August 9, 2021
Words You Can Steal: Client Onboarding Emails for Dog Trainers
Get new clients bought into your business with these email templates.

dogs with women in shop; blog post on client onboarding

You already know that email newsletters are a great way of getting potential clients to buy in — and for existing clients to become repeat clients. But what about new clients?

Emails serve an even greater purpose in your business than as a regular touchpoint with potential, new, and repeat clients: by creating delight.

In general, creating delight is about making things as easy as possible on your clients. Making them feel special, or appreciated, and making it seem as if you went the extra mile.

There are endless possibilities here, but I’ll touch on one in particular to get new clients excited about working with you: client onboarding emails.

Client Onboarding Welcome Email

Creating a customer who is totally delighted by you starts early on in the process. Those feelings should be nurtured throughout the relationship.

Take this email template from HubSpot for example (note this is the one THEY use, I’ve got a template you can use below):

email template for email newsletter onboarding

Obviously, this doesn’t work word-for-word for dog trainers, but hopefully you can see the value here. And it’s just one of a number of useful templates they’ve shared. For a dog trainer, we might adapt this to something more like….

Hi [client],

Thanks for signing up with [your company]! We’re looking forward to getting to know you and [dog’s name]. We’re feeling pretty lucky that you chose us, and I just wanna say thank you on behalf of our team.

To get you settled, I wanted to share with you some of our best resources so you can make the most out of your experience with us. Subscribe to our blog [or newsletter — add link] for some great tips that will help your training be successful. Check out our Instagram [add link], Facebook [add link], and Twitter [add link] for your daily dose of news, advice, and behind-the-scenes sneak-peeks.

As a reminder, I’ve got your first [lesson/class] down for [date/time]! I’ll send over some additional details the day before — so keep an eye out for that!

If you have any questions or need any help in the meantime, feel free to contact us at any time [include a way to contact you here]. We’re always here to help you in any way we can.


[your name]

Note some important things in this email:

  1. While it’s a template you can easily share with all new clients, it’s customized to each person. You’ve included their dog’s name and the information about their upcoming appointment with you. So while it is a marketing email, it’s still got information that’s useful to each person it goes out to.
  2. There are clear additional steps the client can take to learn more about you (and stay updated on your offerings): subscribing to your blog OR newsletter, and following you on social media.
  3. Even though it’s intended to be an automated email (more on that later), it still feels like a personal note from you. One big way you achieve that? By telling them you’re available for them any time. Bonus points if you tell folks they can reply directly to that email — it removes any additional steps that might make it a burden for them to get in contact.

Pre-Class Client Onboarding Follow-Up

As you mentioned in your first email, you’ll want to send clients a follow-up before your first class or lesson. Here’s another HubSpot template that serves as helpful template:

email template for follow up client onboarding

Here’s how I’d reword it, for a dog trainer:

Hi [client],

We’re looking forward to our lesson tomorrow. We’d like to walk away having a better understanding of [client’s pain points — ie. why they’re hiring you] and how our working together can help you and [dog’s name] achieve your goals.

In the meantime, here are some pre-class materials you can read and forms to fill out. Here’s the link: [insert link].

Let me know if you have any questions. Otherwise, we’re excited to see you tomorrow at [time/location]!


[your name]

And, of course, you can add in any other information you want to remind them of right before your first lesson — such as what equipment to bring (or have on hand), a reminder to prep treats, and/or what to do with their dog when you/they arrive!

Things to note here:

While this email gets out of the marketing side of things and serves a more practical purpose, think of client onboarding as a big puzzle. This is just a piece of it! The goal here is to get them to:

  • Remember when and where your class is
  • Fill out relevant paperwork
  • Share relevant resources (that you’ve created or from other places)
  • Remind them that you’re available if they have questions

Sharing relevant resources is a good way to continue to get them to buy in to your business. Think about what blog posts, handouts, graphics, or other materials you’ve made that can either be converted into resources to share or linked to directly in the email.

What’s Next

This is just the beginning of the client onboarding process. Once they’ve taken a class with you, you’ll want to follow up again. And you’ll want to follow up after that to keep in touch. I’ll elaborate on those in another blog post.

Another thing to think about is how you want to automate these emails.

If you want to send the emails manually, I recommend setting up an email template you can easily fill out and send. I wrote about that over on the Dog Trainer’s Umbrella blog, here. This is the best option if you want to highly customize each email to the individual client.

But what about emails that don’t require much customization?

Email marketing platforms like MailChimp and GetResponse have automation options where emails are automatically sent out when clients perform certain tasks (like signing up for a class) or when you add a tag (because they signed up for a class or program). While it can get complex with emails that require customized client information, both of the email templates here could absolutely be handled with email automation

You could also create a welcome email sequence that people receive when they sign up for your newsletter!

I’ll write more about automations in a follow-up post. In the meantime, if you want to get your gears turning, here’s a little 101 on email automation procedures.


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