How to use AI to onboard clients

How to use AI to craft a meaningful onboarding experience for new customers.

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First impressions matter. How you welcome a new customer dictates how long they stay with you. AI can help you stay in touch with your new customers, from writing emails to scheduling sends.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to:

  • Start your customer relationship on the right foot
  • Write a customer onboarding email series
  • Automate an email series with Stripe, Zapier, and Gmail

3 key elements to onboarding clients

Any successful customer onboarding experience has three key elements. We’ll incorporate this into our email series.

  1. Timeliness - don’t let the customer wait. If they’ve contacted you, or even paid, ensure that you’re reaching out as soon as possible.
  2. Personal - no matter how big your business is, make the outreach feel personal.
  3. Surprise and delight - do something unexpected that adds more value to the customer.
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Write your onboarding email series

1. Share details about your company

For this tutorial, we’ll write three sequential emails welcoming a new customer to a paid online platform. You may choose to write more or less for your business.

First, you need to get ChatGPT familiar with your business.

Suggested prompt:

You’re writing a series of welcome emails to my new customers. Before we start, here are some details about my business:

Business name: [business name]What we do: [description of services]Key benefits (these are the reasons most new customers sign up):

[Benefit 1]
[Benefit 2]
[Benefit 3]

Let me know when you’re ready to proceed.

2. Develop a strategy

Before writing your email, you’ll want to develop a strategy: what to say and when to say it. Generally, a 3-email sequence is a good starting place but your industry or product may require more or less. For this example, we’ll stick with 3 emails.

You’ll also ask ChatGPT to identify a goal of the email so it doesn’t get off track. Asking ChatGPT to consider the customer’s experience also ensures that it frames the language and objective in the customer’s interest.

Given the information I’ve provided, what is a good onboarding sequence for my business? Outline [number of emails] emails and include the goal of the email, what value it adds to the customer’s experience, and when it should be sent. Also include 3 subject line suggestions for each email.

3. Give specific instructions for your email series

Once you confirm the strategy, it’s time to write your emails. ChatGPT will offer a first draft of the emails. It’s a good idea to review and tweak to ensure they’re written the voice your customers would expect.

This strategy looks good. Now you’ll write the full email. Each email should be between 150-300 words in length.

ChatGPT will get you 90% of the way there but you should review and tweak the language to make it sound like it’s coming from your brand. Think about writing the email to one specific customer - what would you say? That’s often the best place to start.

Automate email sending

You may choose to use an email platform like Mailchimp, ConstantContact or HubSpot to automate your emails. In this tutorial, we’re going to send emails via Gmail to make it feel even more personal.

Zapier is an automation tool that helps you connect dozens of internet apps and services. Once connected, you can automate actions so one service triggers another to do something.

In our scenario, once a payment is received via Stripe, we’ll use Zapier to automatically send an email to the customer via our Gmail account.

1. Zapier setup

Zapier offers a free version so you can play around with the tool but you’ll need a paid plan for multi-action automations. Once you’re in, simply type in the “What would you like to automate?” bar the action you want to happen.

Zapier has tons of integrations, so if you’re using PayPal and Outlook instead of Stripe and Gmail, those work too.

To ensure all three of your emails aren’t sent at once, you’ll add “Delay by Zapier” action which allows you to pause any campaigns for anything from minutes to days.

For this example, we delayed the email by 5 minutes, then the second email by 3 hours, and finally the last email by 3 days.

Once you’ve set up your Zap, it’ll look something like this:

You can test it out by making a $0.50 payment in your Stripe account and watching the automation do the work.

Congratulations! You’ve written a welcome series for new customers and automated sending with Zapier and Gmail.

This tutorial was created by Jonah.

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