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Client Onboarding Email Templates For Creative & Digital Agencies

Organization makes for happier clients. Happier clients make for a higher LTV for your agency.

Nobody wants to spend over an hour typing up an all new onboarding email for clients, and if your agency is growing as much as your goals project it to, you won’t have the time. While email templates can be stiff and impersonal, creating good ones can not only save you a ton of time, but make the experience for your clients all that much easier.

Most of us know the impact of getting off on the right foot with clients, but let’s touch on why onboarding email templates have such potential.


What’s Onboarding & Why All the Fuss?

While onboarding can seem like a snooze-fest HR thing most agency owners want to skip over (or do the bare minimum for), it’s actually the very first time a client is able to see your process.

Imagine you just got off the final call pitching your agency to a client after a few back-and-forths and a bit of convincing. They’re a bit nervous; this is the first time they’ve hired an agency for a job previously done in-house.

Money is on the line with both the cost of your services and in revenue generation for them if this doesn’t work out.

You’ve been pretty good so far. Have practiced great client communication, have been reassuring, and have set up the promises of what you’ll deliver.

Then they say yes, send the funds, and you get off the call. Then…

Nothing. Or relatively nothing. They don’t hear from you for a few days. Your updates are sporadic. They have no idea what’s happening next, what access you need from them, or when they’ll get deliverables.

Panic sets in. They paid the upfront monthly fee—at least a few thousand. Did you just blow them off? Is your “agency” just a scam? Will they have to eat that cost and come up with a solution for the work you promised but are clearly not doing because they haven’t heard a peep?

Meanwhile, you have been working. The creatives are being taken care of by your team and you figure you’ll update the client when you have something to show for it, and at that time you’ll reach out for Facebook logins for ads and social logins for publishing the creatives.

Wrong move.

Your client is already down a rabbit hole of their own doubt-fueled stories and once this happens, it’s very difficult to reel back in.

That is the importance of having an onboarding system for your clients. Being able to get off the phone and within 15 minutes send over an email recapping the call, the details, deliverables, a timeline, client-access to view the project progress, and even proposed status updates will do wonders to soothe even the most anxious of clients.

With a clean onboarding system, you will still set the tone of how you intend to operate: in an organized, clear, communicative manner. At a minimum, it will impress.


Client Onboarding Email Templates to Use

Templates will make the process of onboarding on your end a hell of a lot easier. Just make sure to fully read and fill-in the details per client or they’ll know it’s a template, which you don’t want (everyone feels better when content is tailored to them).

As always, tweak details that work for your specific agency, collaboration software, and how you intend to send deliverables.


Template 1: Creative Marketing Agency

If you’re running an agency with a wide-range of creative offers like ad-creative, social posts, website graphics, or even videos, but you don’t manage the execution of the creatives (publishing from logins, managing ads, etc.), this is the template you’ll want to use.

Hi [name of contact],

Welcome aboard! We’re happy to have you in our world, and look forward to helping you [insert what their company goals are to make this more personalized].

As mentioned on our call, we want to get up to speed as quickly as possible, and that includes providing you with everything you’ll need.

Here are the folders for creatives:

  • [Social Media Graphics]
  • [Social Media Videos]
  • [Blog Posts Graphics]
  • [Blog Post Videos]

We use [software name] for our video and image review process. Create an account here [link].

Upcoming status and/or creative meetings:

  • [date 1]
  • [date 2]
  • [date 3]
  • [date 4]

Next steps for us:

  1. Ensure you’re onboarded effectively
  2. Get access to your branding guidelines
  3. Review your core customer details
  4. Start on [deliverable 1]

What we need from you:

  • Branding guidelines
  • Core customer details
  • Confirmation of proposed status and/or creative updates

If you have any questions, reach out and ask! We’re always here to help.

Looking forward to working together,
[Your name]


Template 2: Digital Ad Agency

Whether you come up with the creatives or just manage the systems involved with the adsets—retargeting, demographic, ad type—you’ll want a client onboarding email template that’ll get you those logins and any core customer details as quickly as possible.

Hi [name of contact],

Welcome aboard! We’re happy to have you in our world, and look forward to helping you [insert what their company goals are to make this more personalized].

As mentioned on our call, we want to get up to speed as quickly as possible, and that includes providing you with everything you’ll need as well as getting our team access where necessary.

What we need from you to start:

  • [Facebook ad manager login]
  • [Google ads access]
  • [Youtube ads access]
  • [Core customer brief]
  • [Branding guidelines]

On our end, here’s where you can view data, progress, and updates:

  • Ad data sheets [link]
  • Project management software (if you want to grant them access) [link]
  • Ad Creatives: graphics [link]
  • Ad Creatives: videos [link]
  • Ad Creatives: copy [link]

Next steps from us:

  1. We’ll access all logins once provided
  2. Review past and current ad data to help inform our strategy moving forward
  3. Begin creating the first audience
  4. Begin with the creatives for the first ad

Proposed first status meeting options:

  • [proposed date and time 1]
  • [proposed date and time 2]
  • [proposed date and time 3]

Once we have everything we need, it should be smooth sailing! Let us know which date and time works for our first recap and we’ll get it on the books.

Let us know if you have ANY questions about the process above.

Looking forward to working together,
[Your name]


Template 3: Social Media Marketing Agency

There’s a ton of accounts you’ll need when managing social media for clients, along with data to review and creatives to get approval on. All of this needs a system, and this email template will cover most of it for you.

Hi [name of contact],

Welcome aboard! We’re happy to have you in our world, and look forward to helping you [insert what their company goals are to make this more personalized].

We’d like to start as soon as possible, and that means we need a few things from you:

  • [Facebook login]
  • [Instagram login]
  • [Twitter login]
  • [LinkedIn login]
  • [Core customer brief]
  • [Branding guidelines]

Once we have all of that, we’ll be able to start on our next steps:

  1. Gain and confirm access to social accounts
  2. Review past and current data from your social
  3. Begin creating the first social campaign

In order to review and approve social creatives, we keep everything organized in folders inside our project management tool. Here’s where you can access the work:

  • Folder 1 [link]
  • Folder 2 [link]
  • Folder 3 [link]
  • Folder 4 [link]

Proposed first status meeting options:

  • [proposed date and time 1]
  • [proposed date and time 2]
  • [proposed date and time 3]

Let us know which of the proposed meeting dates and times works for you and we’ll set up a call.

Looking forward to working together,
[Your name]


Template 4: Web/App Development Agency

There’s a lot that goes into web and application development. Clients need to approve many functions, and there needs to be a steady flow of information right from the start. This template will help bridge any gaps and ensure you have what you need to start.

Hi [name of contact],

Welcome aboard! We’re happy to have you in our world, and look forward to helping you [insert what their company goals are to make this more personalized].

A lot goes into development, so we want to make sure we have what’s needed from you.

Here’s what we’ll need from you before starting:

  • [Brand guidelines]
  • [Core customer brief]
  • [web access - if designing website]
  • [hosting provider access - if designing website]

In order to review and approve work, you’ll need an account with [whatever the software is]. We’ll loop you in when we need your eye and you can comment and make suggestions there.

Next steps for us:

  1. Gaining access where needed
  2. Reviewing brand and customer guidelines
  3. Project prep (our process for detailing who will own which part of the process)

Proposed dates and times for project kickoff where we’ll outline what you’re looking for:

  • [proposed date and time 1]
  • [proposed date and time 2]
  • [proposed date and time 3]

Let us know which of these dates and times works for you and we’ll prep what’s needed in the meantime.

Looking forward to working with you,
[Your name]


9 Tips for Using Email Templates to Onboard Clients

It’s not rocket science, but templates can be tricky. Many agency owners assume that their clients know about the systems they use and how they work. Here are some tips to mitigate any confusion:

  1. Create a video walkthrough sharing your screen for any logins or accesses they’ll need to make, like if you add them to Basecamp.
  2. Keep your emails simply structured with bullets and lists. Big paragraphs and blocks of text will typically be skimmed and important information can be overlooked.
  3. Use personal names, not the company name. People want to be treated like real people.
  4. Edit the template in a separate file, like a Google Doc or To-Do so you don’t accidentally send before it’s ready. Copy & paste, reread for formatting issues, and then send.
  5. Use screenshots for clarity when a video isn’t necessary.
  6. Hop on a meeting to walk through the onboarding process if they reply with more than two questions about it. While typically advice to reduce meeting time, onboarding is an exception. Clarity of the process should be above anything else.
  7. Ask for feedback about the onboarding process during the first status update (whether email, inside your project management software, or a meeting).
  8. Iterate and improve: update the video walkthrough when it’s out-of-date, check and update template links for any changes, put feedback into action.

Lastly, try not to use several types of software, folders, docs, or creative-commenting apps. Using fewer will not only make your life easier, but your client will be more inclined to work with you (and recommend you) to people when the process is straightforward.

That’s why we created Basecamp to be an all-in-one system that allows your clients direct access only where you’ve provided it, in addition to housing all the links and files they might need.

In this case, an email template for your clients when using Basecamp doesn’t need several links. It would look like this:


Hey [name of contact]!

Welcome aboard, we’re happy to have you.

Here’s a [video walkthrough] of getting started with us (look for an email from Basecamp to create your login). Everything you need will be housed inside Basecamp in a single view, so no need to bookmark any links or folders.

You can find next steps from our call in [this to-do]. Otherwise, review the quick video, have a peek around, chime in when necessary, and keep a lookout for deliverables coming your way.

Chat soon,
[Your name - not the agency’s name]


Simple. Not overwhelming. Most of all, effective.

If you want clean, clear client onboarding, consider the all new Basecamp. It’s project management’s greatest hits — everything you need, and nothing you don’t. Best of all, you can get started in just 30 seconds, without a commitment or a credit card. What do you got to lose?

Learn with Basecamp.

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