Articles, Automation, Email Marketing

7 Tips for Automating Your Customer Onboarding Process

Where would you be without your customers? Don’t worry, they’re not going to pack up and leave overnight. But it is important to keep them front of mind in all your decisions. For good reason: companies that lead in customer experience outperform their competitors by nearly 80%.

So, how do you meet the needs of your new customers while still having time to run your business?

Using email automation in your customer onboarding process will not only save you time but make sure no leads slip through the cracks. Take a look at some key tips for creating onboarding automations to wow new customers.

1. Collect the right data

What information do you gather from your customers when they first sign up? The sign-up forms you have on your website are the first piece of your onboarding puzzle, so you need to make sure you’re asking the right questions and collecting the right data.

For example, your business may have multiple stores across the country which serve different products, services, and opening or closing hours. So your onboarding process and customer support will differ depending on the customer’s location. If this is the case, make sure you capture location data in your sign-up forms so new subscribers will enter the right email sequence.

2. Understand what information customers need (and when)

Creating a timely and logical sequence for your onboarding process is the best way to ensure customers get all the information they need at the right time. Setting up email automations is the perfect chance to review and refine the information you are providing to new sign-ups. 

Are there frequently asked questions that you get once people receive their product? Or is there an opportunity to add value for new customers, like offering content downloads for free or sharing a little about your business and ethos? By going above and beyond and preempting customer queries at the right time you will leave a lasting positive impression of your brand.

3. Use pre-built email templates

Designing and building brand new emails can take time, particularly if you’re not proficient in design or HTML coding. You can save yourself a heap of time by using pre-built templates, designed specifically for welcome emails and onboarding sequences.

We have over 170 professionally designed templates across nine categories to choose from, so you can find the perfect ones to suit your brand style. You can then make them your own by editing the layout and design, and dragging and dropping in your images and text.

The beauty of pre-built templates is that they are automatically responsive, so you don’t have to worry about making them mobile-friendly or deliverable across different email providers. 

Need a little inspiration? Take a look at our real-life email examples.

4. Optimise your transactional emails

Your transactional emails are likely to receive some of your highest open rates—they can average up to 80–85%—so you should be using these as an opportunity to wow your customers. 

A well-crafted automation series will ensure that your customers receive the right information at the right time. This is particularly important for time-sensitive communications like order confirmations, invoicing, or account management emails. You can use these emails as an opportunity to include value-add content, like how-to guides or links to helpful resources. Make sure crucial information is easy to access, like account logins, customer support, and FAQs – this will reduce the likelihood of any potential speed bumps along the customer journey.

You can refine your transactional emails further by analysing your onboarding path. For example, if new sign-ups need to set a password to access their account or finalise a payment, set up your sequences to automatically provide this information as soon as they complete the sign-up form. You should also set pertinent time-triggers for things like invoicing, contracts, and renewals.

5. Don’t use a one-size approach for all sign-ups

No two customers are the same, so rather than creating one onboarding sequence to suit everyone, you should look at segmenting your audience and personalising your automations to them.

If you offer different service offerings or subscription plans, then you’ll need to customise your content to speak to the level of service your customer signs up for. Including “catch-all” information won’t be relevant or helpful, and can appear careless in the onboarding phase.

You can easily personalise your automations with conditional content feature, which allows you to send personalised content (like images and content blocks) to each of your subscribers from a single campaign.

6. Make optimisations to your automations

Sometimes it’s hard to know what will work without testing it first. This is where A/B testing comes in. You can create variations of your email subject lines and use our A/B testing tool to do the work for you. As part of our handy email marketing tools, you can automatically split your audience into two test groups and then send the winning subject line out to the remainder of the audience.

You can optimise your onboarding series further by tracking things like opens and click-through rates of each email to see where your subscribers might be dropping off or not engaging. It could be that your email content is not relevant, your designs are not optimised for mobile users and hard to view, or even that you may be sending out too many emails.

7. Automate your customer support (but know when to respond personally)

You’ll likely have questions that commonly arise in your onboarding process, such as inquiries about how to use your product or how to update customer profiles. To save yourself time, you can preempt these inquiries by including direct links to your customer support or relevant resources in your onboarding communications. 

For example, if you’ve already got a comprehensive list of FAQs on your website, or need to direct customers to a third party shipping company for order updates, make sure you include prominent links to these at the top of your emails.

But, and a big but here, you need to be ready to jump in and show that your business has a human face. If customers aren’t getting the answers they need, automations can feel impersonal, and at worse, annoying. Automations can only go so far, so you need to know when to respond to your customers personally. This will build trust and create a great first (and lasting) impression.

If you want to try out an automated customer onboarding process for your business, you can create a free Vision6 account today and get started.

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