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Podcast Recap: It All Starts With Onboarding- Val + Intercom

Updated: Jan 31

Hey everyone 👋 and welcome to the Inside Intercom with Val Geisler recap!

The details

Val Geisler is an email queen! She helps SaaS companies not only get customers but also keep them around by going deep in two areas: copywriting and email marketing.

Companies like InVision and Stripe have worked with Val to help fight churn and increase customer happiness.

Val sat down with Intercom to chat about supercharging onboarding emails. For those of you who know Val, you’ve probably run into one or two of her onboarding email tear-downs. If you haven’t and are considering revamping your onboarding emails, check out the link at the bottom of this post 👇

So let’s cover the top three takeaways

  1. The dinner party strategy

  2. The 1 email every SaaS company should be sending

  3. Change from feature to benefit

The dinner party strategy

Reducing churn is very much tied to onboarding. The better your onboarding, the least likelihood of your customers churning in the long term.

So what’s the formula for onboarding? Think of it as a dinner party…

We’ve all been to one and we all know how it goes. When you walk in the door, you’re not forced to have a seat at the table and then rushed to finish up and leave, there’s so much that happens to work up to the dinner.

The host may show you around a bit, hand you a drink and maybe some appetizers. You sit around the table and you have a conversation.

You have the meal with sides and maybe some dessert afterward. The conversation continues and maybe you’re re-invited.

Val mentioned that there are 6 steps in the dinner party strategy and the #1 question she gets from others is how often should these email go out? Her answer:

The number one answer in email marketing is, “It depends.”

The 1 email every SaaS company should be sending

A welcome email – but not just a link back to the dashboard with your credentials and blah blah blah! An actual email that comes from someone with a name (it’d be great if it was the founder or CEO) not “the X team”. This email is your chance to tell a story about your company and what matters to you. As humans, we thrive on building relationships and we do just that through storytelling.

Humanizing things––such as this welcome email—-helps us become trusted and not just “software that does this and that”.

Change from feature to benefit

And while we’re on the topic of emails, the last takeaway was around emailing more than you think you should but don’t just email about features, flip the script and instead, talk about the benefits. She uses the example o a dashboard, she went from:

“We built this new dashboard.”


“You said you want to see a particular metric front-and-center every day. So we updated the dashboard to show you a picture of it at the top.”

In the second email, she made it about them—-the customer—-not about the product and its features.

That’s the episode in a nutshell but before I let you go, here are some links Val mentioned which you might find helpful:

The dinner party strategy link:


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