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Onboarding email sequence: Convert subscribers into customers

How many subscribers do you have? And customers? In most cases, these numbers don’t coincide. The reasons can be different, but increasingly it is an incorrect onboarding strategy. 40-60% of users that get a free trial version will use it once and never come back according to the Intercom. You can change these figures with the help of the onboarding email campaign.

Irina Podorvan

In this article, the team of AtomPark Software, a company that provides Email & SMS marketing tools, tells how to create an onboarding email that increases sales.

What is the onboarding strategy?

Onboarding is the acquaintance and involvement of a new user in exploitation service or product.

To welcome the client onboarding strategy uses the next content types:

  • pop-ups with clues,
  • video guides,
  • interactive guide and others that your imagination can create.

What is onboarding email

It is an email newsletter, that helps your customers to adapt after registration in the service.

The sequence of onboarding emails depends on the user’s actions, starting from welcome series to clues.

Sometimes marketers ask why email serves as an onboarding element

The answer is simple: in most cases, the registration is carried out with the help of an email. When users give you an email address, they wait for a welcome newsletter. 

Furthermore, customers will get used to the mass mailing of your brand. Sending emails newsletter you can remind about the product and its advantages. 

Such a strategy of onboarding emails increases the engagement of users and decreases the outflow of customers. 

How to create onboarding email 

To write an onboarding email that increases the client’s loyalty you should follow these tips:

  • Walk in customer’s shoes

    If you want to get a high open rate of the onboarding email campaign, the initial task is to understand the client’s needs and problems. Creating newsletters focus on target audience actions. For example, how they’re using your service or website, what difficulties they have or can have. Pay attention to these details. Such an approach helps you to send the most relevant messages. 
  • Remember about segmentation

    There is much information about the importance of segmentation, but practice shows that not all marketers follow this rule. Use the advantages of the digital age and segment your subscriber list. You can divide your customers into several groups. For example, they can be based on geographical location, demography or psychographics. If you segment your target audience on gender, you can show the most relevant content for each group. 
  • Provoke recipient’s emotions

    Human feelings influence while the customer decides whether to use your product or not. So, you should create a bright email that awoke even the most unsympathetic client.
  • Make the CTA button convincing

    Remember, that email must include only one CTA. Your task is to make it notable, but don’t overdo with its size, color, place, and quantity.
  • Communicate regularly, but don’t annoy subscribers

    Regularity doesn’t mean irritation. Chose the timetable for sending mass mailing campaigns, that remind customers about your brand, but don’t annoy them. Remember, onboarding it’s not one email, it is a series of newsletters and it is so important to follow regularity. Choose the day and tie for mass mailing and don’t break it. 

Make sure you choose the right email service to ensure you maximize the earning potential of every lead generated.

Onboarding email sequence: From welcome to the sale

In the onboarding strategy, it is important to follow the order of sending mass emails. The previous newsletter should automatically imply the content of the next one.

Let’s see the typical sequence of the onboarding campaign.

1. Welcome email

It is the first step to start relations with a future client, something like the first impression when you want to date with a beautiful girl.

The user gets this email after signing up. The welcome series can have different goals, that depends on subscriber’s action. 

For example:

  • fill in the profile;
  • download mobile apps;
  • create the first project or template etc.

Don’t think that onboarding email has other requirements to design. Welcome onboarding email also should:

  • be sent from the brand’s name;
  • have an email address for sending questions or propositions;
  • be designed in the brand style.

Let’s have a look at how famous brand design onboarding welcome emails:

For the most effective results, include a CTA that links to video content. When including a CTA video link, the video thumbnail will be displayed below the signature and visual content has a greater appeal than text. A CTA for explainer video content will, therefore, generate improved promotion for your brand than the CTA of textual content.

Ensure that the links are trackable by using UTM codes. These are text snippets added to a part of a URL and they enable you to collect data on click-through rates (CTR) for every link or CTA that you post with your email signature.

Filmsupply, the company that gives filmmakers footage for their projects, starts communication with the subscriber telling about the company. 

What they did well:

  • design email in the brand’s style and colors;
  • add high-quality pictures to demonstrate the work of the service;
  • make a noticeable CTA button;
  • give the contact number for communication; 
  • include social media icons.

ALSO READ: 9 Ways To Generate More Calls From Your Website Using CallPage. Tips For Customers

Teachable, service for creating educational courses, congratulates subscribers with joining the team and tells the advantages and features of their school.

What they did well:

  • headings are well-structured that improve readability; 
  • paragraphs which help to find the most important information easily;
  • the company adheres to the brand’s style;
  • CTA is well-designed.

2. Presentation of product

The next email after welcome is a newsletter with information about the product, how to use it.

This email has 3 goals:

  • demonstration,
  • training,
  • reminding. 

Don’t include all the information that you want to share with users in one email. It is possible to distribute info into several newsletters according to topics. In each email tell customers how they can improve their life, business with the help of your product. Furthermore, warn recipients how many emails they’ll get and what content will be in emails. 

For example, the Austrian agency “Marketing Results” offers a free video guide on “How to increase the number of clients in 30 days”. The course includes 9 newsletters.

Marketing Results, platform for digital marketing. 

What they did well:

  • clarity, the clients know how many emails they’ll get,
  • the duration and content of each video are also mentioned.


What they did well:

  • animated clues,
  • a short explanation of how to work with the app,
  • unobtrusive, but noticeable CTAs. 

ALSO READ:7 Emails That Will Boost The Loyalty of Your Customers

3. The user experience

Sometimes for making the right decision, you need the opinion of other people. Send emails with positive reviews about your product. It will convince recipients that your product is worthy to buy. 

Airbnb, the online marketplace for arranging or offering lodging, primarily homestays, adds a review of customers who use service from 2013. It makes a good impression, isn’t it?

What they did well:

  • real people with live photos,
  • informative reviews.

4. Give a bonus 

Be sure, customers will appreciate the gift. Offer them using the service one month for free. You can also give a discount on the purchase or free shipping.

Apto, a cosmetic’s brand,  sends emails and proposes clients free shipping on the first order. Furthermore, it gives short information about the product.

What they did well:

  • bright and interesting design;
  • noticeable CTA button.

5. Try to sell

When you’ve already told about product benefits, allowed trying it for free, it is time to sell. Show the full price or give a discount to motivate purchasing as GoodEggs, delivery service, did:

What they did well:

  • it is a promo email, but pay attention to the order of CTAs: the first propose to buy, the second to get information; 
  • minimalism in the design;
  • examples of milk;
  • email is well-structured. 

Or another example from Grammarly, service for checking English writing.  

What they did well:

  • email is designed in the brand’s style;
  • discount on purchasing;
  • motivational headline.


Creating an onboarding email campaign take into account all the rules above. Be sure, if you follow our tips, your onboarding campaign will get a high Open Rate. 

If you are in the market looking for innovative ways to attract more clients and generate more quality conversations for your company, schedule a personalized demo today or test our tool for free for 14 days.

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