User Onboarding

Without successful new user onboarding your business would be stagnant. Let Twilio Segment explain user onboarding and its process.

What is User Onboarding?

User onboarding is the process of training new users and familiarizing them with your product so they find value in it. You invest in user onboarding to improve customer retention, boost conversions from free to paid plans, and support upselling.

User onboarding usually comes in three stages: orienting, training, and acclimatizing. Orienting starts from a customer’s first interaction with your product. Even before they become a customer, you can tell them about the problems that your product solves and the use cases it fulfills. Blog articles, case studies, explainer videos, and webinars are useful for creating awareness with potential customers.

Training starts when the customer begins using your product. Training guides, academies, and task lists are useful for helping people become comfortable – and even proficient – with your product.

Acclimatizing focuses on keeping users engaged and satisfied. You help them establish a routine with your product and find the features that meet their needs and preferences. Discussion forums and live chat support are especially useful at this stage.

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The importance of user onboarding

Product adoption

During onboarding, you provide instructional content that helps users figure out how your product works and familiarizes them with its features and user experience. Customers are more likely to use your product if they understand how it works for their specific needs.

Good for customer retention

An onboarding process that helps new users find value in your product gives them more reasons to remain your customer. That’s why Week 1 Engagement is one of the customer engagement metrics you should be tracking.

Lowers acquisition costs

It’s also easier to convert users who already see the value in your product or service. In this way, user onboarding helps reduce acquisition costs, especially when you’re getting customers to convert from free to paid plans.

How do you create a user onboarding process?

A good user onboarding process includes six elements:

  1. Learn how customers intend to use your app and identify common tasks associated with this use case.

  2. Identify the pivotal moment when users recognize the value of your product. (UXStudio calls this the “moment of truth”; Appcues calls this the “aha moment.”)

  3. Then identify factors that lead to user churn, like information overload, a lack of project templates, slow load time, or requiring a credit card for a free trial.

  4. Map out the tasks users need to perform to reach the pivotal moment. These can include adding teammates to their user group, completing an onboarding tutorial series, or downloading a mobile app.

  5. Design workflows that guide users through different tasks. This includes creating relevant content and identifying the appropriate channels for sharing it. Remember to design nudges, too – subtle cues in the app that encourage desired behaviors. Think using an eye-catching background color for a button that you want users to click.

  6. Don’t forget the users who prefer a non-guided experience. Include an option to explore your product without the product tour.

Finished onboarding your customers? Get a deep understanding of the user experience, and personalize each interaction (at scale) with Segment Unify.

Frequently asked questions