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SaaS Onboarding Email Blog

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Onboarding Email Checklist - Identify Gaps in Your Strategy

If you have onboarding emails that you want to update but aren’t sure where to start—this post is for you.

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Here on the blog, we’ve gone in depth about understanding user goals, desired action mapping, measuring onboarding email success, and more. But what are the essentials and bare bones? Sometimes a full overhaul just has to wait, but you still want to make a few improvements. If you need to make onboarding email changes in a small amount of time, I’ve got you. Here are five critical elements to analyze to find gaps in your strategy.

Identify one goal for users to complete

Nothing makes planning or writing emails easier than having clarity. Do you know what new users want to accomplish by using your tools? After all, there must be some reason why they signed up in the first place. The best way to understand common customer goals is to ask your current users. Or, you can think about what motivated them to take action. Are they looking to simplify a particular process at work, or grow their business in a particular way? No matter what your software does, your users have goals.

Choose a building block

I use the term “building block” in my onboarding email breakdowns often, and it’s synonymous to a first step. The “building block” is the first feature a new user should try or a small hurdle they need to get over to see the full potential of what you have to offer. If you already point to your building block feature early in your onboarding email series—hooray! If you don’t, this is a great addition to your strategy. You may also find that the building block you’re currently pointing to doesn’t actually align with a user’s most important goals.

Add two more priority actions

Pointing attention to your building block is awesome, but it isn’t the end. After you’ve chosen the first step, make sure you have two other key actions presented. By prioritizing which steps will move users closer to their goals the fastest, you can focus your emails on what matters most.

Check email consistency

I get it, figuring out the right number of emails to send is tough. After all, you don’t want to be spammy. However, you also don’t want to go silent. It’s natural to have a higher density of emails at the beginning of an onboarding series but make sure there aren’t long gaps of time where a new user doesn’t hear from you. Onboarding is the time to build habits, and consistency helps do just that.

Remind users that trial is about to end

Are you just going to let trial users fade away in silence? No way! You need to have at least one email that lets people know their trial is ending soon or has just ended. Use this time to let them know what will happen with their progress once the trial is over, and prompt them to upgrade to avoid any interruptions in use.

Updating your onboarding strategy or rewriting emails can be a big undertaking, but taking an organized approach makes it much more manageable. While it' may be tempting to start analyzing small details like subject lines first, it’s best to start from a higher level. Getting a grasp on what you want the series to accomplish helps all the other decisions fall into place.

Need help with your onboarding email strategy? Let’s chat.