Comparing Onboarding Email Cadence Across 5 SaaS Free Trials (14 Days)
How many emails should you send during a free trial?
We’re going to review the cadence of onboarding emails for 5 different SaaS companies with 14-day free trials.
To start, I chose 5 series that I’ve reviewed email by email. The full breakdown for each series is linked.
The free trials included:
Next, I wanted to understand how often companies reach out to trial users over the two-week period. What is the balance between staying top of mind, while avoiding coming off as a clingy stalker?
On average, 14-day free trials result in 8.6 emails sent.
That’s more than one every other day. The total number of emails sent by each company, including authentication emails, are listed below:
Shopify — 10 emails
CoSchedule — 10 emails
Zendesk — 9 emails
Evernote Basic — 6 emails
monday.com — 8 emails
Only one of the five sequences included winback emails.
Now that we know how many emails are sent over the span of two weeks, let’s explore when these emails are sent.
Unsurprisingly, the most popular day to send an onboarding email is Day 1.
For the record, I count the day a trial user signs up as Day 1, not Day 0. A few free trial series sent more than one email on Day 1 because of authentication messages. Other than authentication emails, it was most common to receive an Introduce the Building Block email.
The second most popular send day was Day 2.
Days 3, 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 13, and 14 all had emails in 3 out of the 5 sequences. I’ll definitely revisit this once I have more onboarding series breakdowns to reference. While some series space content out across the entire 14-days, you sometimes see clusters at the beginning and end.
As far as send times go, morning is most popular.
Shopify was the earliest with typical send times between 6:00 and 7:00 AM CST. monday.com broke the mold by sending most of their emails at 8:00 PM CST, with Zendesk the runner-up at nearly 5 PM CST.