Onboarding email examples

The purpose of these emails is to educate the new or soon-to-be customer on the process and give them a glimpse into what your brand is all about.

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Onboarding emails, regardless of the industry, have one thing in common: they’re built to engage, educate, and provide a positive experience for potential customers. An onboarding sequence not only guides customers as they interact with your brand, but it also promotes repeat purchases and helps convert free trials for subscription-based products.

Strategic guidance for onboarding campaigns

Onboarding sequences aren’t one size fits all. It’s important to test and iterate based on what works for your brand. That said, these strategies will give you a solid starting point to start creating a personalized sequence that makes sense for your brand.

Educating the prospective customer on the product

The purpose of these emails is to educate the new or soon-to-be customer on the process and give them a glimpse into what your brand is all about.

Let’s take a look at eyewear brand, Warby Parker. Their initial onboarding email sent after account creation gives you an overview of their glasses, their at-home try-on process, and even a blurb about their social mission. It sounds like a lot for the first email, but they sum it up with simple graphics and a quick sentence for each.

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Invite prospective customers to engage with your brand’s community

Take Purple Carrot, for example, a food subscription service that has an onboarding email around their Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook communities. This ‘invite’ is a great way to make new signups feel welcome and connected to your brand.

Birchbox has a similar onboarding email helping users engage beyond their website. They provide additional ways to interact with the brand including an online magazine and Android & iOS app download.

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Share real customer experiences with the product

It’s hard to trust a brand right away, but sharing real feedback and advice from customers in your journey is a great way to increase your brand’s trustworthiness. Rent the Runway does a phenomenal job doing just that. They include an email showcasing actual advice and images from other RTR members on day 4 of their 12-email onboarding sequence.

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Implementation details for onboarding drips

New to onboarding sequences for your brand? Check out the below tips that are sure to help you create these flows no matter what ESP (email service provider) you’re using.

Trigger emails based on on-site events

Onboarding emails are usually most effective when sent after a customer makes a first time purchase or after they’ve requested more information through a form on your website. Most ESPs allow you to trigger based on these events, but otherwise you or someone on your dev team will need to set up the API with your site to retrieve that data.

Whatever you do, don’t SPAM your customers

Keep your total drip sequence relatively short (between 4-8 emails) and spread out over a reasonable period of time. Too much email at once can be a turn-off for customers and it could even lead to the dreaded ‘Mark as Spam’.😱This kiss of death can cause your deliverability and reputation to plummet, and fast.

Be aware of other marketing emails sent during the same period

If you have other active promotional emails running at the same time as your onboarding drip sequence, you could include additional filters to the promotional campaigns to exclude newer users currently in the onboarding flow

Here’s an example: If you have a drip sequence that lasts two weeks and starts when a user signs up, you could exclude those users who have been created in the past couple weeks from the promotional email send.