How to Set Up a Trial Welcome Email?

Kalo Yankulov

Kalo Yankulov

Co-founder and marketer at Encharge.

If you’re reading this post, you’re probably looking for a no-nonsense tutorial on how to set up a trial welcome email for your new users. If that’s the case, you’re in the right place. 

In this piece, I’m going to show you three ways that you use to create an automated welcome email that gets sent to your trial users. We’re going to focus on the technical aspect of setting up a trial welcome email. If you’re looking for advice on how to write great welcome emails, we got you covered, too, with this huge post that analyzes 45 welcome messages

Before we jump in…

What you need to set up a trial welcome email?

1. Trial users (duh…)  

These could be either people that sign up through your product’s homepage or people that you manually add to a trial after a demo call. We’re going to cover both cases.

2. A marketing automation platform

You need a marketing automation tool to send the welcome email from. In this tutorial, we’re going to use Encharge — the platform built for SaaS products. Make sure to create a free account with Encharge before you jump to the next steps.

3. A developer to implement user events (optional)

User events are only required if you intend to send automated emails based on your user actions. For the trial welcome email that is not absolutely necessary, but for other onboarding emails, you would need this sorted out. 

We highly encourage you to get your developers involved early in the process and get them to implement user actions (otherwise known as user events) in Encharge. You can share this documentation with them. 

Method #2 of this post requires user events implemented. 

Method #1: Using a signup form

When to use this method:

  • You have a self-serve free trial mode. I.e, users can sign up for your product without  human assistant. 
  • You have a sign up page.
  • You don’t have access to development resources.
  • You’re OK with sending one-size-fits-all emails to your users.
  • You need to launch a trial welcome email ASAP.


Benefits: 

  • It’s completely codeless and doesn’t depend on developers.
  • It can be set up fast.

Drawbacks:

  • Doesn’t allow for triggered emails — i.e., emails when users do or don’t do things in your product.
  • Might not work if your signup form is in a pop-up or generated by Javascript. You need a static signup page with an inline form like this one.

How it works?

This is the simplest way to set up and send automated welcome emails to your trials users. We’re going to track your signup form with Encharge, so that every time a user signs up for your product (I.e.., fills in the signup form), they will be added to Encharge, and Encharge will automatically send the trial welcome email to them. 

The process is super simple:

1. Install the Encharge website tracking on your website.

2. Track your signup form.

3. Create an automation flow that sends the welcome email to all people that complete the form. 

Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Let me walk you through each of the steps.

1. Install the Encharge website tracking on your website.

Once you create a free trial with Encharge, go to the Site Tracking page or access it from here:

You will find instructions on how to install the code on your website. Make sure the code is installed correctly by checking for incoming events.


2. Track your signup page.

With the tracking code installed, you need to track your signup form. 

Head out to form tracking in Encharge. Click on the blue plus button to track a new form and select the signup page from the dropdown menu. If you don’t see your signup page, sign up with a test user, and refresh the page.

On the next step, you need to map your signup form fields to person fields in Encharge (i.e., email, name, and so on) to ensure that all critical user data gets in Encharge. Mapping the fields would also allow you to get signup qualification data in Encharge, which can later be used to personalize the trial welcome email.

To test if the form is tracked correctly, sign up with a test user and see if the user is created on your People’s page. If the person is showing up on the list, you are all set up and ready to start sending automated welcome emails to your trial users!


3. Create a flow that sends the trial welcome email.

Let’s start sending those beautiful welcome emails that convert trials to customers.

Head out to the Flows page and create a flow. In Encharge, flows start with Triggers. Actions, on the other hand, are used to do things. 

You need to trigger the flow when a user enters a segment and send them a welcome email as an action. Your flow should look like this:

As you don’t have any other people entering Encharge, you can use the “All people” segment. Once you start importing people from other sources, like blog leads — you can narrow your audience to ensure that you target the trial signups only. 

That’s it! An easy, no-code way to send automated emails. Your trial users will start receiving welcome emails as soon as you turn on the flow.

Method #2: Using app events

When to use this method:

  • You’re serious about user onboarding and want to automate emails beyond the welcome message.
  • You want to send intelligent emails based on what users do or don’t do in your app.
  • You have a developer at hand who is available to work with you for a while.


Benefits: 

  • With user events, you have much more control over what emails to send and when.
  • You don’t rely on tracking forms, and you can automate much more than signup form submissions. Pretty much everything that people do in your app can be used to trigger an email in Encharge.
  • You can create segments of people based on their app activity.  
  • Event-triggered emails tend to be much more effective in converting trial users as they follow your users’ customer journey instead of blasting them with one-size-fits-all messages.

Drawbacks:

  • Implementing app events requires the input of your engineers. Technical teams in startups usually face limited bandwidth, so your events would probably compete for attention with dozens/hundreds of other tasks in Jira.
  • Be prepared to put your project management hat on. It’s not the time to be nice — be cool but assertive with your technical colleagues and get those events integrated sooner than later.

How it works?

Implementing app events is more complex than tracking a simple signup form, but the effort is totally worth it.

The process usually goes like this:

1. Decide on the events you want to track.

“Signed up for trial” is the important event you want to track as far as this tutorial goes. However, this would also be a good time to think of all of the critical value moments in your app (a.k.a Aha moments) and send them over to your developers.

For starters, your tracking plan could be as simple as a bullet-point list of the 3-5 top user actions that you want to track.

  • Signed up.
  • Created project.
  • Created task
  • Upgraded.

2. Get your developers to connect the events with Encharge.

Your developers need to refer to our API docs to code the events and return to you when everything is implemented. Each event has a case-sensitive name. For instance, “Signed up”. You need to use that name to trigger emails in Encharge.

Don’t forget the “Signed up” event; without it, you won’t be able to set up your trial welcome email!

3. Use the connected event to send a welcome email in Encharge.

Head out to the Flows page and create a flow. In Encharge, flows start with Triggers. Actions, on the other hand, are used to automate things. 

In that case, you need to use the “Event” trigger to start the flow. Your flow should look like this:

You’re done. Every time a user triggers the “Signed up” event, Encharge will send the welcome email to that user.

You can repeat the process with the rest of the events if you want to automate more emails. 

Method #3: Using a CRM

If you run a high-touch acquisition model, you probably don’t have a signup form to get people on your trial. You might have a more enterprisy onboarding model where you pre-qualify people via demo calls before giving them access to a free trial. 

In a sales-driven onboarding, you can use your CRM to automate your trial welcome email. 

Encharge integrates natively with HubSpot, Salesforce, and Webhooks (if your CRM supports Webhooks), so you can seamlessly connect your favorite CRM with your marketing automation.

Now instead of using the “Event” or “Entered segment” triggers, you’d want to use the “New HubSpot Contact” to send an automated welcome email every time you add a new contact to your CRM.

If you track other prospects and leads in HubSpot, you don’t want to send a trial email to all of your CRM contacts. In that case, you can specify which contacts should receive the welcome email by using the “HubSpot Contact Field Match”. 

In HubSpot, create a custom field to track your trials or use the “Lifecycle Stage” to identify a trial user.

Now every time you create or update a user with that property, they’ll receive your trial welcome email. Easy and codeless! 

Need more help setting up your trial welcome emails?

Setting up automated onboarding emails for a SaaS product is a tough, technical job. We feel you! That’s why we’d be happy to do that for you. 

Simply book a call with us today, and let’s talk about your onboarding challenges. We’re going to take it from there if we are a good fit to help you.

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