Accelerating setup

Reducing integration time from hours to minutes with an improved onboarding experience.


Easy integration is critical when evaluating a API partner. Encountering friction before trust is built will often lead to abandonment.

We knew from research that getting a "Hello World"-caliber integration started with SendGrid could be improved.

Consequently, we redesigned SendGrid's onboarding experience to make this efficient and rewarding.

Chooose your own adventure

Because we support marketing and developers in the product, we can't assume everyone wants to set up an integration. Once they log in, they're greeted with this page that lets them choose how they want to get set up.


Simplify and sequence choices

A wizard pattern guides the user through multiple decision points needed to set up an integration.

There are two paths a user can go down. We recommend the one that provides best performance but accommodate the easier path as well.


Speak their language

Developers can choose from custom instructions in seven popular languages—or just run a test from their command line.

We worked with Developer Experience to ingress these from the official GitHub repos. This enabled a single point of maintenance.


Make instructions dynamic

We helped users generate an API key directly within the instructions. This was then dynamically inserted into the code sample. This makes copying and pasting a error-free process. It also eliminated a significant point of abandonment.


Find the needle in the haystack

We wanted an easy, no-effort way to let users know that their integration worked. To do this, we built a microservice that scans our email pipeline. This finds the email they just sent among the hundreds of thousands processed each second. When we find it, we congratulate the user and lead them to the next likely actions.



This resulted in 92% faster time-to first send, 17% fewer support tickets, and 22% more free-to-paid upgrades.

Christiano Betta, a developer experience advocate who rightfully criticized our prior onboarding experience remarked, “That works. That was good. That is exceedingly better than it used to be!

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