Guide: Creating a Trigger-Based Email Onboarding Flow for a SaaS Product

Email onboarding flows play a crucial role in SaaS products by introducing new users to product features and guiding them through the initial usage. To take it a notch higher, trigger-based email onboarding flows automate the process based on user behavior. This means that emails are only sent when the user takes a specific action, such as signing up or completing a particular task.

In this guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of creating a trigger-based email onboarding flow for your SaaS product. We’ll cover everything from planning your onboarding flow to setting up your email automation tools and crafting effective email content.

Step 1: Define Your User Journey

The initial step to create a trigger-based email onboarding flow is to define the user journey. This entails plotting the stages a user will take, starting from when they sign up for your product to when they become a regular user.

To do this, you need to consider the following questions:

  • What is the main goal of your product?
  • What are the key features of your product that users need to know about?
  • What are the common pain points or challenges that users may face when using your product?
  • What are the most important actions that users need to take in order to become regular users?

Once you have answered these questions, you can start to map out the user journey. This can be done using a flowchart or a similar tool. Your user journey should include the following stages:

  • Sign-up: This is the first step in the user journey. Users will need to create an account and provide essential information such as their name and email address.
  • Welcome: This stage involves extending a warm welcome to the user and providing them with an overview of what they can expect from your product.
  • Education: In this stage, you will introduce users to the primary features of your product and educate them on how to use them.
  • Engagement: This stage entails motivating users to take specific actions that will help them gain maximum benefits from your product.
  • Conversion: This stage aims to convert users into regular users by encouraging them to use your product regularly.

Step 2: Identify Trigger Points

The next step in creating a trigger-based email onboarding flow is to identify the trigger points. These are the specific actions that users take that will trigger an email to be sent to them.

Trigger points will vary depending on your product, but some common examples include:

  • Signing up for your product
  • Completing their profile
  • Completing their first task
  • Abandoning their cart
  • Referring a friend
  • Upgrading to a paid plan

Identifying trigger points is important because it allows you to create relevant and timely email content that will help users move through the onboarding flow.

Step 3: Choose Your Email Automation Tool

The next step is to choose an email automation tool. There are many options available, but some choices to look into include:

  • Cloudmattr
  • Mailchimp
  • ActiveCampaign
  • OneSignal
  • Ortto

When choosing an email automation tool, it’s important to consider factors such as ease of use, pricing, and the features that are available.

Step 4: Create Your Email Templates

Once you have chosen your email automation tool, the next step is to create your email templates. Email templates are pre-designed emails that can be customized to suit your brand and messaging.

When creating email templates, it is important to consider the following:

  • Branding: Ensure that your email templates are consistent with your brand, utilizing your brand colors, logo, and font.
  • Copy: Make sure that your email copy is clear, concise, and compelling. Use language that is easy to understand and focuses on the benefits of your product.
  • Call-to-action: Each email should have a clear call-to-action that motivates users to take the next step in the onboarding process.
  • Personalization: Personalizing your emails with the user’s name and other relevant information can increase engagement and make your emails feel more customized.

It is a good idea to create a variety of email templates that can be used at different stages of the onboarding flow. For example, you might have a welcome email, an education email, and a conversion email.

Step 5: Set Up Your Email Automation

The next step is to set up your email automation. This involves creating a sequence of emails that will be sent to users when they trigger a specific action.

When setting up your email automation, it is important to consider the following:

  • Timing: It’s essential to carefully consider the timing of your emails to maximize engagement. Send them at a time when the user is likely to interact with them.
  • Frequency: Be cautious not to inundate users with too many emails. Space them out over time to avoid overwhelming them.
  • Segmentation: Segmenting your email list based on user behavior or other criteria can help you create more personalized and relevant emails.
  • Testing: A/B testing your emails is crucial as it helps you optimize your email content and enhance engagement rates.

Step 6: Monitor and Analyze Your Email Performance

After setting up your email automation, it’s vital to monitor and analyze its performance. This includes keeping track of metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.

By analyzing your email performance, you can identify areas that require improvement and make adjustments to your email content or timing. Additionally, it can help you determine the most effective trigger points to guide users through the onboarding flow.


Developing a trigger-based email onboarding flow for your SaaS product is a great way to introduce new users to your product and assist them in the initial stages of usage. By following the steps in this guide, you can craft a customized email onboarding flow that caters to the preferences and actions of your users. It’s essential to continually track and evaluate your email performance to guarantee that your onboarding flow is effective and captivating.

Combining User Messaging with Marketing Automation.

In the realm of email marketing, there are various strategies to entice new customers. One powerful approach is leveraging automation, utilizing specialized software to send out emails based on predetermined triggers.

Automating your email and push notification campaigns can significantly enhance efficiency by freeing up valuable time for other essential business tasks. Moreover, it provides valuable data on customer segments, helping you identify the most effective strategies for each group.

For those seeking an easy-to-use tool for user messaging and marketing, or those looking to test the waters without committing resources upfront, we highly recommend Cloudmattr – our all-in-one customer engagement platform.