3 Key Components of a Successful Welcome and Onboarding Program

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The goal of an onboarding program should be a positive and informative experience, with minimal effort required from the customer. Let’s take a look at three elements of a successful welcome and onboarding process, along with real examples from brand campaigns.

1. Establish Expectations

Whether alerting customers to the arrival of a new card, introducing the benefits of a loyalty program, or guiding them through a multi-step process, brands should take care to set expectations for new customers as a means of establishing trust. Brands should provide useful information in a concise way, with clear calls-to-action to drive the recipient towards next steps.

Example: AmEx Delta SkyMiles

American Express provided a “new card checklist” to engage new cardholders, highlight available features, and encourage actions. The piece also made the card’s membership guide available online and downloadable via QR code.

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Additionally, the piece included reminders of the rewards program benefits and value proposition. Behind the card, AmEx framed the card as bringing the recipient “one step closer to your next trip.”

2. Cross Channels Seamlessly

Account management, customer engagement, and in many cases, the products and services themselves are experienced digitally. People don’t think in terms of “channels,” so it is important for brands to establish a presence everywhere and eliminate any friction when moving between them.

Example: Citi Double Cash

Citi integrated downloading its mobile app into its card activation process with this Double Cash welcome kit. A number and activation website were still provided, but the campaign prioritized its mobile app in both directions and in imagery.

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Example: Toyota

Toyota followed up with a recent new customer with a highly personalized direct mail piece. In addition to including the recipient’s name and the make/model they purchased, the piece outlined financing terms in a transparent way, while encouraging the recipient to set up and manage payments online.

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3. Remind Customers of the “Why”

Whether made explicit within campaign copy, or experienced implicitly in various touchpoints, brands should remind new customers of the reason they chose a given product or service. Rewards brands often highlight bonus opportunities, and streaming services highlight popular content and features.

Example: Disney

This example from Disney stands out. Disney mailed personalized itineraries to upcoming guests. The packets included details related to their hotel, a to-do checklist, and “important dates to remember.” Disney also recommended amenities and other options available so that guests could make the most of their trip.


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