One of the beautiful things about writing email onboarding tear downs for my very Internetty-based business is that I use a variety of software on a daily basis. This means that I get a lot of onboarding emails in my inbox without even trying.
Sure, some I sign up for purely for the purpose of checking out the onboarding flow and never touch the account/software after signup. And it’s been pointed out that this could be impacting the emails I get from those companies.
I might not be getting the full picture on some of the tear downs I’ve done to date.
So I figured I’d spend a few weeks doing tear downs on software I’ve actually signed up for and use day to day.
First up: Mixmax.
Mixmax is, as they put it, “powerful analytics, automation, and enhancements for your outbound communications”.
In simpler terms, Mixmax helps you track your emails, see who opened what and when, store templated emails for fast replies, allow your team into your inbox, and has a handy “send later” feature I use a lot.
Mixmax is a freemium model and I wound up purchasing the Starter plan on annual payment last December (looking at you, last minute tax write off).
All that said, let’s take a look at the onboarding emails I got from Mixmax:
8 onboarding emails sent over 2 weeks
4 newsletter style emails
1 newsletter style sent in the middle of the onboarding flow
1 team member introduced
Now I have great news for you.
This tear down is more about what works than what doesn’t. So are you ready to see what really makes a difference for your brand new customers when they get your emails?
So nice to meet you.
Here’s what I love about your welcome email:
- It’s brief. I just signed up to your software and I have a lot to do.
- There’s one super clear call to action: join our onboarding webinar. Done!
- It’s so personal. You’re sharing features you use every day. But it’s not in my face, it’s a PS. Nice touch.
Can you write emails for everyone? Jk, that’s my job. Love this one though.
Excited to see what’s next? Me too:
A GIF of a GIF? Yep.
But let’s start at the beginning:
The subject line.
Tip 1 out of 7: Know who reads your email & when with email tracking
^^^ Not to get all nitty-gritty, but… yeah let’s.
“Tip 1 out of 7” – I now know I’m going to get 7 tips in total, probably over the next several days. The only thing that would have made this better is if Olof had let me know these were coming in his previous email.
“Know who reads your email & when” – Well, this is one of the main reasons I signed up to Mixmax. (Side note: I now find this feature slightly anxiety inducing so it’s not my fav but it did draw me in up front.)
“with email tracking” – Solution to my problem! This, my friend, is a popular copywriting formula called PAS: Problem, Agitation, Solution.
Problem: know who reads your emails
Agitation: & when
Solution: with email tracking
Okay so it’s a well-written subject line. Oh, and the from name could say Olof from Mixmax instead of Olof Mathé (since we’re still pretty new to knowing each other here).
But onto the email itself:
This email is SO VALUABLE.
Walking me through the very features discussed in the subject line!
With GIFs to show me what it will look like!
And then there’s this gem:
See that? This email is both teaching and selling me on upgrading. And it gives me the exact link I need to get that full feature unlocked.
Putting the power in my hands as the reader?
Now that’s endearing me to your product.
And I’m not the only one who thinks so. Samuel Hulick, founder of UserOnboard, says empowering your customers is key to bulletproofing your user onboarding:
Speaking of “meaningful”, is your onboarding experience guiding users into actions that genuinely lead to progress in their lives, or just a better understanding of your UI? People act when they believe that doing so is aligned with their ambitions, and very few people wake up in the morning aspiring to become better “interface operators”.
Is there more goodness to come in the Mixmax onboarding?
The Only Details That Matter Are The Littlest Ones
Emails 3 and 4 follow the same cadence as Email 2.
PAS subject line.
Step by step walkthrough of said feature.
GIFs and screenshots to show me what it looks like.
Opportunities to upgrade (along with why I would want to do so).
The 5th email I got from Mixmax was a surprising deviation.
If you read my Levo email onboarding tear down, you know that I’m a big fan of getting your new customers through onboarding before hitting them with your regular emails.
Simple tagging can take care of it and most email marketing softwares will help you make it happen.
Mixmax is using one of my favs (Customer.io) for their onboarding emails here and Customer.io certainly has exclusion functionality.
The other thing about Email #5 in my inbox is that it’s clearly not acknowledging that I do have a trial currently. Look:
It’s not a total buzz kill but it’s an opportunity to improve, right?
And that’s what we’re looking for here. Opportunities.
Onwards And, Thankfully, Upwards
Emails 6-10 are back on track with the onboarding course. Love these tips, Olof.
The only thing is…
Back in email #1 Olof told me he’s the co-founder. I’d LOVE to hear from other Mixmax team members. And you know what that does?
It helps me feel connected to the entire team when I need support, want to upgrade, or start to question my account.
It’s much harder to say goodbye to an entire team of people than it is to throw up deuces to just one dude.
The team at Drift puts it like this: “What is the go-to-customer strategy? A go-to-customer (GTC) strategy is how a company drives customer usage, satisfaction, and growth.”
You need to introduce a counterpart to the Go-To-Market that’s focused on customers – hence, the Go-To-Customer Strategy.
This new approach will align your organization to treat customers uniquely in order to reduce or even kill churn. In this new world order, you’ll need to prepare your sales team to make room for marketing’s involvement to continue post sale. You’ll need to educate your support and services team, traditionally responsible for customer success, that they need to work in partnership with marketing and sales for the benefit of the customer. You’ll also need to take down the walls between product and marketing.
You’ll notice in my screenshot way at the top of this tear down that there are three more emails I’ve received from Mixmax. They’re more traditional product updates/newsletters and my still standing critique of those is that they promote signing up for a trial but I’m already a customer.
When it’s easy enough to tag subscribers and duplicate an email to remove certain lines that aren’t relevant, it’s hard to let those things go when the rest of Mixmax’s experience is so spot on.
Oh, and, even better news for Mixmax:
Customer.io (the software they’re using to send their emails) allows you to personalize messages with if/else logic and liquid text.
What does that mean?
You can insert (or remove) certain text in just one email based on a tag.
So that means someone tagged “customer” can have a PS that reads:
“We love our customers. Thanks for being part of the family!”
And someone tagged “non-customer” can have a PS that reads:
“If you haven’t tried the power of sequences yet, get it free for 14-days!”
All in one email.
It’s Only Just Begun
Look, onboarding is just the beginning and, so far, Mixmax gets that.
I was added to their main email list.
I get regular updates on the product.
And I’m constantly reminded that I matter.
Mixmax has endeared me to their product through not only building a fantastic product I use every single day but through powerful onboarding that teaches, invites, and connects.
Want bulletproof onboarding?
Follow the Mixmax lead.
Ready for the wrap up?
- using an email course to onboard new customers through some of the most-used features
- introducing a co-founder in the welcome email
- plenty of screenshots and GIFs to relate the emails back to the functionality
- text-based emails that make for easy reading on any device and in any inbox
- a little overlap with a product announcement email stuck in the middle of the onboarding flow
- didn’t get to meet any other team members (puts the weight of it all on Olof)
There really isn’t anything to list here!
It’s an email onboarding tear down first (but hopefully not the last) that we don’t have to list anything under the “Ugly” section. Feels pretty good, actually.
What are your biggest takeaways from Mixmax’s onboarding emails?
How will you apply those lessons to your business?
Have a set of emails you want to see dissected here? Send me a note at heygirl(at)valgeisler(dot)com with the details of where I can sign up! If I write up the review, I’ll share a draft with you before anyone else sees it.
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