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On-boarding : don’t forget about it

November 2, 2015

The first few things you say to a person you just met are amongst the most important; with out much common ground to go on in can be easy to make a misstep that sours things going forward and before you know it the other person is checking Twitter rather than talking to you. Something similar can happen with 'on boarding' emails, especially when they contain seemingly obvious errors, like happened to me recently.

At Extravision we build on top of many different services and systems, so we are always signing up for new services. New sign ups are a crucial part of any business, especially one with a service delivered over the Internet that will probably never meet or talk to it's users in the traditional sense. The 'on boarding' process for these new users is typically a series of triggered emails from some ESP or other, and we're probably all familiar with the format.

First you might get "Welcome to Next Big Thing" confirming your user name and other details. Then a few days later you might get a follow up like "Next Big Thing: Get started with these quick tips" that highlights some important but potentially not front-and-center things new users find important like privacy settings or completing optional set up steps to get the most out of the product.

It can be all to easy to set these campaigns up and never revisit them as they tend to just tick along in the background, so I was surprised when the email I received from a major cloud-based service vendor contained broken unsubscribe links ! This was even more of a problem, because the campaigns aren't part of their own platform, so there is no way to manage my subscriptions from inside the website I do have access to. In places like Canada with it's CAN-SPAM act (or soon in Europe) emails like this which only have implied consent and no unsubscribe link may even be illegal, so it's important to remember to go through your own on-boarding process now and again and double check everything, just in case - it only takes one missing custom field to create a bad impression. And you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Posted by Tom Chiverton
Tip of the month

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