Onboarding - Video vs Email (Text vs HTML)

So I am trying to improve the onboarding process for my SAAS application. Do you guys think sending email to engage the user is better or showing videos during the onboarding process is better? Also, in regards to email, have you received better success with HTML or plain text emails?

Test it. Either of them could be better based on your audience.

Regarding HTML vs plain test, any reason to not use multipart and send both?

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I find video or some sort of step-by-step guide much more useful while integrating or starting to use a new SAAS product. A nice catchy email could be a good way to get users back into your onboarding process for those who haven’t finished onboarding a while after signup. But the onboarding process itself shouldn’t be included in the email, but should be hosted somewhere on your website/dashboard etc.

Video is great for:

  • getting visitors hooked and converting to users
  • in-depth tutorials on how to do something where the viewer is motivated to find out

Both of these don’t apply to onboarding (generally) and I think that’s why they haven’t worked well in my experience.

What has tended to work for me have been emails, which function more like drip emails. That is, each email has basically one ask - for the reader to complete one task. I see onboarding as a series of small tasks to get the user to a stage where they are wowed by your product, and have found light email prompts to be effective.