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If you want to onboard partners effectively, it is crucial that you learn how to write successful onboarding emails. Go ahead and read these 5 tips.
You've done all the work involved to attract new partnerships and improve customer satisfaction, sales success, and the mutual benefit of increased profits. Now you wish to onboard a new partner but aren't quite sure how to go about it professionally and effectively. This blog will discuss the techniques for creating a successful email for partner onboarding.
What is partner onboarding?
When signing up new sales partners with your company, you will engage in partner onboarding. However, this process is not merely about signing documents – it involves reinforcing your initial engagement, training and setting them up for success with you.
First impressions are crucial, and you would be wise to apply any means necessary to ensure your mutual success. For example, you will require a solid strategy before the onboarding process with your new partner even begins.
If you consider the two essential elements at play; namely relationships and business, you'll soon realize that both demand a streamlined, strategic onboarding plan for optimal success:
Business processes: Ensure you have a solid plan regarding the well-timed sharing of essential documents with new partners at the beginning of your collaboration.
Relationships: Transparent and timely communication is central to rewarding business partnerships, and your process should be well-planned and tactical.
Furthermore, partner onboarding involves familiarizing your new partner with your company, its products, services and processes. Since all parties involved must display expertise and professionalism to your potential audience and customer base for meaningful results, the process must be perfect.
Typically, onboarding a new partner doesn't always happen linearly, meaning you may have more than one partner in the pipeline. Keeping track of each partner's onboarding process necessitates a solid tracking system.
As your partnership onboarding scales, this process can quickly become confusing and may place the risk of miscommunication in your affiliation. However, with partner onboarding software, managing the process at all levels becomes accessible and uncomplicated.
So, where do you begin?
Why are emails an indispensable part of partner onboarding
Your onboarding contact with a new partner sets the tone for future communication and how they perceive your company. It determines how responsive they will be in the future and is the cornerstone of your overall communication success. It is also vital to keep in mind how your new and existing customers will perceive your company in general. An onboarding email series helps you build solid partner relationships from the outset, which in turn helps your customers better appreciate your product and opens the door to long-term customer loyalty.
How to master partner onboarding emails
Even after four decades, email remains a valid and effective means of communication and a terrific marketing tool. Apart from welcoming and onboarding partners, emails lend themselves to prompt response and support for your partners and customers alike. You can apply emails to spread the word about the latest trends or news, elicit valuable feedback from your partners and create an open channel for rewarding communication. Let's dive deeper into the 'how'
Give a call to action
Begin with an engaging subject line that captures their attention and creates excitement for the journey ahead. A simple subject line that includes a clear call-to-action directly in the subject line will allow your mail to stand out in busy inboxes.
Fortunately, Experian's research shows that welcome emails have a better opening rate than other marketing or promotional emails. Furthermore, 74% of consumers and partners expect a welcome mail immediately after signing up. Another crucial element of a successful onboarding email is response time. Did you know that immediacy is expected and could increase your success rate by 45%? You'd be wise to start your new partnership with prompt, relevant responses.
Keep the length of the email short
Be careful not to inundate a new partner with a laundry list of tasks to perform before they're officially on board. Instead, leave these details for the next phase of onboarding and training and use the initial mail purely as a re-introduction with a primary focus on benefits, rewards, process information, and making them feel truly welcome and inspired to increase sales and profits as part of your family.
Begin with a personal re-introduction. Even with automated partner onboarding, your welcome emails don't need to be stale and impersonal. Present yourself as an available, approachable person ready to provide support whenever it's called for. With an automated process, you will remain in control of excellent response times and give your new partner the confidence that they chose well to join you, hence, forging a strong business partnership.
With the help of smart, automated onboarding software, you'll be able to provide a partner portal that offers access to resources and progress tracking. The welcome email is also the ideal occasion to provide a brief introduction to how the portal functions.
You could also use the welcome email as an introduction or reminder of your rewards system to excite partners with the potential of higher incentive levels and what they stand to gain from them as your partnership evolves.
At this stage, you have the opportunity to create the momentum for partners to follow through. If you ensure they start making sales quickly, you'll create immediate excitement. Providing resources with the welcome email, such as content templates for social media posts, logos and suggestions with case studies and infographics, they'll immediately have access to valuable data.
Personalize the email
As you communicate via email with your partners during onboarding, you'll want to address them personally. Avoid generalizations and work with automation software that enables you to address your readers by their first name.
As with any physical introductory business meeting or pitch, you'd ensure that you know your potential partner, how they prefer to be addressed, and their business goals and requirements. Aim to go beyond the general 'Hello [name]'. For instance, add a friendly reference to a mutual goal or previous communication to break the ice.
Tip: Use your pre-onboarding process to gather as much relevant information about your potential partner as possible—for example, nicknames, product interests, service expectations, etc.
According to research, a staggering 96% of consumers claim they often receive irrelevant and poorly-targeted emails. This unfortunate practice only casts an element of doubt on your company's professionalism. It's advisable to avoid these common errors that could have the opposite effect on welcoming and informing new partners:
- Irrelevant 'cookie-cutter or boilerplate' language only emphasizes that you don't know your new partner well enough.
- Any informational errors, such as misspelling names and positions, could create a sense of disrespect or unprofessionalism from the outset.
- Inconsistency of information and discrepancies between emails in the onboarding email series will quickly degrade your professionalism in the eyes of your new partners.
Ask for feedback constantly
If you do your work meticulously when strategizing your onboarding process, you can be confident that you have a series of emails ready to go at reasonable intervals. It's good practice to not overwhelm your new partners with emails at the welcoming stage.
Tip: This step is another area where onboarding software will support you tremendously.
Be sure to request feedback consistently and keep the door open to questions or issues that may arise during the early stages of your partnership.
When you notice that a partner doesn't respond within two or three days, it's acceptable to send a well-worded, friendly reminder and provide an opportunity for more in-depth support and help wherever necessary. Make it clear that you're excited about collaborating with them and perhaps touch on the benefits and advantages again. The bottom line remains that your partners understand that communication is a two-way street to optimize mutual benefit.
From the above, it's apparent that new partners embark on a journey with you, and it's your job to ensure an enjoyable and profitable one.
Here are a few other considerations:
- Strategy: You can pre-plan and use a personalized step-by-step journey to send a series of emails to ensure a hassle-free experience for your partner.
- Nurturing: Onboarding software lets you keep potential partners "under your wing" – enabling you to offer enough information ongoing to maintain excitement, letting them feel welcome and heard.
- Goal tracking: Set up goals to track email conversions and understand where partners are in their journey with you.
- Focus on the journey: Automation is great for firing off emails in a timely manner, however, it’s also important to consider the journey and how you want your partners to engage with you, for example, get them to update their details, get their first sale, or complete partner training.
A brief example of a successful welcome email series
- First email: Include a thank you and welcome. Let your new partner know how often you'll be communicating via email. You could also include an incentive to get them to do something, for example, update their organization details.
Tip: Perhaps it's a good idea to let them select their own preference for frequency.
Your first email and the entire welcome series should remain true to your brand and provide some background information, such as values, ethics, and manufacturers or product creators.
- Second email: Two days after the initial email, you can request any additional information you need from your partner. Use this opportunity to gather information such as special dates and preferences. Or use the second email to introduce products and services, suggest training slots and perhaps touch on the onboarding sequence.
- Third email: After another two days, you can introduce your partner to the various platforms where your brand has an active presence, for instance, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.
The goal is to elicit a sense of possibility and urgency to get the first sale and reward and be ready to follow through, leading your partner through the journey to success.
As you can see, there's nothing 'tricky' about partner onboarding emails. Aim for professionalism but remain conversational and relevant. Begin gathering information well before the onboarding process and apply this knowledge throughout your onboarding email series.
Keep in mind that solid onboarding software will provide a host of resources that you can apply to keep track of each partner's place in the funnel. With the proper software, you can save money, increase engagement, and automate the end-to-end experience of your new partners.
You can set up automatic email responses and SMS messages, customize the tone and content of your emails, set project goals and manage partner expectations.
Ultimately, the onboarding email helps you create a sense of teamwork and honest collaboration. The sky is the limit with templates you can provide to ease your partner into the family and keep them engaged and enthusiastic with continuous but well-spaced follow-up emails.
The easier you make it for partners to join you in building your companies through elevated sales success, engaged and happy customers and overall growth, the more successful your partnership programs will be.
Automated systems allow you to prepare well in advance, and with a professional software provider by your side, you'll have access to solid experience, guidance, ideas and advice. If you do the work upfront, you ensure a smooth journey for all involved and optimize your mutual benefit and ultimate success.
You can continuously update and tweak your onboarding email series as you uncover new requirements and ideas. Set your partner's mind at ease by making yourself available throughout the process and act fast.
The primary goal is to create a sense of teamwork and support to ensure your partners feel like part of your family from the outset and that all parties can anticipate a long and prosperous collaboration.
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