The Ultimate User Onboarding Strategy Guide: How to Get New Users Hooked on Your Product

Congratulations on creating a fantastic SaaS product! You've put in a lot of hard work and it's finally ready for the world to see. But...now what? How do you get people to start using your product, and more importantly, how do you keep them hooked? In this guide, we will discuss the best user onboarding strategies to get new users excited about your product and keep them coming back for more. 

What is User Onboarding?

User onboarding is the process of helping new users understand how to use your product. This can be done in a number of ways, but typically, it involves some combination of education and guidance.

The goal is to help new users get the most out of your product as quickly and easily as possible, so they continue using it long-term.

With that said, let's dive into some of the best user onboarding strategies you can use to get new users hooked on your product.

Common Reasons Why Customers Leave

Before we get into the strategies, it's important to understand some of the common reasons why customers leave. This will help you tailor your onboarding process to address these specific pain points.

#1 They Don't Understand Your Product

One of the most common reasons why customers leave is because they don't understand your product. This can be for a number of reasons, such as the product being too complex or poorly explained. In either case, it's important to make sure that your onboarding process is clear and concise. Use simple language and avoid jargon.

It's also important to provide guidance on how to use your product. This can be done through in-app tutorials, tooltips, or even just a link to a documentation page. Whatever you do, make sure that it's easy for the user to find and understand.

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#2 They Don't See the Value of Your Product

As much as we hate to admit it, people are often quite shallow. If they don't see the value of your product right away, they're likely to give up and move on to the next shiny thing. This is why it's so important to highlight the benefits of your product during onboarding. Explain exactly how your product can help the user and what makes it unique rather than trying to explain how awesome your company is.

#3 They Feel Lost or Overwhelmed

Another common reason why customers leave is that they feel lost or overwhelmed. This can happen if the onboarding process is too long or complex, or if there are just too many features to keep track of. To prevent this, it's important to keep your onboarding process short and sweet. Focus on the most essential tasks and leave the rest for later. This is something that’s often called the “aha” moment - the key moment when a customer determines to stay a customer.

It's also important to provide guidance along the way. If a user feels like they're constantly being bombarded with new information, they're likely to give up and leave. Break things down into small, manageable steps and provide help if needed.

The Importance of User Onboarding for Your Business

Look, we get it. You're busy. You've got a lot on your plate and the last thing you want to do is hand-hold every single new user. But trust us, taking the time to onboard your users properly is worth it in the long run.

Not only will it help reduce customer churn, but it will also lead to better product reviews, more word-of-mouth marketing, and even higher conversion rates.

In other words, user onboarding is essential to the success of your business.

Key Elements of User Onboarding

Now that we've gone over some of the basics, let's take a look at what goes into a good user onboarding process. One important thing to add is that this is not a step-by-step process and you should not follow all of the items below. Depending on the maturity and complexity of your product, you’ll want to use one or all of them.

Let’s begin.

#1 Awareness

The first step is to make sure that users are aware of your product. This can be done through marketing and advertising, but it's also important to have a strong presence on social media and in relevant online communities.

Identify the problem that your product solves. This might seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many companies fail to do this effectively.

Your customers need to know exactly what your product does and how it can help them. Be clear and concise in your messaging, and don't be afraid to use concrete examples.

You want potential customers to know that your product exists and that it can help them with their specific needs. Once you've got their attention, it's time to move on to the next step.

#2 Short Sign Up Forms

We've all been there. You find a product that you think is perfect for your needs, but when you go to sign up, you're faced with a long, complicated form.

Before you even think about asking for someone's personal information, make sure that you actually need it. The shorter the form, the better.

Only ask for the bare minimum amount of information that you need. If you can, allow users to sign up with their social media accounts. This will make the process much quicker and easier.

However… This recipe does not work for everyone.

As you can see from an example by Drift, they managed to improve their onboarding flow by actually making their signup longer:

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This is to say that not every approach from this list will work for everyone - it depends on your product.

#3 Onboarding Emails

Once a user has signed up for your product, it's time to start the onboarding process. The first step is to send them an email.

This email should welcome the user to your product and give them a brief overview of what it does. It should also include a call to action that encourages them to get started.

Make sure to personalize the email and address the user by their name. This will make them feel valued and appreciated, and more likely to stick around.

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Include a link to your product's onboarding guide or tutorial. This will give the user all of the information they need to get started.

Lastly, thank the user for signing up and let them know that you're always available if they need any help.

This is just the first email in a series of onboarding emails. The goal is to keep the user engaged and interested in your product.

You can do this by sending helpful tips, sharing success stories, or offering exclusive deals.

Finally, remember that you don’t always need emails if you have the rest of your onboarding flow worked out. Consider it as a taste of what’s coming for the customer and only provide the information they need to get started. Once they’re in the product, it’s best to provide help within a specific context. 

#4 Product Tour

Once a user has signed up for your product, it's time to give them a tour. This will help them understand how your product works and what they can do with it.

Start by showing the user the basics. How to navigate around the interface, how to find their way back to the homepage, etc.

Then, show them how to use your product. This is where you'll get into the nitty-gritty of how your product works.

Use screenshots, videos, or even GIFs to help explain things. And make sure to keep it short and sweet. No one wants to sit through a long, boring tutorial.

#5 Onboarding Progress

It's important to let users know how they're doing as they progress through the onboarding process.

This can be done with a simple progress bar that lets them know what step they're on and how many more steps there are to go. You can also include a brief description of each step so that users know what to expect.

This will help to keep users motivated and on track and let them know that they're making progress. It's also a good idea to include a call-to-action at the end of each step so that users know what to do next.

Finally, don't forget to congratulate the user once they've completed the onboarding process. This will make them feel accomplished and encourage them to keep using your product.

User Onboarding Strategy

Build Personal Connection

The best way to keep users hooked on your product is to build a personal connection with them. This can be done in a number of ways, but one of the most effective is through email.

Email is a great way to keep in touch with users and give them helpful information about your product. It's also a good way to build rapport and establish a relationship.

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Another way to build a personal connection is to offer customer support. This can be done through live chat, email, or even over the phone.

Whatever you do, make sure that you're always available to help users with any issues they may have.

Show Your Product: Product Tours

Once you've established a personal connection with users, it's time to show them your product.

The best way to do this is with a product tour. This will help users understand how your product works and what they can do with it.

Start by showing the user the basics. How to navigate around the interface, how to find their way back to the homepage, etc.

Then, show them how to use your product. This is where you'll get into the nitty-gritty of how your product works.

Also, don't forget to include a call-to-action at the end of each step, so that users know what to do next.

Finally, congratulate the user once they've completed the product tour. This will make them feel accomplished and encourage them to keep using your product.

Set the Goals

You need to set the goals – both for you and your users. With the goals set, you will know what to include in the product tour and how to measure the success.

Asking users about their experience with your product is a great way to get feedback and improve the onboarding process.

You can also use heatmaps or analytics to track user behavior and see where they're struggling. This will give you insight into what needs to be improved.

Get Your Customers Use Your Product Multiple Times in The First Week

This can make or break your product. A user needs to use your product multiple times in the first week to get hooked.

The best way to do this is by sending them email reminders, push notifications, or even text messages.

Whatever you do, make sure that you're always available to help users with any issues they may have. The more times they use your product, the more likely they are to keep using it. And this, essentially, is your goal.

Create a Pattern of Usage

The best way to keep users hooked on your product is to create a pattern of usage.

This means that you need to make it easy for users to use your product on a regular basis.

One way to do this is by creating a daily or weekly email digest. This will give users a quick overview of what's new in your product and remind them to use it.

Another way is to send users notifications when there's something new in your product. This will keep them up-to-date and encourage them to keep using your product.

Finally, don't forget to congratulate the user once they've completed the onboarding process. This will make them feel accomplished and encourage them to keep using your product.

Make Your Product Necessary for Customers

The best way to keep users hooked on your product is to make it necessary for them. This means that you need to find a way to integrate your product into their everyday lives.

And if you do it well, they won't be able to imagine their lives without your product.

One way to do this is by integrating your product with other products that they use. For example, if you have a task management app, you can integrate it with their email client so that they can easily add tasks from their inbox.

Another way to make your product necessary is by offering features that no other product offers. This will make your product unique and essential for users.

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Finally, don't forget to keep your customers happy. If they're happy with your product, they're more likely to keep using it.

User Onboarding Metrics and KPIs

Completion Rate

The first metric you should track is the completion rate. This will tell you how many users finish the onboarding process.

A high completion rate means that your onboarding process is effective and that users are finding value in your product.

A low completion rate, on the other hand, indicates that something is wrong with your onboarding process.

It could be that the process is too long, or that it's not clear what users need to do.

Either way, you need to identify the problem and fix it so that more users complete the onboarding process.

Daily Active Users

Another metric you should track is the number of daily active users. This will tell you how many users are using your product on a daily basis.

A high number of daily active users means that your product is being used as intended.

A low number, on the other hand, indicates that something is wrong with your product. It could be that users are struggling to use it, or that they're not finding value in it.

Either way, you need to identify the problem and fix it so that more users use your product on a daily basis.

Engagement Rate

The next metric you should track is the engagement rate. This will tell you how engaged users are with your product.

A high engagement rate means that users are finding value in your product and using it on a regular basis.

A low engagement rate can indicate a number of things. It could be that users are struggling to use your product, or that they're not finding value in it. 

It could also be that your product is too complex, or that it's not relevant to their needs.

Free Trial Conversion Rate

You should track the free trial conversion rate. This will tell you how many users convert from your free trial to a paid subscription.

A high conversion rate means that users are finding value in your product and are willing to pay for it.

A low conversion rate can indicate that something may be wrong with your pricing, or that users are not finding value in your product, so you need to offer more features.

Stickiness

The next metric you should track is stickiness. This will tell you how often users return to your product.

A high stickiness rate means that users are finding value in your product (e.g. AI solutions for recruitment) and are using it on a regular basis.

A low stickiness rate can indicate that something may be wrong with your product. It could be that it's not relevant to their needs, or that it's too complex.

Time to Value

Track the time to value. This will tell you how long it takes for users to find value in your product.

A shorter time to value means that users are finding value in your product sooner.

A longer time to value can indicate some problems on either side. It could be that your product is too complex, or that users are not using it as intended.

Churn Rate

Finally, you should track the churn rate. This will tell you how many users stop using your product.

A high churn rate means that users are not finding value in your product and are leaving.

A low churn rate can indicate that users are happy with your product and are sticking around.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Obviously, you want to avoid any mistakes that could lead to a low completion rate, engagement rate, or churn rate.

But there are some other common mistakes that you should avoid as well.

One mistake is not segmenting your users. This means that you're not tailoring the onboarding process to different types of users.

For example, if you have a product that can be used by both businesses and consumers, you need to segment them so that you're not sending the same onboarding process to both.

Another mistake is not tracking the right metrics. As we've seen, there are a number of important metrics that you should track.

If you're not tracking them, you won't be able to improve them.

Finally, a common mistake is not following up with users. Once a user completes the onboarding process, you need to follow up with them to make sure they're using your product as intended.

If you don't, they may forget about your product or never use it again.

Conclusion

User onboarding is one of the most crucial aspects of getting customers hooked on your product and maximizing the lifetime value of their account. And while you may think that it’s something that you can set and forget, onboarding can significantly impact your bottom line.

Want a helping hand with improving your product onboarding and messaging? Try out FeedBear today and see how it can help with collecting user feedback!

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