A couple weeks ago, I shared how Asana onboards new users to their platform. This week, we’ll take a look at how another popular SaaS company, Mixmax, approaches onboarding.
Mixmax is a email productivity software that enables users to track emails in real-time, set up meetings in an instant, save time with email templates, and schedule emails to be sent later for Gmail, Google Inbox, and Salesforce.
In addition, it also allows you to attach larger files than Gmail does, anywhere in the text of the email, instead of just at the foot. To date, they have raised $1.5M in 1 round of funding from a total of 11 investors.
When you click the ‘Install for Free’ button on the Mixmax website, it prompts you to add Mixmax as a Google Chrome extension via a pop-up window. After you grant access to your inbox, it directs you to your Gmail Inbox, where it prompts you to activate Mixmax. Once you do that – voila – you’ve officially become a Mixmax user!
Day 1 – Welcome Tour
After you activate Mixmax using your Google account, it will automatically open a ‘compose a new email’ widget to give you a tour of Mixmax and its functions. It creates a very clean and clear user experience to integrate a tour of the basic features within Gmail itself, because it allows users to click through an interface that they’re already familiar with. It’s also thoughtful to include the option to ‘skip this tour’ for people who might not want to go through the entire tour at that time. This tour shows users, in a very simple fashion, an overview of what you can do with Mixmax.
Mixmax highlights the icon that represents each new feature to make it easy for the user to know to which function each one corresponds. Take, for example, the feature that allows you to track emails; during the tour, Mixmax highlights the lightning icon when it explains what tracking emails entails. I thought this was well done because it makes it really clear what each icon represents and its function, instead of having to figure it out myself. I also like that I can control the pace of the tour. The use of buttons made it interactive and engaging, although I think a pronounced back button would be very helpful.
Day 1 – Testing Out the Features
After completing the tour, Mixmax immediately directs you to test out one of their features. As mentioned above, I really like how interactive Mixmax makes their onboarding. It is refreshing to be able to test out their features without actually having to send emails to people.
Day 1 – Try It Now
Just when I thought I was done with all the Mixmax tours and tutorials, I tried to compose a new email and another pop-up tutorial appeared. The purpose of this pop-up was to teach me how to access all of Mixmax features. I personally feel that the number of pop-ups is a little excessive – but each one does serve a distinct purpose.
At least five pop-ups had occurred before I’d had the chance to compose and send out an actual email yet. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why Mixmax would want a user to learn all the features before getting started, but I think they covered a majority of the key basic and critical features in their Welcome Tour. Features such as this one could perhaps be explained or introduced in a later email.
Day 1 – Welcome Email
In addition to all the welcome tutorials and pop-ups I was initiated with, I received an email from the CEO of Mixmax, personally welcoming me as a user. It was nice to have been reached out to, not just by anyone, but by Olof, the CEO of Mixmax. Being personally reached out to is one very good way of making a user feel like they are valued. However, if you take a look at the email address that this email was sent from, it immediately gives it away that this email was automated. This kind of took away the personal touch to this email.
Although everything is automated nowadays, Mixmax could send this email using a personal email address to make it less obvious that it is automated. On the other hand, I like the addition of the poll at the end of the email. It kills two birds with one stone. This poll demonstrates how Mixmax’s poll feature works and also directs users to their website. Once you ‘vote’ for a feature you are most interested in, it’ll take you to their resources page on their website where you will learn in detail how to use that feature. On a side note, I do think Mixmax can improve on this email by adding a little more colour or images to make it more visually appealing.
Day 3, 5 – Learn a New Feature!
These emails, also sent by the CEO, are meant to teach users how use different features of Mixmax. The use of gifs was engaging and attractive, and I also liked how there was a call to action at the end of the email. The big blue button at the directs you to try out the feature that was being taught.
Day 3 Email
Day 5 Email
Day 7 – Email Prompt
I received an email from Mixmax asking me for feedback on why I didn’t try using one of their features. This email made me feel like I was a valued user as they took the time to personally reach out to me. This email was a good reminder to try out the features I hadn’t explored yet.
Day 8, 9 – Learn a New Feature
These emails are similar to the ones sent on Day 3 and 5, however, the only difference this time is the email address that it is sent by. I think this is a little confusing, since the email is supposedly sent by the same person. It would help avoid confusion if Mixmax was consistent with the email address used to sent out emails.
On the other hand, I can take a guess as to why Mixmax uses two different emails addresses. It might be to help the receiver differentiate between the onboarding emails, and regular outreach emails. I’m guessing that I was switched over from a new user to a regular user after Day 8, as I started receiving emails from email@example.com instead of firstname.lastname@example.org.
Day 8 Email
Day 9 Email
Day 11 – Free Trial Expires!
I like how I was reminded that my free trial was about to expire, because I’m would not have remembered otherwise. I also like how short and sweet this email was.
Bonus: Day 4, 5 17, 19, 22, 30, 32
I received a couple of personal emails from the CEO himself, prompting me to purchase Mixmax premium with one of their discounts. I thought these emails added a personal touch to the entire onboarding process. The only issue I notice with these emails is the inconsistent use of email address they were sent by. It can be quite inconvenient if someone wants to take a look at the entire thread of emails.
Overall, I thought Mixmax did a pretty good job in onboarding me as a first time user to their platform. I particularly liked the interactive tutorials, as I felt they were very effective in teaching me how to utilize their features. Mixmax actually has a resources page on their website that should have been introduced to users, because if not, how would they know that it exists?
Here is a summary of the interactions that Mixmax took to onboard me as a user.
Day 1 – Welcome Tour / Tutorials / Welcome Email
Day 3, 5 – Learn a New Feature
Day 7 – Email Prompt
Day 8, 9 – Learn a New Feature
Day 11 – Free Trial Expires
Bonus: Day 4, 5 17, 19, 22, 30, 32 – Personal outreach emails from CEO
That sums up how Mixmax onboarded me to their platform. I hope it sparked your curiosity on how popular SaaS companies onboard their customers, and perhaps even provided you with new insights on how you could structure an onboarding process in the future. Stay tuned for more!