Last updated on June 10th, 2023

The Practical Guide to User Onboarding

Pardeep Kullar
Pardeep Kullar
The Practical Guide to User Onboarding

What user onboarding is proven to work? There's a lot of advice so we'll take a look at specific practical examples of things companies did to improve their user onboarding including emails, UX and remembering that it's still sales.

What onboarding emails have worked for companies?

This roundup of 27 companies includes their full set of onboarding emails and key advice.

Key lessons learned include:

  • The first ten days after your new user signs up are critical.
  • Make every email actionable.
  • Give users multiple nudges.
  • Analyse and understand the different personas who sign up.
  • Emails often live and die by their subject lines.

Start reading the best onboarding email examples by 27 different companies

What onboarding UX has worked for companies?

In this roundup see tried and tested different approaches to achieve the best UX.

Key lessons include:

  • Extend the trial based on usage.
  • Create a guided tour of the entire site.
  • Have a very low threshold of effort for every step.
  • Feedback is central to every improvement.
  • Ethics are an important design consideration.
  • Focus on dialogue.

Start reading how to perfect your onboarding UX

How do you convert those who didn't onboard first time? are sales experts. See what they did. were an outsourced sales service who then built their own software. In short, they really know how to sell.

I get good emails from Close every week and they tempt me to read even when they are only partially relevant to me because I only signed up to Close to investigate an integration to their software.

I sat down to analyse why they were so good. Key lessons learned:

  • Good subject headers are essential.
  • Send consistently. Close send a good email every week.
  • Use the APP formula.
  • You can plug your product in your educational emails directly, honestly and without sounding salesy.

See our analysis of Close's drip email campaign

Convert 55% of the people you talk to by manually onboarding them

One founder converted 55% of people he spoke to because he knew his product and their problem and could communicate that.

It doesn’t scale but it works.

See why 3 different experienced founders tell you to do manual onboarding, why it's bumpy to do it and how to make it utterly smooth.

Read more on the manual user onboarding strategy that works

Do you onboard friends to Netflix better than to your own app?

See why one to one onboarding is how you discover and learn about most apps and services like Netflix and Spotify and then see how to do this effortlessly using the latest tech.

Read more about doing onboarding one to one for controlling conversion and churn

We'll add further roundups to this guide in time


Do you want to sell to enterprises?

See what we thought onboarding and sales for enterprise would be like and what really happened

Pardeep Kullar
Pardeep Kullar

Pardeep overlooks growth at Upscope and loves writing about SaaS companies, customer success and customer experience.