8 Onboarding Emails that Convert Trial Users into Paying Customers

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1st onboarding: welcome + most important benefit 2nd onboarding: highlight 2nd most important benefit 3rd onboarding: highlight 3rd most important benefit 4th onboarding: highlight 4th most important benefit Onboarding email: reengage inactive users 5th onboarding: reminder trial is ending soon 6th onboarding: trial is ending today Email to convert users who did not upgrade If you have user behavior tracking set up, it is ideal to only send onboarding 'try this feature' emails to users who have not discovered them on their own. The goal of the onboarding sequence is nudge users to try as much of your product as possible so they see its value and find it worth paying for. If someone doing fine trying your product on their own, sending them several emails may only annoy them.
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1st onboarding email: welcome new user and remind them the biggest problem your product solves

Subject:
❶ Welcome to Ray: know what happens after you click send

Welcome them and reiterate the biggest problem your product solves.

Send this email 10 minutes after they signup. Explain the biggest benefit your user will get from using your product to encourage them to actively use it.

Spell out one important result they can achieve by using your product.

Ask them to try out your most important product feature first. You can style your CTAs as colored buttons to draw attention to them.

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2nd onboarding email: highlight your 2nd most important benefit

Subject:
Forgot to follow up again? We can remind you.

Send this email one day after they sign up. Briefly paint the scenario your second most important product feature would help with.

Lay out the step(s) to use this feature.

In one sentence, explain how the feature will work.

Ask them to try the feature. You’ll notice that each onboarding email only focuses on one product feature. Featuring a few and overwhelming the user with choices makes it more likely they won’t take any action.

In smaller text, you can add a link at the bottom of the email reminding users how many days are left in their trial and making it easy for them to upgrade if they are ready to.

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3rd onboarding email: highlight your 3rd most important benefit

Subject:
Track your proposals like you’re looking over their shoulders

Send this email 2 days after the previous one. Use a short story to describe the problem that this product feature solves. If you have behavior tracking set up, don't send this email to users who already tried it.

Briefly explain exactly how your product feature solves this problem.

List a few of the most valuable benefits this feature makes possible.

Ask them to try out this feature.

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4th onboarding email: highlight your 4th most important benefit

Subject:
It takes ~5 emails to warm leads. Now you can do it automatically.

Send this email 5 days after the previous one. For features that involve concepts or mechanics users may be less familiar with, show some data that prove its value to encourage people to try it. If you have behavior tracking set up, don't send this email to users who already tried this feature.

Explain why it would be difficult or time-consuming to do this task or achieve this goal without your product feature.

List the steps involved in using feature, framing them in terms of the benefits they deliver.

Ask your user to try it.

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Onboarding email to reengage users who have stopped trying your product

Subject:
We miss you!

Explain the reason why you’re getting in touch: because you saw they haven’t been trying your product recently.

Remind them again the main benefit they get out of using it and show them the step they can take if they want to start reusing your product.

Explain another major benefit to further encourage them to give your product another chance. These reminders are effective because some users stop trying a product during the trial period after they get busy and forget about it. Not because they are no longer interested.

Ask them to try the product again.

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5th onboarding email: reminder trial is ending soon

Subject:
Upgrade to keep knowing what happens after *send email*

Send this email 3 days before their trial ends. Describe the main benefit users would miss out on if they don’t upgrade.

Briefly explain the results 2-3 other companies achieved with your product. This shows users a) the desirable results that would also be possible for them if they continue using it and b) other companies get value out of your product so it must be good.

List and briefly explain the benefits of your top 3 most important features.

Ask them to upgrade.

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6th onboarding email: trial is ending today

Subject:
Your trial of Ray ends today

Enumerate or describe achievements the user made using your product. Knowing the exact ROI your product delivers shows them paying for your product is worth it.*

Simply state their trial is ending and that they can keep enjoying all its benefits by upgrading.

Ask them to upgrade.

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* After FOMO showed customers how many sales using their tool generated, customers who canceled reinstalled it!

After FOMO, a social proof "someone just purchased Product" widget, developed an analytics dashboard to show users how many more sales they made from using it, customers who canceled reinstalled it:

By proving to customers your product ROI, they are much more likely to feel your price is worth it.

Email to convert users who did not upgrade

Subject:
You’re not just +1 customer to us

This approach puts a human face on your company. It shows them you’re not just in it for yourself, to earn money when they upgrade. You built this product because you genuinely want to help people.

Tell the story behind what inspired you to create this product.

Describe the problems you wanted to solve and the questions you wanted to answer when building this product.

Gently ask them to upgrade again.

Prove to trial users you really do put helping people first by making yourself available to answer their questions whether they choose to upgrade or not.

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Top 4 biggest mistakes companies make in their onboarding sequence

Top 4 biggest mistakes companies make in their onboarding sequence

1. Keep sending your onboarding sequence users who haven’t opened most of the emails

Set up a rule so that if your users didn’t open the previous 2-3 emails in your onboarding sequence, you stop sending them the following ones. Except for one reminder to upgrade.

Bombarding them with 5+ onboarding emails will only annoy users who discovered they don’t need or like your product or prefer to explore products at their own pace.

2. Highlight 3+ features in one email

If you highlight 3+ features in one email, users tend to lose focus and forget to try any of them. In each email, highlight how they can get value of out of one major feature.

3. Keep sending your onboarding sequence to users who are no longer trying your product

Track users’ behavior so that if you detect that they have not used your product in 2-3 days, you can send an email asking if they have any questions (refer to the reengage template above) instead of sending the rest of the sequence.

4. Send an email encouraging the user to try Feature X or complete Action Y when they already did

It is ideal to track your users' behavior so if you detect they already tried Feature X or completed Action Y on their own, you don't send them an email encouraging them to do it. If you're looking to acquire new users, you can check out 5 cold email templates to introduce your product or service.

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