When someone purchases your product what happens next? Do you follow them up with login details if it's online? Or delivery details if it's a physical product? What happens next if a customer books a service of yours? It sounds like you need an onboarding sequence.
What is an Onboarding Sequence?
An onboarding sequencing is the email sequence that follows up after a customer purchases. Its goal is to reassure the customer they've made the right decision and reassure them of the next steps. If it's a physical product the emails can contain tips around using the product when it arrives, and what to expect. If it's a digital product you will need an email with the download link, tips on use and perhaps case studies with the best results. Each product or service has its own onboarding email sequence.
Every business owner can benefit from having an onboarding sequence. I'll be the first to admit we didn't see the point of them at first, but then we realised we assumed a lot of things like the customer had read the terms page so knew what would happen next. Or, they'd read the delivery links on the thank you page. The bottom line is when we realised that our customer experience wasn't what we thought it was we knew we had to create a better onboarding experience. When you create a good experience, your audience remembers you fondly and it increases your word of mouth marketing.
FAQs About Onboarding Sequences
- Number of emails – How many emails are in the sequence? The number of emails in an onboarding sequence matters, and it affects the customer's experience. 3 is enough to do the job, but 7 shows you really care. If you have a long delivery period, then your onboarding sequence needs to be as long to keep the customer excited for the product when it arrives.
- Email frequency – How often do you send emails? again, this depends on the product and service. Some audiences love daily emails, others think weekly is too much. The right number of emails is somewhere in between and usually a minimum of three emails. Psychologically, you feel the connection with the brand that shows up in your inbox – remember the emails don't have to be opened for the customer to recognise your name and know that you care.
- Branded emails – Your emails should be branded so that your customers start to recognise your brand and feel a connection with it.
- Personalisation – Whilst the email marketers will tell you you will get more subscribers by not asking for a name, when the subscriber becomes a customer you should obtain their name and use it. Personalisation isn't limited to just a name, it can be a product, a service or a location.
- Review requests – Post delivery of the product or service and you should be ready to ask for a review. This can feel icky, but when you create the right onboarding sequence then this becomes part of the process.
- Become an affiliate? If you have a popular product you can use your onboarding sequence to recruit new influencers to promote your products and services.
- Buy again? If your product gets used up, then a coupon code sent out around this time ensures that your onboarding process helps your customer makes an additional purchase.
Tools for Creating Your Onboarding Sequence
The first tool for creating your onboarding sequence is actually your shopping cart or payment processor. You need to ensure that it takes the correct information you need to trigger the onboarding sequence. We love Thrivecart for this as it integrates with Active Campaign, and their new Learn aspect makes it easy to deliver digital products. Thrivecart also has an excellent affiliate program that can help boost sales.
The next tool is something like Active Campaign (we love and use Active Campaign) to deliver your emails. Active Campaign has onboarding examples you can import into your own account and customise for your audience and products.
You will also need a tool to gather reviews. This can be something like Thrive Ovation (part of Thrive suite) or Trustpilot, or other review gathering tool.
Over to you, what quick tips do you have for onboarding sequences?