Marketing Automation

Six Tips to a Customer Onboarding Program that Rocks

September 12, 2019
Author
Inkit Team

What Is the Corporate Onboarding Process and Why Do You Need It?

Doing business in the era of the globalized and digitalized world requires a totally new approach if compared to the ‘pre-digital times’, but some things remain unchanged: it requires good communication. A meaningful, thoroughly elaborated, and relevant message is the key to corporate premises and people’s hearts alike.

Identifying and signing new customers, partners, and loyal collaborators takes tons of time, expenses, and effort. But it’s never the right time to rest on your laurels – without efficient retention, all these resources and efforts you spent will be wasted.

As the first step of the retention process that your customers or employees face, onboarding is one of the key elements of business communication and corporate culture. The goal of the corporate onboarding program is more than just ‘tell them about our company, our product features, and service’. What you’re aiming at is to nurture and keep these relationships long-lasting by creating an enjoyable customer and employee onboarding experience.

Corporate Onboarding for New Customers and Hires

It is common knowledge that the first impression is not to be underestimated. In today’s highly competitive and volatile market, creating long-lasting relationships with your customers is a strategic objective with a direct impact on your company’s future success. Studies show that increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase revenues by 25 to 95%. According to the findings of Kolsky and thinkJar research, It is 6 or even 7 times more expensive to attract new customers than to keep existing customers.

Source: Customer Acquisition Vs.Retention Costs – Statistics And Trends


However, it is not only new customers that require your special attention. New hires should be integrated into the matrix of the company’s working routine, too. From the perspective of employee onboarding, the integration process does not stop as soon as the new hire has been introduced and received their job description. However, studies show that over 58% of companies tend to focus on regular routine processes and paperwork when onboarding a new team member. A research study by Glassdoor reveals that companies with a well-developed onboarding process can boast new hire retention of 82% and improve productivity by more than 70%. A good start at a company contributes to employee commitment and creates a healthy working environment, so it is definitely a worthwhile investment.

Companies practice a variety of corporate onboarding strategies to achieve all these goals. But there’s no unified approach to fit every type of business, so it is necessary to elaborate unique customer and employee onboarding practices tailored to your needs taking into account the specificities of your business activity, as well as your target audience.

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Six Tips to Create a Customer Onboarding Process that Rocks

  • Keep it simple and convenient. Comfortable onboarding experience is delivered in digestible portions. Then it can stick and contribute to a pleasant overall customer experience. While complying with your onboarding strategy line, consider leaving some space for customized opportunities and avoid tiresome obligatory procedures whenever you can. Your customers might want to set their own pace of discovery and will appreciate “Skip” and “See/learn/fill out later” options a lot.
  • Give a brief yet clear view of your product or service. A simple progress bar can help with setting milestones and expectations for ‘a big picture’. Remember, it’s not only about listing the stages of your onboarding process. It’s important to outline how the product use and collaboration with your company will look like in the future. Be sure to highlight the most crucial steps and features.
  • Add a fun element to keep their interest. Add some gamification elements into the mix and celebrate the new milestones conquered. Make it more of an achievement to learn about your company with some bonuses to be gained out of it – rather than a tiresome burden people would prefer to skip.  
  • Make customer onboarding journey easy. This bit is a great opportunity to present not only your product or service, but your vision, your values, and your company’s care in particular. Your customers are likely to start evaluating the quality of your customer service at the onboarding stage. The ever-present ‘Help’ option at any stage of the customer onboarding process will make sure there are no bottlenecks in your customer journey. And no less important, your customer onboarding and support should be focused on teaching people how to get the most value out of your products and services.
  • Show your appreciation. Thank you letters, physical postcards, birthday greetings, and small gifts help to develop strong loyal relationships and add that special human touch.
  • Ask for feedback: There is always some room for improvement. Provide possibilities to leave feedback at any time or send a direct mail asking for customers’ suggestions. This way you can kill two birds with one stone. First, you will receive valuable insights to help you better understand why people become loyal customers or leave. In addition, it will help with building a more caring, open, and trusting relationship.

Why Choose a Direct Mail Strategy for Your Onboarding Campaign?

When striving to reach your audience and be noticed by them, keeping track of the currently ‘hot’ marketing trends is a must (content-oriented advertising, emphasis on personalization, etc.). This will help marketers avoid falling behind the times, as well as choose the most efficient strategies based on peer analysis and industry performance reports.

As one of these acclaimed marketing trends, direct mail covers a number of types, including shared and standalone mail, represented by postcards, self-mailers, lead letters, mailing lists, dimensional mailers, and catalogs.

Why opt for direct mail among other choices?

With digital reality claiming various spheres of marketing, it is hard to believe direct mail marketing has got any chances. And this is where you are totally wrong. Curiously enough, modern savvy Internet-literate customers prefer a physical mail over emails, and with a good reason. According to the findings of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), direct mail has a 4.4% response rate, compared to email’s average of 0.12%. The answer to this may be because over 74% of consumers are stressed by overwhelming volumes of emails every day. Neuromarketing research proves that our brains react differently to printed material than to digital media. Participants tended to respond 70% higher when exposed to direct mail rather than digital ads, which clearly shows us that direct mailing is more likely to make a difference in the long run.

Source: Still Relevant: A look at how Millenials respond to direct mail

Drawbacks of Direct Mail and How to Eliminate Them:

First, let’s have a look at what could stop marketers from choosing direct mail as a key part of corporate onboarding program:

Cost. Added costs for creative component, listing, printing and delivery can make a considerable expense.

Time-consuming. Despite the obvious posting-related time issues, personalization requires some time, too.

Unread. About 44% of recipients throw direct mail away, according to AllBusiness.com.

The risk to get lost or unnoticed tossed in a pile with other ads.

Here is how to overcome these difficulties and create a successful direct mail onboarding campaign:

  • Make automation tools your best friends.
    What if meticulous personalized direct mailing could become easier? Yes, it can actually be automated and less time-consuming. Direct mail tool (e.g. Inkit) will help you improve your direct mail marketing experience leaving you with more time for strategic business tasks.
  • Prioritize and adapt.

When choosing relevant marketing strategies for B2C, B2B or an efficient team building, consider your short and long-term priorities. Onboarding requirements might differ, so it is crucial to adapt to your audience.

  • Analyze.

Get the data, crunch the numbers, summarize the results, and use lessons learned for future planning. Try to learn not only from your own experience but from industry giants, competitors and experts in your field.

  • Personalize.

Study your target audience. The more you know about the needs of your target reader, the more productive your communication will be. Try to apply a customized approach to direct mail with Inkit’s core features, e.g. Custom postcard builder

  • Seek to make it cost-effective.

Automated third-party printing and shipping services will make your direct mail campaigns both an easier and cheaper task in the long run.

  • Pay attention to details.

Direct mailing done properly is a powerful tool for creating a positive impression of your company. Design your marketing materials in a catchy yet professional way for them to stand out. Include interesting images and attention-drawing phrases, select quality print materials, and try to A/B test for success.

Ready to captivate your customers?
Send personalized direct mail automatically based on customer actions.
Start for free