Onboarding Email Inspiration: The One Email Only YOU Can Write

Aug 12, 2019

Last updated: April 20, 2021

Oscar Wilde put it well: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

This is a great email copywriting tip. (And I guess I’d better explain myself here.)

Every digital marketer wants to get more out of their email marketing. The key question: which content drives the best results

Naturally, it’s useful to be aware of what competitors or just other marketers write in their onboarding emails, newsletters and follow-up emails. I myself keep an email marketing “swipe file” that I regularly go through. But if you follow others, you’re missing out an opportunity to stand out, to build your brand and to get exceptional results. 

My claim: you’ll get the best results from your automated marketing emails if you write emails only YOU can write. 

Examples of onboarding emails that are unique to the writer and brand

Here’s the email we at Outfunnel send to all new trial users a day after they’ve signed up as part of our onboarding email workflow:

outfunnel onboarding email example

P.S. Read more about how we won back 80% of our time by optimizing our onboarding emails.

Every reasonable marketer sends automated marketing emails like this as users are evaluating their product or service. They do this to keep prospects “engaged” and because it’s easy with modern email tools. Usually, companies tend to want to create an illusion of personal attention, but since we are an email automation tool, I deliberately took a different tack. 

I was in a unique position to do this because automating marketing is a core message of ours. 

Here’s another example:

weekdone onboarding email example

A really useful feature of Weekdone is a weekly report on what everyone’s been doing and what they’re planning to do next. Receiving this information is a bit of an “aha moment” that probably leads to converted trial users.

How to provide the “aha moment” if the user hasn’t added their team members into the system yet? 

Weekdone was uniquely positioned to create an email that serves the goal of reminding people of the active trial and showing value that arises from using the product. 

This next example is from a dashboard company that doesn’t exist anymore because it got acquired by a larger, NASDAQ listed software company (I guess the email didn’t do all that terribly then). 

onboarding email example

Again, because the company was all about dashboards, they could make their emails all about dashboards. And very few other companies can take the same approach. 

(Full disclosure: yours truly wrote each of those emails. I guess I was uniquely qualified to write this post :))

How to come up with a unique angle for your onboarding emails

Onboarding email from a marketing automation company that’s about marketing automation.

Email from a weekly reporting tool that features a weekly report.

Email from a dashboard app that heavily features dashboards.

Not really surprising, right? But what is surprising is that very few companies do this. When I look through my swipe file, there are lots of examples of email workflows with cunning creative writing, but very few emails that bring the tool or service to life with a unique angle.

Ask yourself:

  • what’s unique about your product, service, company or you yourself, that can be brought to life via email?
  • what’s an “aha moment” that you could communicate via email?
  • what information do you have that very few others do?

Can’t find a unique angle for your business?

Challenge accepted.

My theory is that everyone has a unique angle. That everyone can (and should) write the email only they can write. If you can’t find it, let me try to find this for you. I’ll work for free with 3 companies that contact me first, and I’ll also pick a few ones that reply within the first month. 

(I may ask you to use our new email sequences tool to test it out.)

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