User onboarding emails and its sequences can be a tricky thing for businesses lacking the proper arsenal of copywriting knowledge. What we think sounds good when we write it ends up flopping over the course of the campaign, leaving us to wonder what went wrong.

User Onboarding Emails

Usually, the case seems to be the fact that we forget to adopt a “copywriter” style of writing when crafting these emails which in turn hurts user activation. You see,

Learning how to write your onboarding emails and its sequences with a copywriter mindset will increase your conversion rates significantly.

For you, not only does this mean more sales. It also means more clients & less churn rate over time.

But hang on there just a moment. Before you start writing your user onboarding emails and contacting your subscribers today, it’d be a good idea to do your homework on what exactly a “copywriter mindset” is. And, luckily for you…

I’m here to help. So,

If you’re ready to learn a few tips, tricks, and nuggets of information that’ll onboard more customers and boost your SaaS activation, we are officially primed to get started.

User Onboarding & Email Copy. Why it Matters.

Onboarding sequences are an important element of getting new customers onboard and creating a lasting relationship with them for years to come. Knowing that they’ve made it as far as “trialing” your technology, it’s now time to really show them that your services should be used long term.

Often times, onboarding sequences fail for many unknown reasons on the company’s end which is why it’s important to prevent “email copy” mistakes from happening.

Poor subject lines, unclear and technical email content, and even a lack of specificity are just a few of the mistakes onboarding writers make when reaching out to their readers. However, these can easily be avoided.

By applying copywriting tactics and the science of psychology, we can easily prevent onboarding sequences from failing and finally get the customers you want “onboard”.

In this article, we’ll be covering the top 5 copywriting tips to help maximize user onboarding email conversions and also boost your email success for many sequences to come.

Tip #1 – Make Your Email Subject Line Stand Out.

When writing your emails it’s best to think of your subject line as the initial greeting between your written topic and your customers. Often times overlooked and many times mistaken, the subject line can be the difference maker between an email that gets read and an email that gets deleted… for good.

According to Convince&Convert, 69% of email recipients report email as spam based on the subject line alone while 35% of recipients open email solely based on what the subject line says. So, if this part of your email isn’t spot on, the time spent actually writing your email can go to waste along with potential conversions.

Make the Reader Want to Know More
To intrigue your audience and make them want to read more, we need to have a “tone strategy” in place so that the email is in a better position to be opened. Specifically, a subject line written in a conversational tone that sparks curiosity, elicits an emotion, or implies a potential secret are all components that make us as readers want to know more.

Therefore, a good subject line can include the following:

  1. An element of surprise/curiosity.
  2. A taste of what’s to come.
  3. A potential outcome only found in the email.
  4. A possible solution to a readers problem…
  5. The readers name…

…to name a few. To get a better understanding of why this is, a good exercise you can do is to actually step into the shoes of your users and ask,

“What subject line would intrigue me?”.

Or perhaps ask your ownself,

“What makes me look twice when I see a new email?”.

In summary: If the subject line is enticing, without being misleading, the subject line will most likely have good success.

Subject Line Comparison
So, now that we have an idea of what makes a subject line effective, let’s compare two examples with our new subscriber “Bob”:

  • Subject line #1: Hey Bob, here are 5 killer solutions for email conversions…
  • Subject line #2: OPEN THIS – our company is doing big things!!

Now, let’s compare.

Subject line #1 does a good job at quite a few things. As we can see,

  • Our reader’s name is included.
  • We attempt to spark his curiosity in a very conversational way.
  • We give Bob some incentive to open the email knowing there’s something good in store.
  • We also made it all about Bob, not the company.

Happy Bob! Now, what about the former?

Subject line #2 does a good job at snagging Bob’s attention with the “OPEN THIS” part, but fails to give Bob a desire to read more. Bob may read this and think,

  1. “Why are you yelling at me?”
  2. “Why should I even open? What’s in this for me…”
  3. “I’m not interested.. Ugh another one of these emails.”
  4. “My problem will never be solved.”

Annoyed Bob… Not good.

It should always be your goal to add value and avoid unethical subject lines that are simply trying too hard. Annoying your readers, coming across as spam, or lacking an element of curiosity is never a good approach to building long lasting relationships with your prospects.

Remember, there is a human on the other side of that computer. Write like you are talking to them one on one.

Subject Lines: Do it Right Every Time.
With an example of both a good and bad subject line, here’s a great list of “do’s” and “Don’ts” to use when going about writing.


  • Include the readers name when appropriate.
  • Make the subject about your reader.
  • Appeal to their curiosity and desires.
  • Ask a question.
  • Use specific numbers.
  • Use urgency.
  • Be smooth.
  • Use Emojis.
  • Use gif’s when appropriate.


  • Scare your reader.
  • Talk about yourself.
  • Make the subject line too long.
  • Make the subject boring.
  • Sound like spam.

Quick & Easy Subject Line Formula

If you still find yourself stuck, use this formula to get your brain going:

[The desire of your reader] + [A given reason to open]

Subject line #1: Hey Bob, here are 5 good solutions for email conversions…

Remember, it’s best to remain genuine, sincere and come from a place of service instead of being the elephant in the room. Focus on the benefits your customer wants and always make them curious as to what’s in the email.

#2 – Write Your Sequences “Conversationally” For Better User Activation.

Alright! Now that we’ve covered the science of subject lines, it’s now time to focus on the email copy itself. However, before we can begin crafting the email, it’s important we remember one crucial rule which is:

Whatever you do, don’t write too technical.

Let me repeat that one more time. Don’t write too technical, because if your readers get lost by any language they don’t understand, your message won’t be communicated.

Look at this way; when you’re given a book that’s written in a foreign language, could you read it out loud in your native tongue? Most likely, the answer it no which is why it’s always best to simplify every aspect of your copy.

Readers open your email knowing there’s something of interest inside, so in order to make their experience as enjoyable as possible; sticking to a friendly, fun, and relatable email is HIGHLY advised. Simply put:

Don’t try to “wow” your readers with words.
Instead, aim to get your message across as conversationally (and simply) as possible.

Steps to Crafting Your Email.

Step #1: Research your users.

Yes, it’s time to go “detective mode” because now you must figure out exactly who your audience is. Why? Because If you don’t know your audience, you won’t know what to say and how to say it.

For example, if you’re trying to spark their curiosity with a subject line,

  • How do you know their pain points?
  • What are their desires?
  • What words are funny to them?
  • What do they find offensive?
  • Who do they like talking to?
  • What keeps them up at night?

See where I’m going here? Without the proper research on your end, we’re technically guessing at the tone, style, and approach to each email. Always figure out who your readers are first so that the copy will resonate with them as they read.

Step #2: Write the Copy
Using the research you’ve gathered, it’s now the time to start writing the copy. In order to make your emails as effective as possible, it’s best to utilize the tried and true A.I.D.A formula as your template.


In descending order, you should create and mimic this flow of writing to guide and excite your readers through the email:

  1. (A) Attention: Grab theirs by addressing a pain point, or desire.
  2. (I) Interest: Intrigue them to want to know more… Use facts here.
  3. (D) Desire: Make them NEED this problem solved.
  4. (A) Action: Tell them EXACTLY what to do.

Keep in mind that although you may not have anything to sell in every email (like your welcome email), using this idea of flow throughout the copy is very important.

Your job as the copywriter is to KEEP the reader’s attention, not theirs. Make them WANT to keep reading, knowing there is something happening on the following line.

Step #3: Read the Copy Out Loud

After writing the copy, it’s now time for an important step you must NOT skip, and that is this:

Read what you just wrote out loud until the copy sounds like a normal, one on one, conversation.

A little awkward? At first yes, but trust me… It’ll work wonders. Reading every sentence out loud will automatically expose any choppy phrases, questionable wording and simply help adjust the email to be more conversational. If the email doesn’t “speak” well, chances are your readers will have a harder time following along.

Good vs. Bad “Welcome” Email Example.

Example 1 (bad):


Thank you so very kindly for your curiosity, time, and thought in what we have to offer here at Gizmobizmowire. Gizmobizmowire not only promptly delivers efficient data analytics to your cellular device, but Gizmobismowire is the only company to do this data analytics with our new technology which is patented for its unique and scientific speed processing apparatus.

Our CST (customer support team) is top of the line and well versed to solve any app problems if they arise. Contact them here.


Example 2 (good):

Hey there Julie,

Quick email for you.

First off, thank you for giving our app a go with the free trial. We’re excited to have you onboard and hope this technology serves you well. And secondly?

Welcome to the community 🙂

Attached is a FAQ sheet and also a “how to” guide if you ever have any trouble using our app. Reading those guides can also be a drag so feel free to reach out to us at anytime and we’ll solve the problem for you.

Remember, we got your back.

Cheers Julie.

-Gizmobizmo Team.

Comparing Both Emails.

Do you see the difference between the two? Email 1 not only “speaks” poorly, it has nothing to do with Julie and the language is extremely technical. Email 2 “speaks” much better and also puts Julie in the spotlight while using conversational sentences. So, for the best user onboarding experience, ALWAYS lean toward the former.

Your User Onboarding Email Success Starts Now!

With tip #1 and #2 in your onboarding writing arsenal, you are now that much more closer to achieving success on your email campaigns. Utilizing what you now know, practice writing a subject line accompanied by an email that a user might benefit from. Remember to stay conversational and read back through the examples if you’re feeling unsure.
In the meantime, stay tuned for tips #3, #4, and #5 in future articles as they will help build upon your current skills & knowledge.

Did you like this article? Should write the other tips?

About the author:

Hey! I’m Eric, and I know a thing or two about writing copy. I hold a bachelor’s in exercise science and biological science with a minor in communications – and have immersed myself into learning more about the human body and mind as well. I’ve interned at NASA Glenn Research Center as their Exercise Physiologist, taught biology and chemistry labs during my undergrad, and use my background in the sciences to fuel my copywriting craft. I love helping others with my talents and believe that we all have the potential to great things – we just have to trust and love the process.


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