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15 Highly-Converting SaaS Onboarding Email Templates for Busy Marketers

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.

Calendly welcome email

Use this onboarding email template in Encharge.

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.

Use this email template in Encharge.

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. 

Use this email template in Encharge

In this example from Ghost, they lead with strong social proof and highlight some of their most prominent customers.

Ghost SaaS onboarding email

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. 

Productboard live training email

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. 

Use this email template in Encharge.

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.

Chartmogul sales email

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).

Use this email template in Encharge.

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:

Segmentation in Encharge

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.

Use this email template in Encharge.

Segment.com sales email

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.

This example from Crello combines focus on one single important feature with awesome visuals and social proof:

Crello onboarding email

Reward email

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.

Use this email template in Encharge.

Push email

Inspired by Honeybook.

The push or nudge email aims to get passive users back to the app and guide them in the right direction.

Use this email template in Encharge.

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.

Flatfile nudge email

Upgrade email

Inspired by Swipe Pages.

Some users will reach the desired aha moments before their trial expires. Those users are activated, and the upgrade email could provide the necessary push for them to convert.

Use this onboarding email template in Encharge.

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.

Use this email template in Encharge.

Read more: The Most Effective Trial Expiration Email Templates You Can Steal Today

Zapier trial expiry email

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.

Use this email template in Encharge.

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.

Use this email template in Encharge.

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.

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Meet your new marketing automation platform

Customer messaging tools don’t automate workflows outside your product and marketing automation tools are bad at behavior emails. Encharge is the best of both worlds — a marketing automation platform built specifically for B2B SaaS businesses

“Encharge helped us visually redesign our onboarding flow resulting in a 10% increase in our trial activation rate."

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Camille Richon
Founder Payfacile
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