How to create a Web3 onboarding sequence to increase retention
I've already mentioned that a lot of Web3 brands are sleeping on email marketing. And it's no more apparent than with getting people effectively onboarded into your app.
You want people to get the most out of your offer because, if they don't see the value, they're gonna churn out pretty quickly.
And the best way to do that s with a solid onboarding sequence that highlights to them how to get started and what they should first focus on.
What are onboarding emails
Onboarding emails are focused on getting new subscribers to engage with your product.
In essence, they're about helping new users get off to the best start with your offer. The sequence should highlight the best starting points and lead the user by the hand through the set up steps.
Ideally, at the end of the onboarding sequence, your users should have at the very least, the most basic of workflows and actions set up. They should be comfortable enough with your offer to action a new campaign, purchase something, or make a listing.
It's all about setting a good first impression and speeding the user's "time to return".
"Hold on", you might be thinking, 'this sounds a lot like a welcome sequence". You're not wrong. But also, not exactly right.
Onboarding emails vs welcome emails
Whenever writing or planning any email sequence (or marketing strategy) if ind it beneficial to limit the number of goals of a single asset.
The fewer the goals, the easier it is to track and optimize effectiveness.
This is where onboarding and welcome email sequences differ.
With a welcome email sequence the goal is to introduce your brand. You're looking to foster a stronger relationship with the user by outlining your vision, telling them what they need to know, and maybe offering some form of lowq-cost sale to identify your best users.
An onboarding sequence is all about getting someone onboarded ito your app or project. It's sole purpose is to help someone set up an account and get an initial action completed.
So they can quickly see the value of your offer. The faster someone sees the value of what you offer, the less likely they are to bounce and check out another service.
So in short...
Welcome emails = Welcome and explain more about the brand to build a better relationship
Onboarding emails = Help someone set up their account and get their first win with your product
The goal of onboarding emails in Web3
The question is whether this is the same in Web3.
I mean, onboarding emails are very much aligned and associated with Web 2.0 SaaS. Are they still relevant in Web3?
We have a tonne of categories listed here on Decent Reviews and I could pretty confidently outline potential onboarding sequences for each. As an example...
- Crypto exchanges - Make your first grade
- NFT marketplace - Buy or list your first NFT
- Web3 CRM - Sync your dashboard to get first readout
- Analytics tools - Create first dashboard
- Referral tools - Set up your first referral action
If you have a tool that users can derive some benefit from setting up, an onboarding sequence is key to helping them see the value in record time.
Benefits of a great onboarding sequence
Let's quickly run through a few of the biggest benefits of onboarding sequences.
Reduce churn and increase retention
Churn rate is the percentage of customers who stop using an ongoing service or product within a given time period. Churn can be a brand killer and really highlights the health of your brand.
One way to reduce churn rate and improve customer retention is by investing in onboarding content. By making sure that users have a good experience during their first encounter with your product, you are more likely to retain them for the long term.
This might include providing helpful user tutorials, introducing existing features, answering any initial questions they may have, and simply making sure they understand how the product works.
Doing so gives customers a sense of confidence in using your product and provides them incentives to stay loyal to your brand.
Convert free users to paid
Sending targeted emails to users during their trial period, you can nurture them through the learning curve while demonstrating the value they get when they upgrade to a paid version of your product or service.
With these types of messages, you’ll be able to remind users how much better their experience will be as a pro user, and guide them towards signing up for a subscription plan that works for them.
In addition, reminding users about upcoming features and deadlines helps keep them engaged so that trials turn into payers down the road.
Increase overall engagement
Email is a game of engagement. If your emails aren't being opened, read, and responded to you're gonna see lower engagement across the board.
By sending timely emails that help users, you're going to see enga`gement from those users increase. Which will signify to email services that your emails are trustworthy and useful. Which will help you avoid the dreaded spam folder.
How to create a great onboarding sequence
There is a tonne of advice out there eon how to create great onboarding sequences.
Most of it is pretty high level and, in my opinion, written by people who aven't ever created one from scratch. They give the generic advice that's just best practices like "write a catchy subject line".
These things help, but if the core of your onboarding doesn't add value, the best subject line in the world won't save you.
Below is a very specific step-by-step guide to identifying the true value and highest potential messages for your onboarding.
Before you begin
Before you jump into this you have to first understand who you're targeting with this onboarding sequence.
A lot of brands and projects out there have more than one ideal customer.
An obvious example is something likean NFT marketplace.
At a very basic level they cater to...
- NFT buyers
- NFT sellers
The buyers want to find the best NFTs at the best prices.
The sellers want to increase sales and earn a full-time loving from their work.
Two very different goals. And as I mentioned earlier in this piece, a great email sequence should focus on one goal.
These two groups will need their own onboarding sequence to get the most from the platform.
So before you begin, know who your onboarding sequence is targeting. With that done, here's what you do.
1. Identify the best features that lead to a better ROI
You have to start by identifying the highest ROI feature or action of your project.
What I mean by this is find the feature the majority of your best users could not live without.
How can you discover this? Well, there's a few ways.
1. Use a good user analytics tool
A good analytics tool should allow you to segment your audience and see their in-app actions.
What you'remlooking for is the features or services your highest value users use most frequently.
For example, let's imagine that you've run a report on the top 20% of users by revenue. You then drill down to see what pages and features they spend most time in. You could discover something like...
- NFT Buyers spend most of their time in your "newly listed" search
- Crypto investors spend a lot of time looking at your latest airdrops page
- Web3 CRM users segment their user base by crypto holdings to identify users who are whales
There's no one correct answer for this. You're gonna have to dig into your analytics and see what people most value.
Unless you also want to...
2. Get your best customers on the phone
This to me is always the best way to figure out anything when it comes to user experience.
Identify your best users and see what it takes to get them on a 10-30 minute phone call.
When you're on the call, you can dig deep into how they use the project, what they like the most, what they would like to see improved etc.
I always record these calls and feed them through a transcription service like Rev.
Once I have the transcription I pull out various elements like...
- What they like
- What they dislike
- The pain we help solve
- The language they use
The it's simply a task of prioritising these things based on how often they come up with different users.
The more something is mentioned, the more important it is to include in your marketing and onboarding.
Use either of these methods (or a combination of both) to identify the features people get the most value out of.
2. Work out key steps to get that feature activated by the user
Once you know what people find most valuable, you need to figure out what it takes to get people to action it in the shortest time possible.
A lot of onboarding sequences simply lead people to the easiest to set up feature or action.
Which, for a lot of people, doesn't really offer any benefit.
You need to make simple bullet point list of what specific actions a user needs to take to set up the high value feature you identified in step 1.
Once you have a list, trim it down to the absolute bare essential steps the user needs to take.
If the user first needs to action feature A and B to get to C, see if there's something that can be done to simplify the onboarding from a product perspective.
3. Build out simple to follow directions and assign them to a message
When you've reduced the process down to a few key steps, you need to build out your email sequence.
My advice here is to separate it into milestones.
Each milestone should be something where the user will see an increase in the value they're getting. As an example, that might be something like actioning a feature and setting it live.
For each of these milestones you want to create a simple step-by-step process. We're talking super simple stuff like...
- Step 1 - go here
- Step 2 - click this
- Step 3 - sync that
- Step 4 - publish
- Mileston 1 reached
That little sequence is one email.
If there's a second milestone to be reached, you can build a second message to help them reach it.
4. Create the sequence and run it
With the steps outlined, it's time to write the actual sequence.
Keep these messages short, sweet, and very easy to follow.
Nothing else for this part, just do the work.
5. Test it and see where there's room for improvement
Once you have it all created, set it up and hit publish.
You want to be tracking these emails and, where necessary, make improvements. A couple of common issues and potential improvements include...
- Poor open rates - test subject line and preview text
- Low clicks - Expain benefits of actioning the feature
- Low completion rate of new feature action - simplify the process
What I would also recommend ias you set up triggers for the messages. Send the next step message after the prior milestone has been hit and set up.
6. Rinse and repeat
Once you've done this for one of your key segments, repeat the process for other users and the features they find most useful.
You could also do this again for subsequent steps to get the most out of your platform.
Keep this going and keep on testing to see where improvements can be made and what you can do to better onboard new users.
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