As soon as a new customer makes an order on your website, there are two emails that your email automation needs to fire away immediately.
One of them is a confirmation email assures them that the order went through and summarizes all the products they purchased in a receipt.
While the second is an onboarding email that will introduce your company and inform the customer what to expect from your future emails.
This onboarding email and the sequence of emails that follow it will play a key role in how much profit your business generates.
As people will buy more of your products in the future if you get your email nurturing strategy right.
So, here are step-by-step tips to help you write the perfect email for onboarding customers.
Use an attractive subject line
You must have repeatedly heard the quote, “8 out of 10 people read the headline”. Well, this is true for emails as well.
More people will read the subject line than the body copy. If you get this part right, you will get more email opens, and more people will read the contents of the email as well.
There are so many hacks and tips on writing a better subject line, but the main point is to make yours different. If your subject line differs from all your competitors, people will pay more attention to it. It will pique their curiosity, and they will open your email.
For some ideas, check out the emails from AppSumo. It likes to use funny subject lines.
Here’s one promoting a product called Heartbeat. So, it rephrased “skip a heartbeat” to “Don’t skip a heartbeat”.
Here’s another email promoting a product called Blisk. AppSumo adapted the word “risk taker” to “Blisk taker”. These short funny subject lines stand out from the long serious ones that most people send.
I recommend you sign up for your competitors’ email lists and maybe even buy some of their products. You can then study their emails and brainstorm ways to position yourself differently.
Also, pay attention to the preview.
As you can see above, on platforms like Gmail, a short line appears after the subject line. This preview acts like a sub-headline and can influence open rates. Try to optimize this for opens too.
When people purchase your products, they give out details like their name and address. Take advantage of this and personalize your emails, which can seriously lift your conversion rates. At the basic level, you should at least address them by their name in the email.
You can add this name to the subject line or in the first line. A simple “Hi [Customer Name”]” can help you make a strong first impression. Many email service providers make it easy to automate this.
Also, think about other ways you can use their details to personalize the emails. For example, if you have their address, you can suggest products that will reach them quickly.
Many top brands take this a step further, optimize their websites with personalization tactics, and combine email and website personalization to get even better results.
Inform them of what to expect
In your onboarding email, you also need to inform your customers about what to expect in emails from you.
Let them know the types of emails you usually send. These could be emails about your latest offers and tips. When you inform them, they will look forward to your future emails.
Open rates are usually the highest for the first few emails you send. As time goes by, the open rates dwindle.
This will make an impression in their mind to look forward to your emails as they might miss out on something important. Go into as much detail as possible about these emails you will send. You can include information such as how many emails you will share in a week and the days and times you will send them.
You might also want to ask them to move your email to the primary inbox as many people miss emails that go to their “Updates” and “Promotions” tabs if they use Gmail.
Add a branded signature
An area many people ignore in their emails is the signature, but it plays a vital role in improving sales. As you can share links to products, social media accounts, and other resources.
Here’s an example from Tom Ford, a luxury clothing brand. There’s a link to help people to find a store, in case people would like to visit in person to purchase. There are also links to some of their top social media channels. This helps it attract followers it can nurture via social media too.
Here’s another from Cocoon Center, an eCommerce store that sells beauty and health products.
This one focuses on informing customers about some of the benefits of buying from its website. These include things such as free delivery and loyalty rewards. There’s also a phone number in case people have any questions.
The signature can also help improve your credibility as you can add things such as the links to articles you were featured in. Some brands directly embed logos of top sites they were mentioned in to prevent people from leaving the email.
Take the time to think about what your target audience wants in your emails, and then create the best email signature that appeals to them. This is hard to get right on the first attempt.
So, make sure you test out email signatures through split-testing and using UTM tags in your links. In a few weeks, you will know what works best.
Upsell and cross-sell products
The onboarding email is one of the best places to sell products. People are likely to buy more products when they have just purchased something or are in the process of buying.
This is why websites are constantly using techniques such as order bumps and one-click upsells to get people to buy more.
Your onboarding email is also a great place to do this. After you introduce your new customers and inform them about what to expect, you can share a few products that are relevant to what they purchased. You could even offer a discount, free shipping, or a free gift as an incentive to get them to complete this purchase.
For best results, combine this with retargeting ads that go out to new customers. One of the best things about retargeting ads is that they will see them multiple times a day. If you try the same thing with emails, it will cost you subscribers.
Ask them to look forward to your next email
As aforementioned, telling people to look forward to your emails is important. But you might want to get specific about your next email. You can tell them about the offer or a specific tip you will share that will make their life easier. This will get them to keep their eyes peeled on their inbox.
Don’t just do this for the onboarding email, but for every email you send. In the end, inform them about what to look forward to in the next email.
Share a survey
One thing that separates the top companies from the rest is that they take customer reviews and feedback very seriously. The onboarding email is a great place to show your customers that you care about their opinions. This will get them to like and trust you even more.
You can also use the details you obtain from your surveys to personalize your emails and improve your open and conversion rates.
Some companies transform boring surveys into quizzes and get many responses from current and potential customers.
Quizzes can seem hard to set up, but several quiz builders are easy these days. You can customize them with your brand colors and logos without any design experience.
Resend onboarding emails to un-openers
You must write two to three versions of your onboarding emails as many people won’t open the initial ones. Therefore, setting your email automation software to send emails to people who don’t open the emails will be a good idea.
At first, you can just send the same email with a different subject line, but if people still don’t open them, you should send an entirely new email. Try to send at least two to three new emails.
Make sure you pay attention to the data from here. If you find that more people open an email with a different subject line, it might be time to switch the subject line to the first.
Now write your onboarding emails
When you are running an online business like an eCommerce store, your profit margins on the first product are usually slim, especially if you rely on techniques such as paid advertising.
This is why you need to take email marketing seriously. It will help boost your customer lifetime value (CLV) through upsells and cross-sells.
One of the requisites to getting the most out of your email marketing is through your onboarding email. It will make a solid first impression and improve your future emails’ open and conversion rates.
Rachel Bowland is the content manager at Social Marketing Writing and Creatiwitt – she likes to write about marketing and design.