Home onboarding Ultimate UX Design Guide to SaaS On-Boarding, Part 3: Drip Campaigns

Ultimate UX Design Guide to SaaS On-Boarding, Part 3: Drip Campaigns

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SaaS customer onboarding is the process that users have to experience while initiating their journey as a customer on a company’s software application. Customer onboarding comes from the experience that employees previously had to undergo while joining a firm.

The onboarding process sets the tone for a good user experience. Long story short, special emphasis should be given to make the on-boarding process as flawless as possible.

The SaaS customer on-boarding process is based on 6 comprehensive aspects:

  1. Sign up form
  2. Welcome email
  3. Drip campaigns
  4. First login & product tutorial
  5. Data import & notifications
  6. Check up calls & swag

All the aspects of the process play an equally important part in forming a desirable reputation for the brand in the eyes of the customers during the onboarding process. First, we covered the Sign up form. Last time we discussed the second step to the onboarding process, the Welcome Email. Today we will be focusing on Educational Emails & Drip Campaigns.

The purpose of drip campaigns is to retain customer engagement after that much sought after signup. The nature of drip campaigns is educational for the greater part, as they aim to make the customer aware of the features of your product.

Rules of Thumb for Drip Campaigns

Sending educational emails is called engaging in a drip campaign, owing to the frequency with which these emails are sent. The content of the emails within drip campaigns is small and the frequency is consistent, since the idea is to get your customers to gradually use your product to its fullest extent.

  • Introducing a single concept / feature is enough for one email.
  • The idea is to send the emails consistently. Getting that balance will result in successfully creating customer expectation.
  • The objective of drip campaigns is to successfully tempt the customer to try out the feature that you’re talking about in your email. The more of the app they use, the more engaged they will be. So giving a detailed explanation of the feature is not going to work.

What are Drip Email Campaigns?

Drip email campaigns comprise a collection of emails that are automatically sent, either in response to a specific user action, or after a specified period of time. These campaigns are one of the main channels of communication / nurturing for your customers.

There are many kinds of drip email campaigns. The most immediate example is the welcome drip email campaign. This is the set of mails that goes to customers over the span of one or two weeks, who have signed up for a free trial. This is one of the initial interactions between a customer and your company and hence, is extremely critical.

it’s vital to maintain a balance and not bombard the customer with an excess of emails.

Transaction-based drip email campaigns comprise emails that produce an automated action. The objective usually is to authenticate an identity or transaction. Examples of transaction based drip emails are: forgotten passwords, confirmations of purchase, verification of email address, etc.

The objective of any campaign needs to be clear. A welcome email campaign is designed such that the customer is sent approximately four to five emails in a span of few weeks. The objective is to ensure that the customer finishes the signup process and starts to use your app.

Like I said before, it’s vital to maintain a balance and not bombard the customer with an excess of emails.

Main Types of Drip Email Campaigns

Now let’s look at how drip email campaigns are usually designed. The categories listed are not exhaustive at all, but they give an overview of how most drip campaigns work:

Welcome Campaign

Objective – Completing signup and guiding the customer towards first time use of your app.

Email 1 – Welcome Email

Subject: YAY! You’re part of the family < User Name >!

Hey < User Name>,

Thanks for signing up with < Your App Name >! We’re really excited to have you onboard with us. You’re just one step away from using < Your App Name >, so click here < provide link > and we’ll quickly set you up.

If you need any help, click here for our help guides or you can even have a Skype session with me, if you want to have a detailed discussion, I would love to hear from you. My ID is < Skype ID >

Thanks and see you soon!
< Your signature >

Email 2 – Use of 1st Valuable Feature

Subject: < User Name > check this out!

Hey < User Name >,

Did you know that you can create < application specific thing > using the < application specific feature >? See it in action in this quick tutorial < provide link > we’ve made for you.
You can start using this by clicking here < provide link >.

Best
< Your signature >

Email 3 – Tips

Subject: < User Name >, what you’ve seen is just the TIP of the iceberg!

Hey < User Name >,

We’ve compiled a few tips that we email our early users about on how to start using < Your App Name >.

< Tip 1 >
< Tip 2 >
< Tip 3 >
< Tip 4 >

Click here < provide link > to go to your dashboard now.

Best
< Your signature >

Email 4 – Use of 2nd Valuable Feature

Subject: < User Name > check this out!

Hey < User Name >,

Another great feature to use is the < Your App Name >. It makes it really easy to create < application specific thing > within a few minutes. See it in action in this quick tutorial < provide link > we’ve made for you.

You can start using this by clicking here < provide link >.

Best
< Your signature >

Email 5 – Example of Company That is Benefitting From Your Product

Subject: < User Name >, < Company Name > had this to say about us

Hey < User Name >,

< Name of person > is the CEO of < Company Name >, the leading name in < service company provides >. He/she recently wrote a blog on how using < Your App Name > helped < Company Name > increase revenue by < Number >%. Click here < provide link > to read all about it.

Best
< Your signature >

Once first time use of your app has occurred, you can stop the campaign. The objective now changes from getting your customer to use the app once, to getting them to use it to its fullest extent.

User Onboarding Campaign

Objective – Encouraging customers, who are actively using your product, to complete the onboarding process, complete a profile and start using your product more to derive maximum benefit.

Email 1 – Completing Unfinished Flows

Subject: < User Name >, just sign below the dotted line

Hey < User Name >

Thank you for signing up with < Your App Name >! We’re really excited to have you onboard. You’re just one step away from setting up your account with. Click here < provide link > to complete your account setup.
Great to have you with us!

Best
< Your signature >

Email 2 – Tips

Subject: < User Name >, what you’ve seen is just the TIP of the iceberg!

Hey < User Name >,

We’ve compiled a few tips that we email our early users about on how to start using < Your App Name >.
< Tip 1 >
< Tip 2 >
< Tip 3 >
< Tip 4 >

Click here < provide link > to go to your dashboard now.

Best
< Your signature >

Email 3 – Help

Subject: Help Offered for Help Wanted

Hey < User Name >,

Using < App name > can be tricksy at times. Yes, we used the word tricksy. But it’s true! So we’ve put together a couple of guides for you. Here’s a guide < provide link > for getting quickly started and here’s another one < provide link > to get you up to speed with the best features of < App name >. And if you’re the person who loves to dissect software and peer into its insides, we have an extremely detailed Help section < provide link >.

Best
< Your signature >

The focus of the welcome campaign is to give the customers reasons for using the product. The onboarding campaign should be geared towards guiding the customer on how to derive maximum benefit from the product. For example users should be encouraged to “complete their profile” or generally complete user flows that are required.

For example if a user signs up for a free trial, he/she will be sent an email, that’ll welcome them. If the user disappears, he/she will be sent a number of emails, encouraging them to return. However, if the user has begun using the product, but hasn’t completed profile details, then it will be the onboarding set of emails that will be activated for sending. These will outline the product benefits that the user can avail by completing the profile.

Product Engagement Campaign

Objective – Getting potential customers back to using the product. These campaigns are critical for SaaS companies that offer freeware solutions. Companies using the freemium model have to make sure that customers who have not paid for their product are engaged and frequently using the product.

Email 1 – Industry News

Subject: What’s going on in the < relevant industry > industry?

Hey < User Name >,

The < relevant industry > industry is an exciting one to be in! There is constant change as companies come up with new and innovative ways to tackle problems that keep changing with time. We’ve compiled some industry updates for our users so they can constantly stay updated with current trends.

< Link 1 >
< Link 2 >
< Link 3 >

Best
< Your signature >

Email 2 – Product Usage / Features Tips

Subject: < User Name > check this out!

Hey < User Name >,

Did you know that you can create < application specific thing > using the < application specific feature >? See it in action in this quick tutorial < provide link > we’ve made for you.
You can start using this by clicking here < provide link >.

Best
< Your signature >

Upselling Campaign

Objective – Notifying and updating customers about new features and limitations of current usage. The purpose is to get customers to avail advanced features or purchase a restriction free version of the product, i.e. to upsell.

Upsell campaigns are used to notify customers about new features that have been added or new versions that have been released, or to remind the customer about current usage limitations. The idea is to try to persuade the customer into seeing how, with the purchase of the additional features / new version, he/she can receive greater benefit from the product.

Email 1 – Usage Limitations

Subject: < User Name >, you’re holding yourself back

Hey < User Name >,

You’re currently using the free version of < Your App Name >. That means you don’t get to use < Premium Feature 1 >, < Premium Feature 2 > and < Premium Feature 3 >.
Upgrade now < provide link > to use < Your App Name > so that you get the maximum benefit out of it for your company!

Check out this video of how these features are used, and how easy they make the process for you!

Best
< Your signature >

Email 2 – Benefits of Features

Subject: < User Name > check this out!

Hey < User Name >,

Did you know that you can create < application specific thing > using the < application specific feature >? See it in action in this quick tutorial < provide link > we’ve made for you.
You can start using this by clicking here < provide link >.

Best
< Your signature >

Email 3 – New Version Releases

Subject: < User Name >, we just got better

Hey < User Name >,

< Your App Name > has now been upgraded to version < insert number >. That means a host of brand new features and a completely revamped interface. The features are far more integrated than before, log on < provide link > to activate your FREE 14 day trial! Click here < provide link > to permanently upgrade your service.

Best
< Your signature >

Email 4 – Promotions

Subject: Good things are free, better things just cost $< Insert Price >!

Hey < User Name >,

We’re now offering the full range of our services for $< Insert Number >! That means < Insert Number >% off! This offer is limited for this month so click here < provide link > to upgrade your service now!

Best
< Your signature >

Renewal Campaign

Objective – The objective is to remind the customer about renewal of subscription.

These campaigns serve to alert the customers to renew their yearly subscriptions. Automating this communication can ensure that renewal reminders are sent on time and not forgotten.

Subject: Let’s start over 

Hey < User Name >,

A year has almost gone by and I’m glad to see we’re still fast friends! It’s almost time for the renewal of your subscription, so click here < provide link > if you’d like to make any changes to your current package. Thanks for using < Your App Name > for so long and have a great next year!

Best
< Your signature >

Transactional Emails

As mentioned before, transactional emails are for enabling your users to reset forgotten passwords, authenticate emails etc. These are also part of the tools of communication that are available to you. These should be designed with care as well.

Subject: < User Name >, is that you?

< User Name >

We got a request for resetting the password of your account. Click here < provide link > to reset your password.
Let us know if you didn’t request this, or better yet, don’t respond and have a good day!

Best
< Your signature >

Conclusion

Drip campaigns are an extremely critical communication channel between your company and potential customers of your product. Therefore the lifecycle of your average customer has to be carefully analysed when you are developing a drip campaign.

To help you get started, we’ve put together an HTML template to help you get started. You can download it here.

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