The LAB | November 27, 2023

What is an Email Onboarding Sequence

In business, a prospective client’s first impression about you matters a lot. It’s not a big surprise that companies exhaust all means to create a finely crafted welcome email to start a customer’s onboarding journey.

What is an Email Onboarding Sequence by Accentuate Web Design and MarketingA welcome email is the first email you send out to a prospect or lead after they sign up, subscribe to any of your content, or submit an enquiry. Though it may be true that there are better marketing tools out there, such as chatbots, social media and other outlets, email is still king. It is still one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to start and/or nurture customer engagement.

Did you know that the first email campaign can be traced back to 1978? What’s astounding is that the campaign only had 400 recipients, and yet it garnered $13 million in sales for Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). That’s equivalent to $60.95 million today.

Trivia: DEC was acquired by Compaq in 1998, and Compaq was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2002.

We’re not saying you shouldn’t try out or experiment with other marketing platforms we encourage, you to find out what marketing platforms will work for you. However, there’s value and history to email marketing which can’t be beat nor replicated overnight. What’s great about email is it doesn’t involve a never-ending guessing game, email is designed to be straightforward.

Even better, you own the accounts in email marketing, which means you call the shots. Just as long as you play by the rules, and use its features correctly, success will be far easier to achieve and maintain.

If you are not sure how to execute this to your advantage, our experienced marketing team at Accentuate Web Design and Marketing (Accentuate) are Consumer Behaviour and Marketing Experts. We can help you create direct email campaigns designed with content that is insightful and engaging to help increase loyalty to your brand and keep your valued customers interested in what you offer. It is a cost-effective and long-term lead-generation solution that will help you achieve your goals and increase your repurchasing stats.

Email marketing is a powerful marketing medium that involves sending targeted, personalised promotional messages to a list of subscribers via email. Emails serve as a direct communication channel between you and your potential or existing customers.

An email marketing strategy can cover a variety of content, such as new product introductions or product updates, special offers, newsletters, educational content, and more.  


What is an Email Onboarding Sequence?

Have you ever been to someone’s home for the very first time and been greeted with a warm welcome? You are then invited into the house and given a tour by your hosts, and you have conversations that later make you feel at ease as if you’ve lived there for ages. This is a simple representation of what an email onboarding looks like.

Similarly, first-time visitors need to feel at home with your brand. Instead of simply bombarding them with emails, it would be more prudent to ensure they feel comfortable and know about you. This makes onboarding emails a vital element in an email marketing strategy.

Onboarding emails are sent to new customers after they sign up for a product or service. Onboarding emails aim to familiarise them with your products and/or services that can ultimately lead them to become long-term customers.

Onboarding emails are a great way to show your customers that you understand them and their pain points and help your customers get the most out of the product or service they purchased.

Email sequences are more effective than sending a singular welcome email because they can help guide your user/recipient, who will likely need different forms of guidance throughout the onboarding process.

Consider the following benefits why you should send Onboarding Email Sequences:


1. Educate and engage new subscribers.

If you have ever been a visitor to a new city, you’d need to explore to get yourself familiar with the locale and see what it can offer you. You might want to see or visit points of interest in that city and learn more about it. Your aim would be easier and performed faster with a helping hand, perhaps a guide.

Similarly, new customers are interested in knowing about your product/service and finding out how it can fit in with their lives and help solve their pain points. Onboarding emails are the perfect way to do just that. They act as guideposts for users, walking them through step-by-step as you get them set up for the succeeding parts of their adventure.


2. Eliminate churn rate and enhance customer retention.

The more generous your business is in onboarding content that welcomes and educates them, the more likely these customers will stay loyal to your brand. If users had a great experience in the initial stages of their customer’s journey, they’re less likely to turn away from your business. Hence, you’d get higher customer retention.

A plus point is that the stronger your customer base is, the more leads you can generate through referrals and recommendations, thus scaling your business.


3. Nurture leads into paying customers.

By mapping their journey, you can effectively set up an effective email sequence. The process helps you dive deep into the user’s pain points, develop ideas to solve them and engage with them on a more personal level.

The more you nurture your leads and the more you map out the user’s journey, the more relevant and personalised email in your sequence you can send, and convert them, and the happier your customers are with your brand.


Types of Onboarding Sequences.

If you’ve ever sent a marketing email before, you likely already know its advantages and benefits. However, sending email blasts is not comparable to the effectiveness of creating well-thought-out email sequences to lead prospects through the customer journey and encourage sales.

There are 3 main onboarding email types that any business, big or small, can use. These email types provide a business with ways to contact users, keep them active, and build a bond between them and your business.


#1. The Warm ‘Welcome’ emails.

Warmly welcome new users as soon as you gain them. New users are more keen on opening ‘welcome’ emails, bringing high conversion rates.

Keep the content of the email short, sweet, and friendly. Do not try to sell anything in this email, but do introduce yourself and personally give them pertinent information about how their recent purchase helps them.

From there, you can lead them and motivate them to take the step. All you need is one desired action for ‘welcome’ emails.


#2. Re-engagement emails.

It’s a possibility that there will be times you realise that some of your users seem to forget about you. If you see that they have not visited or interacted with you for a while, you can send them a re-engagement email.

Re-engagement emails are a great way to warm them back up and get them back. You may also send this email type to users who start an action that you are targeting, but they are not pushing through to complete the process.

If for instance you launched a new service feature or a new product, check to see if your user has discovered it or not. If not, send them a re-engagement email to help them out.


#3. Feedback emails.

You can make your users feel valued by constantly sending them feedback emails. You can also ask for their feedback to evaluate a new product or their user’s experience.

In instances where they have not visited you for a while, you can ask for feedback on why they seem to have abandoned you.

Having the perfect onboarding email sequence set up and ready for action helps in engaging with your users at any chance you can. As you may already know, engagement between your business and your users is essential in building a loyal customer base.


How do Email Onboarding Sequences Help Increase Profit?

Without a doubt, email marketing is an excellent marketing tool. The best part about it is it helps in improving your sales and raising profit.

When you produce great content or introduce a new product or service, the most likely medium you can use to disseminate about it is through email. With email marketing campaigns, you’ll be able to send traffic to your site and in the process improve your site’s SEO.

Traditional campaigns such as direct campaigns or print can be costly. Email campaigns are, by far, more cost-effective. You don’t have to set aside budgets for photoshoots, location fees, printers, mailing, or even placement fees. All you need is a good copywriter and a great graphic artist, these can be just one person in your team.

Since time and budget are major constraints that can impact marketers, email sequences can be more efficient, while at the same time generating revenue and leads. Businesses that want to succeed need loyal customers.

Loyal customers minimise your churn rate. Additionally, retaining customers is less expensive than acquiring new ones.

An onboarding sequence helps in boosting email engagement with the added benefit of getting to know more about your subscribers. They can open doors for valuable interactions that help in fostering customer success.

A well-designed onboarding sequence is a great tool in creating a great first impression on new leads, and will also show your dedication to build long-term relationships with them.


What is Involved in Creating an Email Onboarding Sequence?

The first thing you need to do is understand the approach in building your own onboarding experience. Every onboarding email you send out is most likely designed to familiarise your users with your products or services. Set your focus on disseminating the benefits they can get from your product or service instead of their features to be able to retain them.

The following steps should help you achieve your goal in creating an effective sequence:


Step 1: Segment your email list.

Not all your subscribers are the same, therefore the same email will resonate with each one. A generic, non-segmented email will not produce the results you want. So the first step is identifying your target.

Unlike traditional marketing, emails can be configured to accurately target a specific audience by segmenting your email list based on several segmentation techniques.

By segmenting your email list, you can then tailor your messaging to target a specific audience segment, increasing the relevance and effectiveness of your campaigns.  

You can employ four segmentation techniques to build or identify your target:

Demographic – Age, gender, ethnicity, education, profession, company.

Geographic – Country and or city.

Psychographic – Lifestyle, personality, social status, habits, and values.

Behavioural – Their interaction with your brand, purchase history, their reason/s for signing up, etc.

You may obtain the data you need via the web, email, or CRM analytics. Once you obtain this data, you may proceed to develop your target audience and in turn, help guide you in creating targeted onboarding emails.

There is another viable approach to segment your audience, simply ask them. You have two ways to accomplish this:

Use Your Welcome Emails. Going this route, you can use your welcome emails not only to thank users for signing up, tell your brand stories, and highlight your product’s benefits and features. You may also use it to gain insights into your user’s preferences by incorporating what you want to know from them through email.

During Signup. Another way to segment your users is to use your signup forms to segment your users. Similarly, you may incorporate questions in the form to ask for vital information that you need such as the company they work at, their role, the industry they’re in, etc.


Step 2: Create an onboarding email flow.

After you’ve segmented your subscribers, the next step is to create an onboarding flow that’s relevant and valuable to that particular segment. During the creation of the onboarding emails, pay particular attention to the following elements:


1. Use a descriptive and compelling subject line.

A compelling and descriptive subject line is your most powerful tool to help you get your email opened. It would require you to write one creatively. Your subject line should invoke curiosity, grab your user’s attention in a crowded inbox, and compel them to open your email straight away.

Here are some useful tips for writing a compelling subject line for your onboarding email:


— Target your user’s pain point and offer a solution.

Example: Struggling with [pain point]? [your company] can help.


— Clarify what they can expect from your email.

Example: A [benefit your solution provides] for [prospect’s company]


— A combination of value plus profit.

Example: [Number] tips for [pain point]


2. Write and design your email copy.

To create effective email copy and design, you must see your product/brand from the perspective of your new users. 

  • What are their pain points, and how does your product/service help solve them?
  • What steps should they take to acquire the success they are looking for?
  • Which tone of voice would be effective to use?

Addressing these questions can help you write email copies that resonate with your users and point them in the right direction. Make your emails as relevant as possible to address your recipient’s pain points and how your products/services can help solve them.

The relevance and the right message sent to the right user at the right time can skyrocket your onboarding engagements. Use a conversational tone and make your recipient the hero of your email. Avoid leaving your users to figure out how your brand can benefit them, instead, act like a guide and walk them through as clearly as possible.

Your copy should help them realise their aha moment this is the point where your users realise or experience the value of your product. The aha moment plays a significant role in getting your users to come back for more.


3. Don’t forget to add a clear call to action.

End your onboarding tour with a clear and specific call to action to point your users towards the next step. For example, you can share additional documents or contact details in the event they face issues. It is important to ensure that every onboarding email contains only one call to action.


Onboarding email best practices.

Every interaction you start with new and potential users needs to be intentional and correctly match where users are in their onboarding process to generate a good impression and start building confidence in the value of your product.

However, even the most well-designed email can perform poorly with bad execution. To get the most of your user onboarding emails, you must:


1. Deliver on your promises.

It is imperative that the emails you create can deliver what you promised and should help your users achieve what they want by using your products/services.


2. Nurture your user with personalisation.

To build long-lasting connections, your onboarding emails must familiarise users with your brand to build solid connections and grow a loyal customer base. You need to personalise your emails as if you are writing to a close friend, making the recipient feel like they are being heard.


3. Build credibility by showing social proof.

It is normal for new users to be sceptical about using your product/service, even if they signed up for free product samples or free service trials. Showing social proof such as testimonials, case studies, etc., can help resolve this scepticism.

Successfully alleviating their scepticism enhances their trust level in your brand and look at you as a credible source of information and solution to their pain points.


4. Make your emails easy to digest.

Users are less likely to waste their time reading a long onboarding email copy. Keep in mind that they are in the initial stage, and you must make your copy easy to digest and less intimidating. You don’t want to scare them away.

Consider using GIFs, relevant emojis, and enough white space to make their onboarding journey fun, less boring, and actionable.  


To Wrap Up.

Email Onboarding is not a one-time set-up to familiarise users with your brand. Despite the existence and availability of various marketing tools, email is still king when it comes to results and cost-effectiveness for customer engagement.

The concept of an Email Onboarding Sequence is explained as a way to introduce customers to a brand’s products and/or services. The benefits range from informing, educating, and engaging subscribers to nurturing leads into becoming paying customers. Email onboarding sequences can considerably contribute to increasing your profit by primarily promoting sales and improving customer retention.     

Are you ready to create a lasting first impression on your customers? Amplify your brand’s engagement with the help of our expert team at Accentuate Web Design and Marketing. Our seasoned professionals highly specialise in Consumer Behaviour and Marketing.

Transform your strategy today, let us help you make your email marketing strategy intuitive and engaging to help you increase customer loyalty and retention, and amplify your sales. Contact us today and let’s get started on your journey towards email marketing success.

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