onboarding workflow thumb

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Designing a Workflow to onboard trial users and customers of your SaaS app is simple.

In its most basic form, your Onboarding Workflow will include a few goals:

  • Started registration
  • Started a trial
  • Completed onboarding
  • Became a customer

This blueprint will show you how to use Goals, Campaigns and Tags to create a Workflow that nurtures your trial users toward paying customers.

Start your Workflow with a “Performed a custom event” trigger.

If you haven’t yet connected your website to send events to Drip using Drip’s API, use our API documentation to get started.


In this case, the custom event triggering signup is “Started registration.”


Prompt trial users to enter payment information.


If your app requires a credit card before a user can begin their trial, include a campaign of emails urging the user to enter their payment info.

Include Goals and Tagging.


Your first set of goals will remove trial users from the Missing Card campaign as soon as they enter payment information. Record this Goal using a custom event sent from your payment processor (Stripe, PayPal, etc).

Add a tag to indicate their trial has started.

Start your onboarding campaign.


Create a Drip campaign with emails describing each step of your onboarding process. Set delays appropriate to your trial length. Once your campaign is ready, add it as a “Start a Campaign” action in your Workflow.

Add “Completed Onboarding” Goals.


Include “Performed a Custom Event” or “Applied a Tag” goals that will pull trial users out of the Onboarding Emails campaign as soon as they complete the onboarding process.

This way, users who have successfully onboarded will no longer receive the campaign you designed to help them complete their setup process.

Start sending educational or lifecycle email campaigns.


In this example, we’ve included a nested Workflow, but you could add this as a single Campaign. These emails are designed to help your users learn the ins and outs of your platform and achieve long-term success with your app.

Record trial-to-paid conversions.


Include goals triggered by custom events that indicate when a trial user starts paying you money, or when a cancelled user reactivates their subscription.

Any user that converts to a customer will be pulled to this goal in your Workflow, and pulled out of all campaigns, delays, nested workflows or exits above this goal.

This means you should add your lifecycle campaign or nested workflow again below this goal, so newly-converted customers won’t lose their spot in that cycle.

Removing a subscriber from a campaign or Workflow and later re-adding them will put them back at the spot they left off.


At this point, you can remove and add tags indicating the customer’s status.

In the example above, the “Customer” tag is added, the “Cancelled” tag is removed (remember, the goals directly above this step process new customers as well as ones who may have cancelled and reactivated), and subscribers start a campaign pitching a discount when they upgrade to annual billing.

Add goals and steps for cancelled or delinquent users.


When users cancel, or when their credit card payments fail, they should stop receiving marketing and lifecycle campaigns and be segmented appropriately.

In the above example, there are two goals: Cancelled subscription and Became delinquent. When a subscriber triggers either of these goals, they’ll be pulled out of all prior steps in this workflow – they will stop receiving onboarding, lifecycle or educational emails.

Their “Customer” tag will be removed, and they’ll receive a “Cancelled” tag, allowing you to use Drip to track churn.