Onboarding Email Sequence (A Complete Guide)

M. Usama
M. Usama

Last updated on

April 18, 2024

Every time a customer purchases your business, the first email they receive from you should be an onboarding or welcome email. This mail is followed by an order confirmation or a cart abandonment, and moving on, forming a sequence of emails to keep your customers engaged. This sequence is known as an onboarding email sequence.

An onboarding email plays a pivotal role in starting communication with your customers. Your onboarding email is your first impression of your customers; its quality determines whether the customer will continue engaging with the business.

This is why creating a user onboarding email sequence is crucial: if the first line of contact between you and your customer is established after 14 minutes, you can lose your customer's interest. After the hook, the overall onboarding process can take up to 100 days.

To make things easier for our readers, we have compiled everything you need to know about onboarding emails, their sequence, and how you can create your onboarding email sequence.

Keep reading to create an effective onboarding email sequence for your business.

What is a client onboarding email sequence?

When a new user or customer registers for a service or completes a purchase, sending them a series of well-organized emails is essential. This sequence is known as the onboarding email sequence

This sequence shapes the user’s initial interaction with your brand or product. You can establish a strong connection between the user and your offering by delivering relevant and purposeful content. 

Effective onboarding can significantly impact user retention, product adoption, and customer satisfaction.

The primary objective of the onboarding email sequence is to introduce users to the key features and benefits of the product or service they’ve just signed up for. It’s an opportunity to engage potential customers, build trust, and set expectations for their future interactions with your brand.

Benefits of onboarding emails

An engaging onboarding email sequence can be the secret tool for long-term success. It is a great way to generate viable leads and keep them engaged with the business.

Here are a few benefits of creating sequential onboarding emails.

Email Communication: A Vital Channel for Businesses

Email remains a top-rated communication channel, with projections indicating that 4.3 billion people will use it by 2023, representing over half of the world’s population. 

This versatile medium offers customers a range of benefits, including promotional content from beloved brands, a convenient avenue for seeking support, and timely notifications related to products and services.

Critical Insights: Email Open Rates and ROI

Research reveals that the average email open rate stands at 21.33%. Additionally, email marketing boasts an impressive return on investment (ROI), currently yielding $36 for every $1 spent.

Unlocking Customer Success Through Onboarding Sequences

Email is a nonintrusive, proactive conversation starter, facilitating valuable interactions and contributing to overall customer success. Implementing an effective onboarding sequence can significantly enhance email engagement and deepen your understanding of subscribers. 

The Power of Email Onboarding for Long-Term Relationships

By prioritizing subscriber greetings and creating a positive initial impression, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to building enduring relationships. Furthermore, email onboarding plays a pivotal role in cultivating lifetime customers. 

Retaining loyal customers through emailing is cost-effective and essential for sustained business growth.

Unlocking Success: Your Ultimate Onboarding Email Journey

Creating an effective onboarding email sequence is like crafting a masterpiece that resonates with your audience, turns them into loyal fans, and sets the stage for lasting relationships. 

Step 1: Define Your North Star

Every business has a unique compass guiding its journey. Before diving into your email sequence, pinpoint your goal. Are you aiming to boost sales, reduce churn, or deepen customer engagement? Whether turning freemium users into premium subscribers or igniting conversions, clarity on your goal is critical.

Step 2: Navigating Touchpoints

You need to identify your customer's touchpoints to learn about their behaviors and see where and when you can reach out to them. Identify those critical touchpoints: sign-up moments, first logins, profile completions, and feature explorations. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll send timely, personalized messages that hit the bullseye.

Step 3: The Art of Segmentation

Think of contact segmentation as your secret sauce. Slice and dice your audience based on behavior, preferences, and demographics. Tailor your emails to resonate with each segment. After all, a personalized message feels like a warm hug. It shows you care.

Step 4: Discover the A-ha Moment

You want your customers to have their a-ha moment when they go through your email. To achieve this, you must ensure that your email has all the information regarding your product and focuses on the main selling points.

Once the customers know what your product does, their a-ha moment occurs. Another easy way to do this is to identify your product's core value and share it with your customers to have them relate to your business and product.

Step 5: Provide your customers with a resource oasis

Your customers need to see the value of your product immediately, but the help and information customers need don’t stop there. You can provide your customers with more value by providing additional resources.

These resources can include customer support information, blogs, articles, and even troubleshooting tips and tricks. All these can make navigating your products and services more accessible for your customers.

Step 6: Add an excellent CTA

Entice your customers with a stellar CTA, and finish your email with a sign-off that directs them to your business website and makes them interested.

With all the information you have provided, customers would want to learn more about your business and make it easier by adding a CTA to your email.

Simplify the onboarding process with Mailmunch, and get all the resources and automation you need to create an engaging email marketing campaign for your customers.

Qualities of a great onboarding email

Navigating the realm of marketing emails can be challenging, especially for small business owners. Striking the right balance between engaging and spam-like is crucial. Ensure your onboarding emails resonate with your audience by:

  • Personalizing and Timing: Make sure your emails feel tailor-made for each recipient and are delivered immediately.
  • Simplify the Customer Experience: Your emails should complement the onboarding journey users experience with your products and services.
  • Reinforcing Your Product's Value: Remind users of your product's benefits and the unique value you can provide.

Research shows that 71% of customers crave personalized communication. Onboarding emails is about more than just inserting a name; it's about delivering content relevant to users' journeys.

Sending a generic "Thanks for signing up!" email months into a subscription doesn't make sense. Base your email schedule on user actions to ensure timely and pertinent communication.

Effective onboarding emails not only guide users but also foster long-term engagement. The more valuable your initial emails, the higher the likelihood of continued trust and interaction. This lays a solid foundation for future marketing endeavors, ensuring better success.

Essential onboarding emails

While an onboarding sequence can include various emails that fit your business needs, a few emails are essential for creating a sound onboarding email sequence. These emails are.

The welcome email

The welcome emails are essential as they welcome the customers and readers to your business. It is a chance to show your customers what you have to offer and give them a brief look into your business.

Here is an example from Cake. The welcome email is short and gives the customers relevant information, making it an example businesses can use.

Takeaways:  Making things transparent and giving the customers the information they require when they sign up increases brand awareness and loyalty.

Account Setup

Once a customer signs up for your service, they must be sent an account setup mail. This email includes the information they require about signing up for the service and setting up their account and profile.

Here is an example of an account setup email

Takeaways: Customers are likelier to set up their accounts and complete their profiles when shown direct and easy-to-follow instructions.

Re-engagement email

A re-engagement or win-back email is sent to inactive accounts to win them back. These emails encourage inactive users to re-engage with the business and help you extend your customer lifecycle.

Here is an example of a re-engagement mail from Animoto that encourages the readers to set their preferences accordingly. They can receive emails from the company or easily unsubscribe from the service.

Takeaways: Sometimes, you can offer discounts and incentives to win back your customers. There are still ways to engage with your customers by allowing them to continue communicating with the brand.

Community builders

Social media is on the rise, and many of your customers are now on social media. You can utilize your emails to drive traffic toward your social media accounts by showcasing your accounts in the mail.

Another way you can build a community is by inviting your customers to participate in your events and making them feel included. 

Here is an example of community building through invitation.

Takeaways:  Customers love to be included and are more likely to visit when you invite them to events and your social media. This visit allows you to impress them further with your business offerings.

Social Proofs

91% of customers trust reviews online and are likely to purchase and try products when they see them online reviewed by someone they know. This is why including social proof in your onboarding emails will help you get more customers.

Here is an example from Adobe, which collaborated with social media influencer HappyKelli to help attract customers to their new speed features.

Takeaways: Providing social proof is a great way to engage with your customers. This email also lets the customers interact with you by checking out the features and benefits. After checking out the features review, they can discuss it online, increasing awareness for your brand.


How-to emails are a great way of engaging customers; they give them the critical information they require and direct them towards the business. 

You can offer your customers short tutorials or direct them to your website by providing all the steps they need to follow.

If you need clarification, here is an example of a how-to email from Emaildrips to help you.

Takeaways: Videos and text tutorials can help readers navigate your website more easily. We encourage using video tutorials as 97% of customers find audio-visual aids more helpful.

Product Updates

Product updates can be a great way to re-engage customers who have not gained interest in the business. These emails engage the customers and provide them with information about your product's new features.

These emails show the customers that you value their feedback and have used their reviews to better the product.

Here is an example from Mint marketing its new easy-to-use application to its customers. The email clearly shows the customers what they can expect from the application and how it can make things easier.

Invitation emails

Events are a great way of engaging customers. It helps businesses interact with customers in a social setting and make them feel special by being included in an activity.

Invitation emails are helpful in this scenario because they allow you to give the customers early access. This early access or invitation can make the customers feel more included and comfortable with the business.

Here is a short and sweet invitation example from Big Sea.

Thank you mails

Thank you emails are a great way of showing appreciation to your customers. It gives new value to your customers while guiding them about what they should do next.

Takeaways: Sending thank you emails to your customers gives them a sense of satisfaction and gratitude. It offers the business a chance to increase brand value by letting customers know their feedback and business are valuable.

Incentive emails

Another great way of winning back customers is through incentives and offer emails, which are a way to get customers to reconnect with the business. When customers are incentivized to purchase from your brand through a discount or freebies, they are more likely to make a purchase.

Rewards can also be used as an incentive to attract new customers and build brand loyalty. Here is an excellent example of an incentive email to help you get started.

Book a demo mail

When welcoming customers to your business, you can send them a book a demo or try out the service email. This email aims to get the customer to sign up for the service or request a demo so they can check it out for themselves.

While you can include service benefits in this email, your main goal and the CTA for the mail should be to get them to request a demo or start a free service trial.

Customer support mail

Customer service is a feature that no business can go without. Whether it is an issue with the service or a problem that needs troubleshooting, requests for refunds, or trial cancellations, all need to be addressed by customer support.

When dealing with a frustrated client, you must mind your writing tone. This is why these emails need to be crafted with care. Here is an example from Paddle addressing a refund issue.

Takeaway: Customer issues must be addressed immediately and properly if you need your customers to be satisfied with your service. This is why you should put great care into crafting your customer support emails.

Best practices for creating an excellent onboarding email sequence

Now that we have gone through some essential onboarding emails let's get familiar with some of the best practices for creating a superb onboarding email sequence.

Map out the onboarding process.

Although many online onboarding processes can be adopted for businesses, not all can fit your business. This is why, before you create and settle for an onboarding sequence, consider checking out your business goals and objectives.

Mapping the onboarding process would help you align your business goals with the emails sent to your customers. Starting from the welcome email sign-up emails and moving down to the surveys and feedback emails.

Adopt the client's mindset.

If you want to engage your customers, you have to know what piques their interest. You can look at your customers' purchase patterns, interests, demographics, and segmentation. These factors will help you understand your customers and create content that keeps them engaged.

Send a confirmation mail.

Once your customers have placed an order with you or have signed up for your services, the first email, apart from a welcome email you should send them, is the order confirmation email. 

Although it may seem like a digital receipt, a confirmation email puts your customers at ease. A confirmation email lets the customers know that their order is coming to them.

Start with a welcome email.

Who doesn’t love a warm welcome? Ensure your readers and customers feel that way when they open their first email from you. You can include a short welcome note welcoming the reader to your business and briefly explaining the value you can offer them.

Need help sequencing your emails

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Personalize emails

Personalization is more than just addressing your reader by name. It includes information based on research your customers will love and be interested in. It includes sending information locally to the customers so that they feel included by the company.

So, the next time you email your customers, try a hint of personalization and see the magic. Approximately 71% of readers crave personalization in their communication. No one wants to receive the generic, dear readers now.

Mobile Optimization

85% of users prefer to use their mobile devices to check their emails due to ease. This is why, when creating an email sequence, ensure the dimensions of your onboarding email sequence are optimized for mobile users.

A dimension not fitted to mobile devices can make the email harder to load on mobile devices. It can keep your readers from opening your emails.

Test and retest your emails

Testing your messages enables you to enhance the engagement of your content. Begin by implementing A/B testing, a widely used method to determine which elements yield higher open rates and clicks.

To do an excellent A/B test, you have to create a variation of the original design used as a control, and both these designs are tested to see which has a better chance of developing an opening rate.

Developing numerous variations and sending them to diverse segments is advisable for a comprehensive assessment. Once you have sufficient data, you can refine your copy, visuals, and CTAs for increased engagement.


TLDR: Your onboarding email sequence starts with a welcoming email you send your customers to encourage them to engage and stay with your business. Your onboarding sequence should align with your business goals to ensure all your emails are relevant and suited to your customers.

To create a sequence for your business emails, you can use email marketing software like Mailmunch, which offers ready-made templates with unique drag-and-drop features to help you create a great email marketing campaign.

Customize your emails with Mailmunch Templates.

Author Bio

M. Usama

M. Usama is an SEO Growth Specialist and Content Marketer at Mailmunch. He is passionate about crafting engaging and informative content on email marketing and lead generation.


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