November 24, 2021
Email Marketing

5 Email Marketing Campaigns Proven To Activate New Users

Hannah Peritore

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Done right, new user nurture campaigns quickly educate users on how to use your app, successfully guide them to complete key actions that provide value, and effectively convert them into champions of your brand.

What Is New User Nurturing and Why Is It Important?

New user nurturing is the process of building relationships with new users and guiding them to complete important, key actions in your app.

The best way to do this is through event-triggered email, push, and SMS notifications on a platform like or Intercom.

Did they sign up for your waiting list? Send them a welcome email with expectations for launch.

Are they new to your app? Forward some onboarding instructions to help them get the most out of it.

No activity from a user in 30 days? Ping them with a cheeky push notification.

You get the picture.

Key benefits of user nurturing campaigns include:

  • Improved retention
  • Improved conversion to trial or subscription
  • Improved lifetime value
  • Increased referral growth
  • Increase in DAUs
  • Decrease in support requests
  • Increase in positive reviews

The Best Tools for New User Nurture Campaigns

To build a successful user nurturing ecosystem, you’ll need to implement the right tools to automate the process and ensure every user receives the same carefully-curated experience. There are many tools to accomplish this goal, here are a few of our favorites: is an automated messaging platform that allows apps to create messaging workflows that trigger when users complete specific actions, so you’re communicating important information the moment your users need it.


Intercom is a customer communications platform that allows you to see who is using your app and engage them with personalized messaging and targeted content exactly when they need it.


Twilio is a cloud communication platform that allows apps to speak to their customers wherever they are—whether that’s email, SMS, whatsapp, or somewhere else entirely.


Mailchimp is a marketing automation platform that allows you to manage your marketing data, channels, and insights from one place so you can stay on top of user behavior and engage them with the content they need.


HubSpot is a comprehensive CRM platform that allows you to manage everything from marketing automation and content management to sales and customer service, which is great for anyone looking for an all-in-one solution.

The 5 Essential Email Marketing Campaigns Every App Needs

Aside from your product—which should always be the focal point of your growth engine—user nurturing is the most effective way to feed your flywheel and consistently transform passive evaluators into brand advocates.

1. New User Onboarding Sequence

The why behind this one is likely pretty obvious—new users need help learning how to use your app.

During new user onboarding, welcome your new users, thank them for downloading your app, and encourage them to explore.

In terms of timing, this sequence should trigger when a user first installs your app—directing them to complete the first key action in your app (such as creating their profile, verifying their phone number, or starting their trial).

The remaining emails in the sequence should include an introduction to your app; its features and benefits; any necessary education on how it works and how to use it; and the next steps your users need to take to get the most out of their experience.

Your new user onboarding nurture campaign should answer questions like:

  • How does your app work?
  • What kinds of benefits can your users expect?
  • What are the key features of your app?

2. New User Activation Sequence

Once a user downloads your app and completes your initial onboarding sequence, now it’s time to move users into the new user activation sequence.

This campaign guides new users to the “aha” moments in your app through small, manageable steps—encouraging users to complete the key actions that your app was designed to promote. 

Before writing this sequence, it’s critical to identify and define which key actions are the most important for your users to complete early on.

Depending on your app, user activation can be anything from sharing a photo to linking a credit card, or completing their first order—whatever the most logical first step is to using your app as intended.

Each time a user completes the desired in-app action, they signal a strong interest in your app and show themselves to be an “activated user.” Meaning, they understand the app and are willing to complete more and more suggested actions.

Your new user activation nurture campaign should answer questions like:

  • What do users need to do to get the most out of your app?
  • What are the benefits to completing these actions?
  • How do users personalize their app experience?

3. Conversion Sequence

While the first two sequences prime your users to fall in love with your app, the conversion sequence is where you seal the deal.

In simple terms, this sequence should convert your activated users into revenue-generating subscribers.

Now that your users know how to work the app and have first-hand experience with its features and benefits, they’re ready to move into the next tier and learn more about what else they can do with your app.

This campaign should highlight all the major benefits your users get when they convert into a paid user or make a purchase.

You’ll also need to instruct users on how to upgrade to the paid version and inform them of the new and improved features they’ll gain access to once they go premium.

Since people are inherently risk-averse, do whatever you can to remove friction for users upgrading to the premium version.

One of the easiest ways to make it effortless for your users to take the leap to premium is by offering them a free trial.

Trials make it exceptionally easy for users to experience the benefits of the subscription for themselves before committing to the paid version.

This way, you encourage your users to form an attachment they won’t want to give up.

Your conversion nurture campaign should answer questions like:

  • How do users upgrade their accounts?
  • What do users get for upgrading to a paid subscription?
  • What are the added benefits of the paid version?
  • Are there any additional features unlocked in the paid version?

4. Referral Sequence

Now that your users have converted, it’s time to ask for referrals.

Paid subscribers are an excellent source of referrals because—if they enjoy your app enough to pay for it—they can likely think of a few friends who will too.

The point of this sequence is to encourage your activated users to recruit new users and earn some kind of reward.

The reward could be anything from a bonus cash deposit to free merch to $20 off their next purchase—whatever you decide, just make sure it’s enticing enough to encourage referrals.

By leveraging your users to feed your referral engine, you can simultaneously make your current users happier and bring more activation-ready users into your orbit.

The main goal of the referral sequence is to quickly move new prospective users through the acquisition funnel and feed the flywheel, turning beginners into evaluators, regulars, and, most importantly, brand champions.

Your referral nurture campaign should answer questions like:

  • What features and benefits should make the user want to refer friends?
  • What should the user highlight when pitching the app?
  • How can the user invite their friends to join?
  • What will the user get in return for referring their friends?

5. Re-engagement Sequence

For every activated user, there are a few who’ve fallen off the wagon. That’s where the re-engagement sequence comes into play.

This sequence re-captivates users who have churned, meaning those who haven’t opened your app in X number of days.

Your reactivation messaging should be highly personalized, engaging, and maybe a little cheeky.

Whatever it takes to win back your wayward users.

Be sure and remind users of the benefits of your app and offer some sort of reward to rejoin the fold—such as a free premium trial for double the normal length or a hefty sum of in-app currency.

This is also a great time to re-educate users on how your app works and try to leverage some social proof.

Include a link to an article praising your app, a video testimonial, an animation about what’s new since they last logged in—anything that creates a sense of FOMO and encourages churned users to re-engage.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with bold messaging in this sequence since it’s truly a last-ditch effort to win inactive users back.

Your re-engagement nurture campaign should answer questions like:

  • Why should churned users rejoin your platform?
  • Has anything changed since the disengaged user last logged on?
  • Will users get a reward or bonus for rejoining?
  • Does the user need any re-education to start using your app again?

Final Thoughts...

Your new users need nurturing to guide them through the customer journey.

Implementing these five essential user nurture campaigns will reduce onboarding friction, convert your activated users into paid subscribers, round up word-of-mouth referrals, reactivate churned accounts, and transform your users into active advocates for your brand.

If you find yourself in need of a marketing partner to set up your user nurture campaigns, shoot us a message—we’d be thrilled to learn more about your brand and explore how we can help.

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