SaaS onboarding is walking users through your product until they experience the “aha moment” to start getting value from your solution. For any SaaS, your product features are where the value lies, which is why product onboarding is so crucial. 

With no onboarding, leaving users to fend for themselves, they possibly never discover their ‘aha moment’ or the moment they realize your product is what they were looking for. Eventually, they end up becoming one of the 40-60% of users that only log into a new product once.

So, in this guide, let’s help you help users discover their “aha moment” easily and quickly so they turn into loyalist (even paid) users. We’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of SaaS onboarding including:

  • What is Customer Onboarding in SaaS?
  • Measuring your SaaS Onboarding Process: KPIs & Metrics
  • How to Improve your SaaS Onboarding Flow: Best Practices
  • Best SaaS Onboarding Software & Tools
  • World-Class SaaS Onboarding Examples from Top Companies
  • SaaS Onboarding: Tips & Examples

Let’s dig in. 

What is Customer Onboarding in SaaS?

Customer onboarding in a SaaS company is the process of introducing your product features and showing customers how to use them. It’s super important that they leave the interaction with a sense of how it can improve their lives and achieve their goals. 

Basically, it’s speeding/driving? the users’ toward their “aha moment” instead of leaving them to explore around until they eventually discover the value of your product, or worse, they decide to leave (churn). But why is it important? And how can you measure this process?

Measuring your SaaS Onboarding Process: KPIs & Metrics

The ultimate goal of SaaS onboarding is retaining free customers well beyond their first login and, eventually, converting them into paying users. To see if you’re hitting the nail on the head, you’ll want to measure your conversion rate (yep, you guessed it right!) and customer engagement.

Conversion rates give you granular details of how users are interacting with your product. This will tell you:

  • How often users are logging in and for how long
  • How many features they’re exploring and
  • Which features are engaging them and which aren’t

In terms of customer engagement, following these SaaS onboarding metrics will allow you to get an in-depth look at customer engagement:

  • Usage time. How long does a new customer use your product? Ideally, you’ll want users to log in more often and for longer durations – indicating they’re successfully transitioning toward using your product in their workflow.
  • Daily active users. The total number of people logging in and engaging with your product. It needs to be growing so you can maintain a healthy pipeline of leads.
  • Completion rate and time. Completion rate and time answer how many users are completing your onboarding process and for how long, respectively. A low completion rate paired with a high completion time indicates your onboarding process is a complex one that needs revising.
  • Time to value (TTV). TTV is the time between a user’s first log-in and their ‘aha’ moment. A small value here denotes your customer onboarding process’s effectiveness.
  • Churn rate and time. Lastly, churn rate and time determine how long customers use your product. If it’s short, chances are your SaaS onboarding process is failing to retain users. 

Now, let’s see how you can improve your SaaS onboarding flow. 

How to Improve your SaaS Onboarding Flow: Best Practices

Let’s get to the important part now as we dive into each element that perfects SaaS onboarding:

1. Avoid friction 

Let’s start with the basics: friction will lead to churn. That’s why it’s best to avoid any unnecessary steps from your onboarding flow that could create roadblocks for your customer. 

This can mean simplifying your log-in page and waiting to get more personal details later on in the onboarding process, after all, taking out just one form field in a sign-up process can increase conversion by 27%! The takeaway? Ask only for what’s necessary.

Pro-tip: Immediately after signing up, don’t leave users hanging on a bland thank-you page. Take them through a product walkthrough or personalization questions to set them up. It’s best if you can show them how to accomplish a task using your product!

2. Personalize the onboarding process with Flows

You can increase your engagement by personalizing your onboarding. After all, no two customers will use your product the same way. By segmenting your customers, you can create different onboarding journeys that are adapted to their needs, ensuring they reach that all-important “aha moment” much more quickly. 

Using features like product flows allows you to create custom paths for your customers, by tracking their behaviors. 

3. Use in-app notifications as extra guidance 

In-app messaging in the form of tooltips and modals is your best friend. They provide key information for users at the exact time they need it since they are triggered by specific actions. These messages can give extra tips on how to use features, direct them to nurturing resources, and more!

4. Keep talking to your customers 

Check-in with your users. You’ve got an excellent opportunity to add a human touch here, and it’s not always about analytics. 

You can talk to them via emails (that are personalized, of course), and send them satisfaction surveys so they feel they can give you their honest feedback. In all, you’ll get that CSAT to score up, while your customers feel super supported and valued. 

5. Have a User Onboarding Checklist for your SaaS

Use this handy checklist to reference as you work on your product onboarding process! When creating an onboarding guide, make sure to: 

6. Don’t forget to use the right tools

You’ll find the following software indispensable to creating an effective SaaS onboarding process:

  • Product tour tools like Userpilot and Chameleon
  • Lead nurturing tool, Drip for setting up drip email campaigns
  • Product analytics tool to keep tabs on metrics including Pendo and Amplitude
  • Help desk software that automatically guides users to human support and resource banks such as Zendesk and Help Scout
  • All-rounder software, FROGED, complete with customer support and user retention offers

World-Class SaaS Onboarding Examples from Top Companies

Here you can see some more onboarding examples from top companies:

1. Asana

Asana’s top quality is its self-serve customer service. The Asana Guide answers any questions the user may have via its search page, which quickly resolves any of their questions, checklists, templates, step-by-step instructions, webinar links… You’ll realize it’s an onboarding dream! 

They understand that the user can’t ever get frustrated with the experience – if they do, they’re a lost customer. They use simple, in-app prompts that guide the user to the right path and ensure they complete the entire onboarding process. 

2. FullStory

FullStory helps you support your customers and creates a custom onboarding experience that hooks the user from the beginning. This includes personalized questions, simple steps, and sign-up flows that push the user towards activating their account (and making the purchase), you’ll see value super quickly. 

FullStory top quality is its many use cases and how they help with personalizing the onboarding experience for each customer. 

3. HubSpot

HubSpot‘s approach to user onboarding is a different one: they personalize the onboarding experience based on the responses they gather from customer surveys at the very beginning of the customer journey. This happens during the sign-up process — the customer answers a ‘get to know you’ survey, and that information is then used as a tool for personalization. 

HubSpot makes it all about keeping the customer active on the website and dashboard, letting them know from the beginning the value they’ll be getting from them. They also add checklists, and a progress bar to the process, urging the customer to complete the entire onboarding process. 

SaaS Onboarding Tips And Examples

Having a good experience during SaaS onboarding is super important: it’s the moment the customer experiences their ‘aha’ moment, and ultimately reduces the risk of customer churn

You only have one chance to get it right, so here are some failsafe tips to optimize your onboarding strategy: 

  • Avoid friction through product flows 
  • Personalize onboarding journeys with behavioral segmentation 
  • Drive action through in-app messaging 
  • Maintain communication through personalized messaging inside and outside the product 
  • Keep optimizing through customer feedback 

And, most important of all, find a Product Success Platform like FROGED that can do all of the above to help you. We recommend you use this guide as your checklist when upgrading your onboarding process! If you’re interested in using FROGED, book a free demo with us to see how your onboarding processes can transform into an engaging, high-converting customer experience!