Onboarding in 2019 is a mobile-first experience

August 16th, 2019 | Eric Fahey

Successful onboarding communications convert new customers into active and engaged customers in as few steps as possible. 

Welcome emails now guide new customers through downloading and using mobile apps to manage their accounts and connect to online resources. 

While some brands opt for a single, information-heavy email, others carefully sequence a series focused on one topic at a time. As consumers’ comfort with mobile account management increases, brands should seek efficiencies in the onboarding process to eliminate any unnecessary steps in driving new customers to the mobile app.

Brands that did it right 


Verizon used a customer’s new device as an opportunity to re-establish a relationship. The email resembles an onboarding communication to a new customer with a “Get Started” call-to-action, which demonstrates a keen sense of customer awareness, as new devices require an adjustment period, sometimes warranting a “how-to” guide.

The email also included links to device support and new accessories.

Verizon also reminded customers of various services such as its Verizon Up rewards program and its Total Mobile Protection plans – highly relevant services for customers who just increased their spend with a brand and purchased a new device.


In encouraging new customers to complete their account profiles, PayPal used a three-part progress bar to show recipients that it was the final step in the process. In reminding customers that they had already provided an email and home address, PayPal mitigates any friction associated with giving more personal contact information.

The email also included the “Update My Profile” call-to-action in two places: the hero image and below the fold, while assuring recipients that it will take “just a few seconds.”

American Express

Removing unnecessary steps, an email detailing how to pay the first bill did not require recipients to login or prompt them to click-through to “learn more.” Images showed the three-step process.

A later email promoted access to “digital tools that help you get more from Card Membership,” and highlighted the tools with an embedded video. Both campaigns were self-contained and did not drive the recipient to another channel.


Honda’s welcome email to new customers is a personalized hub for features and how-to guides.

In emails tailored to the driver’s make and model, Honda provided a list of popular features and linked to step-by-step guides and how-to videos.

The email also steered recipients towards the feature guides via their personalized web page, complete with a personalized URL.

The welcome email served as a de facto digital user manual. The included features were curated to showcase more modern vehicle features such as driver-assistance technology or media and entertainment options, as opposed to windshield wiper functions, or a list of dashboard light icons.


In a sequence of emails sent to a recent customer, captured by Comperemedia Direct, GEICO positioned its mobile app as an account management hub with continual, but varied, messaging around features and benefits. 

Images of a mobile device, opened to the mobile app interface, were resent across its onboarding sequence. Copy guided new customers to use the app to manage their account, pay bills, and request roadside assistance.

What we think

These examples demonstrate how finding small, unique ways to eliminate unnecessary points of friction and connect new customers with information, resources, and benefits are integral to a successful onboarding program. As so much of account management and customer relationship management happens via mobile app, brands must drive customers into the app early in that relationship, and as seamlessly as possible.

Eric Fahey

Eric Fahey

Eric Fahey is the Director of Content and Analytics, Comperemedia. Eric specializes in telecommunications, financial services, and email marketing. In addition to researching and writing about industry trends, marketing strategy, and newsworthy developments, Eric oversees the planning and execution of custom and syndicated competitive intelligence reports for the Comperemedia research team.