User onboarding is often essential for ensuring good product adoption.
This is why so many SaaS companies use onboarding emails. Your product packs the value you want to demonstrate to the customers, but emails can further communicate that value.
In other words, onboarding emails literally spell out the benefits your customers can expect by using your product.
When you consider the fact that an average American spends 2.5 hours every day checking their emails, you have a high chance of keeping your company and your product seen and on top of people’s mind.
If you send timely and relevant emails while users are getting acquainted with your product, you’ll likely create loyal customers in no time.
Read more about the types of onboarding emails you should send to your customers to keep them engaged and reduce churn.
Jump to section:
The Welcome Email
The Early Re-Engagement Email / Building Block Email
The Milestone-Reached Email
The “Try Again” Email
1. The Welcome Email
First impressions mean a lot across all industries. But they are crucial in the SaaS industry, where customers can delete their accounts and drop the product in a blink of an eye if they have bad experiences.
In fact, 74% of customers say that their willingness to purchase a product or service is linked to their experiences with a company. So, if you create a terrible first impression during product onboarding, you can expect high churn rates.
But there is a simple solution. Excellent welcome emails can introduce your company and your product in the right way as you onboard your new users.
It’s similar to inviting a new friend to your house. If you give them a warm welcome, they will want to visit you again.
In welcome emails, you explain who you are and what your new users can expect from your product.
And you know what the best part is? Welcome emails have the highest open rates out of all types of emails.
Customers click on welcome emails 5x times more than any other type of message. That is because they expect them to arrive in their inboxes as they sign up for a new product or service.
So, this is the perfect opportunity to set the right expectations.
Now you’re probably wondering what makes an effective welcome email?
Well, simply look at what Loom did.
Great customer onboarding experience involves personalization. Loom knows this, so they greet the customer by their first name. This is a very simple but effective way to start a relationship with the customer on a positive note.
When you greet the customer and use their name, you make them feel valued, which leads to a great experience.
The next great thing Loom did is provide social proof. The basic premise of using social proof is that when people see others have used a product, they’re more inclined to try it out as well. This is what we often refer to as ‘’the fear of missing out’’.
They’re basically saying: “Look at all these people who have succeeded thanks to our product! You can be one of them!”
In your welcome email, you want to quickly instruct the customer on how to start using the product. You want to build on the momentum of the initial sign-up and move the user to the next step (using the product).
In this email, Loom gives the customer three choices:
- They can download a desktop app
- Use Chrome extension
- Or download their app for Apple mobile devices.
They’re not overwhelming their customer with too many tasks, yet they’re increasing the chances that the customer will actually engage with the product by giving them options.
Finally, the company also provided a link to its help center. They understand that their customers might have questions, so they want to appear approachable. In this way, they’re nurturing a long-term relationship with customers from the beginning.
And if someone needs additional help, Loom’s help center provides a plethora of content to assist in using a product, from topics on getting started to FAQ and security information.
So, what have we learned from Loom?
Welcome emails need to get your new users excited about what they’re going to do next. And that is interacting with your product.
They are also a great opportunity to convince customers of the value you’re providing, so they continue doing business with you.
In the end, if you want to make a good first impression during onboarding, you should send effective welcome emails.
2. The Early Re-Engagement Email / Building Block Email
When customers first sign up and try out your product, you have a small window of opportunity to cement the value of your product in their minds.
Customer engagement is at its highest in the first 48 hours, so it is crucial to provide value and interact with users in a meaningful way in this period.
If you don’t show users how to use your product in a way that will benefit them in the long term, you’re risking that they abandon your product after a single use. This happens to almost 25% of apps.
But the good news is that you can combat this by using early re-engagement emails to help customers use your product in the right way.
The purpose of early re-engagement emails is to introduce the customer to your product’s main benefits and point out relevant features they’ll love to use.
This email is often referred to as “building blocks” email because it strives to get people trying out more product functionalities in order to understand it better and get used to it.
Basically, these emails are great for motivating new users and giving them a nudge to adopt your product.
Look at this effective early re-engagement email from Squarespace.
There are three things that stand out in this email.
First, the company reassures the customer that they have their back. ‘’We’re in this together!’’ is what Squarespace is saying to the customer.
That way, they want to build on a positive first impression and create a long-lasting relationship with the customer.
After that, Squarespace offers links to helpful guides to cover the basics of content creation. Their new user might be overwhelmed by the number of features Squarespace has, so they’re helping them start without fear.
Finally, they provide social proof of the value of their product by linking to case studies of the way that value was extracted by their other customers.
This shows the new customer that other successful users used to be in the same position as them when they started using Squarespace’s product. In that way, the company further motivates new users to engage with the product more. .
Remember that your new user is just starting to learn how to use your software, so they might feel overwhelmed.
Motivation is key for successful product adoption, so use early re-engagement emails to educate your new users on how to implement your product to address their specific needs.
That way, you’ll create a loyal customer base that will bring you profit for the foreseeable future.
3. The Milestone-Reached Email
How does this email make you feel?
A customer who received this email from Ascend had recently fulfilled their first goal with the company’s product. So, the company celebrated their progress by sending them a “pat on the back” email.
This is a great practice for your onboarding process. If you see that customers reach important milestones with your product, it makes sense to acknowledge their good work, right?
First, let’s explain how motivational emails are different from other onboarding emails.
While you use welcome emails and re-engagement emails to explain the product’s value to your customers, motivational emails enforce product adoption, the process of the customers implementing a product into their daily lives.
Recognizing their accomplishments with your product encourages customers to use your product more.
So, motivational emails create bonds with customers and build habits.
What you’re essentially saying with motivational emails is: “Good job on reaching this milestone! Let’s see what more we can accomplish!”
What you define as a milestone completely depends on your product. For example, for Canva it’s creating 10 designs, and for Loom, that’s shooting a first video.
When they reach a milestone, the customers get emails like these in their inboxes.
These emails acknowledge the customer’s present milestone, while showing them that there’s more they can achieve.
You have to pat the customer on the back but also point out that there’s more to come if they continue their journey with your product.
Remember, people love recognition. They want to be encouraged to keep doing something, so sending motivational emails should help you with that.
4. The “Try Again” Email
Imagine this scenario.
A customer has signed up for your product. They’ve finished the product tour and learned the basics. They log in once or twice after that and complete several tasks.
But after that, they don’t log in for months. What happened? What did you do wrong?
Don’t worry, you haven’t lost that customer yet! There’s still a chance you can win them back.
Think about it; inactive users haven’t canceled their subscription. They simply stopped using your product for a while.
Now, all they need is a little motivation to return to the product. Marketers even suggest that all it takes to reactivate 25-60% of these users is the right approach.
These users already know about your product, but the problem is that they simply haven’t developed a thorough understanding of what’s in it for them.
All they need is a good incentive to get back on track. That’s where the win-back emails come in. Their purpose is to find out why customers stopped using your product and re-demonstrate its value.
You can take notes from Groove’s win-back emails. They assume customers didn’t have enough time to interact with their product, so they offer a trial extension.
They’re convinced that their product is enough to demonstrate value to inactive customers, so they don’t offer any additional incentives.
But the company saves their customer’s data so they can jump right where they left off. This helps motivate the customer to re-engage with the product by eliminating the frustration of starting from scratch.
Now, you can also take a different approach to win-back emails. A lot of SaaS companies do what Avocode did with this win-back onboarding email.
Avocode explains about new updates they made to their product while the customer was inactive. They highlight the benefits that may convince the customer to try out their product again. But notice that they also offer a discount.
Unlike Groove, Avocode wants to maximize its efforts to win back its inactive customers.
People usually respond well to discounts, so Avocode uses them as an additional incentive for customers to try out their improved product. Once customers see how new features can help them achieve their goals, they’ll regularly use Avocode’s product.
To summarise, if you notice that a segment of your customer base becomes inactive, you can win them back with targeted onboarding emails. This is your second chance to make them loyal customers, so arm yourself with the good practices you saw in these examples.
Onboarding emails are important. They keep your product at the forefront of your customer’s minds.
But you need to take into account how they help you with your entire onboarding process.
You want to provide a good first impression with your welcome emails. Then you need to show them the most beneficial features so they’ll start using your product immediately.
After that, your motivational emails should nurture a positive experience, so the customer continues using your product.
Even if your users turn inactive, not all is lost. This is where using re-engagement emails for them proves successful. Essentially, these emails are reminders that you are there, dedicated to helping your customers to achieve their goals.
Overall, onboarding emails educate your customers while strengthening your relationship with them. That way, you win their loyalty and increase your recurring revenue in the process.