20 Onboarding Email Examples and Strategies – InboxArmy

Written by: Garin Hobbs

Published on: 28-03-2024

You got the initial purchase or trial sign-up. Now what? It’s time to “onboard” these new customers to take your relationship to the next level. Effective onboarding is an essential step in your sales funnel. Onboarding emails generally get higher open rates and better engagement than your standard emails. So, your email onboarding strategy is not something to neglect.

In this article, we’ll take a step back and give you a go-to guide for onboarding emails that will boost product usage, downstream conversion, and improve customer retention. Let’s jump in.

What Are Onboarding Emails?

Onboarding emails are a pivotal first conversation with customers who have agreed to a “first date” with you, but have not fully committed to you and your brand. The goal of these emails is to get these new customers to use your product, engage with your service, and make your brand an active part of their lives.

With this goal comes the expectation of curating a sequence of personalized emails that cater to the various stages of your customer journey from this point forward. Whether it’s guiding new customers through activating accounts and using your service or giving them ideas of how best to utilize the product they just bought, a well-crafted onboarding email sequence can work wonders.

What Are The Benefits of Investing in your onboarding emails?

What Are The Benefits of Investing in your onboarding emails

Customer onboarding is crucial to get right. Otherwise, you risk high drop-off rates, lower adoption rates, and, later down the road, reduced customer retention rates. Onboarding emails help reduce friction with new customers and support your overall customer onboarding efforts.

Here are some benefits to investing in your onboarding emails: 

1. Increase Conversion Rates

Effective email onboarding results in higher conversion rates and Customer Lifetime Value. Whether it’s a welcome email or an introduction to a free trial with the goal to get the trial user to become a paid customer, the proof is in the pudding.

2. Increase Brand Engagement

User onboarding emails encourage them to dive into what your business offers. Maintain top-of-mind by providing consistent value and resources. Use these emails to position your brands as your customers’ “go-to.” 

3. Prevent Customer Churn

Onboarding emails help prevent customers from ghosting your business by addressing their concerns and making sure they stick around. Customers who stay longer are more likely to continue purchasing from you.

4. Build Trust and Recognition

Onboarding emails keep things consistent, so customers know your brand’s got their back. Trust and recognition – that’s the name of the game.

5. Help Your Business Learn and Grow

These emails aren’t just talking; they’re listening, too. Email onboarding is a two-way street. They gather feedback and insights to show you what aspects of your business need improvement. 

6. Increase Repeat Purchases and Customer Retention

Successful onboarding means happy, engaged customers who are happily (we hope) using your product or service. It lends itself to introducing these happy new customers to cool extras or premium services. And if a subscriber isn’t responding to your emails, shoot them a re-engagement email to encourage them.

7. Invite Customer Referral and Word of Mouth 

When customers have a great experience, they will likely tell others. Use your onboarding to create a great first impression and maintain relationships. Positive word-of-mouth? It’s free advertising for your business. 

Onboarding Email Examples 

There is no one-size-fits-all email onboarding strategy. The best strategy for you depends on what you sell and who you sell to. That being said, here are some great onboarding email examples to get you inspired: 

1. Mailmodo: Welcome Email

Mailmodo Welcome Email


Mailmodo’s welcome email details the following steps to complete onboarding and get the most out of their product. They also provide an onboarding kit with relevant resources for the new user. This email is action-oriented and simple in its design. 

2. Miro: Kickstarter Onboarding Email

Miro Kickstarter Onboarding Email


Miro Team shares a “quick starter” onboarding email with three easy steps to get the most out of their workspace. The email’s visuals align with their branding and incorporate Miro’s workspace design.

3. Lifesum: Gamify Your Emails

Lifesum Gamify Your Emails


Lifesum’s onboarding process includes a simple progress tracker and goal suggestions. People love to complete tasks with a visual cue of said completion. This gamification approach to the onboarding process appeals to that element of human nature.

If you’re able to add and test this gamification idea, do so. Attach specific rewards to completing specific actions. For example, offer to extend a user’s free trial if they download your Chrome extension. 

4. ProdPad Welcome Email: Personalization Taken To The Next Level

ProdPad Welcome Email Personalization Taken To The Next Level

ProdPad decided to reinvent its onboarding emails completely. The  email is delayed by 10 minutes. Within that 10-minute window, user behavior is tracked and the new subscriber is segmented into one of three personas. The new subscriber is then sent a personalized email based on the persona they match.

5.  Sundays: Collect Feedback 

Sundays Collect Feedback 


Your onboarding emails are an excellent opportunity to collect feedback. Sunday demonstrates this well with a simple feedback email. The subject line is simple and intriguing, “Got two minutes?” This question clearly communicates that the company is asking something of the reader. 

6. Dragon Alliance: Introduce Yourself 

Dragon Alliance Introduce Yourself  onboarding email example


“Have you heard our story?” Dragon Alliance opens its email with this question. This email introduces the company’s history and purpose. Straight to the point and bold, this email creates a strong first impression of the brand. As a bonus, it throws in a 10% discount code. 

7. XumoTV: Highlight Value

XumoTV Highlight Value


Xumo’s onboarding process includes an email highlighting its product features. The benefits and value of the product are highlighted right off the bat. Consumers are invited to familiarize themselves with more features or start watching entertainment immediately. 

8. Google: Complete Account Setup

Google Complete Account Setup


This onboarding email example from Google is simple and action-oriented. Your emails don’t have to be wordy or visually complex. Google provides a concise email with steps to move forward. New users can subscribe to notifications and personalize their account data with this email. 

9. Sundays: Connect On Socials

Sundays Connect On Socials


Sundays invites subscribers to follow their Instagram account. They encourage readers to connect with them to access even more value. 

10. Rebel Rabbit: Welcome Discount Code

Rebel Rabbit Welcome Discount Code onboarding email


Onboarding and welcome emails can be considered in similar ways. Use your onboarding emails to convert readers. This onboarding email example from Rebel Rabbit offers a 10% welcome discount code for a customer’s first order. 

11. Hers: Providing Value On Value

Hers Providing Value On Value email example


Hers demonstrates how businesses can immediately provide more value on top of their offering. With this email, Hers provides three practical tips to improve your hair routine.  

12. Earthy: Be Bold (If it’s on brand)

Earthy Be Bold (If it's on brand)


Earthy combines bold visuals, a welcome gift, and concise storytelling in this onboarding email. Not only is this email effective, but it’s hard to forget! Earthy’s approach to this email’s design and wording intrigues the reader. The visuals are humorous and catch your attention immediately!

13. Mmhmm: Address Customer Pain Points 

Mmhmm Address Customer Pain Points 


Mmhhmm uses this onboarding email to demonstrate their understanding of customer pain points. Without mincing words, the subject says, “Meetings suck? Try a makeover”. 

What are your customer’s pain points? How would your customers describe these frustrations? Use these insights to design an onboarding process that resonates with your customers and positions you as the solution!

14. Citizen: FOMO

Citizen FOMO onboarding email example


Citizen encourages users not to miss out on their premium features. This onboarding email campaign highlights the exclusive benefits of upgrading to their Plus account. 

15. Fitbit: Introduce New Products and Features 

Fitbit Introduce New Products and Features 


Fitbit uses its email onboarding to introduce people to its app. A glimpse into the app’s features and benefits demonstrates value to readers. 

16. Metallica: Celebrate The Newest Member 

Metallica Celebrate The Newest Member 


Metallica sends a simple onboarding email campaign highlighting the benefits of being a member and encouraging readers to join their forums. 

17. Captions: Free Trial 

Captions Free Trial 


Captions uses this onboarding email to help new  users get the most out of their platform. The email lists resources and reminds users that their free trial lasts only three days. The email also provides support if users are facing any issues. 

18. Outdoor Research: Personalized Product Recommendations

Outdoor Research Personalized Product Recommendations


Another excellent example of using your onboarding emails to convert readers. Outdoor Research offers free shipping and product recommendations in this email. 

19. Spotify: Encourage Milestones And Boost Engagement 

Spotify Encourage Milestones And Boost Engagement 


Spotify encourages new creators to publish their first episode. The email lists out the steps to get started. 

20. Duolingo: Re-engaging Subscribers

Duolingo Re-engaging Subscribers onboarding emails


Onboarding emails also involve maintaining interest. Duolingo sends a re-engagement email after 30 days of inactivity, inviting users to “get back on track.” This action-oriented reminder can reignite a user’s motivation!

Where Do Onboarding Emails Fit In Your Overall Customer Experience?

Think of onboarding emails as the first warm welcome at your favorite restaurant. If they served you a cold meal with a side of bad service, you wouldn’t be rushing back, right? The same goes for your brand – a disappointing first impression might send customers running.

Customer Experience, Onboarding, and the Long Game

The customer experience (CX) is about the big picture. Your onboarding emails may seem like a small part of this picture, but they greatly affect your brand perception among customers. 

With some fine-tuning, these emails can create a smooth, engaging, and lasting positive first impression. Here’s how:

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): It’s a Keeper

Onboarding emails are the secret sauce for a killer customer experience, boosting Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), retention, and ensuring your brand stays on the top of their favorites list. 

Visualize each user onboarding email as a gentle nudge towards a victory—the moment when a potential customer decides to become either a paying customer or an active user. 

Each email interaction adds weight to the scale, gradually tipping it in favor of conversion. A well-executed onboarding strategy facilitates this crucial tipping point and sets the stage for future purchases, ultimately enhancing Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

But these emails aren’t just about the here and now; they’re the opening act to a relationship that flourishes over time. Your brand becomes an indispensable partner in the customer’s journey by consistently delivering value and support.

How To Write An Onboarding Email

How To Write An Onboarding-Email

Email writing can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Before writing your email copy, let’s cover the foundational building blocks of a good Onboarding email. 

1. Effective Subject Line

Your subject line can make or break your email onboarding. A good email subject line grabs subscribers’ attention and motivates them to open the email.

Here are some ideas to create awesome subject lines that capture attention:  

  • Be Clear and Concise. Communicate the purpose or benefit of the email. Avoid ambiguity to ensure users know what to expect.
  • Create Curiosity. Use subject lines that spark curiosity or pose questions, prompting users to open the email to find the answers.
  • Highlight Benefits. Focus on the value or benefits users will gain by opening the email. Make it clear how the content will help them in their onboarding journey.
  • Urgency and Scarcity. If applicable, create a sense of urgency or scarcity in the subject line to encourage prompt action.
  • Align with Brand Voice. Ensure that the subject line aligns with your brand’s tone and voice. Consistency helps in building brand recognition and trust.

2. A Kickass Call to Action (CTA)

Every user onboarding email needs a CTA that nudges subscribers toward the next step. Whether it’s tempting them to try a new feature, fill out their profile, or snag a sweet download, your CTA should be irresistible and idiot-proof.

Consider these tips for crafting effective CTAs:

  • Be Actionable. Use verbs that inspire action, such as “Discover,” “Explore,” or “Get Started,” to encourage user engagement.
  • Keep it Clear and Visible. Ensure your CTA stands out visually and is easy to spot within the email. Use contrasting colors, larger font sizes, or buttons to draw attention.
  • Provide Value. Communicate the value or benefit of clicking the CTA. Let subscribers know what they stand to gain by taking action.
  • Create a Sense of Urgency. If appropriate, add urgency to your CTA to encourage immediate action. Phrases like “Limited Time Offer” or “Act Now” can spur subscribers to act quickly.
  • Test and Iterate. Experiment with different CTAs to see what resonates best with your audience. Analyze performance metrics and make adjustments based on the data.

3. Focus on Value

Share valuable content within your onboarding emails to provide subscribers with additional resources, tips, or insights that complement their onboarding journey. 

Toss in links to helpful articles, video tutorials, or downloadable guides. It’s like giving them a backstage pass to level up their journey with your product or service.

By offering value on top of value, you demonstrate your commitment to supporting subscribers every step of the way. This enhances the onboarding experience and fosters goodwill and loyalty towards your brand.

4. Offer Contact Information for Customer Support

Make sure you’re accessible! Include your customer support email and phone number. Let them know you want to hear from them. Invite users to give feedback, talk with your support team, or connect on socials. 

Email Onboarding Best Practices

Email Onboarding Best Practices

So, you’re ready to get started crafting your onboarding emails! Keep these best practices in mind, and you should be good to go!


Personalized content improves customer engagement. When subject lines are personalized, open rates can increase by 50%. Tailor your email messaging with dynamic content based on user actions or history. 

Take a page out of ProdPad’s book and personalize some of these elements in your onboarding emails: 

  • Subject line. 
  • Greetings. 
  • Email copy. 
  • Videos and media. 
  • Product recommendations. 
  • Tutorials and tips.
  • Timing and frequency. 
  • Customer journey. 
  • Feedback requests. 

Avoid Information Overload

Providing too much content will backfire. Keep emails concise. If more details are needed, opt for a series of emails instead of bombarding users with too much content at once.

A/B Testing 

A/B testing is crucial to optimizing your email onboarding series. You can determine which elements resonate best with your audience by testing different variations of your emails—such as subject lines, content, images, and calls to action. 

Use A/B testing to refine onboarding emails, improve engagement rates, and enhance overall performance. Experiment with different variables one at a time, analyze the results, and iterate based on what drives the best outcomes.

Automate those Onboarding Emails!

Automated onboarding emails, i.e., trigger emails, are messages sent automatically based on user actions or predefined triggers. These emails are highly personalized and timely, making them incredibly effective for nurturing new users through onboarding. 

Trigger emails can be set up to welcome new subscribers, guide users through account setup, deliver relevant content based on user behavior, or re-engage inactive users. Use automation to deliver tailored messages at the right time, increasing user engagement and driving desired actions from your audience.

Ready to supercharge your email onboarding? Let’s team up and make magic happen together! Partner with Inbox Army to craft killer onboarding emails that keep your audience hooked and drive serious results. Get in touch now to start your journey to email greatness!

About Author

Garin Hobbs is a seasoned Martech and Marketing professional with over 20 years of successful product marketing, customer success, strategy, and sales experience. With a career spanning across ESPs, agencies, and technology providers, Garin is recognized for his broad experience in growing email impact and revenue, helping launch new programs and products, and developing the strategies and thought leadership to support them. Understanding how to optimally align people, process, and technology to produce meaningful outcomes, Garin has worked to deliver sustainable improvements in consumer experience and program revenue for such brands as Gap, Starbucks, Macy’s, Foot Locker, Bank of America, United Airlines, and Hilton Hotels. For more information, follow him on Linkedin

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