Choosing between onboarding software and email

Discover why onboarding software outperforms email in customer engagement.

Rory Sadler
March 11, 2024
March 14, 2024
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Discover why onboarding software outperforms email in customer engagement.

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The way we buy software has changed dramatically; now, the journey from browsing to signing on the dotted line happens almost entirely online. This digital-first approach is the new playing field for sales teams.

Enter customer onboarding software. This isn't just another tool in the toolbox; it's specifically designed to turn prospects into users by familiarising them with your product or service through a tailored, engaging experience.

This switch to dedicated onboarding platforms reflects a larger evolution in how sales are done today. 

So, when it comes down to choosing between customer onboarding software and traditional emails for engaging your customers, which one takes the lead? And more importantly, when is the right time to use each?

Customer onboarding software vs. email: What's the difference?

Customer onboarding software comes in a bunch of flavours, each designed to tackle the hurdles of communication and education in the digital sales world. These platforms each have their own set of features and designs focused on different parts of the onboarding journey.

Here’s a quick rundown of the key types:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems: They keep customer data and interactions neat and organized.
  • Learning Management Systems (LMS): These make learning fun and engaging for customers.
  • Digital Adoption Platforms: Offer in-app help to make software easy to use.
  • Automated Workflows: They’re all about making onboarding quicker and smoother.
  • Feedback Tools: Get straight-to-the-point insights from customers.
  • Knowledge Bases: Always-there self-help for customers.
  • Digital Sales Rooms: Share onboarding content from docs to videos in one centralised location.

Digital sales rooms (DSRs) are like your one-stop-shop for the whole buyer's journey, from the first "hello" to the "thank you for your purchase."

Imagine walking into a virtual room filled with everything you need—onboarding timelines, training videos, and interactive guides that make the onboarding process super smooth and transparent.

Remember when email came out in the 1970s? It was revolutionary, offering a quick and secure way to send messages without relying on snail mail. 

But when it comes to sales, email shows its age. Companies often find themselves sending out long, complicated emails that overwhelm potential customers and leave attachments unopened. 

Here's where DSRs like trumpet shine—they have an impressive 76% open rate, leaving the 6% open rate for email attachments in the dust.

Differences between the two platforms also include:

Customer onboarding software vs. email: Impact on the customer experience

B2B buyers are swamped with emails and often ignore cold outreach, receiving generic welcome emails and onboarding info that lack personalisation.

This leads to a disappointing experience and a rough transition to customer success, leaving CS teams in the dark about specific customer issues until they reach out.

Customer onboarding software such as digital sales rooms offers a better way by providing tailored content and real-time communication, so customers aren't left waiting for answers. It also includes mutual action plans to help customers sync with you on the journey ahead.

Additionally, CS teams can track customer engagement in real-time using buyer signals, spotting when someone might need extra help if they frequently check certain documents. This allows for proactive support through targeted messages or additional resources.

Customer onboarding software vs. email: Efficiency and automation comparison

Email can drag out the onboarding process, with McKinsey noting it can take up to 100 days to onboard a new corporate client. Organisations are responding by shifting towards digital, aiming to increase digital interactions by 1.5 times by 2024. 

They're trading email for customer onboarding software which far outpaces email in automation and efficiency.

This software doesn't just automate emails; it dynamically updates the onboarding experience based on real-time customer data and actions. It's a game-changer, especially considering that a slow digital onboarding process could turn away 70% of potential customers. 

The transition to digital is not just about making things easier for customer service teams; it's crucial for keeping customers engaged and reducing churn rates.

Customer onboarding software vs. email: Personalisation capabilities

B2B customers crave a personal touch, just like they get when shopping for themselves—over 80% of them, to be exact. They're over the moon for sleek, interactive platforms and are even willing to pay extra for that tailored customer service magic. 

Zendesk's research says it loud and clear: 90% of customers don't mind spending more for companies that make them feel special.

But here's the catch: turning emails into a custom-fit suit isn't a walk in the park. Sure, some fancy platforms let you tweak emails manually or use templates that sort of personalize things by adding names or specific details.

And then there's segmentation, which tries to group customers by their traits. Yet, at the end of the day, most folks still end up with the same, run-of-the-mill email.

Customer onboarding software, however, boasts impressive personalisation capabilities, including:

✔️ Dynamic Content: Adjusts content and resources based on customer's actions and preferences.

✔️ User Behaviour Tracking: Tailors the experience by analysing how the customer interacts with the platform.

✔️ Interactive Elements: Offers quizzes, polls, and interactive guides that respond to user inputs.

✔️ Customised Learning Paths: Creates a learning journey specific to the customer's needs and knowledge level.

✔️ Automated, Personalised Messages: Sends messages and reminders based on customer's progress and activities.

✔️ Real-time Assistance: Provides instant support and guidance tailored to the customer's current task or challenge.

✔️ Feedback Loops: Uses customer feedback to continually refine and personalise the onboarding experience.

>Check out a customer onboarding digital sales room live template<

Long-Term Benefits of Customer Retention

Customer churn, which started as a big headache in the SaaS world, has quickly become a universal issue for all subscription-based and even product businesses, with over half of consumers returning products because they find them too tricky to use.

Using a good customer onboarding tool such as trumpet’s digital sales room does more than just make customers happy; it significantly cuts down on how often they leave, boosting the revenue they bring in over time. Considering it's far cheaper to keep existing customers than to find new ones—up to 25 times cheaper, in fact—the advantages are clear.

Customer onboarding software beats out emails by a long shot, thanks to its interactive features, instant tracking, and seamless communication, turning fleeting visitors into lifelong patrons. 

It's not merely an introduction; it's the foundation of a long-lasting B2B relationship

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