This Part 2 of our Customer Onboarding blog series focuses on automated ways for customers to help themselves. In Part 1, we covered how training can be used for onboarding via on-demand training, instructor-led training, and public webinars.

Automated onboarding is great for organizations that require low-touch, high-volume customer success, such as “freemium” or self-service products. It’s not possible for customer success managers (CSMs) to provide 1:1 training at scale.

In this blog post we dive deeper into in-app messaging, email drips, and knowledge banks.

1. In-App Messaging

For software products, a great way to provide onboarding help is with on-screen tutorials that are embedded into the product itself. Formats include:

  • Guided wizards
  • Step-through tutorials with tool tips around areas of the platform
  • Message alerts

While many companies build this functionality in-house, several vendors provide off-the-shelf tools to make in-app messaging possible by installing a few lines of Javascript.

2. Email drips

Email is a popular way to automate customer onboarding. For products with a free trial or for any introductory period, consider offering a welcome series of emails with increasingly advanced topics. For example, a 14 day trial might have a Day 1 Welcome Email, and additional information on Days 3, 7, 10, and 14. Remember to map out the customer journey during the trial period and think about relevant content accordingly.

3. Knowledge bank

A knowledge bank (or helpdesk) is useful for both customer onboarding as well as customer service. In the onboarding context, you can create a “Getting Started” section and organize relevant articles in that section. You can also create Guides and introductory materials within a single long article.


In-app messaging, email drips, and a knowledge bank are automated ways for customers to get onboarding help. Many companies start with email and knowledge banks since they also serve other purposes (marketing for email, and customer service for knowledge banks).

Stay tuned for the final 2 parts of this blog series.