Onboard SaaS product users

1. Create a friendly, short, accessible sign-up or registration phase to reduce early friction and speed up the registration process.

For example, Inbound.org sign up message reads, Happy to have you here! and only requires email address, password, and privacy policy agreement.

2. Conduct research on your audience to understand how well-informed new users are with similar products.

The onboarding process you design will depend on your audience’s familiarity with your product or industry, their motivation level, and the complexity of your product.

3. Decide which type of onboarding best suits your product: benefit-focused, function-focused, doing-focused, account-focused, or a combination.

For example, benefit-focused may explain the 2-3 core benefits and how to achieve that via the site, product, or app, while account-focused will walk the user through account and profile creation.

4. Create a strategy that combines on-site or in-app onboarding with onboarding email flows.

Maintain consistency in your welcome copy both on-site, and in emails.

5. Use onboarding tools such as whatfix, Tour My App, or WalkMe, to help your users navigate the onboarding experience.

Other tools that you can use are The Joyride Kit, Helppier, Appcues, Inline Manual, Intercom, Evergage, and Nickelled.

6. Separate your onboarding experience into mandatory and non-mandatory sections to avoid overwhelming your user with irrelevant information.

For example, have a primary setup wizard, then suggestions for activities a user can finish later, such as linking their social media.

7. Guide your users by using a progress bar, live chat, clear numbering or sequence, and client-centric language during your setup.

8. Test your onboarding process by choosing and analyzing a metric like trial-to-paid conversion, or performing qualitative and quantitative user research.

Retention is the best metric to demonstrate user onboarding flow.

9. Continue onboarding throughout the customer lifecycle by being available to help existing users understand new features.