6 Great Templates for Customer Onboarding Emails

6 Great Templates for Customer Onboarding Emails
Illustration by Meredith Miotke

There’s no point in reinventing the wheel. If you work in customer success and there are customer success email templates that someone else has made that fit your needs, why wouldn’t you use them?

This blog post will break down the art of writing excellent customer onboarding emails and provide some templates and examples for you to work off of. While every company’s customer onboarding strategy differs, these examples should kick you off writing customer success emails like a pro.

How to use these customer success email templates

Customer success email templates are a great jumping-off point for creating a more scalable, repeatable onboarding experience. While templates are relatively straightforward most of the time, some best practices will help ensure that you are getting the most out of your newly created customer success emails.

Create repeatable processes

As you scale your customer success function, creating repeatable processes allows your team to grow more quickly and provide excellent experiences to more customers. Things like saved email templates and automation can be a huge timesaver when someone is used to doing most of their work manually.

Help Scout uses automation to funnel conversations to the exact right team member or to add specific tags. You can create triggers that notify particular team members of something needing their action or attention.

Repeatable, documented processes take the guesswork out of how to provide the best experiences for your customer.

Create a shared collection

If someone on your team creates a fantastic customer success introduction email, why would they want to keep that to themselves? Create a shared collection of templates within your help desk to make it easy for everyone to share the tactics that work well for them.

Help Scout allows you to save replies automatically and make them easy to search for the rest of your team. Text Expander, a third-party tool, does the same. 

Each time someone creates a response that works well for them or that you don’t already have represented in your collection, prompt them to save it, and then let the rest of the team know about the new addition to your toolset.

Personalize your SaaS customer success emails

It is evident to most customers when a company sends them a prewritten email. Avoid sounding like a robot by customizing your emails as you send them. Instead of sending your email templates out as-written, leave areas in each template for personalization. Some help desk software offers the functionality of using merge tags, which automatically pull personal information about the customer into the template. 

Even though these can be helpful, it’s still a good idea to encourage your team to use their customer knowledge to personalize larger chunks of the email beyond just the customer’s name or location.

Use prompts inside of brackets ([like this]) to show when something needs to be filled in by a customer success manager (CSM). You can also use text formatting, such as making the sentence bold or highlighted in red, to ensure it doesn’t get missed.

Avoid making your emails too generic

While it can feel good to know that every situation you might need to write an email for is covered, the more generic and catch-all your customer success email templates are, the less your customers will engage with them. 

Think of specific use-cases within the context of your customer onboarding, and write emails for each one, rather than creating general templates. Sure, you’ll use each template less than you would if you made a more generalized, overarching response, but you’ll boost your response rates from customers by having more specific, relevant messaging.

Regularly revisit and update them

Plan to regularly revisit and revise your customer success email templates every quarter or so. Use the time to review all of the customer success emails that you currently have templates for and see if there are any that you are no longer using. 

Regularly check the content of the ones you decide to keep and see if they need to be updated to include new features or policy changes. Lastly, use the time to write up any new emails that you need to add. 

Your customer success strategy should be regularly evolving and shifting — let your email templates reflect that, and ensure they always stay up to date. Onboarding isn’t half as effective if it doesn’t reflect what the product or experience looks like right now.

Onboarding email templates to create a better customer experience

The customer journey will be different for almost every business, but many of the critical building blocks of onboarding remain the same. You need to introduce your customer to your customer success team, you’ll need to introduce key product concepts, and you’ll need to do ongoing lifecycle management.

While you may need a few other templates in between, depending on your model for onboarding, we’ve created a customer success email template library to cover your bases. Take these templates, and customize them as needed to boost your customer experience.

Introduction, expectations, and initial invitation

The first email that your customer receives from your customer success team should be an introduction. Depending on your onboarding model, your team member may also invite your new customer to schedule a “kickoff” or introductory video call in this first email. 

For most customer success teams, these kick-off calls build a deep relationship with the customer while transitioning the relationship from sales to customer success. If you have a defined sales cycle, the customer has grown accustomed to dealing directly with sales. Instead of your sales team, your customer success team will be taking over that role. This shift is a critical transition that can cultivate trust and loyalty if done well.

Dear [Customer],

Congratulations on your purchase of [Product].

My name is [Name], and I will be your customer success manager as you get up and running with [Product]. I’m so excited to help your team get started. Let’s get a meeting on the calendar for an onboarding kickoff to get the ball rolling. Here’s my calendar link to schedule: [link to Calendly or scheduling tool].

 

What to expect from our session:

  • Understand your goals and how to measure them

  • Discuss what brought you here

  • Establish a timeline and next steps toward reaching your goals

  • Q&A

Before our call, we have several resources that you can use for self-guided learning. These may be helpful if you have any questions moving forward:

  • [Link to your documentation]

  • [Link to technical support portal or form]

  • [Link to your community]

  • [Link to your feedback form or product ideas portal]

You can also reach out to me with any questions that you have. If I’m not the right person to answer, I’ll help you find whoever is.

Welcome to the [Product] family! We’re super excited to have you join us and look forward to working with you and your team! Can’t wait to chat soon.

Best,

[Name]

“Checking in” email

This customer success email is best for your team to send when you have a minor product update or information to share with your customer but don’t have a regularly scheduled meeting. If it’s been a while since you’ve spoken with your customer, you can use this touchpoint to re-engage them.

This template is more of a “catch-all” email and will rely heavily on personalization to make it meaningful and valuable for your team. Here is a customer success check-in email template.

Hey there [Customer],

I wanted to reach out and give you information about [a product update or new feature/touch base] and see how things are going. We don’t have anything scheduled on the books, but would you be interested in hopping on a call?

I would love to hear about how things have been going for you since our last call on [date]. Has there been any movement on [details about a specific goal]?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

[Name]

Escalation email

This email aims to let the customer know that you hear that they are frustrated and will escalate the issue so that another team can resolve it more quickly. After all, customer success is often not the most technical team or the one best equipped to handle bugs or product issues. 

The most important thing is that this response acknowledges the issue they are having, aligns with them to let them know you understand it’s essential, and assures them that you’re working to resolve it. The primary purpose is to repair the relationship and start moving forward.

Hi [Customer],

Thanks for providing those additional details. I can tell that this is really frustrating for you.

Here’s what I understand: [list details of the issue as they have described it].

If that is correct, the best team to be able to handle this issue will be [name of team]. I’m going to reach out to them with these details. I understand that you were looking for a more immediate resolution, but I believe [team name] will be the best at making sure this gets taken care of thoroughly. 

I will let you know about any updates that we have along the way and will reach out when the issue is fully resolved. If you would like an update at any point, please reach out to me. I’ll be happy to let you know where we are in the process.

Thanks,

[Name]

Invite to a webinar

Ongoing one-to-many content is the bread and butter of most customer success teams. It’s a great way to educate a large group of customers at once with a reasonably minimal lift. Given that, your team will probably need to invite folks to a webinar in the onboarding process. 

Instead of typing up a new email every time you want to invite a customer to a webinar, use customer success manager email templates to automate the process or make it quicker when your CSMs are sending out individual invites. This template assumes that your CSMs will be sending this message out to their customers directly, but you can always modify it if you want to send it out as a bulk message.

Hey there,

I wanted to reach out and let you know about an upcoming event we have that I think might be interesting to you!

We’re hosting a webinar on [date] about [subject]. Given our conversation about [feature/need/issue] on our last call, I thought this might help you and your team.

You can register for this webinar and add it to your calendar here: [insert link].

At this webinar, you can expect to learn: 

  • [Topic 1]

  • [Topic 2]

  • [Topic 3]

If the timing doesn’t work for you, no worries. We’ll send a recording of the event to anyone who registers, so don’t forget to do that.

I hope you’re well otherwise, and let me know if you’d like to set up a call to talk about anything.

Thanks!

[Name]

Renewal email

If your business is subscription-based, then your customer success managers may need to manage the ongoing revenue of renewals. Sometimes teams outside of customer success manage this, but if not, it’s one more customer success email that your team needs to address. Creating a template can make this an easy email to manage and remember to send off.

If your team is responsible for renewals, remember to reach out to customers at least a few times approaching the renewal if it’s annual. A good rule of thumb is 180 days, 90 days, and 30 days before renewal. This way, you avoid any unpleasant surprise charges for your customers if on auto-renew, and you can understand churn reasons if they decide not to use your product any longer.

Here’s what that might look like.

Dear [Customer],

It’s been so great working with you over [subscription length]. I wanted to reach out and let you know that your annual renewal is coming up on [date]. If you’re happy with your service, there is no need to do anything. We’ll automatically process the charge to the card that you have on file on [renewal date]. You can see which card we have on file on your account page here: [link to account page].

If you’ve had any issues with [Product] and are considering canceling or changing your subscription, please let me know, and I’d be happy to talk through those issues with you. Our goal is to keep you as a happy customer for as long as [Product] is working for you.

No need to decide now. You still have [number of days/months] until your renewal occurs; I just wanted to give you a heads up. I’ll also remind you during our calls between now and then.

Thanks!

[Name]

Reaching out to an unresponsive customer

Despite your CSMs’ best intentions, there will always be unresponsive customers. Whether it’s because they don’t have the time to devote to onboarding or they just don’t want the help of your CSM, it’s essential to have some tactics in place to try to get them re-engaged.

Typically these reach-out emails can be sent at a reasonably regular cadence, as it’s unlikely to get a response on the first go. That said, try to walk the line of being consistent without being obnoxious. 

Everyone has received pushy SaaS customer success emails repeatedly even though they never open or respond to them — don’t be that person. Try something more personal and less intrusive, and your team will be more likely to get a favorable response. Here’s an example:

Hey there [Customer],

It’s been quite a while since we’ve spoken, and we’ve made a few updates to our product. I have some features that I’d love to introduce to you: [list of things that may interest them, such as features, documentation, beta programs]. I think they’d be really beneficial for you based on our past conversations.

Would you be interested in having a conversation about this? If so, you could schedule at a time that makes sense for you here: [scheduling link]. Let me know if you’d rather me just give you the details asynchronously over email. I’m happy to do that, too.

I hope you’ve been well otherwise.

Speak soon,

[Name]

Customer success email templates minimize guesswork

While your CSMs are masters of communication and well-suited to write emails to your customers, having templates readily available can take some guesswork out of their efforts.

Create template libraries with various options for your CSMs to choose from. Encourage them to customize by including customization fields in each template, and also allow for any template they’re using to be modified as they go. 

Once a quarter, revisit your template strategy: Do you need new templates? Do any old templates need to be retired? How should you incorporate new resources and features into existing templates? Keeping your template library up to date is one of the best ways to encourage its usage.

Empower your team to make new templates as they see fit, and share them with team members. These emails are a great jumping-off point, but your team will know best what you need to move forward.

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Mercer Smith
Mercer Smith

Mercer is the VP of CX Insights & Community at PartnerHero, a yoga fanatic, and strives to make the world a little bit happier one customer at a time. You can find her at mercenator.com and on Twitter.