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  • How to Create an Onboarding Process Flow for the Email Channel
Andrea Serventi
19 February 2019
Reading time: 8 min

How to Create an Onboarding Process Flow for the Email Channel

We will explain, step by step, how to create forms, pages, and emails for managing new recipients’ subscriptions to your database, welcoming them and sending them on their way to conversion.

Last week we presented a brand-new area of the MailUp platformDatabase Building, a single area companies can use to develop all the necessary activities related to feeding and managing their subscriptions databases.

Today we aregoing to look at some more practical details, illustrating some fundamentaloperations that are made possible by the Database Building area’s features.

In this post we’ll focus on the moment of subscription and post-subscription, guiding you step by step in the creation of an onboarding process flow for the new contact’s subscription, the subscription confirmation, and a welcome (thanking them).

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To help you see the bigger picture, here are the Database Building sections that we will use today; we have marked them with a flag (the excluded ones will be explored in one of our next articles):

  • Subscriptions ?
  • Unsubscriptions
  • Preferences center
  • Look & Feel ?
  • Landing pages ?

P.S. If you haven’t used the platform yet, you can request a free 30-day trial. You will be able to do all the things discussed below.

Step 1 | Creation of the subscription form ?

Enter the platform and access the Database Building area from the side menu. Click on Subscriptions: this is the functional core of the onboarding activities.

Among the various options, choose Subscription forms, which we will use to create a form to insert in our site (or where you deem appropriate) to allow users and visitors to subscribe to our database.

By clicking on New form, various choices will appear:

  • Drag & drop editor
  • HTML Editor
  • Pop-up subscription form

The easiest, most immediate and effective way? Using the drag & drop editor. So let’s follow this path.


The first thing to do is define the form’s content, i.e. what we want to communicate to the user and the information we want to request from him or her.

To do this, simply drag content modules into the form. Using it, you’ll notice how simple it is.

We chose thefollowing modules for our example:

  • Title module
  • Description module
  • Field module
  • Email module
  • Radio buttons module
  • Privacy module
  • Button module

Here is theresult:

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From thepoint of view of its content, the form is ready. Save and then take a look atthe preview:

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It’s a bitlacking stylistically, right? So let’s go finish its layout, personalizingevery aspect.


Change sections and enter the Look & Feel section. Here we can:

  • Insert the logo, brand name, and company website
  • Select a font or import the one we use for our site (and for all communications in general)
  • Set thicknessbold, and text size
  • Choose the color of the various paragraphs, background, buttons, and social icons

So let’s tryto personalize the newly created form:

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A warning: after uploading your logo, remember to check the box Apply also to Subscription and Profile update forms, as shown in the image below.

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As you may have guessed, the Look & Feel section is a sort of control panel you can use to fine-tune and define every detail of your pages. In addition to subscription forms, with Look & Feel you can personalize:

  • Post-subscription page
  • Unsubscription page
  • Post-unsubscription page
  • Profiling form
  • Post-profiling page
  • Preferences center
  • Landing page.

Step 2 | Creation of the post-subscription page ? ✔️

Now that we have the subscription form, we’ve come to the second step: the creation of a post-subscription page you can use to notify the new contact of his or her successful subscription. There are two paths you can take here:

  1. Create a post-subscription page
  2. Replace the post-subscription page with a personalized landing page.

The first is the simplest, but the second – despite being anything but complex in its operations – is undoubtedly the most advisable.

Why? Becausethis post-subscription touchpoint can also be used for communication andmarketing purposes. A landing page lets you go beyond a simple subscriptionconfirmation, adding content and any other type of message. Some examples?

  • Product suggestions
  • Latest blog posts
  • Invitation to consult the site
  • Coupons and discounts for the first purchase.

These arejust a few examples: each brand will know how to best identify what is mostuseful.

Now let’ssee how to build this landing page, how to personalize it, and how to replacethe post-subscription page with it.

Click on the Landing pages section in Database Building, then select New landing page and choose one of the proposed templates: they offer landing page structures differentiated by objective and type of company, each one personalizable in detail.

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Once created, there’s one last step: set the landing page as a post-subscription page. To do this, go back to the section Subscriptions Subscription form > Post-subscription page. The option Replace the default page with a landing page is at the bottom.

This iswhere you can choose the scenarios in which you’d like to show the newlycreated landing page.

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Step 3 | Creation of the welcome email ? ✔️ ?

We’ve reached the last necessary step of a new recipient onboarding process: the welcome email, the first business card we send to those who know little or nothing about us.

The welcome email is therefore a question of good manners, of netiquette, but also of strategy, as some data reveals:

There aretwo options for managing this touchpoint:

  1. Create one and only one welcome email
  2. Create a welcome series

The easiest way ➡️ One welcome email

To set up the welcome email go to Database Building Subscriptions Welcome email New email. A familiar tool will appear: the drag & drop editor, with which you can create your email in just a few steps.

Taking up the colors and style of the pages created above, let’s create an email that – in addition to thanking the newly subscribed person – offers some more information and a discount on their first purchase. As we mentioned, this is because welcome emails have very high open rates, therefore positioning itself as a moment of contact to be taken advantage of to start guiding the contact towards your marketing objective.

Here is thewelcome email we created:

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The best-performing route ➡️ The welcome series

How can you develop a more structured strategy? With a welcome series: a workflow that defines and initiates a stream of separate emails over time. Let’s take a look at an example of a welcome series applied to e-commerce (staying on the subject of our example):

Triggered message #1
Time from subscription: Immediate (or within 24 hours)
Email content: thank the user for subscribing and present the main product categories/best sellers

Triggered message #2
Time from subscription: Three days
Email content: Small welcome discount to incentivize the first purchase

Triggered message #3 – version A
Time from subscription: One week
Triggering action: No purchase has been made yet
Email content: Slightly higher welcome discount to achieve immediate conversion

Triggered message #3 – version B
Time from subscription: One week
Triggering Action: The user has made a purchase
Email content: Invitation to share the experience with friends, offering a further discount on their first purchase

There is nothing difficult about setting the series up: go to Database Building Subscriptions Welcome email. Instead of selecting New email as before, select the option at the bottom of the page, Create a welcome series.

In summary

As we showedyou in this post, you can manage all the operations related to the creation ofa database more easily and immediately, starting today.

The MailUp platform’s Database Building area is here to help you: a single, large, functional area that lets you feed, manage, and maintain the list of recipients of your newsletters and email campaigns.

If you still haven’t tried MailUp yet, do so today by requesting a free 30-day trial of the platform. You’ll discover how simple and effective email marketing is.

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Andrea Serventi

I was born in 1986 in Milan, where I graduated in Modern Literature and started writing for online newspapers, magazines and TV news programs. Having now converted to marketing and the digital world, I am a Content Editor at MailUp: I read, listen, collect ideas, and write about what email marketing is and how to use it strategically.

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