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Issue #10 • October 2017

How to Create Personalized Paths for Successful Customer Onboarding

Digital Marketing Email Marketing

Just because you’ve made the sale doesn’t mean your job is over.

You can’t simply take your customer’s money, hand off a product, and say, “Ok. Bye!”. It’s just not the best way to do business. The customer experience you’re creating isn’t really an experience at all– it’s just a major let down.

The best way to create an experience that will not only make your customer happy right now, but will give them a reason to come back time and time again is building a helpful, dedicated, and supportive customer onboarding process.

How to create a great customer onboarding experience

You see, it’s not just about the product they just bought. Every little point of contact between you and your customer is an opportunity to build on the relationship you already have. So, instead of focusing on your product in the onboarding process, think of it more as focusing on your customer’s experience through out it.

You have to really get into your customer’s mind to understand what their interaction will be with your product from the moment they get it, throughout their use, to potentially selling them on a similar product that can help them out just as much as the first.

You need to think about how to make the process welcoming and simple. There should be a flow that feels personable and informative at the time. If you can do this, there are so many benefits to great customer onboarding. Here are a couple of those benefits:

Customer onboarding will help you learn about your customer

You can ask your customers question through surveys in your welcoming emails that will give you data to learn more about them and other potential customers like them. For example, you could ask them about their interests and through the use of Link Triggers, send them into other marketing funnels to pitch them on other products based on their answers.

Let your customer get to know you through onboarding

Yes, you customer has most likely gone through a welcoming email sequence before making a purchase of your product, but it’s always a good idea to remind them who you are and what you’re all about. You can use the communication of customer onboarding as a way to give your brand a personal touch by truly being yourself.

If you’re a funny person, crack some jokes in your onboarding. If you love data and pie charts, do your research and find out some great industry-wide statistics to show your customer how your product will benefit their business.

Whoever you are and whatever your personality is, show it off!

Build authority through an educational customer onboarding sequence

The more knowledgeable you come across to your audience, the more likely they will believe whatever it is you’re teaching them. Use the your customer onboarding process to continue the educational information you started in the previous pitch sequences to help them understand more about your product and why it’s so beneficial as they start to dig in.

Build trust by always delivering on your promises

Be a creator of your word. When you say you’re going to deliver your product, make sure you’re delivering it timely, efficiently, and with enough support for your customer to know how to use it.

When it comes to delivering your product, making sure your customer has everything they need taken care of will put you as hero in their eyes. They’ll share with their friends how helpful you were and how easy it was to start using your product. So don’t overlook the delivery!

How to automate your customer onboarding but still keep the personality

While customer onboarding should feel like a personal experience, that doesn't mean you have to create a hands-on process for each new customer. With email funnels and automations, you can build a customer onboarding path that feels unique, but can still be used again and again for your products.

Let me show you how to create an excellent customer onboarding process for a physical or digital product as well as an email course with Visual Automations.

Physical and digital product customer onboarding experience

Step 1- Tag customer as Purchased: Product

First, you’ll need to use your e-commerce platform integration to create an automation that tags your customers as Purchased: Product in your ConvertKit account. For example, if you’re using Shopify to sell your products, check out this tutorial on how to set up this integration.

Once that integration is complete, you can begin creating your marketing funnel.

How to:

  • Click on the Automations tab in your dashboard navigation.
  • Click the blue, New Automations button to create your onboarding email funnel.
  • Click on the Create Automation button in the middle of the page and choose Tag is added to subscriber.
  • Choose a previously created Tag from the drop down for Purchased: Product.
  • Click Add Event.

Product onboarding marketing funnel

Step 2- Send Thank You/Follow up sequence

Once your product has been purchased, it’s now time to start your post-purchase onboarding communication with your new customer.

The sequence you send at the point should contain:

A thank you email (Sent immediately after purchase).

I’m sure your mom taught you how to be a polite a person. Always send a thank you note to your new customers and let them know how much you appreciate their business and their interest in you and your product.

A follow up email (Sent a few days after purchase).

There’s always a chance that your customer will buy your product and then have no idea what to do with it. To keep that from happening, a follow up email asking them how everything is going is just what you need.

Put away any of their fears with an assuring, “I’m here to answer any questions you might have,” and tell them the best way to ask those questions. Is it hitting ‘reply’ to the email or hitting you up on Twitter? Whatever you choose is the best mode of communication, make sure you’re checking that everyday so no one falls through the cracks.

An ask for a review (Sent at least a week after purchase).

After you give your customer a week to dig into your product, you can send a follow up email asking them what they think.

Asking for their reviews will not only let them feel appreciated and heard, it can also help you create an ever better version 2, 3, and even 4 of your product later on. You can also ask to use their testimonials on your site for little social proof.

An upsell of a similar product (Sent a month after purchase).

See Step 3.

How-to:

  • Click (+) and under Action, choose Email sequence and scroll the drop down to find your Product: Follow Up sequence.
  • Click Add Action.

Product onboarding marketing funnel

Step 3- Send customer an upsell for other products based on their previous interests

The last email of the Product: Follow Up sequence should be used as an upsell to a similar product you have that you think your customer could benefit from.

This email says something like, “if you liked this, you might also like…” and give options for other products with Link Triggers that send them to educational sequences about your upsell products.

How-to:

  • Click (+) and under Event, choose Tag is added and scroll the drop down to find the Tag associated with your Link Trigger interest.
  • Click Add Event.
  • Click (+) to the right of the Event box to add another Event:Tag and continue to do so for as many Link Triggers as you included in your email.
  • Click (+) under each Event:Tag box and add your educational email sequence for your upsell products that corresponding with each Interested in tag.

Product onboarding marketing funnel

Step 4- Deliver on your upsell product if subscriber purchases

The end of these upsell educational sequences will pitch your subscriber on the new product associated with their interest. If they purchase your upsell offering, deliver your goods as promised like before.

You can end both paths (purchasers and non-purchases of your upsell) by adding the customer to your RSS feed or subscribe them to your newsletter.

How-to:

  • Click (+) and under Condition, choose Tag and scroll the drop down to find the Tag associated with purchasing the product.
  • Click Add Condition.
  • Click (+) under Yes, and under Action, choose Email sequence to find the sequence that delivers your product.
  • Click Add Action.
  • Click (+) at the end of your Automation to send all subscribers to your newsletter.

Product onboarding marketing funnel

Email course customer onboarding

For example’s sake, this email course will not be an evergreen course. Instead, I’ve created an example automation for a course that starts at a dedicated time for all your registered students.

Step 1- Tag customer as Purchased: Course

Like before, you’ll need to use your e-commerce platform integration to create an automation that tags your customers as Purchased: Course in your ConvertKit account. For example, if you’re using Shopify to sell your products, check out this tutorial on how to set up this integration.

Once that integration is complete, you can begin creating your marketing funnel.

How to:

  • Click on the Automations tab in your dashboard navigation.
  • Click the blue, New Automations button to create your onboarding email funnel.
  • Click on the Create Automation button in the middle of the page and choose Tag is added to subscriber.
  • Choose a previously created Tag from the drop down for Purchased: Course.
  • Click Add Event.

Email course onboarding marketing funnel

Step 2- Send customer to welcome email sequence

This welcome email sequence can be one to three emails that include:

A thank you (Sent immediately after purchase).

Let your registrant know how much you appreciate their interest in your course, how excited you are to walk them through it, and that they’ll be hearing more from you soon for all the details.

An informational emails (Sent the next day).

This is an email with all the pertinent information they’ll need before starting your course. This can include the day they’ll start receiving lessons and other resources they might need to finish your course.

Hype emails (Sent a few days later, leading up to your course launch).

This time between signing up and starting your email course is an opportunity to build trust and authority with your captive audience. Don’t go overboard and send an email everyday, but use this space to send more valuable content.

That could mean linking to an article that is pertinent to the benefits of your course or even sending over a couple of things for them to be thinking about to get their brain spinning.

Whatever you think can add more value to your customer’s experience at this point in regards to your email course, send it on.

How-to:

  • Click (+) and under Action, choose Email sequence and scroll to find your Welcoming sequence for your course.
  • Click Add Action.

Email course onboarding marketing funnel

Step 3-  Set up an Event: Date occurs

Since your email course will start at the same time for all your students no matter when they signed up, you’ll need to create an event to pull everyone to the same time to begin the course.

How-to:

  • Click (+) and under Event, choose Date occurs and set the date for the beginning of your email course.
  • Click Add event.

Email course onboarding marketing funnel

Step 4- Email subscribers when your course begins

Depending on how you’ve setup your email course, your students will be dripped the lesson content over the follow weeks or month. By creating this dripped out lesson plan, your students can go through each lesson with enough time to truly take it all in and follow through with the actionable items you’ve challenge them to.

How-to:

  • Click (+) and under Action, choose Email sequence and scroll to find your Email course sequence.
  • Click Add Action.

Email course onboarding marketing funnel

Step 5: Set up email sequence for course follow up

As always, you want to make sure to follow up with your course registrants at the end of your email course. This allows you to have another point of contact to communicate your thanks for their participation, let’s you be available for any questions they might have, and ask for reviews and testimonials so you can make the next version of your course even better than this one.

How-to:

  • Click (+) and under Event, choose Date occurs and set the date for the end of your email course.
  • Click Add Event.
  • Click (+) and under Action, choose Email sequence and scroll the drop down to find your follow up email course sequence.

Email course onboarding marketing funnel

Create a customer onboarding experience for one of your products today

Once you’ve made your sale, you have a captive audience– so don’t drop the ball now. Don’t miss your chance to continue on building trust with your customers.

Creating a helpful and informative customer onboarding experience for your product will be the perfect way to follow up with your new customers to make them feel supported and appreciated.

Do you have any questions about building a customer onboarding experience? Let’s chat about it in the comments.

Product onboarding marketing funnel

 

Email course onboarding marketing funnel

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Dani Stewart

As a daughter of an entrepreneur, the wife of an entrepreneur, and an entrepreneur herself, Dani has lived and learned all sides of creating and growing businesses. She is excited to bring all that life experience as well as a decade of crafting content to the ConvertKit community. She is a part-time baker, dinner-party planner, and lover of good bourbon living the simple life in Nashville with her husband, Sean.

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