Episode 368 | Improving Your SaaS Onboarding Emails

Episode 368 | Improving Your SaaS Onboarding Emails

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Show Notes

In this episode of Startups For The Rest Of Us, Mike interviews Alli Blum about how she helps convert prospects into long-term customers in SaaS onboarding through email. They talk about the three phases of SaaS onboarding, the marketers perspective, the product approach, and more.

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Mike: In this episode of Startups For The Rest Of Us, we’re going to be talking about how to improve your SaaS onboarding emails. This is Startups For The Rest Of Us Episode 368.

Welcome to Startups For The Rest Of Us, the podcast that helps developers, designers and entrepreneurs be awesome at building, launching, and growing software products. Whether you’ve built your first product, or you’re just thinking about it. I’m Mike.

Alli: And I’m Alli.

Mike: And we’re here to share experiences to help you avoid the same mistakes we’ve made. How are you doing this week, Alli?

Alli: Fantastic. How are you?

Mike: I’m doing great. Welcome to the show. Wanted to introduce you to everybody. I guess that I’d say your background is in copywriting but really, the gist of what you do is you help people convert prospects into long term customers in their SaaS onboarding emails. You’ve worked with a bunch of different high profile companies, I’d say, like KISSmetrics, and CrazyEgg, and MixPanel, and Autopilot. Seems like the plethora of companies that people look up to and are well known. Just want to say great to have you on and we’re going to be talking today about how to improve people’s SaaS onboarding emails.

Alli: Thank you very much. I am so excited to be here. Yeah, I’ve had the opportunity to write for some of those fine publications that you just listed. My background is that I have worked with technology companies from a lot of different places. I knew I wanted to start my own product based company, right now I’m doing service based business. I started looking around the research that you do when you’re just getting started at learning about startups and I saw Startups For The Rest Of Us and I learned about MicroConf. I just thought, oh, I think this is like a thing I want to get near to and learn more about but I was too chicken to actually come close to you. But when I finally started getting the courage, I looked and I wanted to meet people, I looked at who was attending MicroConf. I was just like, I would just email them and say, “Hey, I want to know more about what you’re doing.”

Mike: That’s awesome. It’s nice to see that the MicroConf Community is having an impact on people and we’re always looking for ways to expand that. This past year obviously, we expanded into the Growth Edition and the Starter Edition. If you’re looking for tickets, any of the listeners looking for tickets, you can get on the mailing list over at microconf.com and tickets are going to be publicly available the next couple of weeks. By the time this episode comes out, we’re pretty close to that.

I guess with Alli’s intro in mind, one of the things that we’re going to focus on today is the different techniques that you can use to improve your SaaS onboarding emails because that’s your focus point at the stage of your career, Alli. Wanted to have you on the show and educate our listeners a bit about how they can improve their onboarding emails and what the specific steps that they can take to walk through the process of improving those. Like anything else in your business, it’s an iterative process. You’ll go through it once and then you’ll come back to it and revise and repeat. I think that you have a unique perspective and that you’ve done this for a bunch of different people whereas most people listening to this will probably only have done it for one or two apps, yet you got a much wider range of experience that I think will be really helpful to listeners.

Alli: Cool, yeah. One of the things that I’m excited to talk about is if you’re listening to Startups For The Rest Of Us, you may have just launched, maybe getting ready to launch, you may have been around for a couple of years. Depending on where you are, there’s a little bit of a different approach that you may want to take to make sure that your onboarding is actually doing what you want it to do.

Mike: There are different phases to the onboarding process. Why don’t you talk a little bit about the three different phases where people might fall on the spectrum?

Alli: Excellent. The first phase would be when you have no automation at all. This would be if your app is very new or if your app had more of a consultative sales process before moving into a self signup process. At this point, you may not know too much about what makes people fall in love with your app, you may not even know too much about who the folks are who are coming into your app. This early stage, your goal is to get as much of that information as you can to talk to as many people as you can and really get a feel for why they’re signing up for a trial, why they’re starting to use your app, what are they trying to get out of it and who are they.

You take the same approach at later stages. After you’ve been around for a little while, you may have already started to introduce some automation. You may want to have a welcome email, you may have a couple of emails that go out to tell folks about features they can try during their trial but you may not have a full automation process or a full set of sequences designed to actually turn your trial users into paying customers.

And then once you’re at that stage where you’ve done a lot of hard work, where you’ve got everything automated, everything is triggered by specific events as opposed to time triggers, then you might be getting ready to be at a point where you really want to start optimizing and testing different things out, seeing what you can, seeing if you can get to a point where you’re bringing as much juice out of your trial as you can.

Mike: Those are the three basic phases of the onboarding process where people will probably fall, who are listening to this. You either got no automation, you got some minimal automation, or I’ll say complete automation that’s much more advanced. Everything is done through triggers or events or what have you.

A general process that I think people will go through when they’re looking at implementing these, regardless of which of those three phases you’re currently at, is to look at your current onboarding emails and try to identify the shortest path, they’re trying to get a customer to recognize value and figuring out what steps they need to take. And then for each step, write an email that takes them through the process of achieving that stuff.

We talked a little bit offline, you actually had some rules for this piece of it. We’re just giving a basic process now, I thought it was really interesting that you had three different rules that applied to writing the individual emails. I wanted to go through those real quick.

Alli: Yes. Many times you’ll see, if you sign up for SaaS trials or if you’re sending out emails yourself, you’ll see emails are general, and they’ll say here’s a welcome guide or read some cases studies or don’t you know we have video tutorials? What I don’t like about emails like this is that they actually introduce quite a lot of work for your reader, they have to stop and figure out what they’re doing, why they’re here. That’s why I have these rules for writing. It’s about getting that hidden work out of the way so that people who see your email can just figure out what to do and then do it.

The first one is called the Rule of One, it’s a conversion copywriting rule and it means or it states that you should write your copy for one reader, and you should get them to do one thing. You may send out an email that says here are the six tips you need to do to get started. Instead of that approach, I would recommend saying here’s the one thing you need to do to get started. This is something that a lot of folks may think oh, well if you have more calls to action in there than maybe some of those more likely to click on something for sure, but there’s a lot of data that doesn’t support that claim. I think it’s on marketing props, there’s a study where Whirlpool eliminated all the calls to action from their emails except for one and they saw 42% increase in clickthroughs. Getting rid of everything from your email and just having one clear call to action is rule number one.

Rule number two is to make sure that call to action is measurable. When we say measurable, that means we want someone to be able to know when they’ve done it. If your call to action is for someone to upload a video or to invite a team member, these are concrete actions. When you’ve done it, you know you’ve done it.

What would be a call to action that’s not measurable is something like explore my account. It’s a little bit less well defined, folks come in may not know when they’re done exploring their account, if they’ve even achieved anything. It introduces that work where they have to figure out what to do.

Then the third thing is to make sure that your call to action is something meaningful. Really, that the whole email is meaningful. We want people who are reading our emails to say, okay, yes, I need to do this. Instead of sending an email with a call to action, and we were talking about this offline that says something like submit or login, something that’s pretty boring. No one’s life ever improved because they clicked login. You’re going want to talk about what is going to happen as a result of doing whatever it is the thing that you’re doing.

Instead of login, maybe it’s invite the team member. If you want to take it even one step further, less of a call to action and more of a call to value, you could say, “Cut the time you spend on support tickets in half.” Made that one up off the top of my head, it’s probably not the best example. The reason I shared this is to show that you want to make sure you’re communicating why someone should do what you’re asking them to do. Because people have a zillion emails in their inbox, they’re going to ignore yours unless you give them a reason to do anything about it. Three rules, rule of one, make your call to action measurable and make it meaningful.

Mike: Awesome. I think that applies to not just emails that you’re writing inside your onboarding sequence but you can also generically apply that to marketing copy on your webpage or landing pages. There are lots of things that cross applies too. Again, we’re going back to the basic process for iterating on your email sequences. The first one was identifying that shortest path, second one was for each step writing the email, and then for the third step is to take a look at that. If they don’t take the actions on the follow up to remind them to take, usually this involves some level of events and automation. You’re typically not going to get here without some level of automation whether you’re using Zapier or a timed trigger that you can interject and stop. You’re just not going to be able to keep up with it after 5 or 10 people are involved in your onboarding process.

Then the next step is to measure the results of those emails and make sure that people are moving or progressing through your sales funnel. There’s a lot of different tools you can use, you can implement custom database tables or use tools like MixPanel or KISSmetrics, Intercom, Drift. There’s lots of things that do that but it’s really about making sure that you have the information to go back through and iterate for that process and make it better.

What I want to talk to you today about was that there are different perspectives for improving that process. There are three that you had talked to me about. The first one was the marketer’s perspective. Can you talk a little bit about what the marketer’s perspective is and why people tend to use this?

Alli: When you’re talking about a trial, and then the messaging that you’re doing in a trial, one way that you can think about this and one way that a lot of folks will think about the trial is part of a marketing funnel. You have your content marketing and your outreach marketing and you bring people to your site and then you get them to opt in and sign up for a trial, then they’re in the trial, and then you’re retaining them once they’ve upgraded. It’s one step in this funnel toward keeping long term customers.

If you’re a marketer, you might say okay, if the trial’s not doing what I want it to do, the way that I describe this problem is that I have a leaky funnel. Something is happening in my trial where people are not staying around. If you’re a marketer, you’re going to approach this problem like a marketer. You’re going to say okay, why are my conversion rates so low? Am I getting the wrong people into my trial? Am I not targeting the right people? Is my messaging somehow not what my target prospect wants to hear? Is the problem that my web copy is out of date that my content marketing is wrong, there’s a mismatch between who I’m talking to and who I want in my trial? Marketer’s perspective is about fixing a broken part of your funnel.

Mike: Awesome. In most cases, this assumes that your sales funnel is I’ll say either long enough or you have enough people going through it that it makes sense to look at that and try to find optimizations. If you’ve only got 10 or 20 people going through a month, it’s hard to look for optimizations with lower numbers, just because you can’t really get a good sense of what is statistically significant or not.

The second approach you talked about was the product approach. I think the product approach is probably one that I hear the most about because pretty much everyone is doing it, they’re saying how do I draw attention to the different things. Talk a little bit about the product approach when it comes to the SaaS onboarding funnel.

Alli: Oh my gosh. Me too. I hear this. Every SaaS founder that I talk to, who has a problem with their onboarding, they say, “We have so many features, how do we get more people to try all of our features during the trial?”

Mike: Why do you think that is that they want everybody to try out all the different features?

Alli: I think it’s because many of these SaaS founders who I spoke to, who like I said come from the MicroConf Community, they’re building features that people ask for, they’re building features a lot of times because they have done research and they have figured out that this is a real pain and their feature addresses that pain. They build the feature and the folks that have it, folks that are using the feature are enjoying it, and it makes sense that you would want to solve other people’s pain. Why wouldn’t you want someone to try out everything that they can do in your app. It’s going to make their lives so much better.

I think people approach it from the right place, so to speak, people really want to help. The only problem is that that’s not always, I have found, what people want to do when they come to your app. Even people who are very aware of what they want to do with your product, maybe they know the exact features that they want, they still don’t need to see all the features, at least during trial.

Mike: Yeah. They’re there to use your app because they want to solve their particular problem, not because they want to use every feature, whereas the developer tends to be more focused on, hey, I created this new feature over here, you should come check it out or you should use it. And making assumptions about the reason why some of their customers are falling out of the sales funnel is because they’re not using that feature or making assumptions about what the value is that people are getting out of it versus understanding what the customers really looking for and what would make them successful and what things they actually need to do in order to be successful.

Alli: Exactly. So much of this has a lot to do with who’s coming to your app and what category you’re in, and the stage of awareness that most of your buyers are. I like to think about categories that are really saturated as most of their prospects are likely to be switchers. If you are using, for example, a proposal software as a freelancer and something goes wrong and you don’t like it anymore and you want to switch to another one, you already know basically what you’re looking for and there might be a single feature that you need. But during your trial, you don’t need someone to bombard you and say, did you know we could do payments, did you know we could convert currency, if the only feature that you need is version control. If you are that feature focused buyer, you’ll go figure out or you’ll ask someone if this feature is available a lot of times.

Mike: I think it’s not just about the feature, it’s just about the fact that they are in that mindset of I want something else and I want to find something to solve this specific thing which is the reason I’m switching from somebody else, versus somebody who has searched for a pain point that they had and they are so early on in the buying process that they’re not at the point where they’re not willing to put their credit card down versus somebody who is just like you described, they’re willing to put their credit card down because that new product has that one feature that they really need.

Alli: One of the things that I think is really interesting is that in that level of awareness where people, in copy writing we might call it most aware with a high level of intent, someone is aware of their problem, they’re pain aware, they know that solutions exist, so they’re solution aware, they’re product aware, they know that your product exists, and then they’re most aware. They know your product is  where, they know that you are a good candidate for solving their problem.

And then if they’re most aware with intent, that’s the dream buyer. If you have what they’re looking for, then they’re going to find you. But most people aren’t that, we do not have the luxury of being able to write for people who already know that we are the right fit for them. As marketers, copywriters, product managers, SaaS owners of any kind, we have to be ready to help folks along the way and say okay, this is what you are most likely to want to do. We’re going to help you figure out how to use this app to get you where you need to be. That’s when we start to get into that third perspective that we are talking about.

Mike: Which is a customer success approach. I guess the general way to phrase the customer success approach is that you’re looking to identify what the success milestones are for somebody coming onto your product and how can you help enable those for the prospects. I think this is what we’re going to really drill into so that people can get some actionable takeaways for this. The first question that most people are going to have to try and answer is what success milestones could there be? You talked a little bit about this before but can you elaborate on that a little bit? I think it’s probably going to be different for each product.

Alli: It’s totally different for each product. It’s different for each product and it’s different across categories. Mike, are you at a stake yet where you know what your customer’s success milestones are for Bluetick?

Mike: I have some idea of it. I would say I don’t have 100% confirmations but there are certain things that the customer has to do in order to provide value to them. The first one is that they need to connect their mailbox, if they don’t connect their mailbox then obviously they’re not getting any sort of value from the products. The second one is that they need to set up email sequences. If you’re not sending emails, the product doesn’t give any value. And then third one is you have to have contacts loaded into the system to send the emails to. And then the fourth one is obviously you have to actually send the emails.

Really, the most important one is getting them to the point where they send the emails and the value that can be measured is that when they start getting replies from those automated emails that are going out. There’s a way to measure that and then there’s those progressive steps leading up to that which they don’t do any of those then the number at the end is going to be zero. But once they get through those initial set of things, then there’s a way to measure how successful they are as they’re using the product.

Alli: That’s really cool. What I’m curious about, it sounds like the moment where people are most likely to say oh, okay, I need to keep using Bluetick, is the moment when they get that first reply, that second reply to an email that’s been sending out as part of an automation, is that what you’re observing?

Mike: Yeah, that’s it. I have customers who will sign up and then they start sending the emails out. And then after even just a day or two, they start seeing that they’re getting responses and they know that it’s working. If somebody didn’t respond, the system would follow up for them and they don’t have to worry about it. That’s exactly right.

Alli: It’s really awesome that you have that insight because Bluetick is still a very young app. I think one of the things that some apps are naturally predisposed to have these built in success milestones where you have to do a couple of things that are not that difficult in terms of the cognitive load that you bear while you’re doing them. You have to write the emails and that’s pretty tricky. But you have these clear success milestones and the measure of success is also very clear. People who are signing up, setting up their inbox, getting their contacts, sending the sequences, and then getting those replies, that’s a very clear measure and that’s great when you’re able to do that.

Mike: But that’s really a close feedback loop where there’s no real, I don’t want to say no other options but that’s the result of the product itself. I think that it’s much less clear when you have something that does any sort of analytics. I think you and I talked offline a little bit about Wistia and the process that they had gone through to increase their onboarding experience and make sure that people are successful.

If I remember correctly from reading an article, somebody just said that one of the things that they looked at was making sure that people were looking at their analytics inside of Wistia. They’d upload a video and invite a team mate and look at the analytics. Looking at analytics does not necessarily mean you take action on them. It depends on how you view that as to whether or not that’s a real milestone. How much of a milestone is it? If you went to the page and then you clicked away, does that count? Or you have to come back to it several times? I think it’s very subjective at that point. Not everything, I think, falls into a neat bucket like the process that I outlined for Bluetick does.

Alli: I think you’re absolutely right. If only every app had as clear and straightforward a feedback loop as Bluetick, make my job a lot easier.

Mike: What is it that you would recommend if somebody’s in that situation where you’ve got some customers that are coming on board and you might have an idea of what your success milestones could be, but you’re not sure. What are some of the couple of things that you could do right away to try and figure out what those milestones are or whether or not your assumptions about them are correct.

Alli: The first thing that I would recommend, it’s kind of asking yourself a series of questions. The first thing that I would say is okay, do I know who’s using my app and are all the people who use my app using it pretty much the same and what does that look like. That’s the first question. Is everyone here using the app that we have the same, and if not, how are we going to start talking to everyone the right way?

Mike: Would you recommend starting with that as a question of what the size of their business is or are there other things that you can think of that would be better suited for that type of self segmentation or is it just size of business is a great place to start and then dig in from there?

Alli: It depends. It always depends. It depends on what your category is and what those main factors might be. Ideally, you’re in a place where you are starting to have some insight that these differences may exist. You may, for example, notice that 30% of your users just never click invite a team member. They just never do that one action. That’s a very telling piece of information where team size may be a very large variable.

Mike: Going back to what you’re talking about, the product approach where one of the reasons that that may fall down is if you’re trying to get people to use the invite a team member but if they don’t have team members, they’re not going to use that.  Of course, writing those onboarding emails, trying to get them to use it is never going to work because they don’t even have team members.

Alli: Yes. I sign up for apps all the time because I want to see what their free trial emails look like. A lot of them are apps that I plan on using. If the first thing they ask me to do is invite a team member, I kind of just assume it’s not for me, it’s not a product for a solopreneur because I don’t have a team member that I need to add. You’re right. The product based approach will frequently say we have our products, let’s make people use it, and the customer success approach would be like okay, who are our customers and how do we make them successful?

Mike: Right. You’re really just personalizing the features that you’re offering them based on the problems that they’re facing and they’re trying to solve. It’s just personalization of your software for them.

Alli: Exactly. Yes.

Mike: Once you’ve gone through the process of self segmenting people a little bit, what’s the next step? How should you go about finding more information about them? Because I think there’s only so many questions you can ask in self segmentation emails before you have to go onto the next step. What would that next step be?

Alli: Yes. The self segmenters are good to start off because they can be automatically triggered and you can keep collecting that data while you’re diving into the harder data which might be lurking in your KISSmetrics account, in that quantitative user behavior based data. What are people actually doing? This is really challenging to make sure that your data collection methods are labelled correctly, set up correctly, but it’s a matter of sifting through a massive amount of data and saying what are people doing right before they sign up for a paid plan? If the question you’re answering is why don’t more people upgrade, then look at what people who have upgraded have done.

One of my favorite places to look is inside your support ticketing software. I love looking at what kinds of question people are asking while they are in their trials. One of my favorite little tip is to look for phrases that follow the phrase, “So that.” So if someone’s asking you a question and they’re saying how do I configure my invoice with an automatic payment link ‘so that’ I can accept international currency, or how do I upload my video in a small file format ‘so that’ I can share it in email.

Then, you’re starting to get some data on why people are coming to your app. What is the real problem that they’re trying to solve? If it’s the video example, you have a video that you need to email to someone, emailing a video is like an impossible task if you do it as a file, how do you help someone who wants to do that, figure out how to do that. One of the things that Wistia does really well is incorporate that into both their email onboarding but also into their in app UX messaging.

Mike: All this stuff, what you just talked about is really ways to be sure that the assumptions that you’re making previously about what the success milestones are are valid. I think that looking through the support emails, specifically after where they say ‘so that I can do whatever,’ that’s fantastic, I’ve never heard that one before.

Alli: When we do review binding as copywriters, you can do it in product development where you go out and you find the pains and the crispy-sticky language, you find what people are looking for and you find out why they want to do it. Getting into the idea of the ‘so that’ is one of my favorite, favorite copy tips because it helps you just get that one level deeper. Because we’re all emotionally human creatures with wants and needs that we don’t always articulate. This is one of the reasons why we look for that ‘so that’ because we don’t want to make any assumptions about what someone is asking us for help with. If someone says I need to be able to do XYZ, you can help them of course and you should, and that’s great. If they also tell you why they want to do it, that’s gold.

Mike: All of this information is intended to help you build out the emails sequences around those success milestones but how do you know when you have enough data to get started? Does it take 5 or 10 data points or do you need 80 or 100? It feels like there’s not really a hard statistical significant number that you can look at because this is all gut feel to some extent?

Alli: That’s a really good question. When you start noticing patterns, when you notice that the folks that you talk to share the same functional role or they have the same need, they tend to do the same things or they have the same questions, that is a point when you are ready to dedicate your time to your onboarding.

Mike: It is really about looking at the patterns and when you start to recognize them and you start hearing the same things over and over again, that’s when you shift modes over to starting to automate things in your emails versus continuously analyze the data that’s coming in, right?

Alli: Yeah. I think never stop looking at the data. The more close relationship that you can have with either that quantitative user data of who does what, stuff that you can put into a graph or a chart, and that qualitative data of what people are saying and when they’re saying it. But the more that you can maintain that relationship with the data, especially during onboarding, the more that you’re going to be able to push those free to paid conversion rates up to a quarter of percent here, a little bit here, and that’s how you start to get to those high rates.

Mike: I think in terms of the pattern recognition, every brain is a different engine and you start to see massive differences between two things. Part of gathering this data allows you to see the differences between what different customers are doing. As soon as you start to recognize, hey, this customer segment over here is much larger than the second one over there, then you start focusing on one versus the other and it makes it easier to make those decisions because you have the numbers in front of you.

Alli: I agree.

Mike: Once you have this qualitative data and you believe those success milestones are, the next step is to coach people around those milestones and steer people towards them. What is the default that people tend towards if they don’t do that? What are the mistakes that people make instead of actively going after those things and intentionally doing them, what’s the default that people do?

Alli: Yes. There are so many mistakes. The default that I see is on the first day, you get a welcome email from the founder and a welcome email that says, “Here is a guide to get setup.” Or, “Here is a list of all of the places you can get support; our blog, our video tutorials, our 7 tips, our 13 minute video.” And while it is great for founders to send out those emails, while it is great to tell your users where they can get support, it is much better to say, “Great! You just signed up. Here is what we need you to do next.” The alternative to sending out emails that show your users what they should be doing while they’re onboarding is really just sending them useless information. It’s the equivalent of an email blast to everyone you know that says, “Hey, we have a thing.” Or, “Here is a new feature, look at it.” It just drives me crazy because these are apps that in many, many cases are very user friendly, in many cases are very helpful, they address a real pain, but these emails come through and they just get in the way and they make it so much more difficult to get started than it needs to be. They just introduce so much work.

Mike: They’re really just not helpful, is what you’re saying.

Alli: They’re not helpful. It’s like if you show up to a store and someone says, okay, can I help you find anything? You say no thanks, I’m just looking. And then if you show up to a store and someone says hi, would you like to try on our new jeans? But you’re there to buy a vase. They never asked you who you are or what you’re there for, they never made any attempts to help you get started or figure out what you want to do. This isn’t the best analogy.

Mike: I think it’s a great one. Because it’s exactly why I use Amazon.

Alli: Yeah.

Mike: Because I just don’t want to be bothered. I don’t want to go into a store and have them try and sell me some stuff that I just absolutely have no interest in. I think it’s a very great analogy.

Alli: I’m sure there are times when you are looking for something specific that maybe you haven’t bought before or you haven’t been able to track down where you need someone’s help and you’re grateful for their help. But if you walk into the store and they ask you if you want help with something that’s not the thing you came there for, then you just leave or you go some place else.

Mike: I think that’s partly a function of them either having some sort of quota and at that point, their help is about them, it’s not about you. It’s not about what they can do for you, it’s about what can I do to meet our goals or our internal needs or this product needs to be sold. Let me see if I can direct people to it. I think that’s the fundamental issue.

Alli: Yeah. It really, really is because the difference between the product approach and the customer success approach, even though neither of those are strictly a sales approach, the product approach is very self centered, this is what I have to show you. Do you want to come look at it? As opposed to I think this is what is going to help you get through what you’re trying to do here.

Mike: I think there’s a big difference that you can just objectively notice when you sign onto a software product where the onboarding itself is extremely well put together and well thought out, and is helpful versus the ones where it just meanders along, it doesn’t really direct you through to the things that are relevant to you. It’s very clear when you see those two things side by side, but I think when you’re working on your own products, it’s very difficult to be a little bit more objective about that.

Alli: The biggest take aways that I would say, I would hope anyone who’s working on their onboarding walks away from this, how can I learn more about who’s using my app? How can I learn more about why they’re using it? And how can I learn more about what they’re doing that makes them successful.

The approach that you take to do that will depend on where you are in terms of the kind of data you can access. Early on, you may spend more time talking to people, interviewing them, continue to do that as you get more and more data in terms of user behavior and also that support ticket information to really round out your understanding of how people are using your app during the trial.

And then once you’re starting to really notice those patterns, that’s a sign to really dedicate more time to this and start implementing those sequences in your onboarding that get people to really coach them around those success milestones. Instead of taking that product approach of saying okay, let’s look at everything. Really taking that approach of saying how can I help people be successful. What do they need to do first, what do they need to do second, how can I help them do it?

Mike: Awesome. I think that’s a great place to leave off for the listeners. What’s the best place for people to follow up with you or find you after the episode or if they want to ask questions?

Alli: My email address is the best way to reach me. It’s alli@alliblum.com.

Mike: Alli, thanks so much for coming on. I really appreciate having you.

Alli: Thanks for having me, Mike.

Mike: If you have a question for us, you can call it into our voicemail number at 1-888-801-9690 or you can email it to us at questions@startupsfortherestofus.com. Our theme music is an excerpt from We’re Outta Control by MoOt used under Creative Commons. Subscribe to us in iTunes by searching for Startups and visit startupsfortherestofus.com for a full transcript of each episode. Thanks for listening, we’ll see you next time.





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5 Responses to “Episode 368 | Improving Your SaaS Onboarding Emails”

  1. Roger Lee says:

    # 368 – Possible the worst episode ever I’ve listened to. She was selling “Snake Oil”. Awful.

  2. Grant says:

    Nice work Ali …and , if only net neutrality would but haters in a very slow lane