Onboarding email sequence: are you making this mistake almost everyone else is?

The majority of companies are rolling out the same carpet for all new signups, sending a ‘how to use feature X’ email on day 2 of signup, ‘how to use feature Y’ email on day 3 and so on, regardless of what action the user took or did not take. Even conversion focused ones like Calendly and Zapier.

An one-size-fits-all-sequence means that you're missing out on a huge opportunity to help as many users as possible experience a meaningful aha or win with your product during trial. So when the clock strikes midnight and their carriage turns back into a pumpkin, they remember how good life was in the carriage and are eager to pay to upgrade.

So what does the alternative look like? A behavior triggered boarding sequence to show users how to get the most out of every feature they just tried and to recover them from any major drop off point they experienced. You can send the standard 'how to use feature X' onboarding emails to users who haven’t tried using any of the product yet. Let's say that your product was an email tracking and productivity tool, here's how all of this would look like:

New user sign ups15 mins later

Tracked their first email30 mins later

Set up their first reminder30 mins later

Scheduled their first email to send later 30 mins after

Saved an email template 30 mins after

11th day of trial

Didn't take another action1 day later

Clicked on 'Remind me' but didn't finish setting up a reminder 2 hours after

Didn't take another action2 days later

2 days before trial ends

1 day before trial ends

1 day after trial ends

Didn't take another action2 days later

Didn't take another action2 days later

Didn't take another action1 day later

Now you may be wondering, how should I track user actions in order to trigger these emails? Most email platforms like Sendgrid lets you integrate with analytics tools like Amplitude so you can send and schedule messages based on what your users did or did not do. You can also use all-in-one platforms like Mixpanel that have both analytic and messaging features.

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