· 22 min read

15 Engaging Onboarding Emails: Best Tips & Practices

Have you ever signed up for a new product or service and felt completely lost and unsure of what to do next?

It's like being in a foreign country without a map or a guidebook.

A well-crafted onboarding email series can solve that problem by guiding the customers through all the features and benefits of your product while making them feel appreciated and valued.

In this blog, I will walk you through 15 of the best onboarding emails in my inbox and explain why they work so well.

So let’s begin.

What is User Onboarding & Why It Matters?

User onboarding is a critical component of user experience design.

It involves introducing new users to the key features and benefits of a product or service and walking them through the initial setup and use.

63% claim onboarding is the key to deciding whether to subscribe or not.

A good onboarding experience can make a world of difference for customers who are just getting started with your product.

the image has a black theme color, you can see hands typing on a black laptop that is located on a black wooden table with a white cup of coffee next to it

In fact, research has shown that effective user onboarding can increase user retention by up to 50%.

By providing users with a clear and concise introduction to your product, you can help them get the most out of it while building trust and loyalty with your brand.

And who wouldn't want a slice of that pie?

Why Should You Use Onboarding Emails?

You should ask yourself why not?

One of the best ways to deliver an effective onboarding experience is through email.

They allow you to guide users through the process at their own pace while keeping them engaged and informed.

Here are some more reasons why email onboarding is an effective strategy:

Personalization: By sending tailored emails to users based on their activity, you can provide a more personalized onboarding experience that speaks directly to their needs.

Automation: With automated email sequences, you can streamline your onboarding process and ensure that every user receives the same level of support and guidance.

Segmentation: By segmenting your email list by demographic and psychographic characteristics, you can target specific user groups with relevant messaging.

Monitoring: With email analytics, you can track user engagement and identify areas of your onboarding process that may need improvement.

What are the Stages of an Effective Onboarding Email Campaign?

 hands typing on a desk with a laptop, there are a notebook and a calculator next to the laptop on the desk

An effective onboarding email campaign typically consists of several stages that are designed to educate and engage new users with your product or service.

The following are some common stages that can help make your campaign successful:

1- Confirmation/Welcome email: This transactional email confirms the user's sign-up and welcomes them to your product or service.

2- Product feature: The next few emails should highlight the key features of your product or service.

3- Case study: A case study can demonstrate how your product or service has helped other businesses succeed.

4- Check-up email: Send an email to check in with users and ensure they are finding value in your product or service.

5- Halfway through the trial email: Remind users that they are halfway through their trial period and encourage them to keep using your product or service.

6- Upgrade email: Send a targeted email to users who have not upgraded to a paid plan and highlight the benefits of doing so.

7- Trial expires: As the trial period comes to an end, send a reminder that it's time to upgrade or renew.

By incorporating these stages into your onboarding email campaign, you can help ensure that new users get the most out of your products / service and become loyal customers.

15 Top User Onboarding Emails Examples

From the very first welcome email to the follow-up after their trial, onboarding emails are a powerful tool to create a warm and engaging experience for your customers.

Now, join me as we explore the power of onboarding emails in the following examples and learn how to create a memorable and effective onboarding experience for your customers.

1- Teleprompter

You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make it count!

Your welcome email is the perfect opportunity to make new users feel special and welcome.

Take a look at this Teleprompter's welcome email, for example - their friendly tone and use of "I" instead of "we" make recipients feel closer to the brand.

Teleprompter onboarding email screenshot with text explaining the onboarding journey and a title that says "Welcome to Teleprompter"

By providing helpful instructions and links to your documentation, you're helping users get the most out of your product and also aid in making the onboarding process more manageable.

It's important to be transparent and honest, so don't bombard them with promotional links or data.

Instead, focus on showcasing the value and benefits of your product in a subtle way.

And remember, if there is a chance for cross-selling, do it in the second part of your email.

Teleprompter onboarding email example promoting another tool they have to the new user

See how by thanking users again in the end, the brand keeps the good feeling circle going from start to finish!

2- iCloud

iCloud's welcome email goes right to the point of introducing all its features and benefits in a clear and concise way.

Instead of confusing the user with multiple links and overwhelming information, iCloud's onboarding email provides a single link to "learn more" and presents the instructions within the email itself.

iCloud onboarding email example showing the different features with a title that says "Get the most out of iCloud"

By making the onboarding process as easy and straightforward as possible, users are more likely to engage and become long-term subscribers.

Remember, 74% of potential customers will switch to other solutions if the onboarding process seems too complicated.

The key to effective user onboarding is creating a delightful experience that makes customers feel valued and supported.

Try to avoid overloading the user with too much information or links to external resources.

Instead, focus on providing the most important information and making it easily accessible within the email itself.

If you can give users tips and tricks in your email, why make them go to another page?

3- Statista

Statista’s platform tour onboarding email is an excellent example to take note of.

The email is straightforward and easy to navigate, providing users with one clear call to action and a simple, four-step platform tour.

Statista onboarding email example showing the platform's features

What's more, the email offers support at the end, which is a nice touch that makes users feel like they can rely on Statista's customer service.

The addition of social media links in the email footer is also a clever move.

It allows new users to connect with Statista on other platforms, helping them to get to know the service better and facilitating the company's social media growth.

In other words, when crafting your onboarding emails remember:

  • Keep the email simple and easy to navigate
  • Provide clear calls to action
  • Offer support and guidance to new users
  • Include social media links in the email footer to engage users on other platforms

4- Customer-io

Customerio is a website personalization tool that knows how to make users feel valued from the very start with its onboarding email.

The email welcomes new users and provides the necessary information, such as API and partner integration links, with a clear call to action to “add your customers”, right away.

Customer-io onboarding welcome email example

It also includes valuable details like the user's ID, sign-up reason, starting date, and chosen plan, which is then used to create a personalized onboarding process.

By using this data, Customerio shows users that they are important and not just another generic user.

customer-io second part of onboarding email showing users their data

Providing support at the end of the email is also an excellent way to encourage users to reach out with questions or concerns.

A personalized approach to onboarding can help boost user engagement and retention, and Customerio's email is a great example of how to achieve this.

By providing useful information while also making users feel special, Customerio sets a positive tone for the user's entire experience with their platform.

5- Mailer

Mailer's follow-up email after one month of a free trial is a great way to remind users of the advanced features they can access with a paid plan and encourage them to take action.

Mailer onboarding email example that says "Your free trial of premium features has expired"

The email is designed to highlight the value of the product by listing all the amazing features users can access for just $9 per month.

Mentioning the starting price and then listing the premium features is an excellent strategy to increase the product’s perceived value and make users take action.

6- Grammarly

Grammarly’s onboarding email is a prime example of a clear and concise message that effectively communicates the tool's benefits to new users.

The email uses the brand's recognizable style and provides users with a list of what they can expect from the tool, which is an excellent way to introduce product tours and promote features.

Grammarly onboarding email example that says "Welcome to Grammarly" showing the tool's features

By providing users with a single clear call-to-action that navigates them to the editor, they can start using the tool immediately and have a seamless customer journey.

Grammarly's onboarding email is a perfect example of how to keep things simple while still providing value to new users.

It's essential to make the onboarding process as user-friendly as possible, which means providing clear, concise information and easy-to-follow steps.

7- Descript

Descript's onboarding email is a focused and goal-oriented message to new users.

The email aims to guide users through the initial steps of using the software, and it does so in a clear and concise way.

Descript onboarding email example that says "welcome to Descript" and then shows the five steps to success with this tool

By providing detailed information for each step of the process and clear instructions on how to complete them, Descript is able to give users a strong foundation for their journey with the software.

The email's simple design also helps to keep the focus on the key information and actions without overwhelming the user with too much content or visual elements.

Overall, the email is an effective tool for getting users started with Descript and serves as a great model for other onboarding emails to follow.

8- Scribe

Scrib's personalized onboarding approach assigning an onboarding specialist to walk them through the most popular features of the paid plans is a smart move to help them get started on the right foot.

Scribe onboarding email example offering a 1:1 meeting with the customer success specialist

The email's clear call to action and personalized touch makes it more likely for users to take advantage of the 1:1 meeting and get the most out of the software.

The inclusion of the specialist's picture in the email footer is a subtle but effective way to make the interaction feel more personal and build a connection with the user.

Scrib's dedication to providing a tailored onboarding experience is commendable and can serve as a valuable example.

9- Power Thesaurus

Power Thesaurus' onboarding email is a well-structured message that effectively highlights its features using engaging language.

power thesaurus onboarding email example giving tips on how to get the most out of this platform

Encouraging user feedback is a great way to optimize your onboarding process, and the email provides helpful tips to maximize the platform's potential.

The simple structure of the email concludes with an invitation for users to explore the pro plan, following a proven pattern of mentioning value before offering pricing options to increase conversion rates.

10- Beast

Let's take a closer look at Beast's onboarding email!

Beast introduction onboarding email example with a picture of the product being used and a text that says "Meet Beast"

One of the best things about this email is how it uses visuals to grab the reader's attention. The header image shows the product in use, which immediately gives the reader an idea of what Beast is all about. It's a great way to get people interested in the product right from the start.

But Beast doesn't stop there. The email goes on to explain the value that the blender can add to the reader's life.

Beast best seller onboarding email example showcasing the products

This is important because it helps the reader understand why they should care about the product.

By highlighting the benefits, Beast is showing the reader how their life could be better with this blender.

Another smart move is adding customer reviews to the email. Seeing that other people are happy with the product can make the reader more likely to give it a try themselves. It's a great way to build trust with new customers.

11- Gusto

Gusto welcomes its new users with a personalized email that highlights the advanced features of the plus plan they signed up for.

This helps users understand the value they'll be getting from the product.

Gusto welcome onboarding email example

The email then invites users to join a welcome webinar that provides a detailed product tour and answers any questions they may have.

To further help users get familiar with the product, Gusto also provides links to documentation and blog posts that offer additional information and tips.

Gusto features onboarding email example

This can be a great way to provide users with the resources they need to make the most of your product.

This approach to onboarding demonstrates the importance of customization, value proposition, and helpful resources in welcoming new users to your product.

Consider incorporating these elements into your own onboarding emails if you want to increase engagement and retention rates.

12- Flock

Flock's onboarding email strikes a balance between being informative and entertaining.

The use of humor can make the users feel more at ease and engaged with the product.

Flock welcome onboarding email example showing the onboarding steps

It's important to maintain a consistent brand image throughout the onboarding process.

Flock also highlights the 30-day free trial and the features that users can access during this period.

This can be an effective way to entice users to try out your product and see its value firsthand.

Additionally, it is advisable to set expectations and remind users that the features are limited to the first 30 days of the trial period.

This can help avoid any misunderstandings or disappointments down the line.

13- CampaignMonitor

CampaignMonitor's welcome email features a call-to-action that encourages users to create their first campaign.

Additionally, the email showcases the company's support team, along with a message of reassurance that they are always there to assist.

CampaignMonitor onboarding email example

This personal touch creates an emotional connection between the user and the brand.

Moreover, the email includes a video to provide users with more inspiration and ideas.

It's important to remember that onboarding is not just about providing information, but also about creating an emotional connection with the user.

CampaignMonitor onboarding emails example with a video to give more inspiration

CampaignMonitor's email is a great example of this, as they make the user feel supported and inspired from the very beginning.

Using relevant visuals and personal touches can help create an effective onboarding experience for your users.

14- PandaDoc

Panda Doc has a straightforward and concise onboarding email that gets straight to the point.

Sometimes, simplicity is the key to success in onboarding emails.

This email example starts with an eye-catching illustration that immediately communicates the value proposition of the platform - getting documents signed quickly.

PandaDoc onboarding email example with an eye-catching illustration that immediately communicates the value proposition of the platform - getting documents signed quickly

By providing clear and easy-to-follow instructions, Panda Doc ensures that users can quickly and easily start using their platform.

It's important to remember that different products and services require different onboarding strategies.

However, one common thread is the need to provide value and make the process as simple as possible for the user.

15- Klaviyo

Klaviyo's follow-up email is effective in its simplicity, as it delivers a clear and direct message.

The email is designed to remind users that their trial plan is ending soon and that it's time to choose a support plan.

It highlights the benefits of upgrading to a paid plan, emphasizing the most important values that come with it.

Klaviyo onboarding email example explaining that the free trial is over listing the features of paid plan

A straightforward approach in this case is the most effective way to drive users to take action.

Klaviyo's email does just that, without any distractions or unnecessary fluff.

If you're offering a free trial for your product or service, it's important to have a follow-up email like this one that reminds users of the benefits of upgrading to a paid plan.

You can also try to personalize the message based on the user's activity during the trial period.

This will make the content more relevant and increase the chances of the user converting to a paying customer.

Check out this video to learn more about the art of customer retention with win-back emails:

Final Words

Congratulations, you made it to the end of our onboarding email journey!

By now, you should have a pretty good idea of what makes a great onboarding email and how you can use these examples to create your own.

Remember, the key to success is to keep it simple, personal, and valuable to your users.

Here are a few final tips to keep in mind:

Keep it short and sweet: Your users are busy, so don't overwhelm them with too much information.

Be personal: Address your users by name and use language that speaks directly to them.

Add value: Make sure your onboarding email provides value to your users, whether it's through useful tips or exclusive offers.

Test and iterate: Don't be afraid to test different approaches and see what works best for your audience.

Additionally, you can use user onboarding tools like Mailchimp, Hubspot, or Customer.io to streamline your email process.

These platforms offer a range of features to help you create beautiful, effective onboarding emails that will help you build a loyal user base.

So go ahead, take what you've learned here, and get started on your own onboarding experience!

Frequently Asked Questions

a torn paper written with inscription Q and A

What are Some Best Practices for User Onboarding?

Keep the process simple and intuitive, provide clear and concise instructions, and make it easy for users to access help and support when needed. It's also important to monitor user feedback and make adjustments to the onboarding process as needed to improve user satisfaction and retention.

How Can Gamification Be Used in User Onboarding?

Gamification can be a useful strategy for engaging users and making the onboarding process more fun and interactive. This can include using points, badges, and other rewards to incentivize users to complete tasks and achieve goals.

How Does Personalization Affect User Onboarding?

Personalization has the potential to improve the user experience and increase engagement during the onboarding process. This can include tailoring the onboarding process to the user's specific needs and preferences, as well as using personalized messaging and content.

What is the Difference Between User Onboarding and User Activation?

User onboarding and user activation are related but distinct processes. User onboarding refers to the process of introducing new users to a product or service, while user activation focuses on getting users to take specific actions that indicate engagement with the product. This can include completing a profile, making a purchase, or inviting friends to join.

How Can Social Proof Improve User Onboarding?

You can use social proof strategy to build trust and credibility with new users during the onboarding process. This can include featuring customer testimonials, reviews, or endorsements from trusted sources.

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