If you provide a service or software platform that requires people to sign up and be gradually introduced to its features and benefits, email marketing could become your best friend.

‘Onboarding’, is the process of welcoming new customers and introducing them to their purchase. By gently prodding them with a series of timed emails, businesses can build a layer of trust and ensure new customers get the most from the product or service.

In this blog, we’re going to look at how you can successfully onboard customers with the power of email marketing.

To illustrate, we’ve picked a great example of onboarding from Adobe and we’ve gone for three very simple onboarding tactics any business can take advantage of with limited email marketing experience.

Let’s get into it!

1. Be clear on your customers’ goals

Before building your onboarding email campaign, take some time to consider the goals your customers have.

Why do they sign up to your service or buy your product? What question is it going to answer for them?

By understanding exactly what your customers are going to want to do with your service, you can better tailor those all-important onboarding emails by choosing subject lines and imagery that immediately reassure the customer they’ve made the right decision.

In Adobe’s case, the header image of their first ‘Welcome to the service’ email confirms I’ll have access to a cross-platform photo editing suite:

Adobe’s product is a deeply-functional one. In this email, they’ve simply focused on the overarching feature set, displaying it clearly in an engaging image. There’s no need at this stage to get into the nitty-gritty.

2. Don’t waffle

The great thing about onboarding emails is that you’ve already done the hard work in getting the customer to sign up – but don’t be fooled into thinking the sales process ends there.

Time is of the essence. If you’re to avoid losing a new customer before they get started, you need to get straight to the point. That means avoiding waffle, sales-speak and long paragraphs that attempt to tell the world how great you are.

Remember – you’re talking to one person here who has been impressed enough to spend their hard-earned money with you. Don’t blow the opportunity to impress.

Take a look at the first paragraph of Adobe’s email:

Couldn’t be clearer, could it? There’s a sense of urgency and confirmation again of what I can expect as I dive into the product.

3. Include a clear call-to-action (CTA)

Once again, just because the customer has signed up doesn’t mean you can take your foot off the gas.

What do you want the customer to do first? Point them in the direction of the product’s first touch point with a simple CTA.

Don’t be afraid to add a couple of CTAs, either, as Adobe has done in this example:

There’s actually three calls-to-action above, because Adobe understands I may need to take a particular route in order to make the most of my first experience of their product. Smart.

Wrapping up

The takeaway today is a simple one; even though we’ve described the process of onboarding a newly-signed up customer above, never assume that the sale has finished – this stage is simply an extension of that process.

Aim for two or three follow up emails sent weekly, and you should start to see an impressive increase in product engagement.