What Should Your Onboarding Emails Talk About?
In the past few weeks I’ve been writing about “desired action maps.” Today, I want to dive a little deeper on how to figure out what to say in your onboarding emails.
This post is featured in my onboarding email newsletter, Get Your SaaS On Board, but a similar thought process could be used for many SaaS email marketing sequences.
Now let’s talking about aligning actions and outcomes with goals.
Why you need to consider user goals
Have you ever sat down to write an email and wondered what the heck to talk about? Staring at a blank page is hard, and falling into a trap of randomly throwing down information is easy. That’s why it’s important to consider your user’s goals (and your desired outcomes) before you start writing.
By clearly defining which goals you want to help users with, what action steps they should take to hit them, and what you hope happens as a result, you make your task of email marketing way easier.
Follow this formula to write onboarding emails
If you’ve read about desired action maps and looked at my examples and still are unsure of what to include in your sequence, don’t worry. I’m going to break down a three-part formula to get you started. These three components will be the basis of your onboarding emails, and you’ll use them to choose which features to highlight and which resources to pass along. For this example, we’ll return to our mock scheduling and client management app for hairdressers.
Demonstrate value with as little effort as possible
Ideally, your company is a knowledgable resource just as much as you are a tool for users. Shopify perfectly embodies this, because they have a ton of resources for people wanting to create an online business. We’ll address specific user goals in the next part of the formula, but this first step is a little different.
In the Grammarly example, they prompt a user to download an extension. Why? So that Grammarly can go to work for a user by checking their writing without the person needing to deviate from their work flow. Talk about demonstrating value with as little user effort as possible.
How does this work if you don’t have a plugin similar to Grammarly? For our hairdresser client management example this could be easy syncing of contacts, a one-click process to set up future appointment reminders for today’s clients, or an alert about blocks of time with no appointments in the coming days so that they can promote their last-minute availability.
Give a quick win
Next, you want to give a new user a “win” as fast as possible. A quick win starts them down the path of achieving their bigger goals, and adds a little fuel to their fire. The faster (and more frequent) you can provide little quick wins and moments of joy + triumph, the easier it will be to keep users moving along.
If we use the salon owner booking app example, a quick win would be getting a new appointment on the books. How can we help them do that? Perhaps by syncing with their current contacts to send appointment reminders, or helping them create an email to send to their list with a quick-book link. A small guide on client retention would also support this goal.
Support the habit
Finally, your onboarding emails should help create and support the habit of using your tool. You can do this through consistency or showing new features relating to their goal. For our example app we could send a daily or weekly summary of their booking activity, or highlight a feature that is great for daily use.
We sometimes get so caught up in sending the “perfect” emails that we put off sending any at all. However, some simple planning and foresight get you started in less time.