Welcome/Onboarding Emails

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Residential Telecom Onboarding/Welcome Emails

Best practices in welcome emails or onboarding emails include saying thank you, keeping the promise, adding a whitelisting instruction, setting expectations, and personalizing it. Emails from Verizon and Netflix are some of the publicly available examples of welcome emails.

Welcome emails/onboarding emails best practices

1. Say thank you

  • According to Optin Monster, the first best practice in welcome emails/onboarding emails is "saying thank you". It is a way of showing the new subscribers that they are appreciated and that the company is glad to welcome them aboard.
  • Emarsys reiterates the need for adding a "thank you" on welcome emails. Saying thank you is the first way of establishing a good impression and it is a good way of showing gratitude to the new subscribers.

2. Keep the promise

  • More often, companies mention or offer incentives to attract new subscribers. According to Optin Monster, one of the best practices in welcome emails is making sure that the promised incentives are kept. Keeping the promises ensures that the service provider is keeping the trust given by the new subscribers and failing to do so will more likely frustrate them.
  • Mail Munch also listed keeping the promise as one of the best practices in welcome emails. Ensure that the welcome emails contain the coupon, download link or discount code of the promised incentive.

3. Add whitelisting instruction

  • After saying thank you and delivering the promise, the next best practice is to add whitelisting instructions in the emails. Adding whitelisting instructions on personal emails ensure that the new subscribers will receive the email and not go directly to spam.

4. Set expectations

  • According to Campaign Monitor, it is important to set the expectation of the new subscribers on what the future holds. Ensure that the welcome email contains a fair overview of what is next on the horizon for them.

5. Personalize it

  • One of the best practices ensuring that the new subscribers would feel really special is to make their welcome emails personal. Do not just send generic emails. Ensure that the welcome email is tailored to fit the individual subscriber's personality.

Examples of welcome emails

Examples of welcome emails from residential telecom service companies include welcome emails from Verizon and Netflix.

1. Verizon welcome email

  • Verizon’s welcome emails consist of 4 emails as published by the copywriter, Christopher Dalton. An analysis of the emails shows how Verizon’s welcome emails adhere to the best practices mentioned above.
  • The first thing that is noticeable from the Verizon welcome email is how the company give thanks to its new customers for subscribing. It is done by simply saying thank you and wishing the new customer enjoyment on its new device and account.
  • The Verizon email also keeps to its purported promise to its customers by providing a link to their Total Protection and My Verizon apps. These apps allow the new customer to enjoy a bevy of freebies and value-added services as promised by Verizon.
  • At the bottom of each welcome email, Verizon also provides whitelisting option to their new subscribers. The emails include gentle reminders to new subscribers on how to opt-out of promotional emails and/or how to manage their subscription emails.
  • Verizon’s welcome emails also set the expectation of their new subscriber by providing information on how their Total Protection and My Verizon apps work including the freebies that the client might enjoy. Also, included are gentle reminders on how Verizon will send their promotional emails in the future to their new subscriber.
  • A quick check on the welcome email from Verizon will show how the company personalized its email to cater to their new subscriber. The email started with personally addressing the customer by its first name, establishing a seemingly personal approach. The top part of the emails also shows the customer’s account details that are specifically personal to the client.

2. Netflix welcome email

  • The first noticeable thing from the Netflix’ welcome email is how the company give thanks to its new customer for subscribing. Typed in big bold font, the "thank you" message from Netflix is a nice way of starting their welcome email.
  • This sample Netflix welcome email is directed for a trial subscription. To keep its promise, Netflix provided a direct link to their website in which the new customer can enjoy their free trial subscription.
  • At the bottom of each welcome email, Netflix also provided whitelisting option to their new trial subscriber. The emails included gentle reminders to new subscribers on how to opt-out of promotional emails and/or how to manage their subscription emails and their entire subscription.
  • Netflix' welcome emails also set the expectation of their new trial subscribers by providing information on what their trial subscription entails. Also, included are gentle reminders on how Netflix will charge the customer at the end of the trial period and of how the customer could opt-out of their subscription.
  • A quick check on the welcome email from Netflix will show how the company personalized the email to cater to their new subscriber. The email started with personally addressing the customer by its first name, establishing a seemingly personal approach. The top part of the email also shows the customer’s account details that are specifically personal to the client including their account name, email, and subscription details among others.

Research Strategy:

Initially, we searched for best practices on welcome and onboarding emails of residential telecom service providers from their companies websites. Unfortunately, the websites of these companies does not provide details of their best practices. Our second strategy was to search for articles and blog posts from relevant websites. There are lots of best practices posts and articles but unfortunately, the best practices are geared across industries and not specifically for telecom industry or other related industries. As the initial strategies and criteria were too condensed and restricted on the telecom industries and results are found unavailable, our next strategy was to broaden the research and use across industry best practices as these are the most available data. To compile the list of best practices, we read through the lists from Word Stream, Campaign Monitor, Keap, Emarsys, Mail Munch and Optin Monster. From these lists, we chose the best practices that are mentioned not just from a single source but from multiple sources.

For the examples of welcome emails, we searched through the residential telecom services company websites but they do not provide these samples and possibly keep these documents as confidential as possible. Additional searches from blogs, posts, images from Pinterest, Really Good Emails, Moosend, Chamaileon, and Optin Monster produced examples of welcome emails from Verizon and Netflix. These examples were checked and the analysis is provided above.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Subscription Based Services Onboarding/Welcome Emails

Subscription-based Services onboarding/welcome emails best practices include thanking users for signing up, setting onboarding goals, restating and reassuring the value proposition, making it fun, reminding subscribers to take action, focusing on benefits, personalization, offering incentives and freebies, providing help and support, engaging users to buy, optimizing for mobile and measuring performance and optimization. Examples of onboarding/welcome emails practiced by subscrition-based companies include Netflix, Headspace, Morning Brew, Farnam Street, Invision, Blue Apron, Think with Google, BuzzFeed, GoToMeeting, Dropbox, ProdPad, Groove HQ, The Bean Group, Upscope.io, Knowtify, Evernote, Naked Wines and Sleeknote. As such, subscription-based services onboarding/welcome emails best practices and examples can be summarized as follows:

1. Subscription-based Services Onboarding/Welcome Emails best practices:

  • Thank your customer for signing up.
  • Set a goal for each email in your onboarding flow.
  • Restate your value proposition: This gives a guarantee to users that signing up was a good idea and provides an opportunity to present details about your services or features that will interest the customer.
  • Make it fun: This helps to increase the level of engagement with your brands and facilitate positive brand recognition.
  • Focus on benefits, not features: It is important to highlight the main benefits that users will get when they adopt the app.
  • Show next steps: It is necessary to clearly indicate the steps that should be followed by users such as completing their user profiles, providing required information such as profile pictures in the case of social media apps, and offering options to upgrade the status of their accounts. There should also be a notification which reminds users that completing these steps will enable them derive maximum benefit and the best user experience from the app.
  • Keep it simple. Although these emails should not necessarily be brief, they should be easy to read and understand.
  • Provide incentives to act: This includes offering bonuses to users which encourages them to engage with the app regularly.
  • Give a freebie: Issuing freebies before users receive the sales letters increases chances of purchase by users.
  • Include helpful resources: These resources help users to get value out of your offerings, offer guidance to deal with basic problems and highlight how to use advanced features. They can be in the form of FAQs, videos or articles.
  • Provide customer service contact information: This helps to build customer loyalty and trust since users will more likely engage the app when they are sure they can contact the support team in case of any issues that arise.
  • Time to Sale: Sales emails should highlight incentives to sign up as soon as possible by featuring offers such as early bird pricing, which is cheaper that regular pricing. These details should be featured in the reminder emails to encourage users to make a purchase.
  • Re-engage prospective customers: Build relationships consistently over emails to encourage prospects to become customers.
  • Optimize for mobile: Ensure the onboarding emails are mobile-friendly since 67% of them are opened on mobile devices.
  • Test and optimize: User expectations are always evolving.

2. Subscription-based Services Onboarding/Welcome Emails examples:

  • Headspace email best practices:
1. When users sign up, they will receive a personalized and fun welcome message that instantly engages them.
2. While all new users get the initial email, the rest of the emails are based on whether the users are inactive or active.
3. Encourages users to act: Examples of actions encouraged include creating profiles, inviting friends, conducting searches and trying out various services.
4. Highlight key features: Headspace sends out an email specifically to highlight its subscription-only Singles feature.
5. Purchase a subscription or upgrade account call.
6. Upselling products to satisfied customers: This involves increased marketing to current customers that are already using the app, and informing them of increased user satisfaction if they can purchase additional products. It results in better user experience for the customer and increased revenue for the company.
7. Share or refer a friend: Users who use the app for 30 days constantly can invite a friend, who will also get a free month to use the app.
8. Engage inactive users: These emails highlight the importance of the app to inactive users, thereby encouraging them to become regular users.
9. Incentivize log in or purchase: Users should be informed of the benefits of paying for various subscriptions. This involves providing a list of features and services that are important to users but can only be accessed once they purchase a subscription.
10. Offer help: Reminders, tips and help links are important in enabling users to explore every aspect of the app.
11. Re-engage inactive users with useful content.
12. Win dormant users back: Sending “Last Chance” emails helps to push inactive users to become regular users and usually involves giving bonuses to encourage them to act instantly.
13. Measuring onboarding email success. This can be done by checking the conversion rate, click-through rate and the open rate.
One of the best user onboarding campaign examples is Netflix. The Netflix onboarding best practices can be summarized as follows:
1. Netflix provides users an opt-in on the sign up page and invites users to start on a trial period. The content is straight to the point and contains details on the type of offerings by Netflix.
2. Netflix promotes its applications for both tablet and mobile users by giving visitors the option of either watching online or downloading the app.
3. Netflix sends emails for user action and reminds the user about the expiration dates of their free subscription. This reminder gives them the option of either canceling their subscription or making payments for various subscription plans.
4. Netflix repeats its promotion throughout its whole email marketing automation campaign.
5. Upon cancellations by users, there will be an automated last email which states that the company will be delighted to have the customer back and signing up for paid subscriptions.
  • Morning Brew, which has over 1 million subscribers, starts welcome and onboarding with a great sign-up process. When a new account has been activated, Morning Brew uses the confirmation screen to inform users what they can expect moving forward and for acknowledging successful sign ups.
  • Farnam Street, which has over 210,241 subscribers, in its welcome message, sets expectations by detailing what the order of events can be expected after subscribing. Additionally, the welcome message informs users that they will receive two emails, the first one and then another email every Sunday.
  • Domino’s Pizza offers exclusive member rewards to new users as valued customers and they will reciprocate with their continued business, to increase customer engagement and retention and increase customer lifetime value.
  • Invision, which is a digital product design platform powering the world’s best user experiences and which has more than 5 million subscribers, personalizes the email body to increase cognitive attention of new users in the welcome message.
  • Blue Apron, which provides farm-fresh ingredients and delicious recipes delivered weekly to subscriber's home, extends an offer of a limited-time discount as a reward for signing up as an appreciation which can result in great user experience, possibly even a sale.
  • Think with Google: Think with Google’s welcome email content features two parts and both of them have specific agendas. The first section is aimed at informing users on what is offered and encourages them to further explore the website. The second section encourages users to explore the Google Best Practices.
  • BuzzFeed: Upon signing their subscription, users receive a newsletter and an email with gift suggestions, a referral link, articles of how to maximize usage of BuzzFeed and a welcome introduction.
  • GoToMeeting: Sign in is repeated six times throughout the welcome email to encourage new users to sign up.
  • Dropbox: After welcoming users, the company states the importance of their platform and provides details on the new website design.
1. The sequence of the existing welcome email is updated to ensure alignment with in-app onboarding.
2. The experience during the trial period is gamified to offer an incentive to ideal behaviors.
3. User activity was used to segment the onboarding email campaigns.
4. Within 10 minutes, the user received the first email, although the contents depended on behavior after downloading the app.
  • Groove HQ: Converts 10% of blog subscribers into trial users
1. A total of five emails were sent over a span of 12 days.
2. Direct replies were used to gather improved targeting information.
3. Users can access the free trial offer, get discounts on apps that are business-related, access guest posts by the CEO and they can share blog posts.
  • The Bean Group: The open rate for its newsletter increased by 66.7%.
1. Five emails were added to their welcome series.
2. Included content that was featured in the newsletter such as popular offers.
3. Emails are segmented based on location and sex.
4. Emails are sent daily for six days.
1. A total of 22 emails are sent.
2. Customer behavior influences the email sequence.
3. Provides a support function
4. Encourages users on trial basis to engage with the app.
5. Requests feedback from users.
  • Knowtify: Features emails that cover two aspects.
1. A total of seven emails were sent over a span of 15 days.
2. The triggers for the emails was the activity or inactivity of the user.
3. These emails feature multiple aspects, which include encouraging users to try various features, providing tips and offering more personal assistance.
1. A total of ten emails were sent over a span of 36 days.
2. Emails featured recommendations, promotions of various activities and tips.
3. Initially, emails are sent weekly but this reduces to every two days towards the end of the trial period.
  • Naked Wines: Successfully turned onboarding into a game leading to increased user downloads.
1. A total of five emails were sent over a span of 30 days.
2. Customers were requested to complete various actions in the app.
3. Segmented based on whether people were members of their subscription program.
  • Sleeknote: 12X’d their onboarding open rates.
1. Most popular blog content, education and tools are delivered to users.
2. There are segmented leads into various industry sectors such as online marketers, SAAS and e-commerce.

Research Strategy:

To directly answer the source request and satisfy the research criteria, we have looked for the required information in industry-related databases and publications such as marketing platforms and subject-matter experts' published content. Our research strategy was as follows:

First, we looked for the industry best practices relevant to onboarding/welcome emails in the US. These practices, shortlisted in the findings section and summary section, are defined as the industry best ones by the reputable online marketing, email marketing, SEO and marketing automation market leader platforms: Hubspot, CleverTap, TechnologyAdvice, Automizy, Moosend and Overthink. These platforms enable marketers to retain their valuable users for life and help brands create and nurture client relationships with the application of best practices.

Second, we have restricted and filtered our findings to information on subscription-based services as listed in the findings section. All best practices are drafted in the finding section for each company example chosen. Reviewing these service providers leads to the conclusion that they follow similar and common practices which are defined in the part # 1 in the findings section.

Third, we have limited the examples of onboarding/welcome emails and applied practices to companies offering subscription services as listed in part #2 in the findings section, including Blue Apron and Netflix companies provided by the client himself.

To wrap it up, all practices listed in the research are the ones applies by both email marketing leader platforms and all the subscription-based service providers listed in the research findings and summary sections.
Sources
Sources