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Self-Serve Onboarding

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Onboarding emails are the set of emails sent to users to educate them about the product or service and help them learn to use it.

For a self-serve SaaS company, you must send the onboarding emails after the welcome email series when a person signs up for a free trial or pays for the product.

It’s necessary to directly send onboarding emails because you don’t use the sales or customer support team to provide demos on how to use the product.

🎯 The goal of this sequence

  • To help educate new users on how the product or service works.

  • To get them to start using the product.

  • To improve customer retention and reduce the churn rate.

  • To help turn free trial customers into paying customers.

Recommended emails in this sequence: 5 emails

Optimum flow time: 1-2 weeks (space it on based on your product’s complexity)

Emails in this sequence

Email # 1: Getting started

📩 Why this email

Talk about the steps they should take next to set up their account or to start using the product. Explain what they can expect from your platform and how it works.

Best practice

Don't overwhelm them with all the info in a single email. Show the scope and roadmap only

Email # 2: Account setup

📩 Why this email

This email is not necessary for all self-serve SaaS companies. Provide the steps they need to take to set up their account.

Email # 3: Nudge success actions

📩 Why this email

Send an email for every successful action made by the customer. Success action depends on your product. It can be milestones like the first campaign created, the first use of a feature, etc. Share necessary help docs or blogs to help them understand how to proceed and use your product features.

💼 Expert tip

"Visualize your customer’s onboarding experience, and how they would use your product to identify the points where they might drop off. You can tailor your onboarding or product adoption sequence to prevent that."

-Austin Beveridge, Arc

Email # 4: Case study/testimonial

📩 Why this email

Show how people can use your product to solve their pain points. Provide social proof of how effective your product or service is. Re-engage leads who were interested in certain industries or features.

Best practice

Send testimonials or case studies of brands in their industry, niche, or closely related.

Email #5: Reminder email

📩 Why this email

Send them a final reminder to try out the product, check your resources, and learn how to use your product efficiently to get the best results.

💼 Expert tip

"Make sure your marketing automation tool has access to key product metrics so that you don't waste emails on actions people are already taking."

-Damian Wisniewski, Miter

⛔ Sequence exit:

Product or feature adoption series usually follows a successful onboarding. You can send churn prevention series otherwise.

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