Email, the secret to product-led growth (PLG) onboarding

Email, the secret to product-led growth (PLG) onboarding

If you are working on a software product, you know how important onboarding is. You never want to spend the many months building a product to have potential customers poke around briefly, leave, and never come back. Onboarding is essentially coaching your users into becoming customers.

There are many patterns for in-app onboarding patterns for this kind of coaching like checklists, tours, tooltips, samples, and videos. However, one pattern that is often overlooked is product-triggered onboarding emails. In this case, we're not talking about the standard drip welcome messages – the ones that send the same set of emails to everyone with a delay in-between. While those can be helpful, the real power comes in with highly targeted and automated emails based on actual product usage. For example, sending an email with quick start docs if a user had created an API key but didn't send an API call within 72 hours. These kind of coaching nudges can drastically help bring customers back to your product to continue the onboarding process.

In this blog post, we'll explore examples and a suggestion on how to take advantage of these.

PLG onboarding email examples

Milestone alerts – email sent after a milestone within a product has been reached. For example, a story building platform could send an email after publishing a story with additional tips on how to get the most out of the platform.

Download email template

Milestone reminder
– sometimes users need an extra nudge for key events that take extra work outside of your application (eg. a code integration). This example is an email sent if an API key had been created but not used within 72 hours.

Welcome email
– this is probably the most common product-triggered email, but for good reason. A welcome email can help emphasize the value of your product while also pushing a bit of personality of your team.

Download email template

Trial ends soon – example of an email sent a week before free trial ends.

Plan limit alerts – emphasize limitations of their plan.

Usage reminder

How to create these onboarding emails

All of the email examples above were created using Waypoint's email template builder. Teams can use Waypoint to build and send data-rich templates faster than ever.