You need to convert more free users to customers, but you’re busier than Barack Obama in his 2008 election and seriously considering something more potent than coffee.
I hear you…
Before you start Googling dubious supplement names and other time-shifting substances that will make your family doctor flinch, let me propose a better solution.
We have prepared 13 fill-in-the-blank onboarding email templates to copy and paste into your favorite marketing automation tool. All in all, combining a few of these templates into a whole onboarding campaign shouldn’t take you more than a couple of hours. It’s like playing with lego bricks, but it makes you money.
If you’re looking for a strategic overview of onboarding more users, check out our full guide on onboarding emails or the guide to marketing automation for SaaS startups. For a step-by-step tutorial on implementing an event-based email onboarding flow, make sure to read this post.
Here, I won’t beat around the bush. I’ll just give you what you came for — onboarding email templates for SaaS (and nothing more).
The onboarding email templates are organized into groups depending on their goal:
- Welcome onboarding emails aim to introduce a new user to your product, set expectations for the communication that follows, and explain how your trial works.
- Sales onboarding emails will help you start a conversation with the user and qualify them.
- App usage onboarding emails are triggered emails sent to users when they do or don’t do things in your product. Action-triggered emails lead the user to value moments ASAP while eliminating any distractions on the way.
- Trial-expiry/downgrade emails create urgency and emphasize why a user should become a customer and give you money.
- Feedback emails will help you determine why your onboarding sucks by asking qualitative questions.
Without further ado… The onboarding email templates.
Welcome onboarding email templates
Welcome emails introduce a new user to your product, set expectations for the communication that follows, and explain how your trial works.
The benefit welcome email
Inspired by Calendly.
This welcome email stresses the main benefit of your SaaS product. It’s straight to the point, quantifies the value of your product (how much time people can save, money can they make, etc.), and has a clear call to action.
[Product]. We’re glad you decided to put an end to
[biggest pain point that your product solves: “your slow loading landing pages”, “the scheduling nightmare”, “the lack of traffic growth”].
[quantify biggest benefit: “decrease the loading time of their websites by 8 seconds”, “save 4 hours a week”, “get 52% more page visits per month”] once they implement
[Product]. Sounds great, right?
You’re ready to start
[getting that benefit: “having a faster website”, “saving that type of time”, “get that increase in traffic”] yourself!
To make getting started easy, we provide you with
[offer templates, pre-populated content or something else that can kickstart the user onboarding process “speed-optimized templates, “three ready-to-use scheduling links”, “a traffic-optimization audit of your website”.]
[Explain what they need to do next]
Just choose the one scheduling link that makes sense, copy the link, and send it to set up your next meeting. It’s that easy.
[CTA: Schedule your first meeting].
The PAS welcome email
Inspired by Swipe Pages.
This email template uses the PAS formula (Pain, Agitate, Solve) and emphasizes the problem.
“When you understand that people are more likely to act to avoid pain than to get gain, you’ll understand how powerful this first formula is. (…) It may be the most reliable sales formula ever invented.”— Dan Kennedy
The PAS formula can be successfully used for SaaS businesses, as well. The key here is to deeply understand your prospective customers’ problem(s). If we take Encharge as an example, one of the primary pains of our customers is low trial-to-paid conversion rates. To agitate our prospects, we can emphasize the impact that lost trials have on the business. It’s not the low conversion rate alone, but the accumulated customer lifetime value SaaS businesses lose, as well as the (potentially) high investment in customer acquisition that goes down the drain. The solution? A tool that helps you create relevant, personalized behavior-based emails.
My name is
[Your name], and I’m the founder of
[Product]. I’m here to answer your questions and help you
[solve biggest problem: “convert visitors to customers”].
[Emphasize the problem]
Did you know that 50% of mobile visitors bounce off a landing page that takes longer than 3s to load?
This is a colossal waste of ad budget. It makes my head spin.
[Solve the problem]
But fear not! The truth is this is a great opportunity for you as a marketer.
[explain benefit] marketing agencies like yours create blazing-fast landing pages that convert 33% higher than the average landing page out there.
[Product], you can deliver higher ROI for your clients. And we all know that higher ROI = happier clients that stay with you month-after-month and spend more 💰💰💰 on ads and your services.
Here are three reasons why you should [solve problem with Product. Try to keep these quantifiable and as specific as possible]:
- Benefit 1
- Benefit 2
- Benefit 3
[Handle common objections like time to set up, price, etc.]
The good news is that it takes ~5 minutes to get up and running with your first landing page. Just start with one of our Ads and marketing conversion-driven templates.
[CTA: Click here to choose a template]
[Explain what to expect during the trial window] You have 14 days to use the tool for free. During that time, you will have full access to all of our features, including
[Feature 1, Feature 2, Feature 3], and more.
The social proof welcome email
Inspired by Podia.
Use this template if you have a large customer base or success stories that can highlight your tool’s value. Display positive reviews from software review websites, show expert endorsements, share case studies, etc.
[Start with social proof and help the user identify with the audience]
If you’re anything like the other 25,000+
[Product] customers, you’re a
[empathize with the audience and show you understand them] busy creator with not a lot of spare time on your hands.
That’s exactly why we built
[stress benefit] to make selling your digital products easy.
[Set expectations for the trial]
For the next few days, I’ll walk you through how you can make the most of
[Product], including some tips on how others are using
[Product] in their businesses.
[Offer the shortest path to value for the user]
We can also migrate your content and import your contacts for you, so just let me know if you’d like us to get started on that.
Talk to you soon.
In this example from Ghost, they lead with strong social proof and highlight some of their most prominent customers.
The live training onboarding email
One of the most effective ways to demonstrate how your SaaS product works is through live training. Doing weekly live sessions is also an easy way to introduce more trial users to your product without doing one-to-one demo calls with them.
[Start with the day and time of the training/webinar] This Wednesday (7 December) at 11 AM CEST we’ll host a live training session on how to
[achieve biggest benefit] with
After this 30-minute webinar, you’ll understand how to:
- Critical action in your product 1
- Critical action in your product 2
- Critical action in your product 3
Register for the live training now, and make sure to add it to your calendar!
Sales onboarding email templates
High-touch sales emails help you start a conversation with the user and qualify them. Ideally, you wan to send them a few hours or a day after the welcome email to avoid making them look automated. You want to avoid any heavy layouts and keep the emails look simple.
Book a demo sales email
Inspired by Viral Loops.
The goal of this email is to get a user on a call. Especially important in high-touch onboarding. Getting people on a call is a big ask, so you want to give them reasons to do it.
[Your name], CEO at
[Product]. I might not know you personally yet, but I’m pumped that you’re here!
I noticed you signed up for
[Product]. and I’d like to thank you personally. It means a lot to us. 🤗
The quickest and easiest way to get started is to get a 1:1 demo of
[Product] with me.
[Explain why they should book a call with you.]
We found that people who jump on a call with us will get started 3 days faster than the rest and get 40% more leads in their first campaign. I’d also love to show you how some of our customers already use
[get the biggest benefit].
Today, many SaaS companies send personalized demo call emails. If you have the workforce in your customer success team, this approach stands out among the sea of automated emails. In the example below, Chartmogul representatives go inside user accounts and review app activity before reaching out.
Biggest challenge email
Inspired by Groove.
This email helps you understand your audience’s biggest challenge. It gets the highest response rate when used with an inline email survey with predefined answers (the user answers the question by clicking a link in the email).
I really appreciate you joining us at
[Product], and I know you’ll love it when you see how easy it is to
[mention biggest benefit: “deliver awesome personal experience to every user”, “send relevant emails at a scale that convert customers”, “build fast-loading landing pages”].
[Product] to help
[your audience: “small businesses”, “SaaS”, “eCommerce stores”] grow.
If you wouldn’t mind, I’d love it if you answered one quick question: why did you sign up for [Product]? Click on the single best answer:
[link]Convert free trial users to customers.
[link]Retain more customers.
[link]Expand current customer accounts
- Something else — just respond to this email with your answer.
I’m asking because knowing what made you sign up is really helpful for us in making sure that we’re delivering what our users want.
You can use a marketing automation platform like Encharge to then segment your users based on their responses in the email. To achieve that use the email activity condition “has clicked” and the specific link for the answer:
The qualifier email
Inspired by Segment.
This personal email qualifies if the user is the right fit for what your software does. This process is called lead qualification. It also helps salespeople prepare for their demo calls, as they have more context about the prospective customer by syncing the response to this email with your CRM.
[Name] — You recently requested a demo for
[Product], so I thought it would be helpful to share some examples of how to drive value with our product.
[Product] you can:
Feature 1 + benefit. For example, “Increase the relevance of the data in your destinations by removing unused or unwanted data.”
Feature 2 + benefit.
Feature 3 + benefit.
Are you currently hoping to achieve something similar at
[Company]? Or you’re looking for something else?
App usage onboarding templates
App usage onboarding emails are automatically triggered emails based on user actions in your app. They aim to guide the user toward the desired outcome and eliminate distractions. They work by motivating, reminding or simply helping users adopt your SaaS product.
Critical feature email
Inspired by Crello.
What is the first thing users do in your app? What is your most important feature, the bread and butter of your product? We are sure you know the answer. Your goal with your onboarding emails is to get as many trial users to activate this feature — this template helps with that goal.
[Highlight the first most important action in your app]
Create your first design in
[Include a short video link demonstrating how the feature works. Handle the video length objection by mentioning the shortness of the video]
Working with a new graphic editor can be a challenge. But with
[Product name], it’s not a challenge at all.
Check out our 60-second video to make your experience easier!
This example from Crello combines focus on one single important feature with awesome visuals and social proof:
Inspired by Zapier.
The goal of the reward email is to motivate users to take relevant actions in your app and help them form a habit to use your product.
[Reward the user for taking actions in the right direction — i.e., actions that are tied to critical value moments.]
You created your first Zap!
You’re getting pretty good at this!
[You want to encourage the user to make another pass through the reward cycle by sharing the next relevant step in the onboarding process and sharing pro tips for the user.]
Since you’ve connected Calendly and Zoom, let’s explore what you can do with them together.
- Explore Zap templates for Calendly.
- Explore Zap templates for Zoom.
Inspired by Honeybook.
The push or nudge email aims to get passive users back to the app and guide them in the right direction.
High five for creating your first project,
Don’t stop now! We noticed that you haven’t created an invoice yet.
You’re getting closer to the finish line… let’s power through the setup guide, so you can start booking clients and cha-ching!
[CTA: Create your first invoice now]
The example below from Flatfile demonstrates that these emails don’t have to be longwinded or fancy. You can simply ask if the user needs any help.
Inspired by Swipe Pages.
[Acknowledge their success with your product.]
I noticed that you’re doing pretty great with getting leads from your landing pages!
[Give them reasons to upgrade.]
Since you’re on our free plan, I thought I could share a few tips on how to get even more leads with a premium plan.
[Product] premium plans support:
- A/B Testing – Run experiments with different messaging & design to optimize your conversions.
- Dynamic Text Replacement – Personalize user experience using data from your ads.
- Multi-Step Forms – Break down a long form into smaller steps and reduce friction.
All of that and more is available on our premium plans. Just go to your Subscription page and click on Choose a plan to upgrade.
Let me know if you have any questions about our plans, and I’ll reply swiftly.
Trial-expiry/downgrade email templates
Trial-expiry emails help you create urgency and explain why a user should become a customer.
Trial expiration email
Inspired by Basecamp.
All great things come to an end, including software trials. People on the internet are easily distracted by stuff (cats, 9GAG, and whatnot); it’s your job to get their attention back to the important things. Trial expiration emails are critical emails that remind your users they need to upgrade to continue using your service. In some cases, you also want to send transactional warnings to prevent any unforeseen interruptions.
[Product]trial has expired
Thanks for giving
[Product] a try!
Your free trial has expired, but you can keep using
[Product] with a paid subscription.
[Use social proof or USP]
The most popular online project management tool for investment bankers.
Over 2,000 bankers use
[Product] every day.
[CTA: Subscribe now to keep using [Product]]
[Handle the most common objections with paid plans.]
- Pick up where you left off — all your data remains.
- Anyone you’ve invited during the trial will still have access.
- Subscribing takes just 60 seconds.
[Provide options. Remember that not all people are ready. Others might simply not be a good fit for your tool.]
Prefer to cancel your account instead? We’ll be sorry to see you go. Once your account is canceled, your information will be immediately and permanently deleted.
Have questions or need help? Our customer success team is here to help you in any way we can.
Trial downgrade email
Inspired by Swipe Pages.
If you run a freemium product with a free trial you might need to downgrade expired trial users to a free plan. Use this template.
Just letting you know that your free trial has expired, and you have been downgraded to the Free plan.
[Quantify the value they’ve gotten through the free trial]
So far, with [Product], you have generated 250 leads from 834 unique visitors. All thanks to
the 4 beautiful, fast landing pages you have created!
[State the limitations of the free plan]
Important: Our Free plan is limited to 1,000 visits, 5 landing pages, and doesn’t support [your main feature] AMP landing pages. If your account receives more than 1,000 visits, all your pages will be unpublished and will stop receiving traffic. Don’t lose out on customers.
Starting at $29/month
✅ Upgrading only takes a minute
✅ Any extra pages you created during the trial are still safe and sound.
✅ Any people you invited will have access again after you upgrade.
If you have any questions about our premium plans, please reply to this email, and we’ll get back to you.
Trial extension email
Inspired by Canny.
Not all users get activated during the trial window. Sending upgrade emails to those people is as pointless as selling sunscreen to an Alaskan. Instead, you want to get a second chance at demonstrating product value to those people.
Your product trial has come to an end.
It doesn’t look like you’ve received much feedback or have been able to spend much time on
We’d be happy to extend your trial if you need more time. What held you back?
Feedback SaaS onboarding email templates
Feedback emails will help you figure out why people are not converting.
Post-trial survey email
Inspired by Instapage.
This email aims to provide expired trial users with an easy way to let you know why they haven’t upgraded. We recommend that you send it 3-5 days after an unsuccessful trial expiration.
I tried to get in touch with you to understand if
[Product] is the right tool for
Please let me know what the #1 reason that’s stopping you from upgrading
[Product] is. Just click on the right answer.
- I don’t need a premium plan. The free plan is enough for my needs.
- I’m using a competitor.
[Product]is too hard to use.
[Product]is too expensive.
- I didn’t have time to test the platform.
- I just signed up to see what was going on.