Onboarding Tips | Successful Onboarding Experience

onboarding tips

Onboarding is a big deal.

The emails you send out to your potential customers are often the “make it or break it” moment for your company – do they click the email and see what you have to offer, or do they just pass you by?

To help understand the difference between a successful onboarding strategy and a total non-starter, we reached out to representatives from a whole range of different companies for their best onboarding tips.

Here’s what they told us about how to turn your next onboarding campaign into a howling success.

Get to the point

You customers lead busy lives.

They don’t have time to click on every promotional email that comes their way, which is why getting a foot in the door with the subject line and first couple words of your email is so incredibly important. These are where you hook your customers – or drive them away.

You need to be snappy. You need to be engaging.

And above all, you need to communicate whatever your message is before your potential biggest customer scrolls past your email.

Here’s what the experts have to say:

Getting direct to the point within a line before the mail gets deleted has worked best for us.

A single line should be able to remind of the headache and offer an aspirin.

An email campaign titled “Run your CRM without Data Entry” got us the highest opening and onboarding rate for us. Later I took feedback from a customer who onboarded through this campaign on what made her open this mail and she replied – “Well, you hooked me before I could delete the mail!”

Founder of Contactous

Don’t forget about the preview text. Email clients will grab the first 50-90 characters of your email and display it next to the subject line. Use this opportunity to help entice subscribers to open your email. The last thing you want to have in your preview text is “View this email in your browser”.

Keep your emails short and easy to read. You only have a few seconds to grab your subscribers attention, so make them count.

Use eye catching graphics, keep your CTA above the fold and bold other key pieces of information to help make your copy easy to scan.

Keep your emails focused, if you have a lot of information, break it up over multiple emails. Not only does this give your subscribers a clear direction on what you want them to do, it also keeps them engaged and your brand fresh in their mind.

Finally, make sure you’re A/B testing. Don’t be afraid to experiment because there’s always room for improvement. One of the biggest mistakes a lot of companies make is they never test their welcome emails. Just because it works doesn’t mean it can’t always be better.

–Ken Hendrickson
Email Marketing Specialist, FreightCenter

Harness the power of video

One of the most powerful ways you can connect to your audience is through video.

There’s just something about video that’s not really comparable to anything you can do in other mediums. They’re great lean-back marketing that can do wonders for creating a sense of personality in your brand.

Although videos can take a little while to produce and cost a little more than just drafting your standard email, crafting the perfect video is a great way to add a personal touch to the way your customers see you.

Videos are engaging, they’re enjoyable, and they might just be the perfect onboarding strategy for you.

Here’s what the experts have to say:

Our best onboarding emails in B2C is through an explainer video from the founders that has the following characteristics:

1) Let the founder make the video.
2) Explain what the mission of the company is and how it started in 20 seconds.
3) To share the benefits for the client, in detail why should I use this service? In no more than 40 seconds.

The video MUST have a maximum time of 1 minute, be related with simplicity and transparency.

The objective is to generate a connection with your client so that he understands that it is not just a product or service, but that there is a group of professionals who are working to help him..

Thanks to implementing this strategy of onboarding emails 8 months ago we were able to increase our conversions by 22.8%.

Cristian Rennella
VP of Marketing & Co-founder of oMelhorTrato.com

For us it really all depends on the action we want the user to take. We have found that if we want to get a user to click one of our onboarding emails, video works really well. If we want them to open it and read some tips and or best practices for using our app, a really good enticing subject line does the trick. And lastly if we want to increase engagement on the email, we’ve found making them text only with personal touches like including their name and asking them a simple question works best.

–Vivek Chugh
Listables Founder and CEO

Target your marketing

Different people respond to things in different ways.

That’s why when it comes to onboarding, targeted marketing is your new best friend. You don’t want to just send out a bunch of generic messages, and hope you get a couple takers.

Not only will that be less effective than targeting your marketing at a few specific demographics, but it might actually scare away potential customers, who are more likely to see this sort of strategy as just more spam clogging up their inbox.

You need to show your customers you speak their language. You need to demonstrate how your business will be able to meet your audience’s needs.

That’s why targeted marketing is a crucial component of good onboarding.

Here’s what the experts have to say:

When creating a new prospectus campaign, be sure to only target a very small influential group of individuals (for us it was realtors) that will have the greatest influence on your business or product.

This will allow you to tailor your messaging, value proposition, and your subject line to the exact pain points of that segmented group.

Since the launch of our direct marketing campaign, we have seen an 30% uptick in our multiple property feature and an 10% growth on our growth overall.

Co-founder of GreenPal

When we created our onboarding flow, we found that segmentation was the number one thing that made the difference as far as open rates/CTR go. We realized our users come from three pretty distinct backgrounds and had different reasons for using the platform, so we couldn’t write to them like they were all the same. When we split our onboarding into segments we saw a huge spike in open rates, and we also had less people with questions coming to the platform. So my biggest piece of advice would be to get to know your audience and think about how they’re using your product. For us, how a nurse uses the platform is going to look very different than someone coming in as an agent. Figuring out what they need and what their background is will help you decide how to talk with them and you’ll resonate more with them.

–Matt Tant
CEO of Relode

Engage with your audience

Maintaining high reader engagement is one of highest priorities of any onboarding campaign. You want your audience to interact with your company, understand who you are, and seriously consider whatever it is you have to offer.

The thing is, though, engagement cuts both ways. High reader engagement rates don’t just come from nowhere – you have to first earn them by engaging with your audience yourself.

You need to present yourself as a real person, not just some faceless corporation. You want your audience to feel important and worthwhile, and the only way to do that is by treating them like real people with real wants and needs.

Here’s what the experts have to say:

I use a very simple technique that helps to get the subscriber engaged as well as help with email service and domain reputation where I ask the subscriber to respond to my onboarding email to confirm. This is a not widely used technique that only high performing email marketers use and it works!

–Ruthie Toce
Velo IT Group

Make a great first impression. When you’re friendly and welcoming, your new client feel confident that they’ve made the right decision. Remember that people crave attention. Make them feel special and show appreciation by saying “thank you”. Personalize your message as much as you can and use the recipient’s first name. If it’s relevant, segment your list by gender, location, job title etc. and tailor the message to them.

–Nedelina Payaneva
Digital Marketing Specialist at Asian Absolute

In a service industry like ours, getting all employees at our client companies engaged was a huge undertaking. We’re an IT services provider, so we had to provide lots of communication about several key areas so that we could be an effective partner for outsourced IT management. We cover details about how we manage email filtering, how to access support, and the type of information we like computer users to share with us when they are seeking a support resource. We learned many lessons along the way. With a 40 – 60% open rate at the beginning, we started adding swag to our onboarding communications strategy which we feel has significantly increased early engagement with our new customers. Now, in addition to our carefully crafted email, they get a coffee mug with an fun meme, mints, pens, and even balloons. We want them to get in touch right away about any issues they are experiencing so we can impress them with quick and accurate resolutions!

–Ruthie Toce
CXO, Velo IT Group

Communicate effectively

Onboarding campaigns are all about communication. Not only do you want to communicate the products or services your company offers, but you also want to give your potential customers a sense of who you are and what they can expect from you.

There should be no surprises, here – effective communication means everyone is on the same page, and they’re happy to be there!

Here’s what the experts have to say:

One of the unique things about email is you are able to communicate a message instantly, if done right. No longer does your prospect or new customer have to get on a phone call with a sales person to understand your position or product. We use several on boarding emails to make customers more familiar with our content and process, which differs greatly from our competitors. We have a heavy focus on characters inside of our app. When launching simulated phishing campaigns in our platform, we use our characters to help promote the content within the app. This helps guide the customer and give them a sense of our brand.

–Dave “BlueHair” Giovacchini
BlueHair Dave Digital Marketing

Saying “Hi” isn’t enough. Besides greeting, you should also inform the recipient about how often they will receive emails and what these email will be about. Your future emails may include news, discounts and promotions for instance, but whatever they may be about make sure your subscribers will know what to expect.

–Nedelina Payaneva
Digital Marketing Specialist at Asian Absolute

Never stop learning

There are always ways an onboarding campaign can be improved. Learn even more about ways to enhance your marketing with this free ebook on onboarding by Nickelled CEO David Batey.

Or check out this Google doc by Survicate about their onboarding process.


With these onboarding strategies in mind, the success of your next campaign is practically guaranteed.

Be likable, effective, and efficient. Make the first impression you need to win over happy, long-term customers. Onboarding doesn’t have to be some mysterious process – all it takes is an open mind, and the willingness to consider new ideas.

Try out these tips today and see just how quickly your company can grow!

About The Author
Asaf Darash
CEO and Founder of Regpack

Asaf, Founder and CEO of Regpack, has extensive experience as an entrepreneur and investor. Asaf has built 3 successful companies to date, all with an exit plan or that have stayed in profitability and are still functional. Asaf specializes in product development for the web, team building and in bringing a company from concept to an actualized unit that is profitable.

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