platform such as GoSquared Engage or EcoSend by GoSquared, you can trigger an onboarding email as soon as someone subscribes.
It’s best to follow up with an email promptly, seen as users will be expecting to hear from you. Leave it too late, and it could appear like you’ve forgotten about them.
Just make sure you have a winning formula with your onboarding emails. Learn what works for your brand, and ultimately, what achieves your goals.
If open rates dip, then your onboarding sequences may need some work. So always keep an eye on open rates, click-through rates and any other metrics of interest, since onboarding emails should be one of your most successful campaign types.
Create Incredible Onboarding Emails Today With EcoSend By GoSquared
Creating amazing onboarding emails has never been easier with EcoSend by GoSquared.
Our new email marketing tool gives you all the features you need to send every kind of campaign. The clever twist, is that EcoSend is also helping to tackle climate change. EcoSend runs on renewable energy sources, and we’ll plant trees on your behalf for using us.
With flexible plans to suit all budgets and usage needs, all you need to do is pick a plan to get started.
Have any questions on all things onboarding emails or EcoSend? Drop us a message and we’ll be right with you.