#160: Creating great email onboarding sequences, with Liz Painter of Comma Comma

Liz is an expert in onboarding email sequences. Over the course of this episode, Liz helps me design a great email sequence for Saber Feedback.

On the way, there are plenty of practical tips for better emails that you can apply to your product’s emails.

Want to see the results of my conversation with Liz? Sign up for Saber Feedback, and experience the new onboarding sequence first-hand.

You can also download and subscribe to this episode here.


@SteveMcLeod I found the trial length discussion quite interesting. For a couple of years I ran a NPS feedback SaaS, and trial length was a crucial factor for larger clients.
For the biggest client it went usually like this:

  • CEO/CCO: We need a new website with NPS/feedback
  • Website manager outsources/delegates this to web dev
  • web dev starts implementing, looks for feedback service
  • web dev puts js snippet in dev site and needs a service that works for dev for multiple months, the web dev has no authority to pay, they can just use a free trial. However they need to demo the new site in the coming months.
  • 6 months later the new site goes online, and now they are ready to buy

We solved this by having free plan with strict limits, which allowed development usage. And we were very liberal with plan upgrades for people who were devs/had staging sites.

That’s really interesting to hear. I’ll consider doing something similar if I start to hear that the short trial is a problem, especially with larger customers.

Compare the way Liz and I each posted this episode on LinkedIn.

You can easily tell which one is the professional copywriter!

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You should listen to this episode, but if you haven’t the time or desire, here’s some tips Liz gave me. These tips are all specifically for Saber Feedback. YMMV.

  • When a customer signs up for our 10-day trial, send them 1 email a day for the first five days, then a trial expiry reminder at day 8 and day 10.
  • Each email should make one point and have a clear action that we ask the recipient to make
  • Address common sales blockers in an email.
  • One email should be a customer testimonial.
  • There should be a gradual arc through the emails, but each should stand alone
  • Use a plain text format, because for B2B that’s more likely to be read than “designed” emails - unless you are Canva, or another product that is about design.
  • No emojis in B2B email sequences
  • Keep it reasonably informal: open with "Hi ", and end with “Cheers, Steve” or “Thanks, Steve”. Not “Regards”
  • Send from a real person’s address, and not “support@” or “no-reply@”.
  • Sender name should be “Steve at Saber Feedback”. Make it personal.
  • Sending on weekends is okay because many people check their email ALL THE TIME regardless of day of the week
  • The day 10 “your trial is over” email should offer a 2- or 3-day trial extension.

The big, big tip is to do customer research first. Talk to customers, find out how they would describe your product, what concerns they had, etc. This gives you the language and concepts for your emails.