The Definitive Guide to User Onboarding

The Definitive Guide to User Onboarding

With this guide, you'll find advice to launch and optimize your user onboarding funnels.

In-app onboarding:

  • Welcome Messages. It's an opportunity to make new users feel invited, to reinstate your value proposition, increase motivation, and possibly set expectations.
  • Product Tours. It should ask users what they're trying to accomplish in the product and cover important step for success.
  • Progress Bars. This helps us feel like we're already underway instead of starting from scratch, and it increases our desire to complete the task.
  • Checklists. It can motivate new users to complete the crucial setup tasks required to get your product up and running, and turn complex, multistep processes into simple, achievable tasks.
  • Onboarding Tooltips. It can be used to help users learn how to use a product.
  • Empty States. They are commonly found when a user hits a product's dashboard for the first time. They should prompt people to take an action that will lead them closer to experiencing a quick win and meaningful value in the product.

Lifecycle Emails

  1. Welcome Emails. They should only have two purposes: train your audience to open your emails and set the expectation of what's coming next.
  2. Usage Tips. They nudge users to take steps in the product that will set them up for success.
  3. Sales Touches.
  4. Usage Reviews. They should far outlive your onboarding experience as they remind people why your product is valuable.
  5. Case Study. They help combat objections that your users might have before they enter the buying phase.
  6. Better Life. They are used to showcase the benefits of your product.
  7. Post-Trial Survey. They can help you improve your free trial to paid conversion rate if you trigger certain events based on the user's feedback.
  8. Expiry Warning / Trial Extension. They set clear expectations, make it easy to upgrade or cancel and explain how users can get help.
  9. Customer Welcome Emails. The point is to reassure your users that they made the right decision, remind your users of what they can now do with the platform, and set the expectation for what's to come next.

Mistakes to avoid :

  1. Activation Emails Kill Your Onboarding Flow. Don't force users to activate their email at the beginning of your onboarding flow.
  2. User onboarding does not start in the product. It starts the second someone interacts with your brand.
  3. Having a Value Gap. When a user thinks that the perceived value of the product doesn’t line up with the experienced value of the product, you have a value gap. The bigger the gap, the more users who won’t return to use your product.
  4. Not Delivering a Meaningful Quick Win in Your Product. Don’t walk your new users through your entire product. Instead, focus on helping them achieve a quick win in your product.
  5. Onboarding Users like They’re Customers. Users have far less motivation when it comes to using your product. They want to quickly explore if the product can work for their business.
  6. Sending Nagging Emails. Personalize your emails.

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